BYD Seal review finds it is “astonishingly desirable”

The BYD Seal is an executive car that offers over 500bhp and can accelerate from rest to 100km/h in just 3.8 seconds – a performance statement proudly emblazoned on the rump of this sleek saloon from China. Those are the headline figures which deserve to be showcased right up here at the top.

Obviously, you’d like to know a little more about this offering from a company that’s leading the charge in the EV sector with such fervency, that it surpassed Tesla in global electric vehicle sales in the last quarter of 2023.x

The BYD Seal is worth some serious consideration. It comes from BYD’s ‘Ocean Series’ which includes the ‘Dolphin’ and ‘Seagull’ not currently available in this market. Our region gets the range-topping all-wheel drive BYD Seal (a lower-powered rear-wheel drive is also available in other markets) boasting 523bhp, giving it a top speed of 180km/h as well as the aforementioned quick-sprinting ability.

Price and statistics

Price starts from AED194,900, or AED3,053 per month for 60 months with a 20% deposit. It is sold through Al-Futtaim Automotive. There’s a six-year 150,000km warranty and an eight-year 150,000km warranty for the EV’s battery. The manufacturer claims a range of 520km (WLTP) on a full charge, and it’s capable of 150kW DC fast charging.

The BYD Seal is the first to be based on the company’s new E-Platform 3.0, featuring the innovative “Cell-to-Body” technology. This approach integrates the battery into the vehicle’s structure, enhancing its rigidity while maintaining a compact design. The Seal employs the Blade Battery technology, renowned for its efficient layout and cobalt-free composition.

At 4800mm in length, 1875mm in width and 1460mm in height, it’s about 100mm shorter in length than a Toyota Camry, as well as being fractionally wider and about the same height. The compact battery arrangement is said to make the car 10mm lower than would normally have been possible for an EV (remember the batteries are sandwiched in the floor).

The details in the BYD Seal create a highly-attractive car.

With an extraordinary drag coefficient of just 0.219CD, the vehicle’s styling, while reminiscent of familiar electric forerunners, carves its own niche with oceanic design elements like sleek lines and aquatic-themed accents. At the front, there are striking ‘double-u’ LED headlights and glistening ripple effect daytime running lights at the lower edges which are said to mimic ocean waves.

Along the side, there are ‘shark fin’ blades on the front fenders, spectacular two-tone 19-inch wheels, and flowing lines that resolve to rear lamps featuring detail reminiscent of water droplets, connected across the boot line with a light bar.

The boot is deep, offers an underfloor compartment to store the cables, and there are 60:40 split-folding rear seats. If the 400-liters available is not enough, there’s another 53-liter storage bin in the ‘frunk’.

A comprehensive video review of the BYD Seal by Shahzad Sheikh. English only.

A look at the interior

Slide into the back and you’ll find good knee and headroom, comfy seats and ISOFIX child-seat anchor points, plus vents and USB sockets. The only indication that this is indeed an EV is perhaps the tighter space under the front seats for your toes, otherwise there isn’t really a sense of a ‘raised’ floor as you get in some EVs. The spectacularly vast panoramic glass roof creates an extraordinary sense of airy roominess that will be welcomed by your passengers.

In the front, you behold not just the signature rotating 15.6-inch central infotainment screen but a ‘surging wave’ dashboard design. Ahead of the steering wheel, there is a 10.25-inch screen and also heads-up display. There are two wireless phone-charging pads, plus two USBs and a card slot, as well as Bluetooth connectivity.

You will not be short of features and specifications from configurable screens, cabin air filters, climate control and full 360-degree cameras – available to view at the press of a button on the steering wheel.

The front seats not only look inviting but are supportive and comfortable, although it takes a little adjustment to find just the right position. The steering is also reach and rake adjustable.

The interior of the BYD Seal features a signature rotating 15.6-inch central infotainment screen and a ‘surging wave’ dashboard design.

Ride quality 

There are four driving modes, Snow, Eco, Normal and Sport, the last of which weights up the steering and makes the performance delivery more aggressive. Having said that, under normal driving conditions there is no inkling of the kind of speed this car can muster. Nonetheless, it will rocket off the lights when you want it to. The Seal boasts solid grip and accurate responsive steering.

The ride is better than most EVs, although there remains unforgiving rigidity in the lower body, but generally, this is a quiet, serene and effortless car to get around in.

The BYD Seal majors on being conventional and effortless to drive, and while it’s not necessarily a sports car, it keeps the potency of its blistering performance as an ace up its sleeve, should you need to deploy its potency.

It is a solid, mature, well-rounded, good-looking and astonishingly desirable new offering in the EV segment, that is certain to win fans with its futuristic but familiar feel.

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27 Mar, 2024