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Impressive New BYD Atto 3 – Leading The Charge.

BYD Atto 3 is Leading The Charge.

The BYD brand is a new entrant to the Irish new car market, and it is the biggest car brand that you may not have heard of yet, with more than 1.8 million cars sold last year, mainly in its homeland, China. Prior to manufacturing cars, BYD (an abbreviation of Build Your Dreams) was one of the world’s biggest battery technology suppliers, with approximately one fifth of the world’s smartphones using their technology. BYD also build electric trains, buses and forklifts, and they have a workforce of over 600,000 employees. BYD’s head car designer is none other than Wolfgang Egger, whose notable creations include the stunning Alfa 8C Competizione and Alfa 156 during his time with Alfa Romeo, and the Q2 during his time with Audi.

Affordable EVs for Europe. 

BYD’s plan is to produce affordable EVs for Europe, notably the ‘Ocean Series’, named after friendly ocean creatures, the ‘Dolphin’ (coming to Ireland in September 2023) and the forthcoming ‘Seal’. The inspiration for the ‘Atto 3’ name comes from an ‘attosecond’, which is one-quintillionth of a second (which is unmeasurable), and means BYD is pushing all limits, and the ‘3’ refers to BYD’s own e-Platform 3.0. Competitors to the Atto 3 include the new Peugeot e-2008, MG ZS EV, ORA Funky Cat, Hyundai KONA and Kia Niro EV.

Striking Design Inside & Out.

The striking exterior design of the Atto 3 is thoroughly modern and coherent, and its sleek presence is enhanced by a sloping roofline and aerodynamic curves that have the ability to turn heads. Strategically-placed silver/chrome-effect trim on the front grille, the rear quarter panel, around the side windows, above the rear light cluster, on the front wings, and on the longitudinal roof bars add an executive look to the car from every angle. The broad headlights, and coast-to-coast taillights, shine a reassuringly wide beam of light, greatly improving night driving. Front seat occupants are provided with lots of head, leg and elbow room, while legroom in the rear of the car is generous too. Eye-catching vegan leather colour combination upholstery is visually-appealing and comfortable too, and overall build quality within the stylish cabin is impressive, providing the car with an upmarket look and feel. Ingenious ‘guitar strings’ across the door bins, along with an airplane-style gear selector on the centre console certainly add lots of character to the cabin, and even the air vents look great too. A 12.8-inch infotainment system comes as standard, with a 15.6-inch screen fitted to top-spec Design models. Ingeniously, the screen is able to rotate from landscape to portrait at the press of a button. An impressive 440-litres of cargo capacity is available behind the rear seats, and this extends to 1,338-litres when the rear seats are folded down. There is a false floor in the boot, under which you can store the charging cables, and there is also enough room to store the rigid luggage cover when you don’t need it.

Three Trims, 5-Star Safety.

The Atto 3 is available is 3 trim levels: Active, Comfort and Design, and is available in 5 colours, Surfing Blue, Skiing White, Climbing Grey, Parkour Red and Exploring Green. The Atto 3 is packed with standard safety equipment across all models, which include Panoramic Viewer, Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Hill Decent Control (HDC), Automatic Vehicle Control (AVC), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Intelligent Speed Limit Information (ISLI), Intelligent Speed Limit Control (ISLC), Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Lane Change Assist (LCA). The Atto 3 has been crash-tested by Euro NCAP and scored a full five-star rating, with a 91% adult protection score, which is at the top end for its class.

Impressive Power & Torque.

Powering the Atto 3 is a front-mounted electric motor that is fed by 60.48 kWh battery pack providing the car with 204hp and 310Nm of torque, allowing a 0-100km/h sprint to be completed in just 7.3 seconds. With an official range of up to 420km, it is quite possible that many drivers will only need to charge the once or twice a week. It can be recharged at a capacity of up to 150kW via a DC fast charger, or up to 11kW on three-phase AC. A 7kW wallbox charger can complete a 0-100% charge in just under 9h 42m, with the same charge possible in just 6h 30m via an 11kW wallbox charger. DC fast charging (150kW) can be completed in just 29 minutes (30-80%), with a 0-100% charge possible in just 80 minutes.

Test Car.

My test car was a BYD Atto 3 ‘Design’, which looked striking in its Surfing Blue metallic paintwork and stylish 18-inch alloy wheels. Key ‘Design’ features include an electric tailgate, an air purification system, 15.6-inch electric rotary touchscreen and a panoramic sunroof with sunshade. Like a lot of EVs, the Atto 3 emits a noise at low speeds to alert other road users and pedestrians of your presence, but thankfully the artificial sound generator is muted once you get beyond 32km/h. The supple suspension in the Atto 3 ensures that the car can ease itself over road imperfections and speed ramps in a relaxed fashion. The low-set dashboard allows for excellent forward visibility, and the rear-view camera and parking sensors made manoeuvring in and out of tight parking spaces a simple exercise. The 204hp electric motor enables the Atto 3 to accelerate briskly, so joining fast-moving motorway traffic, or negotiating busy roundabout’s is never an issue. The car handles corners well, and its overall road-holding ability is excellent. The internal door handles are neatly integrated into the top of the highly-positioned radio speakers, and they not only look good, but they are easy to use too. You can bring your music to life with the multi-coloured ambient lighting, as it syncs to the beat of your tunes to light up the whole cabin.

Verdict, Pricing & Warranty.

The all-new BYD Atto 3 is a hugely-impressive all-electric family SUV that is stylish, refined, comfortable, well built, highly specified, and loaded with cutting-edge technology. With prices starting at €39,078 (including delivery charges and a 2-year service plan), it represents outstanding value for money too. A 4-year/120,000km warranty comes as standard, along with an 8-year/200,000km battery warranty.

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