BYD Atto 3 Electric Review: Shockingly Good
Some car brands believe in gradual evolution.
Well, BYD clearly progresses in leaps and bounds whenever it can.
Since driving the rudimentary BYD M3e, then the new generation e6 and now the Atto 3, it’s breathtaking how much the brand has developed.
While the e6 brought European quality and design into the mix, the Atto 3 takes things one step further. It is original, genuinely creative and is at least class-matching, if not class-beating, to drive.
Referencing which car the Atto 3 looks like is so passé. It looks like an Atto 3 now, and nothing else. The designers have done a good job to make the car feel fresh and inviting to look at. It’s inoffensive, yet not generic.
Getting in is also novel. You can use a credit card looking thing, which you just tap onto the wing mirrors to get in. Yes, Tesla also has this functionality, but not many others.
It gets better on the inside. Inspired by fitness and music, you may spot the dumbbell-like airon vents and guitar strings on the doors. It sounds a little much, but in reality it feels playful and clever. The materials used are definitely very acceptable for its class, especially its leather and soft-touch dashboard which feel premium.
The operating system for the large 12.8-inch patented rotatable screen are all BYD-developed, which impresses with its graphics, speed and ease of use. There is a built-in dashcam, so you don’t have to install one like you do for most cars. It also includes a handy 360-degree camera system with incredible camera resolution. The software is updated over-the-air too, so although the test car didn’t come with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, this functionality will be installed very soon, for free.
The Atto 3 is the first car built on BYD’s new e-platform 3.0. It really is a brilliant base that feels well-built and refined; the doors close with a resound thud, and noise insulation is very good. Space has also been cleverly utilised, so there is generous legroom at the rear including a flat floor.
Being developed as a BEV from ground up, the Atto 3 makes full use of its resources. It is front wheel drive and gives 480 km of claimed range from its BYD proprietary 60.5 kWh Blade battery, while meting out very commendable performance with a 0-100 km/h time of 7.3 seconds.
In practice, it definitely feels sprightly with more than sufficient power for a spirited drive. The suspension deals with road surfaces expertly, making full use of the car’s lower centre of gravity to keep things very stable at speed. As a result, the car does a decent job around corners, the steering giving enough feedback to make driving it a pleasant experience.
The Atto 3 might just be the most surprising car of 2022 we’ve tested. It has blown away all expectations and is a serious contender in the entry-level BEV segment.
Photos by Horizon Drivers' Club