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June 2, 2024

Review: 2024 BYD Atto 3 Premium


There’s a certain level of expectation when it comes to EVs, particularly on the subjects of price and tech. Thanks largely to the fact that brands that offer all-electric mobility come from either the luxury or premium spaces, EVs are expected to: one, look like spaceships and two, priced like one too. But that’s not the case with China’s BYD. With the Atto 3, they’ve come up with an EV that’s managed to reach price parity with a similarly-priced compact SUV. Of course, this begs the question: is it any good?

Let’s temper your expectations here for a second. With 204 horsepower and 310 Nm available from its sole front-driven electric motor, the Atto 3 doesn’t make the same sort of monster numbers you read about in an EV with a performance bent. Rather, with a 7.3-second 0 to 100 km/h time, it straddles more on the sensible side of the equation; mind you, it’s still as fast as a Mazda CX-5 Turbo—the fastest among the current crop of compact SUVs.



With a 60.5-kWh Blade Battery (BYD’s term for its proprietary lithium iron phosphate 400-volt battery), the Atto 3’s range is capped off at 420 kilometers based on the WLTP standard. Remarkably, based on actual tests, it closely matches this. With its 6.71 kilometers per kWh figure, it can go up to 405 kilometers between charges (average speed 17 km/h). So far, the Atto 3 is the most energy efficient EV we’ve tested.

The Atto 3’s sensibility over sexiness tells you what to expect with the rest of the package. In typical EV fashion, it’s darn quiet, especially in urban confines. There’s good levels of sound isolation around town, with just the sound of the battery system’s cooling/heating turning on (or off) spoiling the serenity. At higher speeds, it does tend to pick up more wind noise, but not enough as to label it as obtrusive.



The suspension tuning is also perfect for everyday motoring. The softly sprung suspension is at home in Manila’s urban decay where it can take the sting off most road imperfections. Even through undulating cracks or corrugations, the Atto 3 never feels crashy.

On faster roads (or as driving becomes more spirited) it could use better body control. As it stands, the wallowy suspension results in a noticeable amount of body bounce and plenty of lean through corners. The tires too, branded Chao Yang, have the same amount of grip as day old rice. Jab the gas or brake hard enough in a straight line is enough to have them fighting for traction.



Design-wise, the Atto 3’s sheet metal echoes the same no-nonsense, practical approach. Save for the cheesy, “BUILD YOUR DREAMS” rear badging, kudos to the designers for dialing back on the silliness in favor of a clean, timeless look.

The cold, unemotional exterior gives way to an over-the-top interior that’s inspired by human musculature and, well, gym equipment. For example, the door handles are barbell-style levers that wrap around the speakers. There’s also a kettlebell-handle gear selector, and heck, even the contour of the center armrest is based on a treadmill. Go beyond the quirkiness though, and the materials are spot on for the price. There are some questionable bits, but they’re few and far in-between.



Despite the Chinese overreliance on the touchscreen, the Atto 3 does have a lot of physical buttons located around the gear selector for functions like the drive modes, brake regen level, audio and climate controls. Dig deeper, however, and there are clearly some missing functions like the rear defogger. Either you have to navigate through the menus to access it, or you can use the built-in voice assistant. Using the latter is far more convenient, but it does require an internet connection to use.

The Atto 3 Premium gets a standard electrically-adjustable driver’s seat. However, with just six ways of movement and no adjustment for lumbar support (or headrest height), it may not be able to accommodate every body type (in our case, we found no issue). Correspondingly, these seats are mounted high enough to give a great view of the road ahead. However, the position of the A-pillars, despite being thin, do end up blocking a bit of view, especially around junctions. Side and rear visibility are better and thanks to standard blind spot indicators and a 360-degree camera (with parking sensors all around), maneuvering it around tight spaces is easy enough.



Mounted to the steering column is a 5-inch all-digital instrument cluster. The more pertinent information—speedometer, range, power used—are all easily made out, although everything else including the display for the tire pressure monitoring and trip meter do need a good squint. At the center, the 12.8-inch touchscreen does a little better. The Android-based OS has a unique skin with large buttons that are big and easy to hit. It also has standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but using the former is buggy. There are times when it’ll connect quickly to a paired iPhone; at times, it’ll require a quick reboot just to pair. The screen also rotates from landscape to portrait mode with the touch of a button, but the functionality’s gimmicky at best as smartphone mirroring only works in landscape mode.

Towards the back, the Atto 3 will be able to seat three average-sized Filipino adults in comfort. The seats have ample hip support, and the flat floor means there’s no squabbling for knee room. Take note, however, that the seatbacks don’t recline. The luggage space is equally impressive. Despite having no power tailgate, because there’s no lip to navigate, putting things in or out is easy. And since the load area’s wide, deep, and tall, fitting around six carry-on suitcases is actually doable.



Storage space for knick-knacks is plentiful, with an area under the front center console (that’s also where the USB chargers are located), a pair of cup holders, and a cubby below the center armrest. In the rear, you'll find pockets on the backs of the front seats for maps and mobile phones, plus a pair of cupholders in the fold-down center armrest. Oh, and about the door pockets, the Atto 3 uses three elastic strings that are tuned like those on a guitar. Aside from securing your tumbler, you can play a tune on them when you’re bored in traffic.

With its P 1.798-million price tag, the BYD Atto 3 is a solid, commendable choice, all things considered. Before, you’ll have to spend upwards of P 3-million to get an EV with this sort of size and range. Now, you can get one in the same price range as its gas-powered counterpart. The appeal of all-electric mobility aside, it’s well-kitted with all the features you’d come to expect in a compact SUV. It may not drive as well as some of the more established choices in this segment, but it shouldn’t matter to the everyday motorist who’s looking for a solid, sensible choice. The Atto 3 should end up on your shortlist of compact SUVs, let alone EVs, to consider.

2024 BYD Atto 3 Premium

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Bottom Line
Pros Close-to-as-advertised range, usable performance, attainable pricing.
Cons Portly around corners, iffy Apple CarPlay.
TL;DR Practical packaging, nice range, usable performance make this a seriously good compact SUV pick.
Ownership
Year Introduced 2024
Warranty 6 years / 150,000 kilometers
8 years / 150,000 kilometers (for electric motor)
8 years / 160,000 kilometers (for high-voltage battery)
The Basics
Body Type Compact SUV
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Motor Type Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
Maximum Output (BHP) 204
Maximum Torque (Nm) 310
Battery Size (kWh) 60.5
Architecture (V) 400
Range, WLTP (km) 420
Range, As Tested (km) 405
Energy Consumption (km/kWh) 6.71 (average 17 km/h)
Estimated Charging Time, 1-Phase AC (0-100%) 8.5 hours
Estimated Charging Time, DC (10-80%) 0.5 hours
Charge Port Type 2 / CCS
Transmission Single Speed AT
Cruise Control Yes, Adaptive
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,455
Width (mm) 1,875
Height (mm) 1,615
Wheelbase (mm) 2,720
Curb Weight (kg) 1,750
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Independent, Multi-link
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Parking Brake Electronic, w/ Auto Hold
Tires Chao Yang SU318a H/T
215/55R18 (f & r)
Recommend Tire Pressure (PSI) 36, all
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 6
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front & Rear
Parking Camera Yes, 360
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR w/ pre-tensioners x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 3
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Advanced Driver Assist System Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)
Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR)
Other Safety Features Blind Spot Detection (BSD)
Hill Descent Control
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Exterior Features
Headlights LED, w/ Auto High Beam
Fog Lamps Yes, Rear (LED)
Light Operation Auto
Wiper Operation Variable Intermittent
Tailgate Manual
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic, Manual
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) Electric, 6-way
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) Manual, 4-way
Seating Surface Leather
2nd Row 60/40 Split-Fold, w/ Arm Rest
3rd Row None
Sunroof Yes
Multi-Information Display / Size Yes, 5-inch
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, w/ Fold
Rear View Mirror Auto-dimming
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Automatic, w/ Rear Vents
Audio System Stereo
USB Type A
USB Type C
Bluetooth
BYD Cloud Service
Wireless Charger Yes
Infotainment Display / Size 12.8-inch
Smartphone Connectivity Apple CarPlay (Wireless)
Android Auto
# of Speakers 8, Dirac HD
Steering Controls Yes

20 comments:

  1. ill go for 1.3M nissan kick, no range anxiety, good for both city and long road trips, lots of dealerships.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nissan Kicks is a hybrid and not a real EV
      It still uses gasoline engine and gasoline fuel

      Delete
    2. Yeah, hybrid is more practical in ph and has more affordable price

      Delete
    3. Maintenance cost will be much much higher.

      Delete
    4. Lots of affordable EVs in the Philippine market already at below 1 Million Peso price range

      Delete
    5. Agreed. Any hybrid vehicle is still better than an EV here considering the lack of infrastructure and further exacerbated by persistent power grid issues. Recent power interruptions across the country prove the Philippines isn't ready for EVs just yet.

      It's also time to stop patronizing vehicles from Chinese manufacturers.

      Delete
    6. EV's here below 1 million - made like a toy, looks like a toy and drive like a toy, for short drive only, and once rainy season came it could become useless.

      Delete
  2. The review that I was waiting for. Can confirm that there's some leaning in the corners. I thought also that the 7kw charger comes with the price. If that's used and there's a solar power system in the household, then a higher inverter output will also be needed to avoid having the power grid supply electricity. Jusy some watchouts in an overall good package.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought so as well...but apparently, it's an option (per BYD's official material). Maybe they're currently offering them as part of some package? If you have a 7-kW wall box (like we do), the Atto 3's hard to beat for its price.

      Delete
    2. Okay...ACMobility reached out. Apparently, a 7-kW wall box is included with every purchase.

      Delete
  3. Thank you po for the nice review sir.
    Reaching out to ACMobility. Can you please bring a variant of atto3 without the white/cream interior? preferably tan or all black interior like the "carbon edge" variant in Singapore, and power tailgate please, even if it will cost a little bit more :-) Thank you in advance ACMobility

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  4. Theres already an updated atto 3 with 15" screen and lower price. Yet Ayala is taking so ling to bring and update the lineup.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Theres already an updated atto 3 which has already arrived in thailand and some other asian countries. Yet Ayala is taking so long to uodate the lineup and bring it here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's because were getting the LHD European export versions which is different from the RHD versions
      AC Mobility is likely gonna increase the price of Atto 3 if that updated version comes in the Philippine market.

      Delete
  6. Chill everybody, ayala lessened the features to make the car faster and installed chao yang tires to match the performance stoo complaining. 😂

    ReplyDelete
  7. There’s good levels of sound isolation around town, with just the sound of the battery system’s cooling/heating turning on (or off) spoiling the serenity. At higher speeds, it does tend to pick up more wind noise, but not enough as to label it as obtrusive.

    Hi Uly - how would you compare this to a Mazda crossover? Interested to know which is quieter. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I asked a rep from BYD how much is the battery, they said its about half the price of the car. Damn.

    ReplyDelete
  9. As a safety feature, it comes with a 24/7 monitoring feature courtesy of CCP so you can be assured that there is someone who watch over you and your cars 🤣

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unless you're somebody important, who will spy on you?

      Delete
  10. Wow great answer. Privacy is only for the vips. Next time open your doors and windows to your house. If you are not important there is nothing to worry.

    ReplyDelete

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