Categories: Tests

BYD Seal test (2023): better than a Tesla Model 3?

Do you know Build Your Dreams ? Straight from China, the manufacturer BYD continues its offensive in Europe with the release of a new model. After the Tang, l’Act 3 and the Dolphin, now place at the Seal, a large premium electric sedan. Packed with technologies and offering an attractive technical sheet, the Chinese company has a major competitor in its sights. The Seal directly confronts the Tesla Model 3a big star in the segment which has just undergone its first restyling. Does BYD Seal have the necessary arguments to convince the European public? Answer in this essay!

Design: second in the Ocean series After the series Dynasty (Tang, Yuan, Song), time for the theme Ocean (Dolphin, Seagull and Seal). This large sedan 4.80 meters long opts for an elegant silhouette and fluid lines. Several clues recall the marine world: water waves at the front, gills reminiscent of gills or even drops of water in the rear lights. The whole thing is successful, and the Chinese sedan stands out on the road with its pastel tones, where conversely, a Model 3 is content with more classic lines and colors. photo credit: Pierre H. / The Seal relies on fairly pronounced aerodynamics to maximize autonomy. THE Cx goes down to 0,219, an excellent score for the category. For the rest, the Chinese sedan measures 1.88 wide et 1.46 meters high. photo credit: Pierre H. /

From the rear, the oval lights would almost remind us of certain productions from… Bentley. Flattering comparison! As on the Model 3, the Seal does not have a tailgate but a trunk. It’s less practical for accessibility, although the trunk is deep. The volume peaks at 400 liters, with a double bottom for cables. Its American rival does better, with 594 liters. A frunk of 50 liters at the front completes the loading space. photo credit: Pierre H. /

Interior: impeccable assembly Inside, nice surprise. The passenger compartment is high quality, and the premium impression is felt at first glance. The materials are rather noble and soft to the touch with add and topstitching omnipresent. You really have to look far down the door panels to find hard plastic! photo credit: Pierre H. / In all BYDs, the central screen of 15 inches rotates to 180°. While some may find it unnecessary, it has the merit of being original. Compatible Apple Carplay et Android Auto (unavailable on a Tesla), the on-board computer concentrates the vast majority of commands. The navigation is fluid but the ergonomics are far from European habits. Everything is configurable in a multitude of menus and it is easy to get lost. In front of the driver is a second horizontal screen of 10 inches. Quite messy, the information is too numerous and in small print. Fortunately, a head-up display (only available on the Excellence 4WD finish) makes it easier to read the speed, for example. photo credit: Pierre H. / The upholstery in micro-perforated leather offers a very soft seat, just like the headrest. The seats are also heated et ventilated. photo credit: Pierre H. / In the rear, passengers have a comfort Peerless. Thanks to the wheelbase of 2.92 meters, space is generous for the legs and head. Good news, the neat finishes at the front are also present at the rear. THE flat floor guaranteed optimal comfort for the occupant of the central seat. Finally, the immense sunroof brings a well of light throughout the passenger compartment. photo credit: Pierre H. /

Behind the wheel: an excellent surprise The electric sedan is offered in two versions, both based on the e-Platform 3.0 : Seal R WD propulsion : motor of 230 kW on the rear axle (approx. 313 ch approximately and 360 Nm of torque) with 570 km WLTP; Seal A WD all-wheel drive: on dual motor 390 kW in total (i.e. 530 ch approximately for 670 Nm) with 520 km a WLTP. Unfortunately, no more propulsion models (to be compared to a very interesting Model 3 at 42 990€ hors bonus) was not available during our test session. We had to “settle” for the big dual-motor version of the Seal. As indicated on the trunk, this Seal with two motors (one on each axle), takes on the exercise of 0 to 100 km/h in less than 3,8 sec. But all this cavalry would be nothing without a good transfer of power to the ground. Precisely, this Seal is equipped with pneus Continental (exit the Linglong of the Dolphin) with suitable grip. The Chinese sedan also has a particularly efficient traction control, and almost impossible to fault. Note that our AWD version is equipped with iTAC (intelligence Torque Adaption Control), an in-house technology which further optimizes the transfer of 530 horsepower to the ground. photo credit: Pierre H. /

Beyond this accomplished and optimized traction, the chassis (also in-house) proves surprisingly efficient. With the technologie CTB (cell-to-body)battery modules (from 82,5 kWh gross) are directly integrated into the structure of the fund. This arrangement allows stiffen the car, to lower the center of gravity and offers a passive safety improved. In the turns, despite its 2 185 kgthe Seal AWD is not very prone to rolling (2,055 kg on the Seal Propulsion). In terms of comfort, our model is equipped with a semi-active controlled suspension on the rear axle (variable frequency shock absorbers), not available on the rear-wheel drive version. Overall, the compromise is correct between the softness of the damping and the rigidity necessary to offer suitable dynamic behavior. And this, despite the 19 inch rims. Some negative points should be noted. There direction, with a rather artificial feeling, does not give the driver confidence at a sustained pace. If the right pedal is very flexible and pleasant to use (no on/off sensation), the brake is not progressive and even quite brutal (especially at low speed). Also, there is no One Pedal mode again (the Chinese public does not like it according to the engineers on site). The autonomy is the small disappointment of the 4WD version. Both Seals are offered with batteries of 82,5 kWh (raw data). In terms of propulsion, colleagues have reported to us that they reach levels quite close to the basic Model 3, even if the American remains better in all circumstances in this regard. Our dual motor model, with the same raw capacity, does not work miracles: the displayed consumption is 21,5 kWh at 100 indicates a real autonomy under 400 km. Finally, both models have the DC fast charging cape to 150 kWallowing you to recharge 30 to 80% in 26 minutes. Verdict: a serious competitor to the Model 3 Launched from 46 990 €, the Seal RWD will undoubtedly be the most interesting version of the range. Eligible for the €5,000 bonus until the end of 2023, she is placed 4 000 € additional than its American counterpart, also in propulsion. At this price, the sedan is over-equipped and above all, has a engine, chassis and of home batteries. Data for 570 km in WLTP, it displays a real range similar to the Tesla, which has a smaller battery but consumes less. Note that the AWD “Excellence” version on test, billed at €49,990, only adds thehead-up display (that says very practical), the suspension semi-active at the back and more 217 horsepower additional for only €3,000 more. Another advantage is that BYD batteries are guaranteed for 8 years and 200,000 km. All you have to do is choose, Elon Musk or BYD? Technical sheet of the trial version: Model: BYD Seal Version : AWD Finish: Excellence Color: Atlantis Gray Prix : 49 990 € CO2: 0 Bonus : 0 € Motor: 2 permanent magnet synchronous motors CV : 11 Battery: 82.5 kWh Power: 530 hp (360 kW) Couple : 670 Nm Energy: Electricity Transmission: Integral Gearbox: Automatic, 1 gear Autonomie : 520WLTP Max charging power (DC): 150 kW Accél. 0-100km/h : 3,8 sec Length: 4.80 m Width: 1.88 m Height: 1.46 m Poids : 2 185 kg Read also : Test new Toyota C-HR (2024): the worthy heir? Volkswagen ID.7 (2023) test: promises kept? BMW i5 eDrive40 (2023) test: the grand tourer finally goes electric! BYD Seal test (2023): better than a Tesla Model 3?BYD continues its breakthrough into the European market with the Seal, a large electric…

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