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BYD Seal

SEALED WITH A HISS (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

The BYD Seal has a compelling argument to offer customers in search of an executive EV sports saloon. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 56

The BYD Seal is the executive EV sports saloon you probably won't have considered but probably should. Most of what a BMW i4, Tesla Model 3 or Polestar 2 customer could want is also here - and then some. If you're browsing in this segment, a Seal simply has to be somewhere on your wish list.

Backgroundword count: 179

For BYD, this is where it starts getting serious. It's one thing for this Chinese giant to target the affordable end of the EV market where customers aren't particularly brand-conscious and expectations are fairly low when it comes to drive dynamics and interior audience. Quite another to go head-to-head with posher brands in the executive segment. Yet that's just what the marque's third UK launch model, the Seal, aims to do. Offered in either SUV form (the Seal U) or, as in this case, in saloon guise, it shares much of its fundamental engineering with BYD's first couple of EVs, the little Dolphin and the Atto 3 family hatch; namely the company's third generation electric vehicle architecture and its innovative long-range 'blade' battery design. As befits its ambitious remit though - to take on executive EV players like the Tesla Model 3 and the Polestar 2 - the Seal has more: clever 'cell-to-body' technology, which is supposed to maximise the battery's usable capacity and boost the car's structural integrity. In theory making it both efficient and sporty. Sounds promising.

Driving Experienceword count: 316

Could you really countenance choosing this Seal over well established premium EV sports saloons like the BMW i4 and the Tesla Model 3? We'll explain why you might in a moment. First though, the core info you'll need. Almost all Seal sales will be of the mid-range 'Design-RWD' model, which has a single rear-mounted 308bhp motor powered by an 82.5kWh battery good for 354 miles of range. The 62mph from rest sprint takes 5.9s, en route to 112mph. If you want more, there's the range-topping Seal 'Excellence-AWD' flagship variant which, as the name suggests, also includes an additional front-mounted motor for four-wheel-drive, hence a boost in power to 523bhp, providing for a 3.8s 0-62mph time that BYD's so proud of that it's advertised with a '3.8S' badge on the boot lid. The 82.5kWh battery of this range-topper is the same as the mid-range model, but the AWD system's extra weight means that here, it only takes the car 323 miles between charges. If these two Seal options are a little pricey for you, it's also possible to talk to the brand about an entry-level rear-driven 'Comfort'-spec variant with a smaller 61kWh battery. Earlier, we referenced what BYD hopes is its dynamic trump card here - class leading torsional rigidity. That comes courtesy of an innovative 'cell-to-body' battery installation that makes the 11cm-tall 'blade' battery pack part of the Seal's structure. The result is a level of torsional rigidity (40,000Nm/deg) that some competitors can only dream about; the industry average is around 25,000Nm/deg. You'll feel the benefit of that in the reduction of body roll around corners. Unlike lesser BYD models, mainstream Seals are rear-driven, with a double wishbone (front) and multi-link (rear) suspension set-up: this is upgraded on the AWD model with frequency-selective dampers to compensate for that top variant's extra 130kgs of weight. All Seals get four driving modes - 'Eco', 'Normal', 'Sport' and 'Snow'.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)




£44,990.00 (At 8 Sep 2023)

£47,990.00 (At 8 Sep 2023)

Max Speed (mph):

112 (Design-RWD)

0-62 mph (s):

5.9 (Design-RWD)

Electric WLTP-Rated Driving Range (miles):


Length (mm):


Width (mm):


Height (mm):


Boot Capacity (l):


Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Hybrid, Plug-in, Electric & Hydrogen

Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
To access the full content library please contact us on 0330 0020 227 or click here

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