BYD Atto 3 driving impressions: Exceeds expectations, but not without its cons

Among the many electric cars that have been launched in Malaysia in the past two years, two that shout value for money would be the BYD Atto 3 and the Ora Good Cat. Recently, I had the chance to drive the former, and there are a few things that I would like to share with you concerning how the BYD Atto 3 drives.

Before we go on, let’s first have a quick recap of the BYD Atto 3. It was launched in late 2022 in two variants – the ‘Standard Range’ and ‘Extended Range’. The car is an electric car with a single motor powering the front wheels making 203 hp and 310 Nm, and does the century sprint in 7.3 seconds. The Standard Range gets 345 km (WLTP) of range from a 49.92-kWh battery, while the Extended Range gets a 420 km range (WLTP) from a 60.48-kWh battery.

We drove the Extended Range from Ara Damansara to Tanjung Malim and back. Now let’s get onto some initial driving impressions…

1. It is quieter than you think

Being an electric car, the ride of the Atto 3 is already generally quiet at low urban speeds. However, the car did surprise yours truly on the highway as the cabin noise levels were still at a low level even at high speeds.

While we were driving along the PLUS highway from the Subang interchange to the Tanjong Karang interchange, road and wind noise were at a minimum, even when exceeding 110 km/h. In that sense, the ride is rather impressive and perhaps better than some cars within its price range. Honestly, I did start the journey being a little sceptic, and was impressed at the end of it. It is only when you exceed 140 km/h that the wind noise starts to become obvious.

RELATED: BYD Atto 3 – Malaysia’s first 100 units delivered at Grand Delivery ceremony

2. The suspension is probably a little too soft

Although the cabin sound insulation of the Atto 3 is great, I did find the suspension to be a little bit too soft. It does provide a gliding-like experience at low urban speeds, but at higher speeds, the car can feel a little bit floaty during quick overtaking maneuvers. It just doesn’t feel so assuring during those moments.

For the average driver, I’m sure most would be satisfied with the ride quality of the BYD Atto 3. It already gets an advantage in this department thanks to its SUV body. The soft suspension just helps to further absorb unpleasant road undulations. If you’re just looking for an electric vehicle (EV) for A to B purposes, it is unlikely you’d be complaining too much about the Atto 3’s ride.

RELATED: BYD Atto 3 deliveries to begin soon, 500 units being shipped to Malaysia

3. Divisive interior design, but plush seats and good fit and finish

Upon launch of the BYD Atto 3, I never quite fancied the bold interior that has this “muscle streamline design” theme going on. Personally, I just find it to be too over the top, and I wouldn’t describe it as a timeless design.

Despite those opinions, it is worth mentioning that the BYD Atto 3 provides a set of rather plush seats which were decently supportive for a long drive. On the seats, my problem with the Atto 3 is the lack of an adjustable headrest. There are also no memory functions for the seats, but that’s quite expected in an EV of this price range.

The interior trims also have a good fit and finish, despite the choice of design and materials used. Although not feeling entirely premium and perhaps weird-looking to some people, it is a decently built cabin. I’ll give credit where it’s due.

From our short drive to Tanjung Malim from Ara Damansara and back, this is what we could share with you about the BYD Atto 3 for the time being. As usual, we will be doing a full review on the BYD Atto 3 soon, so stay tuned for that on All other aspects of ownership of the BYD Atto 3 will be addressed in the upcoming full review.

ALSO WATCH: 2022 BYD Atto 3 electric SUV now in Malaysia, from RM149,800




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