mReview: 2023 BYD Seal Performance – Sealing The Deal

Published by on . Updated on 19 May 2024
Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1703427860766 M Review+2023+Byd+Seal+ +Sealing+The+Deal+ +FeaturedBYD's Seal hearkens the brand's arrival as a legitimate contender against premium electric car manufacturers.

The last time I drove a BYD product was the first-generation e6 in 2020, and while it wasn't an entirely unpleasant experience, it left me feeling like things could have been done much better. Just three years on, my wish has been fulfilled, because this new BYD car represents a paradigm shift in the brand.

Whereas the first-generation BYD cars on our shores begged the basic questions of whether the interior was well-designed or well-built, the new BYD Seal is a complete product that assures you of its great build quality and plentiful features. Materials and touchpoints are on par with premium electric vehicles in its class.

Instead, the Seal encourages higher-level questions to be asked of it, such as whether it has proper driving dynamics, good battery technology, and all the new-age tech features to boot. And spoiler alert, the BYD Seal delivers on all these fronts!

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1703427983669 D38 V2130 FotorSeal Performance variant is a 523bhp EV that does 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds.

Apart from the frankly addictive acceleration of the BYD Seal (0-100km/h is dusted in just 3.8 seconds by the all-wheel drive 523bhp Performance variant tested here), this is an electric car with perfect 50:50 weight distribution, double-wishbone suspension in front and a multi-link set-up at the rear. And that means surprisingly good handling.

From my experience, the Performance specification, which sports torque vectoring and BYD’s Intelligent Body Control System that provides bespoke damper settings, is a fast mover, both in the straights and around the bends. 

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1703428038448 D38 V2151 FotorBYD built a dream dashboard for the Seal, complete with a 15.6-inch touchscreen.

When driven hard, the tyres will start to screech, but the car never really goes off course, because the computers will work in a not-too-artificial manner to keep you going towards where you're steering.

However, I feel that the rear-drive Premium and Dynamic variants are even more enjoyable to drive. Although you'll trade off the relentlessly quick acceleration of the all-wheel drive Performance (and that is quite a lot of fun in its own right), you get in return a Seal that really accentuates the beautiful weight balance of the car, rotating in a very natural way once you go past the limits of grip.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1703428062389 D38 V2172 FotorSeal's dramatic front seats are also ventilated and supremely comfortable.

Don't imagine that this sleek electric car is some all-out sports car killer, however. You may be able to hold your own against a surprising number of purpose-built sports cars, but the ride of the Seal is still more attuned to comfort as a priority. Although body roll is well-subdued for a car that weighs north of 2.1 tonnes, the Seal does still pitch and roll more than you'd want in a sporty car.

Take a slower pace and you'll appreciate the well-designed interior. The materials feel solid and soft-touch, and the quilted electric leather seats are heated and ventilated up front, too.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1703428107413 D38 V2169 FotorThe Seal's cabin is well-designed, well-built and well-equipped.

There is a good familiarity to the driver's cockpit, too. For example, unlike in the recently updated Tesla Model 3, you still get a physical crystal-effect shifter, and the signal and wiper controls are where you expect them to be – on stalks upon the steering column.

The panoramic moonroof boasts one continuous piece of glass, with no beams interrupting your view of the sky. As a driver who has the luxury of turning on ventilated seats, I can report that the glass roof is well-tinted enough to repel heat even if you park in the open under the hot afternoon sun. My rear passengers claim to have fared a little worse against the residual heat, even if they did have a decent amount of legroom and headroom to lounge in.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1703428142755 D38 V2176 FotorSeal has a 50-litre frunk to supplement the useful 400-litre boot.

You can also activate your virtual BYD assistant through the rotatable 15.6-inch touchscreen to turn down the temperature, or perhaps activate the PM2.5 air filter, or charge your phones wirelessly with the two charging trays available.

When it comes to charging the car, you can juice up from 30% to 80% in just 26 minutes, at a maximum DC charging rate of 150kW, thanks to BYD's own Blade batteries, which are also an integral structure of the car. 

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1703428243646 D38 V2079 Fotor

The official range (WLTP combined) given for the BYD Seal Performance is 520 kilometres, although that tends to go down a lot quicker if you give it the beans.

There's something just a bit special about the BYD Seal. It's not only that this is a convincing premium product, with good solid fundamentals in its chassis engineering and technology. 

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1703428316671 D38 V2076 Fotor

Electric vehicles tend to elicit a certain response from purist petrolheads, with terms like "soulless" and "vanilla" coming to mind. But the BYD Seal really isn't vanilla. There is room for it to be an even better product – for example, the user interface of the infotainment system can be improved, and there are still some bits of "Chinglish" to be found in alert messages. 

Ultimately, I find myself thinking that the BYD Seal is a legitimate alternative to the premium electric vehicles out there. There is something about the BYD Seal that seals the deal for me.

BYD Seal Performance
Price (at time of publishing): $242,888 including COE  VES Band: A1
Permanent magnet 
synchronous motor
Charging Rate:
150 kW DC, 7 kW AC
Power & Torque:
390kW (523 bhp) & 670 Nm
Driven Wheels:
5.49 km/kWh
0-100 km/h:
3.8 seconds
Top Speed:
180 km/h
Battery Capacity:
82.56 kWh
Dimensions (L x W x H):
4,800 mm x 1,875 mm x 1,460 mm
2,920 mm
Cargo Capacity:
400 (rear) + 50 litres (frunk)

Read More: mReview: 2023 BYD Dolphin - Making a Convincing Splash

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