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BYD Atto 3

2023 BYD Atto 3 Exterior in blue.

The BYD Atto 3 is the first of BYD’s budget-priced fully electric vehicles to be mass marketed to Australia.  However, don’t let the fact that it’s designed to be cheap put you off.  The Atto 3 doesn’t look cheap and/or tacky but looks very smooth, sleek and stylish, showing what you can do in an EV when you don’t have to factor in air intakes, radiators or exhaust pipes into your styling.

The most important part of the Atto 3 is the electric motor, which uses BYD’s patented and innovative Blade battery.  This unit has been designed to be safer than standard lithium ion batteries found in other EVs but without compromising on power or range. Specifically, the BYD Atto 3’s electric motor is able to deliver 150 kW and has a maximum range of 480 km (under ideal conditions in the extended range variant; your mileage might vary, as is the case with all vehicles, EVs or otherwise). This unit also manages a fairly impressive 310 Nm of torque.  The standard power unit in the BYD Atto 3 offers a range of 410 km under ideal conditions. The extended range is possible with a bigger battery with a capacity of 60.48 kW-h (the standard battery has a capacity of 49.92 kW-h). 

Although it’s best to keep your battery from draining completely, the long-lasting Blade battery also allows you to use your Atto 3 as a power bank, not just for charging your mobile phone while you drive (which you can do wirelessly) but also for plugging in electrical devices (Beer fridge, anybody?  Just don’t drink and drive – the safety features are good but they’re not that good). When the time comes to recharge, then you have the option of CCS2 DC charging, Type 2 AC charging or home charging with a standard three-point plug (best for emergency charging only, as this is the slowest).  The 0–80% charge time with a DC fast charger is around 40 minutes, AC charging at 7 kW will take 9 hours (i.e., overnight) for 0–100% charge and charging with a domestic outlet from completely empty to completely full will take 30 hours. Regenerative braking also helps top up the battery while on the go.

They’ve had a fair amount of fun with the exterior styling of the BYD Atto 3.  This still looks like a compact SUV/station wagon/five-door hatchback (I can’t make up my mind which category suits it best) sitting on 18-inch alloy wheels but it’s the lights that they’re very proud of.  They’re supposed to hint at feathers or dragon whiskers.  I don’t see this myself, but they still look cool.  In fact, looking cool seems to be the name of the game in the Atto 3.  Five paint colours are available and I’m split between surf blue and forest green (more like pistachio) for my favourite.

The most striking thing about the interior of the Atto 3 is the styling, which does take a little getting used to. The designers have deliberately made the trim look like muscle fibres, with the idea of softening the interior and giving it a more human and organic look, as well as suggesting strength.  These lines aren’t aesthetically displeasing, and they do have that flowing look of something more natural.  The speakers also have these interesting red wires that provide storage space, rather like a magazine rack, but also suggest guitar strings.  Don’t blame me if kids in the front seat try to play tunes on them (and some adults – I would). The BYD Atto 3 also has a good amount of luggage space (a maximum of 1340 litres and a minimum of 440 litres), including the hidden trunk for a few extra items (or if you want to keep your lunchbox away from the dog without putting either into the main cabin). The instrument panel is also something that takes a bit of getting used to if you’re more familiar with a traditional ICE vehicle that has to display everything all at once; in the BYD Atto 3, the instrument panel is quite small but still functional and legible, especially if you set the display to dark mode.  

In terms of safety, the BYD Atto 3 has air bags all round – literally, as well as a good sound safety package featuring anti-lock brakes, brake force distribution, electronic stability control, traction control and hill descent control.  Automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and lane keeping assistance, and front and rear collision warnings are there to help you when you need it.  Other driver aids include traffic sign recognition and active cruise control.

The BYD Atto 3 has the comfort and convenience features you’d expect to find in a modern car, including plenty of cupholders, multicoloured ambient interior lighting, USB chargers and   The voice assistance feature doesn’t just allow you to adjust the interior temperature and the sound system’s volume, open the panoramic sunroof and the like by your voice alone but it also talks back to you – which you may or may not like. The fact that the touchscreen can rotate from portrait to landscape and vice versa is also a nice touch, especially if you are using the navigation system, for which portrait layout would be good, rather than the reversing camera, for which landscape is better.  The rear traffic cross-alert is also handy for getting out of the supermarket carpark – it’s like having eyes in the back of your head.  Both Apple Car Play and Android Auto have been available for the BYD Atto 3 since January 2023.

One of the few downsides of the BYD Atto 3 is that it does not have a spare tyre (which is how it manages to offer that extra bit of cargo space). However, given that it’s a city car designed for city streets, this may not be quite so much of an issue, and it does have a tyre repair kit.  All the same, I’d have a spare stashed handily in my garage just in case.  

The BYD Atto 3 is one of the cheapest EVs in the market today, vying for the title of absolute cheapest with its closest rival from MG.  It’s a handy and useful vehicle for around the town that doesn’t feel like a copy of European or other Asian marques but has a flavour of its own.

The current BYD Atto 3 models include:

  • BYD Atto 3
  • BYD Atto 3 Extended Range

For any more information on the new 2023 BYD Atto 3 or, for that matter, any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181.  If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of BYD dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!