Exclusive Review: BYD Seal EV

Siddharth Vinayak PatankarMar 5, 2024

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The BYD Seal EV has come to Indian shores and Siddharth drove it before anyone else. Here's his in depth review of the car

It’s yet another exclusive review from Acko Drive and this time it’s of one of the hottest models around the world. Looking at it, you may wonder why. But the BYD Seal is in a sweet spot. It is part of the ocean inspired range from BYD. It is sporty, it is electric, and it is bigger than you think. I drove it in Europe before its launch and here’s everything I got to know.

BYD Seal: Design

Now you look at it first glance, you think Tesla model 3 and one look at its size and you might think it's a really compact car but it's actually as long as about like a Camry and just the wheel base almost as generous as an Ioniq 5. There’s ample boot space too it's pretty ample 400 litre boot as well makes this car a pretty compelling sort of a family car and also kind of sporty as a sedan. There’s a frunk too with additional 53 litres of space.

DIMENSIONS

BYD Seal

Length

4800 mm

Width

1875 mm

Height

1460 mm

Wheelbase

2920 mm

In the face is where you see the ocean series design language from BYD. The signature LED DRLs are in the bumper, even though there is another positioning light that's part of this cluster. It’s simple, very underatated and in fact very underwhelming when it comes to the design as compared to what you have seen with other BYDs like the Atto 3 which is almost screaming in your face. The BYD Seal is a car with a low-slung silhouette. It is the second model from BYD’s Ocean series and uses the company’s e-platform 3.0. The same platform also houses the Atto 3 which we got in 2022.

There are some nice design details that people will like, the all glass panoramic roof for starters then of course the retracting door handles with a little BYD logo there, very smart energy saving wheels, very very sexy rear light cluster and then there is a badge which reads 3.8S. What does it mean? Well,

It basically is the number of seconds the Seal can do a 0-100 kmph sprint. That is just brilliant! Absolute bragging rights about how quick it is1

BYD Seal: Powertrain

So, does it feel as fast as it is then? Now when you make a car that's got to go up against everything from a Tesla Model 3 to even maybe a Taycan, in some ways, it has to be fairly sporty. The Seal is actually pretty sporty, it handles really well it's got to really nice fairly stiff suspension and the steering pretty on point too. Doesn't have that sort of sluggish feeling that you sometimes get with electric cars. Besides the 3 drive modes where you obviously have eco, normal and sport where the cars behaviour does change, can go much faster in sport mode. 0 to 100kmph in 3.8 seconds.

But besides that you can also go in and manipulate the steering assist mode where you can go from a comfort feel to a sport feel which just makes everything a little stiffer, I have got it set on sport and then you got the break assist mode as well where again you can go to comfort – sport; so the idea is that not only can you manipulate the 3 drive modes for the basic differences you can make it a little bit sport here which is great.

BYD Seal: Ride And Handling

It may have quick acceleration, but what about the rest of the dynamics you ask? I already told you the suspension feels stiff, and now I can tell you, it also goes around corners quite well. The car’s battery is fused into its body construction, which helps with centre of gravity and rigidity. Now the Seal is built on BYD’s dedicated battery electric vehicle platform and so you can have different battery sizes on this car model, but here in Europe you have 2 versions both have the same battery pack. It’s a nice ample big battery lots of capacity and very good, claimed range. The part I want to talk about though is the battery management, it's pretty cool this car has a nice feature not typically all electrics will tell you in the instruments what percentage of the battery is still remaining and how far you can go, so I saw 69% - 358 kilometres not bad but that's pretty much like what it's claimed range is.

The Seal has a feature which is really cool. If I go to car settings, then to new energy and then energy manager, now regenerative braking I always like to set that on high so that instantly will kind off give me more efficient running, but it also has something called range display mode it’s on standard right now, I'm going to put it on dynamic.

What it does with that is, it monitors GPS data, it monitors your own driving style, it monitors road conditions ahead and traffic and based on all of that if give you a more realistic actual range on the car so its dropped now to 324 that allows you to drive a little more frugally, little more sensibly, may be differently or to make a choice whether you want to stop the charge the car on the road that's nice it's different I like it.

That feature is cool, and more real world like – something battery electrics should really have I feel. But hey you could also dismiss this as a gimmick, because really why have the ‘on-paper’ figure in the first place, right? The BYD blade battery has tighter packed cells. It makes charging quicker, and the battery overall safer with better thermal management says BYD.

BYD Seal: Charging Times

The battery can go from a 30 per cent charge to 80 per cent in just 26 minutes using only a 150 kW DC charger. An overnight charge with an 11 kW AC charger is also possible of course.

Charging Times

DC 150 kW (30-80%): 26 mins

DC 150 kW (10-80%): 37 mins

AC 11 kW: 8.6 hrs

BYD SEAL: Features

Yes, the car is loaded with tech that is made very obvious to the driver or user. Besides the sounds there’s also ADAS but I will come to that. The graphics are awesome, and you can customise your wallpaper, and lots more. There is connectivity and telematics that’s loaded in too. The screen and virtual cluster setup are standard on the Seal. The Seal also gets the rotating screen we have seen before.

Its operation is very slick, though you have to look at the screen to hit the tilt function. I use Apple CarPlay and while that is not yet wireless on this car – I was told that’s coming. And yeah, it doesn’t stay in portrait mode when you use Android Auto or CarPlay. That’s not great. The sports seats have ventilation and heating up front. And there are two wireless chargers for your phones.

The Seal has a whole lot of ADAS functionality and it's pretty much everything that you can expect that you are used to it’s pretty much loaded as standard on the same. Besides that, I want to talk about something very interesting called iTac intelligent torque adoption control, let me tell you what that means. iTAC is intelligent torque adaption control. BYD says this helps distribute torque to each wheel. This is kind of like torque vectoring, but it also uses torque reduction that’s specifically sent to a wheel too. This prevents the car from skidding and also lets it come out of a slide or corner, more safely.

BYD Seal: Price And Verdict

The BYD Seal is capable, it is well designed, and it is smartly built. Prices can be expected around the 50-lakh mark – that is if BYD wants to be competitive against the likes of the Hyundai IONIQ5 and Kia EV6. Anything more makes this a luxury car – which is something it is not, all that technology notwithstanding. But it is a great addition to the Indian market. Especially to the EV set – outside the luxury set.

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