For less than the price of a rival Kia EV6 GT or Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor, you can have a BYD Seal with 530bhp that darts from 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds. That’s on a par with the Porsche Taycan GTS that costs more than twice as much as the All-Wheel Drive version of the Seal Excellence at £48,695.
Even if you choose the Design version with its 308bhp electric motor and rear-wheel drive, it still punches to 62mph in 5.9 seconds. Costing £45,695, the Design is likely to be the choice of most buyers thanks to its 354-mile battery range, which is 30 miles more than the Excellence-AWD model.
Both share the same battery pack that uses BYD’s clever Blade technology already seen in the ATTO 3 and Dolphin models. This keeps weight down and the Blade battery is claimed by BYD to be the safest in a collision because of the way the cells are arranged. It’s even passed tests with flying colours where nails are driven into the battery.
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As well as rapid performance, the Seal offers fast charging, and it can go from 30% of charge to 80% in 26 minutes. This is helped by all Seal models coming with a heat pump that makes sure the battery is in the best state to receive a charge even in very hot or cold weather.
To make the most of the Seal’s efficiency and performance, it comes fitted with Continental EcoContact 6 Q 235/45 R19 tyres from the factory. They are designed for EVs, so they give a low rolling resistance to maximise driving range and reduce noise, yet they also offer superb grip, braking and steering response so the Seal will have its rival from Audi, BMW, Kia and Tesla worried on the driving front, too.
That’s the techy stuff underneath, but what about the rest of the Seal? The clean looks have a similar profile to the BMW i4 and Hyundai Ioniq 6. There are also plenty of small details that we’ve quickly come to expect of BYD, such as the ducts in the front bumper to direct air around the car and the flush-fitting door handles.
Inside, another BYD trademark is present and correct with the generously proportioned 15.6-inch infotainment screen. As well as clear graphics and voice control with “Hey BYD” function, as its party trick is it can rotate through 90-degrees at the touch of a button on the steering wheel or screen. Sounds like a gimmick, but it’s really useful depending on the information you want to see on the display.
The Seal Excellence-AWD comes with a head-up display to keep the driver even better informed, and both versions have leather upholstery, heated and electrically adjusted front seats, heated steering wheel, powered tailgate, and panoramic sunroof. In other words, BYD packs in a lot of luxury kit.
It also fits in plenty of luggage space thanks to a 400-litre boot at the back and a 53-litre front compartment that’s ideal for storing charging cables.
All of this adds up to make the BYD Seal a great new contender in the premium saloon EV sector, and the company still has more models in its Ocean series to launch in the following year. So, even if the BYD Seal isn’t your thing, there should still be plenty more fish in the sea.
Hero image credit: BYD UK