2024 BYD Seals the deal

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2024 BYD Seals the deal

March 15, 2024 / Comments 0 / 202 / ATL News, Auto Reviews, BYD
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If anyone has questions about the state of the Chinese automotive sector then the experience of the 2024 BYD Seal should quell any doubts in an instant.

EXTERIOR

In a world of sport utility vehicles, the Seal already stands out as a sedan, but it goes beyond that: It has jaw-dropping looks reminiscent of other big players in the electric vehicle space.

The Seal is part of BYD’s ocean theme model line-up and has what they term as the Ocean X Face. There is a marine feel to the body design, with sleek low-slung lines that give the four-door sedan a dramatic coupé-like appearance, but seal or shark you decide, just know the car will turn heads or attract attention in the parking lot wherever it goes.

INTERIOR

The interior is not as visually dramatic as the exterior, which doesn’t matter because it’s very good. Keyless entry sees the body flush door handles pop open revealing its significant cabin volume afforded by its all-electric platform, quality materials, overall user-friendliness, and a plethora of technology and convenience features.

The cabin has a low noise floor with ambient lighting and a full-length glass roof adding further refinement for passengers. The larger majority of features are either power-operated, or can be automated for ease, such as the heated and ventilated front seats.

Above the dual wireless chargers in the shapely centre console is a 15.6-inch infotainment display with an interesting trick — it rotates. It can go from landscape to portrait via a button or the voice assistant. This isn’t some useless gimmick. The rotation does wonders for the in-car navigation that does include Jamaica. The voice assistant can handle beyond the basic commands of rival systems, able to control a wide range of vehicle functions like opening windows and changing drive modes.

ON THE ROAD

The BYD Seal has two drivetrain options — dual-motor all-wheel drive for maximum acceleration and single rear-wheel drive for maximum range. Whichever is purchased, none will feel underpowered as the instant swell of electric torque completes the sports sedan persona of the Seal.

Auto’s single motor tester is rated at 570 kilometres of driving range, displaying 630 kilometres at 100 per cent charged from its 82.56kWh Blade technology battery. It was more than capable of meeting the former figure in real world driving.

The BYD Seal comes with a home charger and, if kept topped up, there will be basically no range anxiety. Should the occasion arrive for it to be charged via the public it must be noted that it uses the less common CSS 2 charging port. It can accept up to 150kWh DC fast charging, and AC charging at 7kWh. Adapters for both may be necessary to access the full capacity of the islandwide public charging infrastructure.

A 10.25-inch LCD screen keeps drivers fully informed of all the assist functions on tap. Sensors and camera keep the car safe, while the driver assist functions can be combined to take over for short distances of highway driving or stop and go traffic, reducing stress.

On pace, the Seal can embarrass full-blown sports cars, giving enough feedback in the corners on how much grip it has before things get out of hand. This is because the sense of speed is unreal at times causing turns to arrive a lot faster than anticipated. Fortunately, the suspension is compliant enough to handle the crumbling inner road network of Jamaica.

Other than a few minor quirks that might be best attributed to cultural differences, the BYD Seal shows that the Chinese automakers are firmly engrained into the EV space. Further, the Seal is a bargain given its starting price point, packing in technology and performance way above its perceived class rivals. It’s best seen as a GT, a grand tourer containing the modern luxuries and comfort for daily use, yet enough speed and dynamic ability for occasional spirited driving. There’s a reason this car was selected as one of the top three finalists in the 2024 World Car Awards. Potentials buyers won’t be disappointed.

Source: Jamaica Observer

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