BYD M3e Review
Practically No Nonsense

James Wong
8 Dec 2020
 

"The M3e occupies a niche in which there is no competition currently."

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.

Inside

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.

In Summary

We Like

It’s cheap and it’s electric, which are two things that usually don’t go together.

We Don't

It’s not very good. It is left wanting in many areas as a passenger car, in terms of comfort, features and build quality.

Verdict

Buy it only if you really like it after a test drive.

Car Loan Calculator - BYD M3e (A)

SGD 112,888 (21 Jan 2021)

This car is eligible for minimum 40% down payment

Sell Fast With Ease - SwiftQuote

With SwiftQuote, you get:
  Best value for your car    A peace of mind when selling    Fast sale from start to end

HIGHEST PRICE FOR YOUR CAR

Best offer with no obligations.
Start Now!

I agree to the collection, use and disclosure of my personal data by Carousell and/or such other third party (as may be necessary) and to be contacted (via email, phone call and/or text message) for any purposes in connection with the application of and transaction of the vehicle, in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 and Carousell's Privacy Policy.

Service provided by Oneshift was excellent! Fast response and detailed answers were provided for my questions. Shout out to Renai for great service.

Chua Jia Peng Alfred - 2 days ago

Service is good, fast response.

Lee wee thiam - 3 days ago

I think this is the best hassle free platform ever…everything was prepared & arranged for us. Consultant Yazz was knowledgeable & helpful. Will definitely recommend everyone using SwiftQuote for their car matters. Thank you

Sam Malek - 3 days ago

Excellent efficient service.

Seema Rehan - 3 days ago

It was a fuss-free and easy experience. Recommended for people looking to sell their car :)

shermaine tham - 4 days ago

I like the prompt and dedicated service of getting us competitive quotes. Special shout out to Ren Ai for the relentless follow up!

Sng Kok Ann Kenny - 5 days ago

Fast selling with good price. Highly recommended.

Kelvin Ng yong leng - 5 days ago

Was a fairly efficient process. Would consider using in future

Melvin Chay - 5 days ago

These guys are fast, responding the very next day with offers and more importantly higher than what was offered by the dealer whom I am buying my car from.

Jonathan Lock - 1 week ago

Thank you so much to Oneshift. I have managed to sell the car to the dealer who are reliable and sincere to buy the car. It is a success platform for me to sell my car at good price.

Soo Hui Jin - 1 week ago

Engine

Engine Type Inline 4
Torque 180Nm

Performance

Misc Technical Data

Drive Type FF
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type MPV
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4460 x 1720 x 1875) mm
Wheelbase 2725 mm
Turning Circle 11.5 metres
Kerb Weight 1780 kg

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs