BYD Atto 3 Design

BYD Atto 3 Design
BYD Atto 3 Design, face
BYD Atto 3 Design, side
BYD Atto 3 Design, rear
BYD Atto 3 Design, interior
BYD Atto 3, 2023, centre console
BYD Atto 3, 2023, display screen, rotating, horizontal
BYD Atto 3, 2023, rear armrest
BYD Atto 3, 2023, boot
BYD Atto 3, 2023, door handle
BYD Atto 3, 2023, motor

THERE is no doubt that China's BYD car company is a new major challenger to European manufacturers with its Atto 3 crossover.

Not only does it have Europe's familiar family cars in sight but it will be aiming to pick off sales from the Korean and Japanese brands which have had it much their own way up to now.

Build Your Dreams, to give the company its full name, launched in Britain with the Atto 3 mid-way through 2023 and followed up at the end of the year with its Dolphin hatch and Seal saloon as it progressively establishes 90 showrooms by 2025 with well-known retailers, supported by stand-alone service centres infilling these locations.

The cars have a good warranty and the sophisticated lithium iron phosphate battery is guaranteed for eight years or 125,000 miles, which will appeal to business buyers and taxi businesses with its range efficiency and rapid recharging.

On a 150kW fast charge point it will boost from 30 to 80 per cent in under half an hour, enough to cover 200 miles approximately.

The five-seat BYD Atto 3 launched in three trim levels, Active from £36,490, Comfort £36,990 and Design £38,990.

Our top-line Design specification included powered tailgate, multi-colour interior lighting, air purification system, 15.6-inch rotary touchscreen, 11kW heat exchanger charger and 3 phase charging cable. All models are mechanically identical and have the same "Dragon Face" design style.

The simple switch on and sweep away starting system was silent and acceleration good for a car weighing 1.7 tonnes but it was not neck-snapping as some BEVs can be.

You have to anticipate overtaking opportunities and prepare to move accordingly when a gap appears because the mid-range pick-up is good but not sports-car like.

It did respond well to the accelerator, with strong braking a bonus and regeneration can be tailored to taste and boosting the battery to extend range. The steering felt a bit lifeless at speed and around town the turning circle could have been tighter when parking.

Secondary controls on the wheel, column, facia and console were convenient and worked well and those for opening the air vents were eye-catching as well as very effective.

The compact display immediately infront of the driver carried the barest of information but it was neatly and cleanly shown. The Atto 3 party piece must be the 15.6-inch central infotainment display which can be rotated from landscape to portrait modes, ideal when following directions.

Our car came with a sophisticated air purification system for smoggy cities and the air conditioning worked very well throughout the large cabin.

A big sunroof is standard as well as four powered windows.

There was plenty of oddments room in the cabin for a family car although the individual recesses were on the small side, but I smiled at the elasticated strapping on the door casings and the quirky door openinghandles to get out.

The bootspace was good for a family of five and the capacity could be quickly increased as the 60:40 split rear seats folded down almost flat giving access to the front of any cargo. With all seats in use, entry and exit was easy and generally leg and headroom was good for anyone of normal height but taller rear seat passengers might find their head brushing the roof.

The seats were nicely shaped to support and locate occupants with good adjustment on the front pair and they helped smooth out the sometimes lumpy ride over very bad surfaces which could be heard passing underneath.

Body roll was evident as the Atto 3 is not a sporting crossover in the true sense and it did not feel very agile when pushed hard through a series of bends, but it did stay on line and roadholding was safe and surefooted.

The big windows, good washers and wipers, with lots of sensors helped when driving or manoeuvering but at night I would have liked faster reacting automatic headlights with a brighter long range main beam.

Apart from the constant though mostly low level of road rumbles the Atto 3 was a very quiet car which added to its visible sophistication and refinement.

The equipment and features were pleasing and represent very good value but the Atto 3 goes further because it is also a pleasant drive, distinctive to look at and has an honest 260 miles range with practical recharging time an long warranty.

If BYD is to do really well, it needs a bigger dealer network and a customer relations ethic which exceeds competitors.

FAST FACTS

BYD Atto 3 Design

Price:£38,990

Mechanical:204ps/310Nm motor, 60kWh 150Ah battery driving front wheels via automatic transmission

Max Speed:99mph

0-62mph:7.3 secs

Combined MPG:261 miles

Insurance Group:38

C02 emissions: 0

Bik rating:2%

Warranty:6yrs/93,000 miles

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