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2022 BYD Atto 3 Review: The Time is Now

Lionel Kong
25/07/2022

The new BYD crossover SUV shows that Chinese EVs are ready to conquer the world


2022 BYD Atto 3

Launched: July 2022 – Price: S$184,888 with COE (July 2022)
Five-door, crossover SUV, five seats
201hp, single electric motor, 489km range, VES A2, 14.9kWh/100km


PROS

Excellent driving range 

Spacious, upmarket cabin

CONS

Heavy weight blunts dynamic ability

Lack of in-car apps at time of launch

Poor rearward visibility


SINGAPORE

It’s here. After driving the BYD Atto 3 EV for a couple of days we are firm believers that Chinese electric vehicles have well and truly caught up, and in certains ways, surpassed the standards of the competition.

BYD Atto 3 EV in Singapore

If your expectations of BYD cars are still shaped by cars like the cheap BYD M3e, it’s time to leave them behind. Crazy COE prices jacking up car prices to ridiculous levels aside, the BYD Atto 3 is such a dramatic leap in evolution that it feels like the brand has crammed 10 years of improvement into three.


See our first-look video of the BYD Atto 3 here!

To put things in context, remember that in 1972 the Datsun 100A wasn’t such a hot car in the face of the established continental brands. Lame comments about ‘Jap crap’ sounded out back then the same way people are talking about ‘poorly made Chinese cars’ in the 2010s. 

BYD Atto 3 EV in Singapore

Manufacturing know-how and quality has caught up, and even though out in the wild there will always be people here with the opinion of “I will never buy a poorly made Chinese electric car”, and “I can buy four of these overseas for the kind of money I need to spend for one in Singapore”, we do need to look at this objectively, and also understand that the era of the ‘poorly made Chinese car’ is over, and has been for a long time. 



The BYD Atto 3 is a sound, quality product, any way you look at it. The large price tag attached to it is simply a matter of local taxation and COE prices, and it affects every car on sale in Singapore in 2022.

The Atto 3 is an urban crossover SUV that has been designed from the beginning as an electric vehicle. It has no carryover design quirks from a petrol-powered car, and the lack of a bulky exhaust pipe allows for a flat floor at the rear, and the traditional instrument panel in front of the driver has been reduced to a small display screen. 

BYD Atto 3 EV in Singapore

Externally, panel fitment is even with no mismatched gaps, and all the doors close with a solid thunk that wouldn’t feel out of place if they came from a BMW. The overall design is very coherent and quite contemporary.

BYD Atto 3 EV in Singapore


Design and Interior


At 4,455mm in length, the BYD Atto 3 is a little smaller than a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, and a size up from the Honda HR-V. There’s a nicely sleek style to the design that isn’t visually loud, though the ‘Build Your Dreams’ badging across the width of the rear end will polarise opinion for sure. 

BYD Atto 3 EV in Singapore

Open the doors into the cabin however and you would think you’ve just stepped into a concept car, the type that you find at motorshows but but usually deemed too expensive or dramatic to put into production.

BYD Atto 3 EV in Singapore

There’s very few hard plastic surfaces on the dashboard, and the door latches are sculpted, pull-back rotary levers on top of the door-mounted tweeter speakers. Stitching on the seat panels and centre console are all very even and at least on the same level as a mainstream Japanese car. There’s a vaguely organic look to the interior panels, and it’s entirely on purpose. BYD claims that the interior is designed to recall the look of muscle fibres.

BYD Atto 3 EV in Singapore

The air vents are dramatic, cylindrical panels that look like a stack of CDs (remember those?) stored sideways. The design is used at the back seat vents as well. 

BYD Atto 3 EV in Singapore

Want a bigger car, or a not-EV? There’s the Kia Sorento Hybrid

The 12.8-inch centre touchscreen can be rotated 90 degrees with a button on the steering wheel, so any argument about preferring your car’s screen in portrait or landscape mode is void; just set it to whichever way you like.

BYD Atto 3 EV in Singapore

A strange trio of elastic bands stretch across all four door pockets, and they actually are tuned to play three different musical notes. It’s gimmicky for sure, but it draws attention to itself too. The only question is perhaps how long the rubber bands will last before stretching out of shape.

BYD Atto 3 EV in Singapore

The BYD operating system is known as DiLink, and the brand states that over-the-air updates will be rolled out over the coming months. As it stands now, the apps available are pretty basic. There is no native GPS navigation and we couldn’t find the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto pairing options in the demo car, but the brand assured us that it’ll be updated very soon. 

BYD Atto 3 EV in Singapore

The boot is decently big at 440 litres, expandable to 1,340 litres with the seats folded out of the way.

BYD Atto 3 EV in Singapore

Overhead you’ll find a full-length sunroof. Other fun features include the by now required ambient lighting, which you can fix to a single colour, have it cycle, or even pulse to the beat of the music.

A wireless phone charging dock, along with four USB charging ports, ensure that every occupant can get access to power. 

BYD Atto 3 EV in Singapore

To Page 2: The Driving Experience and Competition

Pages: 1 2

Tags:

5 seat 5-door Atto 3 byd electric SUV

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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