Saturday night is not your typical night of the week to launch a new car, but that didn’t stop Chinese-EV giant BYD from launching the new BYD Atto 3 in Australia tonight.
The SUV is better known as the BYD Huan Plus overseas but will ship via EVDirect.com.au under the Atto 3 name down under.
Available in two variants, the BYD Atto 3 Superior starts at A$44,381 and for that gets you a 50.1kWh battery, up to 400km of range using the NEDC rating, or 320km under the WLTP standard. When it comes to performance, there’s a 150 kW motor producing 310 Nm of torque.
By the time you add on-roads in Victoria, the driveaway price jumps to A$47,131.55 and if you place an order today, it’ll cost you $1,000 which is fully refundable.
If you step up to the Atto 3 Superior (Extended Range), you’ll get a larger 60.4 kWh battery, the same performance figures, but a range of up to 480km (NEDC), or 420km (WLTP). This will cost an additional A$3k for the extended range, for a price tag of A$47,381.
After Stamp Duty, Rego, CTP and your Plate fee, you’ll pay $50,257.55 to drive away in Victoria.
While that’s certainly one of the cheapest range extensions we’ve seen, sadly while the Atto 3 is likely to become Australia’s cheapest EV, undercutting the refreshed MG ZS EV at A$44,990, it didn’t deliver the sub A$40k price tag many were hoping for.
If you order today, the wait time is July 2022, some 4 months away, and as a resident on the border of NSW and VIC, I have the option of going to pick up from Fyshwick in Canberra or getting home delivery in Wodonga for an additional A$495.
The car is available in White as their default colour, or a nice Grey or Blue for an additional $700. The car comes with 18 Allow wheels and just one option of a two-tone interior.
When it comes to charging, there’s a CCS2 DC fast-charging port, and without a deal with 3rd party charging networks, would leave you relying on home charging, or paying to play on the likes of Chargefox or Evie Networks.
In terms of technology, the Atto 3 has a decent list of level 2 ADAS features. There are lane departure warnings, intelligent cruise control (read adaptive cruise control), ABS, traction control and even rear-cross traffic alert warnings.
There’s a decent 12.8″ rotating touchscreen and naturally, you’ll find Bluetooth phone connectivity and a wireless phone charger, keyless entry and keyless start.
The car is capable of a 0-100km/h time of 7.3 and while that’s not going to impress a Tesla owner, it’ll be a marked improvement over the ICE 1SUV you have today.
Part of the main job of an SUV is to provide adequate storage for a family in the event you want to take a weekend away. The Atto 3 offers 60/40 split rear seats, along with up to 1,330 liters of boot space with the rear seats down (assuming you don’t have car seat). If you do, then the ISOfix child restraint anchor points will make the installation and removal of child seats an absolute breeze.
Something not common in all SUVs is the inclusion of an electric sunroof and an 8-speaker sound system. Add to that the fact there are electrically heated, adjustable, and retractable side mirrors and you’re ticking some big boxes for potential buyers.
While the BYD Atto 3 doesn’t deliver on the cheapest EV price point we’ve ever seen in Australia, it offers a decent range for the price and a load of tech for the dollars. As long as you can get over the interior design, the external look is certainly pleasant and should appeal to many.
Those educated customers will likely look to the WLTP ranges as a more accurate estimation for what to expect in terms of range and a A$47k driveaway price tag for 320km certainly isn’t as compelling as the first look. If you’re considering it, I’d definitely recommend paying up for the larger battery and extended range, as 420km for A$50k sounds much more compelling, but will likely be undercut by the next-gen MG ZS EV, once it’s available.