You might expect a carmaker entirely new to the European market to start by dipping a toe in the water with a single model, but less than a year after the launch of its first model, BYD is now introducing its third car to the UK market: the BYD Seal.
BYD is not just throwing new models at the European market – it has also committed to local production with a factory in Hungary. It is the first Chinese manufacturer to do so since MG closed the Longbridge plant.
The Hungarian factory is still a few years away, but here today is the Seal. Mock the cutesy name all you like, but this is a very serious car.
The BYD Atto 3 and BYD Dolphin are aimed at slightly lower segments, being a front-wheel-drive crossover and a hatchback. Neither really does anything to worry the class leaders, but the Dolphin just about makes sense on price.
The Seal, however, ups BYD’s game with rear-wheel drive, a big battery, a handsome, aerodynamic body and big power.
At first glance, the Seal looks like a credible Tesla Model 3 rival, so we have put a single-motor, rear-wheel-drive version through the full road test to see how serious that threat is.
The range at a glance
The main choice when you buy a BYD Seal is whether you want the single-motor Design or dual-motor Excellence.
Those names suggest they come with different levels of equipment but, apart from the head-up display on Excellence, that’s not the case. The only cost options are premium paint colours.