BYD Seal Review 2024

BYD Seal At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The BYD Seal is a stylish electric car that could pose a credible threat to more established competitors. It's great to drive, looks the part and has a superb interior, while it can also travel more than 300 miles between charges.

+Spacious and comfortable electric car. Impressive range of up to 354 miles. Long list of standard equipment.

-More expensive than established competitors. Not as practical as hatchback rivals. Lacks the badge kudos of a Tesla.

The BYD Seal has the potential to shake up the electric car market in the same way the Tesla Model 3 did when it arrived in 2019. We think this electric saloon is desirable enough to tempt buyers away from the Hyundai Ioniq 6 and even the BMW i4... but should you spend your money on one? Read our full 2024 BYD Seal review to find out.

BYD is a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer that you’ve probably never heard of. But it’s actually got some serious clout as a battery manufacturer – its clients include big names such as Tesla and Apple, while its electric buses and trucks have been on sale in Europe for more than 20 years.

The brand decided to expand into the passenger vehicle market in 2023, with the BYD Atto 3 and affordable BYD Dolphin.

The BYD Seal represents the next generation for the marque, providing a noticeable shift upmarket. As BYD doesn’t want to be a budget car manufacturer, it’s already pricing the Seal against established competitors and has the premium brands in its sights.

So what do you get for your £45,000 plus? Well, there are two models available: the BYD Seal Design and the BYD Seal Excellence.

Both are generously equipped – so much so, you’d struggle to tell the two apart. Only a slightly cringey ‘3.8S’ badge on the back of the range-topper identifies it as a dual-motor model; this is a nod to its fairly swift 0-62mph time.

The BYD Seal’s interior is lovely. Apparently inspired by marine life, you’ll find a range of exotic materials and quality finishes.

There’s also a rotating infotainment screen – something of a BYD trademark – which is bit unnecessary, but also a welcome talking point.

BYD’s battery expertise means the Seal is fitted with a very narrow battery pack, which doesn’t eat considerably into interior space.

As such, you sit lower than in a lot of EVs, while there’s plenty of room for both front and rear passengers. It’s a shame, though, that luggage space is restricted by the Seal’s narrow boot opening.

On the road, the BYD Seal is pretty sprightly. We reckon the more affordable model will be fast enough for a lot of buyers, while it can also travel slightly further between charges. The BYD Seal Design has an official range of up to 354 miles, while the Excellence can manage 323 miles.

Charging the BYD Seal is easy – it can be topped up in less than half an hour using a 150kW rapid charger. We”d recommend charging at home, if possible – it’s easier and cheaper. A 7kW home charger will top up the Seal’s battery overnight.

A lot of electric car buyers will be sceptical about the BYD Seal. But this scepticism is not necessarily justified – we think it’s a bold alternative to the Hyundai Ioniq 6 and Volkswagen ID.7, while BYD’s worldwide presence ought to put your mind at rest about buying from an obscure brand in the UK.