2023 BYD Seal Review: The Splash!

Lionel Kong
BYD Seal EV in Singapore

BYD’s new electric sedan is posh, fast, and sometimes quirky

2023 BYD Seal Performance

Launched: September 2023 – Price: S$259,888 with COE (Nov 2023)
Four-door, medium sedan, five seats
530hp, dual-motor electric drive, 18.2kWh/100km, 520km range

Tidy, Clean styling
Quiet on the move
Good dynamic handling

Manually fitted sunshade
FIt and finish still not perfect


Plenty has already been said about the BYD Seal. From the local product launch news in Singapore to the drive in China, CarBuyer Singapore has given plenty of background to the flag bearer of Chinese high performance electric vehicles.

BYD Seal EV in Singapore

So now we bring you the on-the-roads around Singapore experience with the BYD Seal. It’s a medium-large kind of sedan, somewhat similar in size to the Kia Stinger. But forget about petrol, this one is all-electric.

BYD Seal EV in Singapore

The Seal is sold in Singapore in three vastly different motor variants. The entry version is the Dynamic, with a single electric motor driving the rear wheels and an output of 150 kilowatts, or 203 horsepower.  The Premium raises this to 230 kilowatts, or 313 horsepower.

BYD Seal EV in Singapore

The BYD Seal Performance, driven here, has 390 kilowatts or 530 horsepower, dual motors and all-wheel drive. On paper, this sounds like a fantastically quick car but the driving experience will reveal it all when we get to it.

Styling is nicely sleek and reasonably understated. It’s still not as bulbous and featureless as a Tesla Model 3, but also not as in-your-face as an Audi RS e-tron GT. There’s a distinct BYD style to it, and it is clearly from the same family as the BYD Atto 3. Despite the swooping rear window that makes it look like a liftback, it’s a full-on sedan in that the rear window doesn’t open along with the boot like in the Skoda Superb.

BYD Seal EV in Singapore

Retracting door handles, like those found in the Mercedes-EQ EQE and the rest of the Mercedes electric vehicle family, are fitted to the Seal. It certainly adds a level of poshness to the car when the handles extend upon unlocking the car and the puddle lights tucked beneath the wing mirrors illuminate the sides of the car after sundown.

BYD Seal EV in Singapore

Inside, it’s not as radically styled as the Atto 3 before it. Instead, the suede dashboard, huge 15.6-inch rotating touchscreen, and tidy centre console layout gives the car a very posh vibe.

BYD Seal EV in Singapore

The rear bench is spacious, helped by the totally flat floor which even the new BMW i5 cannot match for legroom. The fit and finish is good but not yet of Audi standards. 

BYD Seal EV in Singapore

As you would expect from a new EV, the car is fully packed with active safety features. Front collision assist, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control as the main highlights, then there’s the ventilated front seats, 12-speaker Dynaudio sound system and Smart Voice Assist. It’s similar to what many of the continental luxury cars already have but the BYD lady’s voice is actually very natural and sometimes you forget that it’s just an A.I. synthesised voice.

BYD Seal EV in Singapore

There’s a quirky bit of equipment overhead. The ceiling is a full piece of insulated, dark tinted glass like you would find in the Tesla Model Y, but it doesn’t have any option to mechanically cover it completely. So if your passengers do not fancy looking at the sky, you go to the boot, and take out two fabric sunshades, and manually clip them into place from inside the car. It’s all a bit fiddly, but still a hundred times easier than clipping the roof onto a Lotus Elise.

The Seal is a totally silent car when on the move. The absence of synthesised spaceship whooshing noises is actually quite a confident step, considering how Mercedes and BMW have been trumpeting the sounds that their cars make through the speakers.

BYD Seal EV in Singapore

This makes the forward punch of the car even more exhilarating as the acceleration takes place in total silence except for the sound of the tyres on the road. Like all modern EVs the batteries make for a lot of weight and this is a pretty heavy car. So despite having more power and more wheels driven than a Porsche 911 S/T, it’s a tiny bit slower in the century sprint.

Without any engine capacity to talk about, the car instead has a ‘3.8s’ badge on the rump, which is the time it needs to reach 100km/h from a standing start.

BYD Seal EV in Singapore

Cornering performance is only limited by the car’s factory-fitted Continental EcoContact tyres, as BYD’s proprietary torque-vectoring software allows it to really handle like a large sportscar. Like the Polestar 2, it’s very much a stealthy kind of car in that it doesn’t overly draw attention to itself but is really capable of punching ahead in traffic with almost as much speed as a supercar but without the drama.

Its real-world power economy is right about where BYD claims it to be and more than 500km per charge is accessible in daily driving. 

BYD Seal EV in Singapore

The base specification BYD Seal may have less than half the horsepower of the Performance Variant, but still makes a good account for itself with a claimed range of 460km from the smaller 61.4kWh battery. It’s not all that slow either, with a 0 to 100km/h sprint time of 7.5 seconds. You save almost S$40k compared to this, the full-fat, full-power version. 

But, the full-fat version is as comfortable as a Toyota Camry Hybrid, faster in a straight line than a Porsche 718 Cayman GTS, and has a sticker price similar to a Toyota Harrier Hybrid

BYD Seal Performance 

Drivetrain typeFull electric
Electric Motor / layoutDual / All Wheel-Drive
Motor power / torque530hp / 670Nm
Battery type /net capacityLithium ion / 82.6kWh
Normal Charge Type / Time15.2 Hours / 7kW AC
Max Fast Charge Type / Time32 minutes / 150kW DC
Electric Range520km (claimed)
0-100km/h3.8 seconds
Top Speed180km/h 
VES BandA1 / -S$25,000
AgentE-Auto Vantage Automotive
PriceS$257,888 with COE and VES
Verdict:Quiet and punchy to drive, it’s a real premium sports sedan that can hang with the established players 


byd electric car EV Seal

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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