BYD logo
Atto 3

The BYD Atto 3 is a five-door electric vehicle with bags of character, a very decent driving range and a price-tag that will keep you on speaking terms with the bank manager.

BYD Atto 3 Design side
BYD Atto 3 Design rear
BYD Atto 3 Design interior

The good

Styling, technology, range and price

The bad

Brand snobbery could be an issue

Tech Specs

Price from
Combined Fuel up to
260 miles driving range
0-62 from
7.3 seconds
max speed up to
co2 from

Test Drive

BYD Atto 3 (2024)

While we have become accustomed to paying hefty costs for new electric cars, the momentum is shifting thanks to the influx of Chinese models that have far more attractive pricing structures.

And one such company is BYD which has proved you shouldn’t need a second mortgage to buy a planet-friendly EV.

A fine example of this is the Atto 3, a funky, five-door C-segment car that is on offer in three flavours called SE (coming very soon), Comfort and Design.

We opted for the range-topping Atto 3 Design, costing £39,695 and, like its siblings in the line-up, it features a 60kWh Blade battery and can deliver between 260 and 351 miles depending on the type of roads and driving style.

The car looks smart when approached from any angle thanks to sculpted panels, sweeping light clusters, striking 18-inch black and silver alloys, a panoramic sunroof, a rear light bar that extends the width of the car, wheel arch cladding and roof rails.

Moving inside, the interior is a tad quirky, but certainly looks appealing enough with a wave-shaped dashboard and heated seats crafted from sustainable vegan leather.

According to BYD, the interior takes its inspiration from a gym with door handles that resemble barbells, a kettlebell-style gear selector and free-weight styled air vents. And you simply can’t ignore the trio of strings just above the door pockets that look like guitar strings and are just begging to be twanged!

On-board technology impresses too with a 15.6-inch infotainment screen that can be rotated from landscape to portrait at the press of a button and this is the access point to the likes of the GPS sat nav, eight-speaker audio, DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, Bluetooth, climate control settings and lots more besides.

The main driving data, such as existing range, battery charge levels and speed can be seen in a quite small five-inch tft display behind the steering wheel and there is a voice-activated personal assistant to help with various tasks too.

Comfort levels are great up front with lots of leg room, and pretty decent in the back too with ample space for a trio of youngsters or a couple of adults to fit.

When it comes to performance, the front-wheel drive Atto 3 boasts 204PS and 310Nm of torque which results in a 0-62mph sprint time of 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 99mph. It feels sharp under acceleration with plenty of pace to overtake slower moving vehicles.

The steering feels relatively light which is perfect in busy cities with lots of twists and turns, but not quite so reassuring on faster open roads. But the grip is excellent and there is next to no sign of any body sway through tighter corners.

Drive modes called Sport, Normal, Economy and Snow alter the characteristics and dynamics of the car and there are two levels of regenerative braking, although single pedal driving is not quite possible.

The driver visibility is a bit of a mixed bag. It’s great forwards and sideways, but the sporty design of the car results in a narrow rear screen. However there are numerous cameras and sensors to help overcome any issues there.

And range anxiety should never be a problem either with a combined 260 miles between charges, increased to 351 miles of city-based driving where more energy can be captured during braking.

The boot is accessed via a powered tailgate and it can accommodate 440 litres of luggage, a capacity that increases to 1,338 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. In addition, there are numerous practical storage compartments throughout the cabin and these include a large area beneath the centre console, a glovebox, wireless charging pad, door bins, seat back pockets, front and rear cup holders and some trays.

When it comes to charging, the BYD Atto 3 features an 11kW 3-phase on-board charger for AC connections which can boost the battery from zero to 100 per cent in 6 hours, 30 minutes. If quicker boosts are needed then it’s just 29 minutes for a 30 to 80 per cent charge using a 150kW fast charger.

With a wealth of on-board safety features and driver assistance aids also included as standard, which helped the Atto 3 gain a maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, BYD has proved you can get a fully loaded EV without breaking the bank along the way.