One of the most affordable new EVs that you can buy has officially hit showroom floors in Australia with the first shipment of cars arriving before customer deliveries begin in late August. The BYD Atto 3 aims to provide a compact SUV experience with an EV heart while not hurting your wallet in the process. Prices of the Atto 3 start from AUD$44,990 drive away, and with 4000 orders already confirmed expect to see a host of these Chinese-made-and-owned SUVs on our roads soon.
The BYD Atto 3 is a compact crossover based on the brand’s e-platform 3.0 including its ‘blade battery’ architecture which is said to be more efficient over conventional lithium iron ones. Customers will have the choice of two BYD Atto 3 models, the Standard and Extended with the first batch of cars being the latter. The Extended range models get a 60.4 kWh battery pack with a driving range of 420km (WLTP) which is on the mark against its competitor the Hyundai Kona EV (484km) and poor-performing MG ZS EV (263 km).
Australia-spec cars are available in white with other colours coming in as a AUD$700 option (red or blue). The design of the Atto 3 itself is somewhat sedated from the outside but has a distinctly European design theme with crisp lines and clean proportions. A slightly tapered rear and connected tail-lamps mean that the SUV adheres to the current design trends with ease. Compared to the exterior, the interior is arguably more futuristic – you might even call it striking – but we’ll have to be the judge of the quality once we get our hands on one for review.
From the way the speaker grilles protrude to the various interior colour schemes and the high-quality switchgear, the detailing appears worthy of a far more expensive car. Equipment levels are quite generous too with a 12.8-inch rotating infotainment touchscreen panel with DAB along with power adjustable dual front seats, a panoramic sunroof, an eight-speaker sound system, powered tailgate release, wireless charging, seven airbags and more.
DC fast charging with up to 80kW is available along with a claimed 90-minute charge time. The Atto 3 will compete with the more expensive Hyundai Kona EV which currently sits in the top five most popular EVs on sale in Australia. The MG ZS EV is its best competitor price-wise, but that car’s range is far too low in our books for a true comparison.