BYD Atto 3 – user’s experiences after 8000 km and 6 months (mid November 2022 => end of April 2023)

Finally, I can share the user experience of my BYD Atto3, after 8000 miles of use.

From my original list of UPS and DOWNS, much just stayed put. The self-thinking wiper is just not on it and neither is the dashcam. I mounted a Garmin mini dashcam myself and as for the windshield wiper, I decided to install an automatic after market system myself.

My car (first batch) has no tow bar homologation BUT for use with a bike carrier the solution has been found at Burghof tow bars.

Possibly future ATTO 3 types do get tow bar homologation with a towing weight credited to the car’s birth tag.

The experiences:

The car drives, springs, steers and brakes fine in my opinion.

As with all EVs, the battery pack drains faster in cold weather than at an average of 20 degrees. I clearly noticed that this winter because I could only get about 320 kilometers far with the full battery. While I never drive faster than 105 km/h but always highway driving.

Now that the average temperature is 11-14 degrees I notice that I drive just a bit more economically than the WLTP estimate of 420 km on a full tank of over 60Kwh. The gauge on the dashboard shows a consumption of about 14kwH per 100 km and I drive mostly highway at 95 kmH maximum speed. Often with the ACC on I stick behind a car in front that drives approx 96km/h which is very relaxed driving. I keep the ACC at a distance of 3 lines.

Fast charging I usually do at Fastned and at about 20- 50% empty tank.

Then the battery is back to +40-45% capacity in 20-25 minutes.

The Atto3 then recharges about 25-30 kW with 88kW in those 20-25 minutes and with that you can drive about 150-200 km (if you take it easy).

And while the car is recharging I feel the need for coffee, so the charging/coffee time passes quickly.

This formula works fine for our travel and driving pattern. Kind of like being on vacation on a motorcycle, where I have to stretch my legs every 200 km and fill up the tank at the same time.

Notes on using the BYD Atto 3:

About the use of the car I do have some remarks in the meantime:

Lane assist: This is often not very useful on secondary roads. The car keeps ‘searching’ between the left and right side of the longitudinal stripes and is constantly steering with jerks. This results in continuous additional steering, not comparable to normal manual steering. So I always turn this function off when using the cruise control outside of straight roads and highways.

Open roof: unusable with the roof fully open, this only works below 80 km/h. The roar of the wind creates such a nuisance that with my then the roof always stays closed. Even on the ajar position with the roof slightly raised in the first automatic position, above 80 km/h it is unfeasible in terms of noise, especially with headwinds or partial headwinds. In any case, the navigation and radio are then no longer usable.

Automatic steering corrections: It took a lot of getting used to, especially that it cannot be turned off except to turn it off again each trip. As I noticed, the steering corrections are based on regular roads, with regular road lines. On N roads in the Netherlands, in our area (e.g. Kamerik, Kockengen, etc.) there are roads with no center line and broken side lines. If the traffic on both lanes obeys the side stripes you will collide with each other, due to the limited road width. So you have to drive just over the broken stripes, on the right side of them. Then you can drive normally past the oncoming car. The car cannot handle this and persistently corrects the car back to the left in left turns. Because it is done structurally by the car, I have gotten used to it and am no longer startled by these corrections, which I immediately correct again. By the way, as I can see on the road, it does scare oncoming traffic.

Navigation: the ME-MAPS navigation does not have an integrated function with charging points for the car. That means I have to search for (Fastned and/or Shell recharger) charging points on my phone, and then look them up and set them as my travel destination in the car navigation. Missed opportunity as far as I’m concerned. When car android is finally available for the BYD Atto3, just transfer everything from the phone right away! NB: Apple carplay is available for the Atto3 but I always have Android phones. UPDATE 2023-04-16: The Atto’s navigation does (by now?) have the ability to navigate to the nearest charging point, configurable by capacity, both along the route and fastest reachable. The charging points are just not in the route on the screen. You really have to search separately. With the exception when you get below 50km charging range: Then the navigation would like to navigate you to the nearest charging point as a suggestion.

Air conditioning/heating function: The heat pump provides air conditioning/heating for both the interior and the battery. Apart from the somewhat unfortunate set up of controls with touch screen after touch screen before you have found what is needed, the settings do not appear to work. Setting a temperature does not lead to reaching and maintaining that temperature and the setting automatic does not work at all. The ‘defrost’ button works but none of the function buttons remember the previous usage setting. That seems very strange to me. On the road I am constantly adjusting between very hot and very cold. Only after half an hour of driving can you reach a more or less stable temperature. Why not just a temperature knob that does it? and an A/C knob that can be turned on/off would also be better. By the way, what is very important in our climate and really not possible in the Atto 3 : THE setting of the windshield fan and thereby also the dehumidifier button on/off. These are just not there as a button or setting. What you then have to do to operate this though :: Press the defrost button and then set everything manually each time. temperature, feet and/or body aeration: all can only be set on or off and the fan can only be set for all 3 outlet options AGAINST each other. I experience it as unworkable.

In my previous cars this was always available, therefore I do not understand what is going on here: Did BYD not take our humid and sometimes cold climate into account in the design of the A/C/heat pump controls?

In my opinion, it should be fixable with a software update, so I will also inform the importer about this.

Just a little additional comment about the Atto3’s heat/cool system: : The temperature is not adjustable below 16 degrees, then a LO comes into the picture. While I like to drive in a car in winter that is 10-14 degrees inside the car. Then I like to keep my coat on and the car feels nice and warm in frost when it is 10 degrees inside as well. No problem. But lower than 16 degrees just can’t be set.

After an hour’s drive I park the car and when I get outside in the morning after 5-10 minutes at about 10 degrees the whole car is fogged up, and it takes quite a long time to get ready to drive again. According to BYD this is a known problem that can be solved by locking and unlocking the car twice when parking. Tried that but didn’t solve it for me. See the pictures:



BYD Atto 3: User experiences after 9 months and 10,000 miles

This review replaces my previous reviews of my Atto 3, as all of my desired software enhancements have been completed filled in by BYD.

Meanwhile, software version 1.4 was loaded into the car via OTA on 18-9-2023 and as far as I am concerned, the car is completely OK in terms of software.

This is of course very personal. by now I am used to the beeps and other sounds the system makes when something is signaled or detected that I do not always immediately interpret as dangerous.

I have even learned to appreciate the fact that the system intervenes in dangerous situations. The other day I was driving behind a driver who suddenly hit the brakes in the middle of the intersection for some unknown reason. Before I could brake, the car was slowed down so that no collision occurred. I had not had similar intervention from the car before and was very pleased with it. It also shows that you really only know what you need when you have (unnoticed). So at this point I’m all over the place. Safety sometimes seems patronizing but avoiding a collision is enough reason, as far as I am concerned, to learn to appreciate the safety aspects of the Atto 3.

Intervention by the car on the steering wheel when you approach the edge of the road too much I previously found very annoying, and so did the accompanying beep. But I can also keep a little more distance from the shoulder and avoid the intervention. Matter of doing.

As I had mentioned in my earlier reviews, there were quite a few things that were just not set up nicely, which made driving the car uncomfortable. These were things like faltering A/C controls, or just the wrong air freshening functions available but also things like the fact that the A/C did not remember what the last setting was and should start with that again by default next time. That’s all fixed now, though.

Also promised afterthoughts like Apple Carplay and Android auto have been around for a while. I myself use Android auto and that works absolutely great!

Issues that remained:

1) I have the tow bar, but the car is officially not allowed to tow any weight because the car is not “homologated”. That is, there is no towing weight on the car’s Certificate Of Conformity. You can never get that later, only when the car is registered. Very unfortunate, especially since we were more or less verbally promised at the time of purchase that all that would still come.

2) No standard dashcam function while the cable is just pre-mounted. The camera is not mounted off-factory (for NL). I fixed this recently

3) No rain sensor for the windshield wiper. I was not used to that at all so it was getting used to having to operate the switches myself all the time. I can fix this and ordered the parts but I haven’t started yet. Read the progress HERE .

Other topics:

I retrofitted a spare tire myself, of course you never need it but when you do… yes, exactly!

And immediately upon geting the car I had the standard summer tires replaced with all-weathers.

Driving experiences

I have liked the car from my first drive in November 2022 in terms of driving experience and handling. The software improvements have made my experience even better. The Atto 3 does not drive like a small mid-size car but behaves on the road very similar to my previous car(s), Volvo V70. Maybe an odd comparison, but I also drive other cars with regularity and with that I experience difference but between the Atto 3 and a latest version V70 so not. You could also say that a V70 is a dodgy car, but that is not my experience with the last made version V70’s. PS: My last version V70 F (BW), 2 liter gasoline/LPG had an empty weight of ‘only’ 1450 kilos, the Atto weighs empty 1825 kilos….

Anyway, I was and still am very satisfied with the Atto 3.

As far as driving experiences and the range of the car are concerned, I have also experienced a few things over the past 15,000 kilometers.

Driving an EV is very different from driving a fossil fuel car. Filling up the charge level takes longer than filling up at the gaspump.

The Atto 3 weighs 1,825 kilos. Minus point associated with a relatively heavy EV: You really have to be very careful with some speed bumps, not to always just go over them at the advised speed. Often it goes well but I now have 1 in my route where I don’t want to go faster than 40 while there is an advisory of 60. On an 80 km/h meg. driving on it is OK, but when driving off at 60km/h it’s like falling off a platform.

Consumption and charging

But, especially on the trips abroad this past year, it turned out that everything goes very well when you check in advance WHERE you can charge WHAT with which pass or app. Because the Atto3 can ‘only’ fast charge at 88 kiloWatts it does take a while to charge the car all over again. So I do that at 40-50% remaining charge. And then 15 minutes is enough to be back at 90-95%. Then you may have to stop more along the way but I don’t mind that for 15 minutes. You drive with the Atto 3 from 100% to 50% about 210 kilometers. So stopping at about 200 km after 2 hours of driving so suits me very well.

And then you come to the real difference between fossil driving or electric: Everything you do costs electricity, and with an EV, so does range. Headwind: 10% less range. Average consumption at 90 km per hour is about 14 kW for 100 km, so a full tank of 60 kWh will get you over 400 km, even 420 km WLTP. At least, in summer at 90-95 km/h on a flat road without storm, without headwind and without too much load.

I have tried a number of driving scenarios and my most notable one is on the A2 from Breukelen to Abcoude at 130 km/h with no headwind or storm, though at night with lights on. Average consumption: 35 kW for 100 km. So if you would drive 130 km/h for a longer period of time, you would get barely 250 kilometers and then the battery would be empty.

Suddenly I understood why the Atto 3, but now most new EVs are capped at 160 km/h….

If you drive mostly on county roads and/or urban and you can control your foot a bit with acceleration, you can easily stay under 15 kW/100km, I sometimes even manage to average 14 kW/100km.

Of course, it still remains a small/medium SUV and the streamline also affects consumption….

error: Content is protected !!