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Review – BYD Seal (AWD), can the Tesla Model 3 take its lumps?

February 13, 2024

Extensive model lineup

BYD has achieved a complete lineup of models in a very short time, from the small electric Dolphin, to the Atto 3, Seal, Seal U, Han and Tang, and even another electric van: the ETP3. Courtesy of Louwman – also the importer of Toyota and Lexus – the Chinese car brand BYD is pushing hard on Dutch soil. With the BYD Seal, the brand hopes to make extra big strides.

Serious attempt

This BYD Seal is definitely one of the most interesting models in the lineup, because with the model BYD enters the arena of the Tesla Model 3, a model that has managed to box itself up as a gladiator in the BEV segment in recent years. Few models have yet managed to beat the Tesla. BYD is making a serious attempt with this Seal.

BYD SEAL (2024) does a lot right, but not everything – REVIEW – AutoRAI TV

BYD Seal: a dynamic 100% electric sedan

What exactly are we talking about? Let’s get the facts straight. The BYD Seal is – to look at – an appealing and dynamic 100% electric sedan 4.8 meters long. Prices are actually all-in. There are virtually no options. Even for a different color, you don’t have to pay anything extra. Speaking of those colors: BYD provides very cool colors, namely Indigo Grey, Shadow Green, Ice Blue, Polar White, Space Black and Atlantis Grey. The interior comes in Tahitian Blue or Black flavors. BYD further supplies only two versions. We list those below.

BYD Seal Design RWD


BYD Seal Excellence AWD

Additional equipment compared to Design

Other technical data BYD Seal (2024)

BYD Seal (2024)

The basics are right

The BYD Seal is a well-thought-out car whose fundamentals stand like a house. It is spacious, comfortable, offers great value for money and also looks original. But BYD can still dot the “i” here and there with a software upgrade. The speed indication, for example, is extremely precise, too precise. In the picture – both on the head-up display and on the digital instrument cluster – the speed jumps continuously. That provides some distraction. In our BYD Seal video review, we bring that to you in detail.

Adaptive cruise control

Also noteworthy is that you can only choose adaptive cruise control, where the speed steps go by five. We see here liver steps of 1. Furthermore, a speed limiter can’t hurt, or adaptive cruise control whose adaptive part can also be off. I’m sure that should be manageable with a software upgrade. With cruise control engaged, the system struggles quite a bit with elevation changes in the road surface. On the A16 near Rotterdam, for example – where there are several height differences – this often results in some unease in the car. Because it accelerates uphill, comes out of its suspension as a result, and then brakes sharply again. There were even instances when the cruise control was turned off because the car returned extra hard in its suspension. This effect also occurs at fairly mild thresholds. This deserves some fine-tuning.

BYD Seal

No one pedal driving capability

What else stands out? The voice commands still have to be in English, but that doesn’t actually work. There is a solution: just use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Those also have a voice assistant that you can speak Dutch to. Any other comments? There are some things to consider. For example, you don’t have a one pedal driving capability. Why not? Because, according to BYD, the step for someone coming from a gasoline-powered car to drive an EV is quite small. There is something to be said, but why no choice? Give the rider a choice between a D and B mode. In the infotainment system, you will also notice that radio and DAB+ are separate apps. That doesn’t seem very logical to us, because your mind says that for DAB+ radio you really need to be in the Radio app anyway. Finally, the artificial steering feel around the center position feels a bit unpleasant.

Software upgrade

Those are still quite a few comments, reading this. But BYD has signaled that they are reading along critically as they work hard on a software upgrade for the Seal. Moreover, all of the above issues can be solved with fresh software. So the BYD Seal will soon become an even better car. The car deserves that too, because, as mentioned, the base is extremely strong. Know this: even now, the BYD Seal is an excellent choice in the BEV landscape. Because no car is perfect, including the Tesla Model 3. The latter American’s driver assistance systems, for example, are dangerously cautious. There is work to be done there as well.

BYD Seal - interior

Conventional choice, that BYD Seal

This BYD is overwhelmingly the more conventional choice over the Tesla Model 3. The Tesla excels in ease of use, finer driving characteristics and also excellent charging capabilities. But the Model 3 is also more tech, more computer. This BYD looks at the concept of “car” in a more conventional choice, with a more traditionally designed dashboard and also a more conventional approach in terms of powertrain feel. For some, this Seal makes you feel like you are getting more “car. In principle, it does. By the way, the workmanship is top notch. You can clearly see that BYD strives for the best possible result. Something we only want to encourage.


In terms of price, the two do not differ much. The BYD starts at 45,990 euros, the Tesla Model 3 at 43,990 euros. This makes both models eligible for SEPP subsidy (in 2024 it is 2,950 euros). The more powerful BYD Seal AWD comes from 50,990 euros, where the Tesla Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor costs 51,990 euros. The BYD is faster, but the Tesla again has a significantly longer driving range of 629 kilometers (WLTP), something that may yet weigh a bit more heavily. At Tesla they also know how to use energy better, because the Seal’s average power consumption of 22 kWh per 100 kilometers could be a bit better as far as we are concerned. Count on about 400 to 450 kilometers in practice. BYD, on the other hand, has much better warranty terms. Tesla provides a 4-year or 80,000-mile warranty. With BYD, it is 6 years or 150,000 kilometers. In the end, both models have hooks and eyes; the choice is yours.

Original is the BYD Seal anyway. It looks fresh, modern and is also very practical under everyday conditions. With some software updates here and there, you can hardly ignore this car.

BYD Seal - interior

BYD Seal