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BYD ATTO 3 Singapore Review 2022 - 60.5 kWh (A)

Updated: Oct 22, 2022

The BYD (Build Your Dreams) ATTO 3 is an all-electric SUV based on BYD's latest e - platform 3.0 featuring their proprietary lithium ion phosphate blade battery design. The car is also equipped with a digital operating system with over the air updates, a flat floor for the rear seats, 440 litres of boot space, and a multi-function steering wheel.

If you've always perceived BYD as a brand that produces utilitarian vehicles that are used as private hire vehicles and taxis, you wouldn't be wrong - but what if I told you that those days are over, because the new BYD ATTO 3 is here, and it absolutely obliterates any preconceived notions about Chinese EVs that we may have. Suffice to say, you can consider me impressed, for more reasons than one.

On the outside, the ATTO 3's design isn't groundbreaking - but it does look sleek and modern enough with touches of artistry, such as the textured c-pillars and the full front and rear light bars that help you understand that this is something BYD has put some thought into. Build quality is also very decent, and the doors open and close with the solidity of a small continental SUV. The overall car is actually quite large where it is larger than a Honda HR-V, and just a tad smaller than a Toyota RAV4. This makes it quite the competent family car. If you also consider the fact that the ATTO 3 is also a groundbreaking new EV that currently costs less than $200,000 - it actually also represents very good value.

The plot thickens (in a good way) however, and the ATTO 3 isn't just a lot of car with an electric drivetrain that won't cost you a small fortune in today's COE climate - the car actually has much more to offer. Inside the cabin, the ATTO 3 presents a unique interior design, one that is unlike any other car today. BYD says that the textured dash is inspired by the muscle sinews of the human body, while the quirky air conditioning vents are inspired by dumbbells. This is all in line with the ATTO 3's alignment toward an energetic and sporty lifestyle - a corny I'll admit, but the effort is admirable. In a world where most entry level interiors feel like they were built off a checklist, causing most of them to feel unoriginal and jaded, the ATTO 3's interior feels like a breath of fresh air. It is also worth mentioning that in the ATTO 3, the dashboard and door panels are covered in a lovely soft touch material, while the seats are some of the softest and most comfortable I have ever sat in. This is more than you can say for the ATTO 3's main competitors.

Technology in the ATTO 3 comes in the form of a massive 12.8 inch infotainment unit, which also happens to be the world's first swivelling screen that allows you to adjust the portrait / landscape orientation of the screen with the touch of a button that is conveniently located on the multi-function steering wheel. I didn't much care for the swivelling function while I was driving alone, but I did care enough to show it off when I had passengers - so a nice party trick then. The system itself isn't just a pretty screen either, and it offers premium functions like over the air updates for users, and what I must say is a very intuitive and responsive voice control module. It is also used to control the car's air-conditioning system. At the time of testing, wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto weren't available yet, but BYD says that the update will come in December 2022 - so all good then.

On the road, The ATTO 3 impresses once more, providing a very assured and balanced drive with a ride quality that is unheard of in this segment. I'll even go as far to say that the car rides significantly better than the Polestar 2 (read the review here / watch the review here) - In fact, I think the ATTO 3 is one of the most comfortable cars I've tested all year. Contributing to this excellent ride comfort is the fact that you actually get multi-link suspension in the rear - an upmarket feature to be found on an entry level car. I also believe that the ride comfort could also be due to the surprisingly wonderful Atlas Batman A51 tyres fitted to the test cars - which provided a very supple ride and complimented the ATTO 3's suspension setup beautifully. I actually tried ordering a set of these tyres for my own car, but could not find them in the size that I required.

Power wise, the ATTO 3 is fitted with a 60.5 kWh battery pack that packs 201 bhp and 310 Nm of torque, which will send the car from 0-100km/h in a very respectable 7.3 seconds. Overall, the car felt swift and light on its feet, offering an energetic and lively driving experience which seemed to defy its 1.750kg weight. The ATTO 3 also handles decently with a more than acceptable amount of body roll through corners - though I would refrain from accelerating too hard through corners as the car is rather powerful - and can be a little scary for the uninitiated. Also, the ATTO 3 is still after all a family car, and should be used to do family things - like ferrying your family around in its very sizeable second row in a peaceful and comfortable manner.

Saving perhaps the best for last, is the inclusion of BYD's blade battery as part of the drivetrain on the ATTO 3. While to most people, a battery pack is a battery pack, it should be noted that the blade battery is not just revolutionary in size and in range, it is also revolutionary in safety. Practicality wise, the blade battery's sleek package allows for a fully flat floor in the 2nd row for better passenger comfort and facilitates ease of movement across the rear bench. Range wise, it is remarkable that a car this size packs a range of up to 480km - which is enough to eliminate range anxiety and produce a week's worth of driving between charges in Singapore. And safety wise, BYD's blade battery has also been put through puncture and impact tests, which have shown the blade battery to be less susceptible than regular EV batteries to combust in the event of a major accident - which is a huge advantage that the ATTO 3 has over other EVs in the market.

To put all of this into perspective, we currently live in world where most decent EVs cost a small fortune, and still have shortcomings when it comes to range, space, comfort, or practicality. It is therefore pretty damn amazing that ATTO 3, a Chinese EV, seems to be the most balanced and well rounded of the lot. To top it off, it also happens to boast one of the most technologically advanced batteries in the market, and somehow manages to also be one of the most affordable EVs you can buy today - talk about value for money. With rumours that BYD will be bringing in more EV models next year in the form of a hatchback and a sedan (possibly a Tesla-beater), I'll be watching BYD's developments very very closely, and with a huge amount of anticipation, because I can absolutely see myself buying a BYD in the very near future.


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