Say hello to…
…the Atto 3, a mid-size SUV from Chinese firm BYD. And while you may never heard of BYD (which stands for Build Your Dreams) the company is the second largest battery electric car manufacturer after Tesla. However, so far, almost all of its cars are sold in its home market.
BYD launched in the UK just a couple of months ago with the Atto 3, but already has plans to sell a smaller all-electric hatchback and a larger saloon.
BYD offers the Atto 3 in three trim levels:
Standard equipment on the Active trim includes a panoramic sunroof, 18-inch alloys, auto headlights, high beam assist, vegan leather upholstery, powered front seats, heated front seats, 4x USB sockets, auto dimming rear view mirror, 5-inch digital instrument display, wireless phone charger, 12.8-inch infotainment screen, blind spot detection, adaptive cruise control, speed limiter, traffic sign recognition, lane keeping, front and rear parking sensors and keyless entry and start.
Comfort adds an uprated charging capability 11kw rather than 7kw.
Design adds a rear boot wipeable mat and a larger 15.6-inch infotainment screen.
Is The BYD Atto 3 Suitable For My Fleet
On paper the Atto 3 looks hugely attractive with a P11D price of less than £39,000 for the top specification version. All have a 260 mile claimed range, all the luxuries you’d want and also comes with a good sized 440 litre boot and plenty of rear leg and headroom for adults which puts the car up against the VW ID4. However, we have questions about the build quality with the driver’s digital display being attached wonkily to the steering column in our test car.
On a more positive note, the Atto 3 was impressively efficient in the real world, returning 3.5 miles per kWh over mostly motorway miles.
Leasing A BYD Atto 3
Intelligent Car Leasing is offering the BDY Atto 3 in Design trim for £639 a month on a 3+36 contract with 10,000 miles per year. A similar specification VW ID4 with a £7,000 higher list price is only slightly more expensive per month.
Gensen Reports forecasts maintenance costs of £40 a month. Class 1A NIC costs are £8 a month.
Driving A BYD Atto 3
With practicalities, such as interior space and equipment levels, and efficiency being Atto 3 strengths, unfortunately the driving experience is its weakness.
Around town the Atto 3’s soft suspension means a comfortable ride, however at very low speeds (below 20mph) that relaxed atmosphere is intruded into by a droning noise emitted by the car to warn pedestrians of its presence, but is just unpleasant from within the cabin.
At higher speeds the soft suspension translates into a wallowy ride. On twistier B-roads, you can simply slow down to deal with the lack of body control. However, where it’s more of an issue is on the motorway.
Even when driving in a straight line the Atto 3 has a tendency gently bob up and down which, in the case of one front seat passenger, can make people feel travel sick over longer distances.
This is a shame, because the cabin is a pleasant place to spend time. The large infotainment screen is clear and sharp and has a party trick in that it can rotate to be in portrait or landscape orientation and the overall cabin design is just that little bit different to many cars in this class.
If the body control were just a bit better, the Atto 3 would be a significantly more attractive proposition. As it is, the first BYD to the UK just misses the mark.
FleetandLeasing.com Verdict On The BYD Atto 3
Very close to being a good alternative to the mainstream brands.
BYD Atto 3
- Model: Atto 3 Design
- Power: 204hp
- Torque: 310Nm
- Max speed: 99mph
- 0-62mph: 7.3s
- Official range: 260 miles
- Test range: 211 miles
- CO2 emissions: 0g/km
- BIK tax band 2022/23: 2%