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BYD Seal U review

2024 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3.8 out of 53.8
” Calm and quiet plug-in hybrid with big electric range “

At a glance

Price new £33,205 - £39,905
Used prices £26,780 - £32,340
Road tax cost £180
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Fuel economy 39.2 - 47.1 mpg
Miles per pound 5.7 - 6.9
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types

Alternative fuel

Pros & cons

  • Smooth and very quiet on the road
  • Very well equipped for the money
  • Great electric-only range
  • Ride and suspension is far too soft
  • Boot space isn’t special at this size
  • Very bland to drive

Written by Jake Groves Published: 5 June 2024 Updated: 5 June 2024


BYD, or Build Your Dreams, has been slowly introducing itself to European and UK car buyers for the last couple of years now. For a while, it had only been launching electric cars in this area of the world, including the Atto 3, Seal and Dolphin. This Seal U DM-i is the brand’s first non-pure-electric model for Europe.

Confusingly, BYD also offers an electric-only Seal U in continental Europe but, for now in the UK, our only Seal U is this DM-i model. The ‘DM’ stands for Dual Mode, pointing to the fact it’s a plug-in hybrid model that can use both electric and combustion engine power.

The Seal U DM-i launches with two versions: Boost and Design. Both feature the same enormous amount of standard equipment, with technology and luxuries like heated and cooled seats, a massive (rotatable) infotainment screen, head-up display, a premium audio system from Harman’s Infinity range, vehicle-to-load functionality (which allows you to power devices from your car) and two wireless charging pads included as standard.

The difference between the specifications the performance. Both versions have an 18.3kWh battery, but the Boost features a 1.5-litre engine, an 18.3kWh battery pack and an electric motor that claims around 50 miles of electric range. The more powerful Design is faster and uses a turbocharged engine, with electric range dropping to around 43 miles. A ‘Comfort’ model will launch later in 2024 that increases the size of the battery for more electric-only range.

Prices aren’t quite confirmed yet for the UK market, but we estimate the Seal U DM-i Boost to cost around £34,000 and the Design model to cost around £39,000. At this size and price, the most natural rivals to the BYD Seal U DM-i would be plug-in hybrid versions of the Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Tiguan or Ford Kuga.