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In-depth reviews

BYD Atto 3 review - Motors, performance and drive

Majoring on comfort rather than sportiness, the Atto 3 is at its best around town and at a cruise

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Motors, performance and drive Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£37,695 to £39,695
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The Atto 3 is focused on comfort more than sharp handling, but that’s hardly a bad thing for an electric SUV aimed at families. At lower speeds, the raised ride height and soft suspension allow it cope admirably with rough urban roads. When we tested the Atto 3 against a Kia Niro EV, we found the BYD was more refined and less fidgety than the Kia around town.

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Like a lot of EVs, the Atto 3 emits a noise at low speeds to alert other road users and pedestrians of your presence. However, it’s not pleasant, with a tone that sounds like an open telephone line. Thankfully the artificial sound generator falls silent once you get beyond 20mph.

The Atto 3 only offers two levels of brake regeneration, and while we preferred the stronger of the two, it fails to provide one-pedal driving like the Niro EV. Meanwhile the steering doesn’t provide much feedback and we found it was eager to self-centre at slow speeds.

Find yourself on a twisty country road, and you’ll notice a fair amount of body roll in corners, but that’s hardly surprising. However, the soft suspension that cushions you from bumps around town also causes the Atto 3 to pitch and dive if you’re hard on the accelerator or brakes. Keen drivers should look elsewhere, then. At higher speeds, cruising comfort is fine, except for a bit of wind noise around the door mirrors.

0-62mph acceleration and top speed 

The Atto 3’s single electric motor produces 201bhp and 310Nm of torque – not an enormous amount by EV standards, but enough to propel the 1.7-tonne electric SUV from 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds and onto a top speed of 99mph. Power delivery off the line is relatively gentle, but once you’re up to your desired speed, the Atto 3 is happy cruising along.

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