BYD Atto 3 review - Range, charging and running costs
A 260-mile range and 80kW rapid charging speeds are fine, but we expect more in 2023
The Atto 3’s battery uses BYD’s latest ‘blade’ technology – in effect, long strips of cells that run from front to rear along the car, with none of the modules that feature on other vehicles (including VW’s ID. offerings). This set-up is claimed to save weight and space, allowing BYD to deliver better range out of its lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP-technology) cells, which would otherwise be a bit less energy-dense than the NCM (nickel-cobalt-manganese) tech that you’ll find on many other cars.
In some markets the Atto 3 is offered with two battery sizes – 48kWh and 60.5kWh – however UK buyers only get the larger unit, which delivers a claimed range of up to 260 miles. That’s just shy of the Atto 3’s key rivals, the Kia Niro EV and MG ZS EV, which have a maximum range of 285 and 273 miles respectively. But the Atto 3’s standard-fit heat pump that helps with heating the cabin should help it retain more of its range in cold weather. Kia does offer a heat pump for the Niro EV, but it’s a £900 option.
When we pitted the BYD Atto 3 head-to-head against the Kia Niro EV, we saw a return of 3.5 miles per kWh from the BYD, compared to 3.7mi/kWh for the Kia. That equates to a real-world range of 212 miles – 18 per cent down on the Atto 3’s claimed range, and nearly 30 miles less than the Niro EV could cover on a single charge.
Car group tests
- Peugeot E-2008 vs BYD Atto 3: family-friendly electric SUVs fight it out
- BYD Atto 3 vs Kia Niro EV 3: 2023 twin test review
Speaking of charging, the Atto 3’s 88kW maximum charging speed isn’t exactly lightning fast, especially when you consider most electric cars are capable of reaching 100-150kW via the right DC rapid charger. Its capabilities are very similar to that of the Niro EV and MG ZS EV, but that just means – as with its rivals – a typical top-up from 10 to 80 per cent using a 100kW rapid charger will take 44 minutes.
When it comes to charging at home, it will take a typical 7kW home wallbox nearly 10 hours to fully replenish the Atto 3’s 60.5kWh battery. However BYD currently offers an 11kW home wallbox installation as part of the top-spec Atto 3’s price, which only needs six-and-a-half hours to fully recharge the Atto 3.
Insurance groups for the Atto 3 haven’t been confirmed just yet, but we expect it’ll attract similar ratings to rivals like the Kia Niro EV and MG ZS EV, which sit in groups 27-28 and 28-29 respectively.
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We don’t yet know how good the BYD Atto 3 will be at retaining its original value after a few years of ownership, partly because the car only arrived in the UK very recently, as did the Chinese car maker.
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In this review
- 1BYD Atto 3 reviewNew kid on the block BYD has hit the ground running with its all-electric family SUV, combining quirky design with a comfortable ride in the Atto 3
- 2Motors, performance and driveMajoring on comfort rather than sportiness, the Atto 3 is at its best around town and at a cruise
- 3Range, charging and running costs - currently readingA 260-mile range and 80kW rapid charging speeds are fine, but we expect more in 2023
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Atto 3’s anonymous styling conceals a bold, funky interior packed with technology
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Qashqai-sized Atto 3 offers plenty of passenger space, but the boot could be better, given that it’s a family EV
- 6Reliability and safetyA five-star Euro NCAP rating bodes well for safety, but BYD’s servicing network has a long way to go