2023 BYD Seal U
About the Car
2023 BYD Seal U
Keeping up the lightning speed of BYD’s roll-out in Europe, here’s another new electric car to contend with: the box-fresh BYD Seal U, freshly unveiled for its European debut at the IAA Munich motor show.
That U stands for ‘utility’ and reflects the model’s SUV roots, to differentiate from the BYD Seal electric saloon. The Chinese car maker calls it a ‘D-segment’ model that’s big enough for family duties with space for five adults passengers and what they call ‘a generous cargo capacity.’
It’s an extraordinary launch velocity in Europe: the company barely registered on anyone’s radar a year ago, but in 2023 launched the Atto 3 hatchback, the Dolphin and Seal EVs, plus a pair of SUVs badged Han and Tang. Here’s the sixth model already…
Note the digital-heavy interior: the main instrument stack is entirely virtual, while the large centre touchscreen can rotate from portrait to landscape orientation, like in the Atto 3.
Expect a handful of further ‘Easter egg’ surprise-and-delight features, although the Seal U’s status as sensible family transport will likely focus on functionality over more frivolous features such as guitar-string door pockets found in the brand’s smaller models.
CAR pored all over the car at its Munich debut and can confirm the quality and materials used are of a decent feel. It’s cars like this that are worrying the legacy manufacturers – it’s too early to predict pricing, but the BYD Seal U is clearly a competitive SUV that could make an impact over here.
BYD Seal U: the electric SUV
It is already on sale in the domestic Chinese market, where it is also available as a plug-in hybrid with combustion engines (a powerplant combination hitherto not offered by the brand in Europe).
BYD says it will launch in mainland Europe with two electric derivatives offered for left-hand drive models:
- BYD Seal U Comfort 71.8kWh battery, 260-mile range
- BYD Seal U Design 87kWh battery, 310-mile range
UK specifications for right-hand drive markets have yet to be confirmed, although the PHEV is understood to be a likely addition, broadening the choice for British buyers.
As the Seal U is fundamentally based on the group’s e-platform 3.0, we expect rapid charging at up to 150kW.