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BYD Seal

Quick facts

  • Powerful performance, particularly the AWD version

  • Connected and dynamic driving experience

  • 82.5kWh battery pack across the range

  • Upgraded interior compared to other BYD models in the UK

It's fair to say 2023 has been a big year for Chinese manufacturer BYD in the UK. Spring saw the first BYD badged EV arrive in the form of the family-friendly Atto 3, next came the supermini-sized Dolphin in Summer and finally to close the year out, we've got behind the wheel of the hotly anticipated Seal.

BYD Seal Black

No disrespect to the two earlier models but the BYD Seal is something of a different beast, aimed squarely at the premium end of the market the Seal is a zero tailpipe emission saloon, with more than a passing nod to the Tesla Model 3. But it needs stressing that the BYD Seal isn't some Chinese copycat of the ever-popular Tesla, rather BYD is flexing its own considered EV muscles to release a European-revised version of its already popular EV.

BYD Seal rear 2023

Design

First impressions count and the BYD Seal certainly has kerb appeal. Adopting the Chinese brand’s Ocean-X design language, the Seal is a sleek and low profile four-door saloon. Its exterior appearance is not dissimilar to its great rival the Tesla Model 3. Although undeniably the design team has crafted a car which looks sportier and more aggressive than the Tesla.

Inside the car things are equally as impressive, It's all very sleek and modern, with most of the car's functions to be accessed via the large central touchscreen. If you're a tinkerer then you'll find plenty of options and menus to cycle through and tweak. But fear not, you don't HAVE to do that to get the most out of the car...

As with other BYD cars, the large touchpad can be rotated 90 degrees giving the flexibility of landscape or portrait, depending on your preference. There's also a smaller LCD panel behind the steering wheel which contains all the essential driving information - such as charge level, speed and what not.

BYD Seal interior

Materials are plush and impressive, the seating is finished in leather and comes complete with impressive stitch detail. Both the front seats are electronically adjustable, with the AWD Excellence model adding in adjustable lumbar support for the driver. Helping with the sense of airiness in the vehicle is also a full-length tinted panoramic sunroof.

BYD Seal Dynamic 2023

Performance

It doesn't take very long behind the wheel of the BYD Seal to realise the engineers have spent a lot of time and effort getting the driving dynamics just right. Both versions of the Seal the rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are poised and purposeful on UK roads, in particular for all-wheel drive version offers striking performance. BYD is keen to stress that Europeans are getting a revised version of the Seal compared to Chinese customers and it's clear that's happened when you spend time behind the wheel.

Regardless of BYD Seal model, drivers can expect spirited performance. The single motor rear-wheel drive Seal can develop 230 kW which corresponds to a 0-62mph sprint time of 5.9 seconds.

Where the fun really starts is with the higher spec all-wheel drive version, which incorporates two electric motors. The front motor develops 160 kW and the rear motor develops 230 kW giving a combined power output of, yup, 390 kW. All that power correctly channeled to the wheels means that this car from a standing start takes just 3.8 seconds to hit 62 mph. Otherwise known as very fast!

To put that time against some of its rivals, it's comparable to the Tesla Model Y Performance, it beats any UK Model 3 and out-paces the Polestar2 as well.

But it isn't just about power, there's a real connection between the car and the road, throw it into a corner and the car responds as you'd expect it to. There's even a launch control option that allows for some very, very fast acceleration.

Both versions of the Seal come with the same battery pack with a capacity of 82.5kWh, and as with all new BYD models it uses the brand's blade battery technology. Probably the biggest benefit of blade battery tech is the amount of space the batteries take up or to put it a different way how compact the battery pack is. In the Seal the height of the entire Battery Pack is just 11 centimetres.

The shallowness of these packs allows the engineers more flexibility in where to put them and also allows for the car to sit lower to the ground, improving efficiency and aerodynamics.

BYD Seal 2023 White

In another impressive move, BYD has confirmed that the battery packs are cobalt-free, these are lithium iron phosphate (LFP) tech rather than lithium-ion.

All versions of the model come with a heat pump as standard, this is particularly helpful in the depths of winter in ensuring the batteries remain efficient.

The innovation doesn't stop there either, with the Seal being the first BYD model to use the brand's new Advanced Cell-To-Body technology. What this means is that the engineers have incorporated the blade battery packs into the entire vehicle sub-structure. This provides advantages in weight distribution, torsional rigidity and allows for excellent driving dynamics.

BYD Seal Charging

Vehicle Range

As mentioned further up the review all BYD Seal versions come with the same 82.5 kWh capacity battery pack. The rear-wheel drive design version has a WLTP range of 354 miles, in the real world it should mean arrange of between 280 and 300 miles on a full charge.

The sportier all-wheel drive car loses a little bit of range due to having two electric motors to power however a WLTP range of 323 miles should translate to a real-world range between 250 and 280 miles.

There's an 11kW AC charger on board as standard, and the model can accept up to 150 kW of DC power at ultra-rapid public charging stations.

And just like the Atto 3, the Seal comes with V2L capability too, which means you can draw power out of the battery to power small appliances.

Equipment highlights

  • Four driving modes - Eco, Normal, Sport and Snow

  • Rotating 15.65-inch central touchscreen

  • 402-litre boot plus 53-litre frunk

  • 360 degree panoramic camera

  • Keyless entry

  • Electric tailgate

Conclusion

It doesn't take a long time sat behind the wheel of the BYD Seal to realise you're driving an excellent electric vehicle. The interior environment, the use of premium tactile materials, ergonomic seats, and copious amounts of space, make the Seal an excellent place to spend time.

But the Seal needs to be more than just a nice place to sit in and thankfully it's also an exceptionally well engineered EV. The cell-to-body technology, the use of blade batteries and the time spent perfecting the driving dynamics and feel of the car all pay-off in spades. At all times the Seal feels confident on UK roads, it's responsive, and when you get chance to put your foot down you really know it.

It remains to be seen whether the BYD Seal can capture sales away from the Tesla Model 3, or whether executive drivers are able to turn away from premium German marques. What is undeniable is that BYD sure know how to build an excellent electric vehicle which deserves to find a large UK audience.

Our electric car lease special offers

SaloonRange 310 miles

BYD Seal 230kW Design 83kWh 4dr Auto

  • £4,285.04 Initial rental (ex. VAT)
  • £5,142.05 Initial rental (inc. VAT)
  • 48 Month term
  • 5000 Annual mileage
  • Subject to status and conditions + arrangement fee
£476.12 Business contract hire per month (ex. VAT)
£571.34 Personal contract hire per month (inc. VAT)
SUVRange 260 miles

Polestar Polestar 2 220kW 82kWh Long Range Single motor 5dr Auto

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  • £3,635.55 Initial rental (inc. VAT)
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£336.63 Business contract hire per month (ex. VAT)
£403.95 Personal contract hire per month (inc. VAT)
Special Offer

Seal offers

SaloonRange 310 miles

BYD Seal 230kW Design 83kWh 4dr Auto

  • £4,406.46 Initial rental (ex. VAT)
  • £5,287.76 Initial rental (inc. VAT)
  • 48 Month term
  • 5000 Annual mileage
  • Offer expiry Monday 30 September 2024
  • Subject to status and conditions + arrangement fee
£489.61 Business contract hire per month (ex. VAT)
£587.53 Personal contract hire per month (inc. VAT)
Special Offer
SaloonRange 300 miles

BYD Seal 390kW Excellence AWD 83kWh 4dr Auto

  • £4,487.79 Initial rental (ex. VAT)
  • £5,385.34 Initial rental (inc. VAT)
  • 48 Month term
  • 5000 Annual mileage
  • Offer expiry Monday 30 September 2024
  • Subject to status and conditions + arrangement fee
£498.64 Business contract hire per month (ex. VAT)
£598.37 Personal contract hire per month (inc. VAT)
Special Offer

Choose your Seal car lease

SaloonRange 310 miles

BYD Seal 230kW Design 83kWh 4dr Auto

  • £4,285.04 Initial rental (ex. VAT)
  • £5,142.05 Initial rental (inc. VAT)
  • 48 Month term
  • 5000 Annual mileage
  • Subject to status and conditions + arrangement fee
£476.12 Business contract hire per month (ex. VAT)
£571.34 Personal contract hire per month (inc. VAT)
SaloonRange 300 miles

BYD Seal 390kW Excellence AWD 83kWh 4dr Auto

  • £4,405.18 Initial rental (ex. VAT)
  • £5,286.21 Initial rental (inc. VAT)
  • 48 Month term
  • 5000 Annual mileage
  • Subject to status and conditions + arrangement fee
£489.46 Business contract hire per month (ex. VAT)
£587.36 Personal contract hire per month (inc. VAT)