It doesn't always have to be a candy you can eat to be at the forefront of aerodynamics. The BYD Seal has a Cd value of 0.219, placing it between the Hyundai Ioniq 6 (0.21) and the VW ID.7 (0.23). Taste is always a subjective thing, but the BYD Seal also shows edge and thus a respectable profile. Of course, it doesn't work entirely without aerodynamic aids such as the small rear spoiler, the air deflectors on the side skirts or the retractable door handles. Of course, the fact that the mid-size sedan is fairly flat at a height of 1.46 meters also helps. The good thing about it is that you can sit completely relaxed in the back and even at a height of 1.85 meters the sky doesn't fall on your head.
One reason for this good space economy is what BYD calls "cell-to-body technology." In other words, integrating the battery, which is only eleven centimeters high, into the vehicle structure. Other manufacturers use the same principle, the advantage of which is, among other things, a stiffer body. The fact that the in-house blade batteries are not bulky blocks naturally helps when putting together the vehicle package. Security should also benefit from this. BYD wants to achieve a five-star NCAP result with the seal.
The BYD Seal is the Chinese automaker's first D-segment sedan based on the new e-Platform 3.0. In addition to the already mentioned integration of the battery, there is a heat pump and the so-called 8-in-1 drive train, in which, among other things, the motor and controller, the transmission, the DC converter, the battery management system and the onboard charger are combined in one unit. This saves space and, according to BYD, increases efficiency. The Seal Excellence AWD is said to have a range of up to 520 kilometers (WLTP) with one battery charge of its 82.5 kilowatt hour battery. After our test drive, the on-board computer reported an average consumption of 19.2 kWh/100 km, although we were quite brisk and on the freeway. When loading, the Seal is not necessarily top class. The batteries should be filled from 30 to 80 percent within 26 minutes. The onboard charger enables a maximum of 11 kW with alternating current, and 150 kW with direct current fast charging. The VW ID.7 and the Hyundai Ioniq 6 can do more.
The BYD Seal offers a total of four driving modes: Snow, Eco, Normal and Sport. The spread between the last three programs is noticeable. In Eco, efficiency is paramount. The Seal noticeably holds back and curbs the development of power. Comfort is a compromise between dynamics and everyday driving. Nevertheless, the 2,185-kilogram sedan is faster than most other vehicles even in this setting when the accelerator pedal is pressed. When it comes to sports, things really get down to business. Then the Seal uses all its power, vehemently hits the driver in the back during the kick-down and reaches the 100 km/h mark from a standing start after 3.8 seconds. At 180 km/h the storm and stress is over. It is pleasant how quiet it is in the interior,
The chassis with double wishbones at the front, a five-link rear axle and the frequency-selective dampers does its job well overall. "We took the sporty Chinese set-up as the basis for the European set-up," explains BYD's European Technical Director Weijie Zhang. However, the vote is not entirely harmonious. With longer waves, the body wobbles, while the chassis does not handle transverse joints or small potholes quite as confidently. The four-wheel drive provides the Seal with sufficient traction, but cannot completely conceal the tendency to understeer. The BYD technicians have to improve the steering. The control feels doughy-synthetic, only insufficiently forwards information about traction and the condition of the road to the driver and, even in the comfort setting, gives the impression of being sporty thanks to the high restoring forces.
We like the infotainment on the other hand. The 15.6-inch rotating touchscreen is the command center of the entertainment department, whose menus do not require much graphic fanfare. So you can quickly find your way around, for example to deactivate the tinkling lane departure warning system, which also intervenes emphatically and tugs on the steering wheel. The English voice control works pretty well too. The driver's and front passenger's smartphones charge inductively in the center console. The Seal will be in dealerships in November, and a comfort version with a 61 kWh battery will be available next year. BYD is still silent about the price of the Excellence version. But it should be more than 50,000 euros.