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BYD Atto 3 interior, tech and comfort

2023 onwards (change model)
Comfort rating: 4 out of 54.0

Written by Alan Taylor-Jones Published: 18 January 2024 Updated: 18 January 2024

  • Build quality and materials are better than expected
  • Large 12.8- or 15.6-inch centre touchscreen with dual views
  • Some interesting design flourishes

How is the quality and layout?

It’s better than we were expecting. Our yardstick for a Chinese car manufacturer was MG – and the quality of its cars can be quite hit-and-miss. We’ve seen rattly trims and faulty infotainment systems on MGs that haven’t even covered 1,000 miles. Even supposedly posher Ora Funky Cat has a thin sheen of semi-premium materials that become less convincing the more you poke and prod.

BYD doesn’t want to walk the same path as MG or Ora. The company says it’ll position itself as a ‘premium and accessible’ car brand – and that shows in the quality of the interior. So, common touchpoints like the door pulls, centre console and steering wheel are trimmed in the same sort of soft-touch materials you’ll find in cars from Volkswagen and Hyundai.

More importantly, it’s all been screwed together properly. The shut lines are tight (which is more than can be said for more fashionable and expensive EV brands like Tesla) and the switchgear is solid. Not only is the quality good, it’s a distinctive and appealing interior that’s also practical.

We found one quality issue during our time with the car: the air-conditioning fan. We’ve sampled the Atto 3 on a baking hot day and a freezing cold one, and both times the fan sounded like a Harrier jump jet trapped behind the dashboard. Our test car also bafflingly intermittently steamed up when parked.

BYD Atto 3 infotainment
BYD Atto 3 infotainment has a big talking point – landscape or portrait format display.

Infotainment and tech

Most of the car’s functions are controlled by a 12.8-inch or 15.6-inch infotainment system that’s fixed to a revolving mount, which means you can have it in either landscape or portrait mode at the push of a button. It’s a very entertaining, albeit unnecessary, bit of kit.

BYD says its rotating touchscreen was designed to suit the different needs of the media being displayed. So, landscape mode is best suited to browsing your music collection, while portrait mode is useful for reading navigation instructions as you can see more of the road ahead on the screen.

In practice we found the bigger screen actually blocks off some of your view in portrait mode, so quickly changed back to landscape. Still, the screen itself is responsive and has sharp graphics. The menus take some acclimatisation and aren’t quite as user-friendly as the Niro EV’s, but this is still a less crash-prone and more intuitive system than you find in Volkswagen Group cars, even if some of the icons are small.


  • Front seats aren’t particularly supportive
  • Lofty driving position
  • Good foot room, not so great headroom

All versions of the Atto 3 come with electrically adjustable heated front seats trimmed in ‘Vegan’ leather. Unlike some faux leather trim we’ve tried, the material used here feels thick and durable while there’s good padding on the door and armrests for your elbow.

It’s pretty easy to get a driving position that suits, although some will find the seat mounted a bit too high with no option to lower it. We also wish there was adjustable lumbar support for the front seats, and they weren’t that supportive, which made it rather uncomfortable on a longer run.

The rear bench is very flat, and although the legroom is okay, the headroom is lacking and the glass area isn’t generous, making it not so pleasant for adults in the rear on a long journey.