The BYD Atto 3 is quite possibly the most important new EV to be launched in Malaysia. If you’re looking to buy your first EV, this is – without a doubt – your best option right now. Those are the words of Hafriz Shah, who is very impressed by the latest EV to hit our market. Of course, he knows what he’s talking about, having tested every EV to be launched here so far.

What about the Atto 3 that’s so impressive? What’s the real world range? And what’s the catch? Of course there’s a catch, which you’ll find out in this full review of BYD’s first product for Malaysia.

Launched by BYD SD Motors Malaysia (BYD SDM, part of Sime Darby Motors) in December, we get two variants of the Atto 3, the Standard Range with a 49.92 kWh battery offering 410 km of range (NEDC, 345 km WLTP), and the Extended Range with a 60.48 kWh battery, rated for 480 km (NEDC, 420 km WLTP). The SR is priced at RM149,800 while the ER will set you back RM167,800, on-the-road excluding insurance.

The batteries are connected to a front-mounted electric motor rated at 204 PS/310 Nm. 0-100 km/h acceleration is 7.3 seconds for both. This means that only range and kit separates SR and ER.

The Atto 3 is built on 400V architecture and supports AC charging (Type 2) up to 7 kW as well as DC fast charging (CCS2), the latter at a max rate of either 70 kW (SR) or 80 kW (ER). At the higher input rate, 0-80% state of charge can be reached in 45 minutes. The car has a V2L function to power other devices.

Speaking of batteries, the Atto 3’s Blade Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery, made in-house by BYD, is a differentiating factor compared to other EVs on the market. Its benefits isn’t just in theory, but they come into play daily via usable range – full explanation in the video.

By the way, if you’re wondering about the Atto 3’s size, it’s larger than a Proton X50. At 4,455 mm long and 1,875 wide, the BYD EV is 125 mm longer than Proton’s B-segment SUV, and 75 mm wider. The Atto 3’s 2,720 mm wheelbase is 120 mm longer than the X50’s. The EV’s 440L boot is 110L larger than the our ICE benchmark. What do you think of the design? We think it looks neat and has some cool details, but pretty generic.

But that’s before you get into the wild cabin, which is so wacky that you might think you’re in an experimental concept car. Certainly not the inoffensive crossover you saw earlier. Dashboard shaped after muscles, guitar strings as door pockets, twist-to-open door handles and a blue-white-red theme means it’s a cabin you’ll either love or hate. If you hate it, why la so serious?

We haven’t even mentioned the cabin’s party piece – the 12.8-inch rotating central touchscreen where you can choose between landscape or portrait via a button. The Atto 3’s seats are also among the most comfortable chairs we’ve ever sat in, EV or ICE, at any price.

Equipment wise, the Atto 3 SR comes with a (very big) panoramic sunroof, heated electric wing mirrors, 5.0-inch digital instrument panel, faux leather seats, six-way powered driver’s seat (four-way for passenger), 360-degree camera, tyre pressure monitor, electronic parking brake with auto hold, LED headlamps and rear lights and adaptive front lights.

Also on are auto air con and an NFC key card (wave at wing mirrors). Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity is wireless – the former is onboard now while AA will be available in Q2 2023. You’ll also get a built-in dashcam (not a separate camera stuck on the windscreen) and six speakers.

The ER adds on an electronic tailgate, multi-colour gradient rhythmic ambient lighting on the door handles (single colour on the SR) and eight speakers with “Dirac HD” sound, PM 2.5 air filter and a wireless phone charger. From the outside, the ER you see here can be differentiated by its 18-inch wheels (215/55). The SR rides on 215/60 R17 rubber.

Safety wise, it’s very comprehensive on this five-star Euro NCAP rated car, and both SR and ER get the same kit. Six airbags plus an centre side airbag for the driver (inside shoulder), full ADAS with stop and go for the ACC and door open warning are standard. Isofix child seat mounts are on the two outer rear seats and front passenger seat, for three in total.

It’s some car, the BYD Atto 3 – watch the review and tell us what you think.

Tags: ,