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BYD Seal Performance 82.6 kWh Review: It's A Worthy Competitor To The Tesla Model 3

The Seal is rapid, beautifully made and gorgeous to look at.
James Wong
James Wong
07 Nov 2023
It’s a fantastic alternative to the Tesla, and the one which has won many fans over, including me.
What we like:
Excellent build and material quality
Good range and blistering pace
Rear seat space is brilliant
What we dislike:
UX needs some refinement
Steering could have more feel
One-pedal driving not available - yet

After trying the BYD Seal at various closed circuit environments in Singapore and China, I was eager to finally have a go on the road.

How is the BYD Seal Performance like on Singapore roads?

Let’s not beat around the bush: the Seal is brilliant. It’s as quiet as a library on the move, no doubt aided by its slippery 0.219 Cd value as well as its terrific sound insulation. It’s not exactly sporty, but it’ll get you from point-to-point very quickly and extremely confidently. Its headline figure is 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, which is faster than Tesla’s Model 3 Dual Motor variant (4.4 seconds). Strangely, the Seal felt much faster back home in Singapore than it ever did at Zhuhai International Circuit.

In the wet, the clever torque distribution technology can be utilised to its fullest potential, and reveals a bit more of the adjustability that brings the best out of the e-Platform 3.0 chassis with an integrated Cell-To-Body (CTB) setup.

Is the BYD Seal Performance comfortable?

The Seal is comfortable - to a point. On long drives with higher speeds, the Seal soaks up the imperfections on the road very well, but it is the low-speed ride where it can feel knobbly sometimes. That said, this is pretty common for EVs having to deal with a heavy battery.

Does the BYD Seal Performance look good?

Somehow, its looks are very, very eye-catching. Many people were drawn to the Seal, including pedestrians and other drivers. It’s a handsome design which doesn’t resort to jaw-dropping shock-and-owe tactics to get attention.

How is the BYD Seal Performance interior?

Its interior is a highlight. Yes, I think the UX needs some refinement, because while it works generally well, it lacks some polish. But it does have some thoughtful ideas put into practice, like swinging aircon drafts so it can cool the cabin evenly.

However, the hard, physical things are all really, really good - like build quality and material quality. There’s a Dynaudio sound system too, which is a pleasant surprise. Apart from a mild synthetic smell (that should go away with more use), the Seal feels luxurious and cosy to be in, with nary a squeak or rattle. Rear seat space is commodious too, and would surprise anybody who thought the car looked compact from the outside.

How is the range of the BYD Seal Performance?

With the trademark BYD Blade battery, the Seal delivers commendable range too. I achieved 22 kWh/100km (not far off the official figure of 18.2 kWh/100km), which would give a range close to the official 520 km WLTP combined figure (note that the Model 3 Dual Motor Long Range model has a claimed 629 km range).

What would you wish for in the BYD Seal Performance?

I would have preferred the option of one-pedal drive, which the Seal does not offer, although it has several levels of regenerative braking you can select from. There are also two steering modes, but neither feel particularly inspiring. Nonetheless, it suits the long-legged, relaxed nature of the Seal.

Would you pick a BYD Seal Performance over a Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor Long Range?

There’s no escaping the fact that the Model 3 is the cheaper of the two - a $22k difference at press time. But the Seal does feel more luxurious inside and has more sophistication to the way it rides, which would justify its premium. It also has more familiarity to its controls and is the easier of the two to get used to driving after an ICE vehicle. It’s a fantastic alternative to the Tesla, and the one which has won many fans over, including me.

Photos by James Wong


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