BYD Atto 3 review (2024): Not your ordinary EV

The BYD Atto 3 is a compact crossover SUV, which is also known as the BYD Yuan Plus in China. It was released in early 2022 in its country of origin but came out at a later date in select markets around the world, including the UK in mid-2023. Despite being a new addition to the fully electric market, the automaker already produced its 500,000th Atto 3 in September 2023; a mere 19 months after its introduction.

If you’d prefer to watch a review of the BYD Atto 3, head on over to our YouTube channel.

BYD Atto 3 price & competition

At the time of writing and in the UK, the BYD is available in two trims levels: Comfort at £37,695 and Design at £39,695. The third trim, Active, is also due to come at a later date. A breakdown of the differences can be found below (click to expand):

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In terms of the alternatives, there are quite a few hatchbacks and saloons to consider: the MG4 EV from £26,995; Smart #1 from £31,950; GWM Ora 03 from £31,995; MG4 EV XPower from £36,495; Cupra Born from £36,475; VW ID.3 from £37,255; Tesla Model 3 from £39,990; Peugeot e-308 from £40,050; Polestar 2 from £44,950; BYD Seal from £45,695; Hyundai Ioniq 6 from £47,040; and the BMW i4 from £50,755.

There are also a few SUVs you might want to consider, such as: the Fiat 600e from £29,995; MG ZS EV from £30,495Citroen e-C4 from £30,569Citroen e-C4 X from £31,610Kia Soul EV from £32,875; Hyundai Kona Electric from £34,995; Jeep Avenger from £35,700Peugeot e-2008 from £36,500Kia Niro EV ‘2 64’ from £37,325Vauxhall Mokka-e from £37,610; Skoda Enyaq iV from £40,585; Volkswagen ID.4 from £42,640Hyundai Ioniq 5 from £43,445BMW iX1 from £44,560Tesla Model Y from £44,990Kia EV6 from £45,275; and the Audi Q4 40 e-tron from £50,745. You’ve also got the MG5 EV, an all-electric estate that starts from £30,995.

Read next: Kia Niro EV review: An upgraded e-Niro?

BYD Atto 3 exterior review

From the exterior, the BYD Atto 3 looks a little different than some of its competitors and yet, is quite stylish. At the front, it’s got a cute design, thanks to how the bonnet feeds into the headlights, from the side it has a sporty flair with the help of 18” alloys that come fitted as standard across the trim range, while at the rear it has a rather snazzy look with the taillights stretching the width of the vehicle.

It is a shame that the wheel arches and side skirts aren’t fully body-coloured, but as they don’t protrude too much from its exterior shell, we have no major complaints. What is quite refreshing, however, is that all the exterior paint finishes of the vehicle are available as a free option. This means you can match the vehicle’s look with your personality; you have: Surfing Blue, Skiing White, Climbing Grey, Exploring Green and the pictured Parkour Red.

Read next: New Tesla Model 3 review: The highland upgrade or downgrade?

BYD Atto 3 interior review

Inside, the BYD Atto 3 is quirky, with the BYD Design Director Wolfgang Egger stating that they wanted to create a “very fresh, spacious and youthful feeling to attract young people and families.” Indeed, it’s quite different: each door has hairdryer-shaped speakers, which double up as door handles; there is a Lego-Technic-looking piece that serves as the door support; three fabric guitar strings act as holders for the door compartments, which can be an annoyance if you have inquisitive kids or listen to bass-orientated music, as they vibrate at louder volumes and therefore degrade the listening experience; the gear selector looks like an aircraft yoke; and the air vents are in the shape of dumbbells or tyres. Love it or hate it, it certainly stands out over its rivals.

Aside from its design, the materials used around the cabin are of high quality. The Chinese automaker has opted to use sustainable vegan leather, which combined with the stitching work on the upholstery, oozes quality when compared to some of its rivals. It’s also got the latest tech, with a 5″ fully digitalized instrument cluster sitting behind the wheel. The driver’s display is somewhat customisable and provides all the key driving information that you require. Unfortunately, a Head-Up Display (HUD) isn’t present nor available as an option in any of the trim levels.

BYD Atto 3 instrument cluster

Of course, there’s also the party piece – the centre-weighted display. Measuring 12.8″ in size in the Active and Comfort trims and moving up to the pictured 15.6″ size in the Design model, the infotainment system can rotate. This means that you can have it either in a portrait or landscape format, which is quite a novelty. It’s easy to pivot the display, as you can press the physical button on the steering wheel or tap the virtual button on the screen itself, which can also be performed while you’re on the move. Aside from it being a trick that you can show to your friends and family, it’s a useful addition as it can better the viewing experience – for example, having it in a portrait format while using maps and in the landscape view when consuming media. Note, at the time of writing, Android Auto doesn’t support the portrait format.

Read next: Peugeot e-308 review: Can it compete with its rivals?

Speaking of clever inclusions, the voice feature also works a treat. It’s accurate and allows you to perform a multitude of commands, such as opening the sunroof. It’s also clever enough to know how you’re driving and determine how to perform certain actions.

On that note, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both supported over a wired and wireless connection. The former is preferred for the highest audio fidelity. You also have USB and microSD card playback for video and audio files. To enjoy your music, BYD provides eight speakers around the cabin – two in each door. The stock and non-factory upgradable system performs well across the sound frequency range but does lack refinement. If you’d like to hear how the system performs, watch our detailed review on YouTube.

However, it’s not all rosy, as during our time with the BYD Atto 3, we encountered a few issues. The instrument cluster, for example, was slightly misaligned and therefore looked wonky. When music is playing via Android Auto, it mutes itself when exiting the app; which is very frustrating, as it occurs when putting the vehicle in reverse, changing the climate or simply altering a vehicle setting.

Similarly, the brightness levels of the main display were artificially dim when not set to the ‘linked’ mode. This happens if you set the brightness to 100%, have the linked mode enabled, turn on the sidelights or headlights, and then disable the linked mode again. Instead of going back to a high brightness level, it locks itself to a dimmed value that is aimed for usage at night (due to the sidelights or headlights being turned on previously). Hopefully, these concerns could be addressed via future firmware updates, while the wonky instrument cluster might be a manufacturing anomaly present on this particular press vehicle.

Reax next: Smart #1 review: The best new EV?

BYD Atto 3 storage review

What isn’t an issue is storage space within the cabin. In our opinion, BYD has optimised the interior of the Atto 3. The glove box is appropriately sized, there is an angled non-slip area towards the front of the centre console that doubles up as a wireless smartphone charger, further down there are two cupholders with a small insert for shorter cups, there’s also a large armrest compartment and an open-air non-slip area underneath the centre console unit. Here, you’ll also find USB Type-A and Type-C ports and a 12V socket. There are also USB ports at the rear of the centre console.

The front door bins are relatively large and can accommodate a 500ml bottle, while the rear two are unsurprisingly a little more limited. Two cupholders can be found within the pulldown armrest compartment.

As for its boot capacity, the Atto 3 offers 440 litres with the seats up and 1,338 litres with them folded flat. Not quite class-leading figures, but its boot is large enough for weekly shops and should suffice for most consumers. Roof load capacity is rated at 50kg thanks to the integrated rails, which come fitted as standard.

Here’s how it stacks up to some of its competitors: Tesla Model Y (854/2,100 litres); VW ID.5 (549/1,561 litres); VW ID.4 (543/1,575 litres); Hyundai Ioniq 5 (520/1,587 litres); Audi Q4 e-tron (520/1,490 litres); Citroen e-C4 X (510/1,360 litres); Kia EV6 (490/1,300 litres); MG ZS EV (448/1,375 litres); Kia Niro EV (475/1,392 litres); Tesla Model 3 (594/1,300 litres); Peugeot e-2008 (434/1,467 litres); BMW i4 (470/1,290 litres); Nissan Leaf (435/1,161 litres); Hyundai Ioniq 6 (401/1,100-1,300); BYD Seal (400/1,100-1,300); Kia Soul EV (315/1,339 litres); VW ID.3/Cupra Born (385/1,267 litres); Citroen e-C4 (380/1,250 litres); Peugeot e-308 (361/1,271 litres); Fiat 600e (360/1,231 litres); Polestar 2 (405/1,095 litres); MG4 EV (363/1,177 litres); Hyundai Kona Electric (332/1,114 litres); Smart #1 (421/989 litres); Jeep Avenger (355/1,053 litres); Vauxhall Mokka-e (310/1,060 litres); GWM Ora Funky Cat (228/858 litres). As for the MG5 EV estate, it offers 479 and 1,367 litres, respectively.

In terms of practicality, the Atto 3 has a hatchback design, with 60:40 rear-split folding seats, a flat loading bay and a large underfloor compartment that will easily accommodate the vehicle’s charging cables. An electric tailgate comes fitted as standard in the top-spec Design trim.

Unlike some of its rivals, however, the Atto 3 doesn’t come with a frunk (a storage area at the front), which is quite a shame given that there is plenty of space for one, had the manufacturer better optimised this area.

Read next: Tesla Model Y review: Best electric SUV?

BYD Atto 3 comfort review

When it comes to comfort, the seats are all accommodating and soft. However, the integrated headrests at the front of the cabin are a bit too forward, which results in a slightly uncomfortable seating experience on longer drives. Thankfully, headroom and legroom are a non-issue both at the front and back; 6-foot (182cm) individuals won’t feel henned in, and with the automaker opting to include a completely flat rear footwell design, the middle occupant won’t be uncomfortable either.

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Better still, as standard, both front seats are heated, with six-way electronic controls for the driver and four-way electric controls for the front passenger. There’s also a panoramic sunroof with an electronic sun shade, which again is fitted as standard across the entire trim range.

Another area that impresses is cabin noise. It’s kept down to a minimum at both lower and higher speeds, making for a serene in-cabin driving experience.

Read next: Citroen e-C4 X review: A blended e-C4 & C5 X?

BYD Atto 3 performance review

This leads us to driving comfort, one of the Atto 3’s key strengths. Its suspension system is soft and bouncy, which makes the vehicle a joy to drive around town. The MacPherson setup at the front and multi-link configuration at the rear soak up a lot of anomalies, soften potholes and mask speed bumps. Granted, it’s not going to compete with vehicles that have an adaptive air suspension system or more advanced configurations, but it’s still very comfortable to drive.

However, its soft setup does result in some body roll. As such, if you’re driving at speed around winding country roads, you’ll find that the Atto 3’s chassis rocks around. With that said, as it’s not a sporty vehicle, we don’t have any complaints; it’s better that the automaker has tuned it for inner-city routes rather than spirited driving.

BYD Atto 3 design

What you should be mindful about, however, is torque steer. Due to the Atto 3 operating on a front-wheel drive (FWD) configuration, the vehicle’s front wheels struggle to keep up with the instant amount of torque available; if you’re putting your foot down to the metal from a standstill or viciously exiting a bend on wet roads, you might lose grip. As a result, you’ll want to gradually apply pressure to the accelerator pedal to avoid any wheel spin.

Speaking of which, the Atto 3 isn’t the fastest electric vehicle. A single motor planted on the front axle combines with the 60.48 kWh battery pack to provide 150 kW of power (201 hp) and 310 Nm of torque. Using Racelogic’s Performance Box Touch we had it tested from 0-20mph in 2 seconds, 0-30mph in 2.99 seconds; 0-60mph in 6.83 seconds; 50-70mph in 3.52 seconds and clock in a peak acceleration of 0.48g. Top speed is limited to 99mph.

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Despite not providing an exhilarating driving experience over rival electric SUVs, namely those that have an all-wheel drive (AWD) configuration, the Atto 3 is still plenty fast and will suffice for the vast majority of consumers. It’s reassuring to know that if you go fast, there’s plenty of braking power with ventilated disc brakes that come fitted as standard across the entire trim range; you’ll have plenty of confidence bringing the vehicle to a complete standstill.

BYD Atto 3 performance

As for its electric range, the manufacturer claims one can attain 260 miles from its 60.48 kWh battery pack on the WLTP mixed driving cycle. However, from our mixed driving tests, we netted 210-230 miles. A respectable figure, albeit not class-leading.

For context here’s how it compares to some of its competitors that we’ve tested: 325 miles in the VW ID.5; 310-330 miles in the Tesla Model 3 Long Range; 300-320 miles in the RWD BYD Seal; 290-310 miles in the VW ID.3 77kWh; 270-290 miles in the BYD Seal AWD and Smart #1; 250-280 miles in the Tesla Model Y Long Range; 250-270 miles in the AWD Hyundai Ioniq 6 and FWD Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor; 260 miles in the Hyundai Kona Electric 64 kWh, Kia Soul EV (with heat pump), Audi Q4 e-tron, and VW ID.4 (no heat pump); 240-260 miles in the RWD BMW i4 eDrive40 and Kia EV6 RWD; 230-250 miles in the Hyundai Ioniq 5 AWD, MG4 EV Long Range, and MG ZS EV Long Range; 225-245 miles in the Tesla Model 3 RWD; 230 miles in the VW ID.3 58kWh; 210-230 miles in the MG5 EV; 210-220 miles in the Cupra Born; 205-225 in the Kia Niro EV (no heat pump); 200-220 miles in the MG4 EV XPower, Fiat 600e and Jeep Avenger; 180-200 miles in the Citroen e-C4 and e-C4 X; 170-190 miles in the Peugeot e-308; 150-170 miles in the Vauxhall Mokka-e; and 140-160 miles in the Peugeot e-2008 and GWM Ora 03.

To be as efficient as possible while on the move, you’ll want to enable the ‘High’ regenerative braking mode, which can be done by pressing the button located on the centre console. This will help decelerate the vehicle when you lift off the accelerator pedal. However, unlike its competitors, it won’t give you a full one-pedal drive, meaning you’ll still have to resort to using the physical brake pedal when you’re pottering around town.

BYD Atto 3 charging

Of course, one can replenish its 60.48 kWh battery pack at a much more rapid rate by plugging it in. The Atto 3 can take up to 100 kW of input charge, meaning it can go from 10-80% in 44 minutes when connected to an appropriate DC charge point. Connected to a wallbox, the onboard charger can take up to 11 kW via its Type 2 port in the Comfort and Design trims, meaning it can go from 0-100% charge in 6hrs 30mins. Using a regular 7 kW wallbox it’ll take 9hrs 42mins to attain the same amount of charge, while a 3-pin wall socket will take over 35hrs instead.

Aside from this, the Atto 3 also supports Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) technology, which means you can also discharge the vehicle’s battery pack. This allows you to charge another electric vehicle (at a rate of 2.3 kW) or better still, power household appliances such as a kettle or coffee machine – useful if you go camping. Note, that an additional adapter is required.

Read next: Hyundai Ioniq 6 review: Better Than Tesla, BMW & Polestar?

BYD Atto 3 safety review

When it comes to safety, the Atto 3 achieved 5/5 stars in Euro NCAP crash tests. It scored 91% in Adult Occupancy, 89% in Child Occupancy and 75% in Safety Assist. Impressive scores across the board.

There are also a plethora of driver assistance systems that provide a good degree of convenience. As standard on all trim levels, you’ll find the following: Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Door Opening Warning (DOW), Adaptive Cruice Control (ACC) & Intelligent Cruice 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 Collision Warning (RCW), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) & Rear Cross Traffic Brake (RCTB), Lane Keep Assistance (LKA), Lane Change Assist (LCA), and Emergency Lane Keep (ELK).

Indeed, the Atto 3 has an extensive and impressive list of driver assistance systems, most of which also perform well. ACC will keep you at a safe distance from the leading vehicle with ICC giving you steering support on the motorway, while BSD and DOW keep you safe on the road and when parked, respectively. It’s also great to see that LKA can be permanently disabled via the infotainment system, however, ELK has to be disabled each time you start the vehicle. An annoyance as it can be quite intrusive if you frequent country roads and with no shortcut, you’ll have to faff around with the infotainment system. Elsewhere, we found that ISLI was a bit off in understanding the actual speed limit, which can be cumbersome if you have the TSR audible warning enabled.

As for parking, the Atto 3 has a 10.7-meter turning circle, making it easy to manoeuvre in a tight space. To add to that, you have front and rear parking sensors, and high-resolution 360-degree cameras, which give you an excellent view of your surroundings. Considering that they come as standard is also a bonus, as many of its competitors charge extra for that privilege. Visibility around the cabin is good too, with the A-pillars being relatively slender, large front and side windows and a wiper fitted to clear your rearview window.

BYD Atto 3 review

Read next: VW ID.3 review: The newly improved electric hatchback

TotallyEV’s verdict on the BYD Atto 3

On the whole, the BYD Atto 3 is an accomplished electric vehicle that will appeal to those who want a feature-packed, comfortable-to-drive, spacious and practical SUV, which also has a good electric range. It is, however, hard to ignore that its playful interior design might put off a few consumers, while its relatively steep asking price makes it hard to outright recommend over some of its rivals. Still, it’s worth considering the BYD Atto 3 for its qualities.

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What do you make of the electric SUV? Let us know in the comments section below or via social media; we’re on: YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, X and LinkedIn.

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Christopher Minasians
Christopher is an avid car enthusiast and techie. In his spare time, he reviews the latest consumer electronic products on his YouTube channel, TotallydubbedHD. Elsewhere, he practices Taekwondo, in which he has held a black belt for several years and coaches at a national level. He also speaks fluent English, French, Armenian, and loves to practice freestyle street dance.
byd-atto-3-review-not-your-ordinary-evThe BYD Atto 3 is an accomplished electric vehicle, which is comfortable to drive, spacious and is bundled with plenty of features. It might not have the utmost performance nor longest electric range, but it will suffice for most consumers. The biggest consideration is its relatively high asking price and its quirky interior design, which won't appeal to those who want something a bit more familiar-looking.


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