The electric vehicle (EV) landscape, largely dominated by Tesla, is undergoing a shake-up with the arrival of BYD’s Seal. This Chinese contender is making a bold entrance into the Australian market, eyeing a face-off with the formidable Tesla Model 3. Can the BYD Seal truly stand its ground in the diverse and demanding Australian terrain?
BYD Seal: Aesthetic Brilliance and Aerodynamic Finesse
The journey into the BYD Seal begins with its captivating design. The aerodynamic prowess, boasting a drag coefficient of 0.219 Cd, aligns with the Tesla Model 3. The front, adorned with appealing lights, showcases an elegance that is sure to turn heads on Australian roads. Keeping the configuration process simple, BYD offers 3 variant: Dynamic, Premium and Performance.
Under the Bonnet: Power and Efficiency
Measuring 4.8 meters, the BYD Seal is powered by an 61.44 kWh (Dynamic RWD) / 82.56 kWh (Premium RWD and Performace AWD) LFP BYD Blade Battery. The use of LFP (lithium iron-phosphate) ensures a cobalt-free composition, addressing environmental concerns. LFP also provides more interior space for the driver and passengers. The sporty design and distinctive light signature make it a standout on Australian roads.
Performance on Aussie Roads: Speed and Agility
Acceleration figures for the BYD Seal range from 7.5 seconds for the Dynamic RWD variant, 5.9 seconds for the Premium RWD variant and an impressive 3.8 seconds for the Performance AWD version. The purpose-built EV platform, stabilizing the lower part with the battery housing, contributes to the vehicle’s stability. The frunk adds practicality, housing essentials like the charging cable. Inside, with vegan leather seats and sporty aesthetics, the BYD Seal offers a premium feel, making it an enticing option for Australian buyers.
In-Car Experience: Technology and Comfort for Aussies
Inside the BYD Seal, technological prowess takes center stage. A 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a 15.6-inch infotainment screen offer essential information with impressive responsiveness. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto add to the connectivity options. The climate controls, located in the lower part, are complemented by steering wheel controls for added convenience in Australian conditions.
Space and Comfort for All Mates
In the rear, passengers experience a comfortable ride with high-grade leatherette and soft-touch materials. Ample legroom and headroom, especially with the fixed glass roof, create a spacious environment. The 400 litre rear trunk and 50 litre front trunk offers practical storage. The inclusion of adaptive cup holders and thoughtful details, such as manual shades for the glass roof, adds to the overall user-friendly design.
On Aussie Roads: Driving Dynamics and Impressions
Driving the BYD Seal on Australian roads reveals its prowess. The light and agile feel challenges the stereotype of hefty EVs, offering a pleasing driving experience. Steering feedback, though light, is responsive. The acceleration, especially in the all-wheel-drive version (Performance model), demands a gentle touch to avoid overwhelming passengers with G-forces. The adaptive frequency dampers contribute to a sporty yet not overly stiff ride, suitable for varied Australian terrains.
Venturing onto Australian highways, the BYD Seal showcases its high-speed capabilities. The EV displays an impressive blend of power and control with the top speed limited to 180km/h. Noise insulation remains commendable even at higher speeds, a testament to the vehicle’s build quality.
Real-World Efficiency and Range
As the journey unfolds, real-world efficiency and range come into focus. Achieving approximately 18.2kWh per 100km in European WLTP testing, the BYD Seal demonstrates efficiency in mild Australian temperatures. The estimated range of 460km (Dynamic RWD), 570km (Premium RWD), 520km (Performance AWD) WLTP positions it competitively in the EV market. Some software tweaks and refinement of certain features are acknowledged, emphasizing the continuous evolution of EV technology tailored for Australian needs.
BYD Seal’s Bold Entrance into the Australian EV Scene
The BYD Seal emerges as a bold contender, making a statement in the Australian EV scene. While it may not outshine the Tesla Model 3 in certain aspects, its competitive pricing, driving dynamics, and impressive range make it a serious contender for Australian buyers. With some fine-tuning, particularly in software and charging capabilities, the BYD Seal could carve a niche for itself and offer Australians a thrilling alternative in the EV landscape.
1. How does the BYD Seal’s pricing compare to the Tesla Model 3 in Australia?
The BYD Seal is priced slightly lower than the Tesla Model 3 in the Australian market.
2. How does the BYD Seal handle high-speed driving on Australian highways?
The BYD Seal exhibits remarkable stability and control at high speeds on Australian highways, making it suitable for those who enjoy spirited driving.
3. What is the term WLTP in Electric Vehicles range?
The Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) is a global standard for determining the levels of pollutants, CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of traditional and hybrid cars, as well as the range of fully electric vehicles.
4. What safety features does the BYD Seal Performance offer?
It has a five-star ANCAP rating and includes features like Automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and a surround-view camera.
5. Is the Seal Performance a good alternative to the Tesla Model 3?
This is an ongoing debate on the social media from price gap to power, feature and handling. You can check out the link below from WHICHCAR and CAREXPERT for the techinical comparisions:
WHICH CAR: 2023 Tesla Model 3 vs BYD seal: SPEC BATTLE!
Paul from CAREXPERT also done a comprehensive review on BYD Seal