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BYD Dolphin review: Affordable EV

BYD Dolphin review: Affordable EV

BYD Dolphin

The BYD Dolphin is a hatchback EV that while basic, comes with enough features to make you consider. While it doesn't have niceties such as a sunroof, or wireless charging for your phone, it has ventilated front seats, a stylish interior, and a massive 12.8-inch display. I actually like the interior design a lot more compared to the BYD Atto 3, which has questionable design choices. The Dolphin feels a lot more practical in that regard.

Quick specs

  • 44.9kWh battery, 60kW fast charging (DC), 7kW charging (AC)
  • 16-inch wheels
  • Automatic trunk (345L) with knockdown seats
  • 12.8-inch Google Android Automotive touchscreen with built-in LTE
  • 12.3s from 0-100km/h

With a price tag of S$173,888 (at time of publication), you may be better off with the Category A BYD Atto 3. That car costs just S$10,000 extra, and packs quite a bit more. You get a lot more power, a more spacious interior, and more range. That's not to say the Dolphin isn't worth it, though. Instead, it feels like the Cat A Atto 3 has made the Dolphin so much less attractive. The Dolphin also doesn't handle as well, the car feels stiffer, and less agile. Furthermore, it isn't as zippy — it takes 12.3s to go from 0-100km/h. So you don't really get that kick when accelerating from stop like you do with other EVs.

Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

Range-wise, the Dolphin is around 340km, but I found that it's a bit lesser at 330km-ish. I did about 310km on its 44.9Wh battery, and had roughly 6% left. That works out to be around 13.6Wh/100km on a mix of highway and urban driving. I drove mostly on Eco mode with regeneration set to High. The car does 7kW AC charging and 60kW DC. This means it will take you around an hour or so for a full charge on DC. Note that the charger port is on the front right, so you may have to park head-in for shorter DC cables. You should have no issues with the AC charger, I reckon.

The car's interior is actually nice, and I like the sporty aircon vents. The sporty seats too are comfortable, and as a bonus, ventilated. Other nice things include a 360-degree camera for parking (though this car is really easy to park), wireless Android Auto, and wired CarPlay. The BYD app also lets you turn on the aircon remotely. Like the Atto 3, the Dolphin's infotainment screen controls the various aspects of the car, such as the aircon levels, the car's lane detection assistance, and most importantly, the sound the car makes when below 30km/h. I really dislike the fake motor sounds, and wish there was an option to turn it off. It's actually a lot more audible (to me) than when I was in the Atto 3, which had a similar noise as well. I'm also not a fan of the tiny 5-inch instrument panel, which feels cramped.

Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

The car's exterior features a design that looks similar to other more popular hatchbacks, such as the Honda Jazz or Toyota Prius C. While the trunk appears small, you get 310L that can be expanded to 1,310L by folding the rear seats down. I do think it's a nice and pleasant car, but you may be better off with the Category A BYD Atto 3 instead. Book a test drive from BYD.

See Also
Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro

Note: Review unit provided by BYD.

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Affordable EV, but you can get better for a bit more

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