6533 5878

Practically No Nonsense

BYD is now trying to build itself a niche in the form of the M3e, which is Singapore’s first fully electric 7-seater MPV. Whether being first is a boon or bane is something we will find out.
James Wong
James Wong
08 Dec 2020
"The M3e occupies a niche in which there is no competition currently."
What we like:
It’s cheap and it’s electric
which are two things that usually don’t go together.
What we dislike:
It’s not very good. It is left wanting in many areas as a passenger car
in terms of comfort
features and build quality.

BYD cars are more commonly seen on our roads as taxis in the form of the e6. Non-descript and virtually anonymous, they are easily forgotten but one only needs to look at the share price of BYD to realise how big a deal the company is now. They are more famous as a supplier of batteries, but it is now trying to build itself a niche in the form of the M3e, which is Singapore’s first fully electric 7-seater MPV. Whether being first is a boon or bane is something we will find out.

Essentially based on a commercial vehicle chassis, the M3e does not hide its underpinnings nor give any attempt to. The exterior looks like a van that had its cargo area reconfigured to add windows. Because of the upright design of the M3e, there is a huge glasshouse and the view out is akin to being in a small bus. Overall, it is not fashionable or good looking, but it is functional.

So are the sliding doors, but they are heavy, manually operated and take a huge shove to close properly (E-Auto is planning to retrofit powered sliding doors). The rear hatch is so large that you cannot even open it more than halfway in a typical HDB car park. Overall, BYD managed to make a car that can slip into traffic unnoticed with even more capability than the e6.

On a 6.6 kW AC home charger, the M3e will take 7.2 hours to be fully charged; on a more powerful 40 kW DC charger more likely to be in a public area, it takes 1.3 hours.


Adjusting your perspective that this is primarily a commercial vehicle and then a passenger one certainly helps. Hard plastics abound, and there is something definitely lost in translation in the onboard computer’s readouts (e.g. “Started, Can go to D shift and run”). You need to ‘step up’ to enter the car for it rides very high. There is no flair at all in the overall execution – the brief seemed to focus on pure functionality.

On the plus side, the seats are fairly comfortable and are arranged in three rows that can shift forwards or backwards. Legroom and headroom is generous. However, luggage area can be limited as the last row takes up a fair amount of space if you use all 7 seats.

The Drive

True to most EVs, the M3e has a responsive drivetrain that will give instantaneous torque to the tune of 180 Nm. The throttle pedal feels like it has a sponge below it though, so don’t expect it to feel fast at all. That said, it would easily rival any 1.4L turbo MPVs out there for acceleration. Its fuel economy readout is also one of the most accurate I have come across, allowing a range of around 300km which is useful.

Those kilometres will pass by quite dully, though, and maybe even jarringly. The steering is totally devoid of feel – just as well that the top speed is 100km/h, otherwise it may feel unsafe. The rear leaf spring, non-independent suspension is terrifically harsh, offering hardly any damping. With a lethal combination of rough and uneven surfaces, one passenger commented that it felt like turbulence on an airplane.

For its size and weight, the car actually doesn’t feel too unwieldly. The view from the driver’s seat is excellent and you tend to tower over most other cars.

Our Thoughts

The M3e occupies a niche in which there is no competition currently. It has the advantage of being a first mover, but you do have to live with many consequences if you really wanted this combination. It would be hard to recommend the M3e, but given its price, it may be seen as quite a bargain. Do check if you can live with it first though before committing.

Credits: James Wong

Cars in this article
BYD M3e 50.3 kWh (A) 2020

BYD M3e 50.3 kWh (A) 2020

car icon
car icon
car icon
Authorised Dealer
Why sell your car with Oneshift?
Convenient and Hassle-Free

We know that visiting multiple car dealerships can be a real hassle! We’ll help you obtain the highest price for your car within 24 hours from our network of 500+ certified dealers from the comfort of your home.

Consumer Protection

We say no to unethical dealers. We employ strict quality control when validating the used car dealers in our panel and only work with trusted and reputable LTA-approved partners.

Transparent Process With No Obligation

We respect our customers and understand that at times, you may have doubts or need more time to decide. Don’t worry—we will never force a sale on you. Our dealer partners will only transact with you when you are satisfied with the final offer.

Sell your car for the best price in Singapore

Get the best price for your used cars from 500+ verified dealers, all within 24 hours

William Teng
2 weeks ago
The quote for my car was fast, responsive and the highest. The transaction was fast and explanation was clear. The person who inspected my car was friendly and professional. It was a good experience with OneShift.
William Chan
3 weeks ago
The transaction was very smooth from the minute I get on to their website trying to sell my car till the car ownership transferred and have the money paid by Pay Now into my account. It only takes less than 3 days. The person attending to me are very professional, Jon at the phone in their office and Sean Tan who came down to view and test the car. I am very happy to have decided to sell my car through "One Shift By Carousell"