BYD Atto 3 – “Not a dream car, but comfortable”

In a way, it is quite strange that we only got to know BYD (Build your Dreams) in Sweden in 2022. On the passenger car side, the manufacturer is the world’s largest manufacturer of electrified cars, and then they make a lot of transport vehicles and buses on top of that.

But now they are here and in a first pollination of the Swedish market, the models Han, Tang and Atto 3 are released.

The latter, Atto 3, is a car that will generate volumes and work up brand awareness. They have succeeded in this in China, where it is immensely popular, but also in New Zealand and Israel, the model is a bestseller.

So is it something you want to get to know? Is it one like this that should grace your garage driveway? To find out, Ny Teknik took a piece of the car and drove it for a test drive.


When approaching an Atto 3, its exterior is quite inoffensive. It looks generically ‘car-like’ and I’d say the design is more subdued simplicity than something that tries to catch the eye. “Hello Chat GPT – design a car that doesn’t upset anyone”. Was that how it was done? What is clear is that it is quite far from the brand name that it would have anything to do with one’s dream car.

In terms of size, it measures in at 4.45 metres, which then places the car in the middle between Volkswagen’s ID3 and ID4 – which is right in Kia Niro EV country.

If it felt mundane on the outside, the interior is a completely different story – and it all starts at the door. The first thing you notice when opening is the three red “strings” at the bottom of the side compartment. These can be “played” on and resonate quite loudly. A slightly playful and fun detail. Furthermore, BYD’s design department has chosen to replace the classic door handle with a kind of plate that sits on a protruding speaker. Sounds odd… well, I haven’t seen anything like it.

Once you’ve entered the door, your eyes move on to the next design detail: the dashboard. This grey-white thing with indentations looks a bit like a brain to me and once that thought sets in – it’s hard to wash away.

In terms of design, Atto 3’s interior should be gym-inspired. The air outlet should resemble free weights in a rack, the gear selector a kettlebell and the side handles should be like barbells. It is quirky and unique to say the least.

The screens in the car are two in number and partly consist of a small steering column mounted for driver instrumentation. This is complemented by a large center screen. And the latter has a real party trick. By means of a button on the steering wheel, it can rotate 90 degrees and thus go from landscape to portrait. Henrik Fisker stood for this very function and boasted that they were the only ones in the world with it – but in reality BYD is way ahead.

Behind the wheel, however, you sit well in what BYD calls sports seats. It is a bit uncertain why, the car is not sporty oriented, maybe it is because you have integrated headrests.

In the back seat you notice what BYD calls “Bladebatteries”, how? Well, the floor is lower than is the case in many other electric cars. The floor is of course completely flat and the seat is perfectly fine.

Further back there are 440 liters to pack. How does it compare to its closest rivals? A Kia Niro EV, Nissan Ariya and a VW ID4 are all bigger – but the Mustang Mach-E is smaller.

Interestingly, if you open the hood, there is no dent – but still a very large empty space. But more on that later.

And just that, the name – what on earth does it stand for? Well, Atto is the SI prefix for a trillionth and was actually until 1991 the smallest division that existed before Zepto and Yokto were added (since last year we also have ronto and quekto). And the 3rd? It comes off the platform, it’s BYD E-platform 3.0. I will leave it unsaid how they managed to make this a good model name.


Something that is clear when you get into Atto 3 is how big BYD really is. This is not about some small startup trying to get a spotlight on a specific feature – no, this is a carpet bomb in the entire technology field. Almost everything has been developed in-house and even if Atto 3 does not have all the latest – it is all under the same roof. The fact that BYD also has its own raw material supply and semiconductor production should ensure that the manufacturer does not suffer from delivery problems.

An innovation that BYD highlights is its “8-in-1 technology”. The numbers game is about having pressed together, now hold on VCU (vehicle control module), MCU (microcontroller unit), BMS (battery management system), PDU (power distribution unit), DC-DC control unit, on-board charger, drive motor and gearbox in a compact unit.

The big win is that they can then share power supplies and other components instead of everyone having their own. By and large, it’s pretty much what other manufacturers are doing, although none have gone this far. However, you may be a little surprised. Because if you open the bonnet of the Atto 3, you also realize that the space saved – is not used for anything else. No, this is probably more about weight and cost savings

So what kind of drivetrain is in the car? Well, the engine that is then in the 8-in-1 concept is 150 kW or 204 horsepower. So the same effect as many other competitors have. This is put down on the front wheels and even if it is not a sports car, you should be able to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in a brisk 7.3 seconds.

Perhaps more interesting is the other part of the powertrain, namely the batteries. Atto 3 has BYD’s so-called “Blade batteries”. These lithium-iron batteries are more compact and robust than what has been on the market before, and in the car they are in a so-called cell-to-pack configuration. This means that the intermediate step of packing cells in modules and then putting them in battery packs has been skipped.

The car we drive has 60.2 kWh batteries, which is the only one offered in Sweden, but in some markets alternatives with a smaller capacity are also sold. Fully charged, it should officially be possible to travel 420 km before it’s time to look for somewhere to charge – and if you find a fast charger, a maximum of 80 kW applies.

It may sound tame, not least if you compare it to Tesla and Porsche. But if we take the Kia Niro EV, which is a clear competitor, that option only has 72 kW as charging capacity.

Beyond the powertrain, BYD actually comes with something that other Chinese manufacturers do not have to offer – namely that the infotainment system is built around Android. With that comes some access to an ecosystem. Spotify is available, among other things, but then it’s thin. You should be able to watch movies on the big screen, but at the time of writing there are no implemented clients for the various streaming services. No, instead it is to play movies via USB that applies.

Read more test drives from Ny Teknik

On the road

Atto 3 is intended as an everyday car and the car that will handle the job of transporting children, food and other things in the local area. No dream car, but perhaps one that delivers on the dream of a friction-free everyday life?

During our test week, there were anything but optimal conditions, i.e. completely normal winter weather in Stockholm. The roads were sometimes mud, sometimes ice bark and in between a bit of bare ground. An interesting passage that I drove every test was a right turn out of a minor road onto a major minor road. You know the kind where you press a little to get out – so that you don’t annoy those who rush forward on the slightly larger road.

Here it starts with a wheelspin, followed by an anti-spin intervention from the car – which then lets go and then spins the wheels loose again. All within a few meters. And like an onion on the salmon, this is also sent up into the steering column, which tilts the steering wheel quite a lot when the torque kicks in.

The anti-skid in particular is perhaps a little archaic in how it works, because even when you are on a roll, it spins loose if you are too heavy on the gas.

Basically, the BYD is otherwise a comfortable creature. The suspension is soft and it is noticeable that the Chinese development team has focused on comfort rather than achieving any tight everyday sporty story. And it honors them. The suspension does its part to try to stiffen up the rig, but the times we take a small turn it rolls a lot in the curves.

On quiet, slightly longer journeys, it is a nice companion, where if you have to complain about something, it is mainly about the fact that there is a lot of wind noise around the side mirrors when driving at highway speed.

And speaking of sound – that thing with the strings in the door. It would be a fun thing – but after screen blocking a daughter they became a real pain. She persisted in torturing me with these three out of tune notes until I gave up. No, inserting “strings” in the back must be the car world’s equivalent of a relative giving one’s three-year-old a drum kit. It’s well-intentioned, but she should know better.

Economy and consumption

The price of an Atto 3 starts at SEK 504,900 and for that money you currently also get a charging box (excluding installation) in the package. This means the car has a higher starting price than, for example, the VW ID3, but at the same time lower than the Kia Niro EV.

Something that you have to take into account when buying a car from a brand new brand is how it can be serviced and what the availability of spare parts looks like. In addition to the fact that there is always some uncertainty about whether a newcomer actually remains when the new car warranty has expired.

But in BYD’s case, it all looks solid. The brand is a giant and in Sweden it is Hedin Bil that is the importer. This means that even at the local level there is strong representation.

Ok, so what about consumption? Officially, the Atto 3 has a low 1.59 kWh/mile… and those are perhaps numbers you can get close to during the summer months. When we drove, after our test week we ended up at 2.1 kWh/mile – this pretty much exclusively with modest pedaling and an overall friendly attitude.


It is difficult to criticize BYD’s choice of a neutral exterior and a lustful interior. Nor on the performance that matches what the closest competitors offer in this segment. Screens and infotainment are also no worse than what Kia, VW or Skoda have – rather the opposite.

BYD Atto 3 is a bestseller in many countries. But even if the car has the positive characteristics mentioned above, I find it difficult to see that Sweden will be such a market. I think design will be one thing that brings the car down, but above all the brand. The Kia Niro EV is an alternative that shines brighter in recognition factor – not to mention that the Tesla Model Y costs around SEK 30,000 more.

But I could be wrong – because who knows if Swedes don’t also want to “build their dreams” with an Atto 3?


BYD Atto 3

Award: from SEK 504,900

Price of the test car: SEK 534,900

Driveline: Electric motor, front wheel drive

Max power electric motor: 150 kW / 204 horsepower

Max torque: 310 Nm

Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 7.3 seconds

Top speed: 160 km/h

Battery capacity: 60.2 kWh

Fast charging capacity: 80 kW

Range of electricity: 420 km

Official consumption: 1.56 kWh/mile

Consumption during test: 2.1 kWh/mile

Annual tax: SEK 360

Luggage compartment: 440 liters, 1,138 liters with folded seats

Max trailer weight: 750 kg