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BYD Yuan UP Is Good And Cheap: Video

BYD Yuan UP Is Good And Cheap: Video

China-based YouTube channel Wheelsboy is super impressed with the $14,000 EV crossover.

BYD is on a gosh-darned role here. While Tesla and every other Western automaker dilly-dally and waffles around on whether or not they’ll offer affordable EVs, BYD’s already has multiple to choose from. The latest one to enter the market is the Yuan Up, a budget SUV that slots between the forbidden fruit of low-cost EVs, the Dolphin and Seagull. A friend of InsideEVs, Wheelsboy just released a video review of the BYD Yuan Up. Spoiler alert: he loves it.

It should be said that Wheelsboy host Ethan Robertson already has a BYD he personally owns and drives: a Yuan Plus, known as the Atto 3 in most markets outside of China. The Atto 3 is roughly the same size as the Honda HR-V. The Yuan Up is somewhat smaller, but the real story is that the car is designed to be cheaper than the Atto 3. For example, the rear suspension makes do with a semi-independent torsion beam axle, rather than the multi-link setup found on the Atto 3. 

But, Robertson claims that there’s no real degradation in ride or performance. His mid-tier test car came with a 175 horsepower electric motor and ties his more expensive Atto 3 in its 0-100 kph time. Likewise, the ride is mostly the same between the two cars, which is a good thing—because the Yuan Up is remarkably cheap, less $14,000 USD in base trim. His test car rang in at $17,400 USD, for a top trim model rated for 249 miles (401 km) on the Chinese CLTC cycle.

It’s interesting to see that despite the low price, the Yuan Up is jam-packed with nearly every innovation the brand has on its bigger models. It uses the same thin-cell blade battery designed to minimize the probability of puncture-related cells. It uses cell-to-body technology just like the BYD Seal, which makes the battery pack itself a structural member of the car. 

Of course, there are some caveats due to price and market position. The Yuan Up’s maximum 45 kWh battery pack is smaller than the roughly 60 kWh pack available in some trims of the Dolphin and Atto 3 and Yuan Plus. The rearview camera is fairly low resolution, and the infotainment itself «looks a little bit cheap,» in Robinson’s words. Also, Robinson criticized the Yuan Up’s interior as appearing too dull, a striking change from the very out-there appearance of the Dolphin, Atto 3, or Seal. “It’s interior [has a] distinct lack of whimsy,” said Robinson. 

Overall, Robinson is incredibly impressed by the huge level of equipment and refinement on the Yuan Up. On paper, this car looks like it’s ready to dominate the low-cost EV war in China, and abroad. It’s a small crossover full of standard features, sold at a very reasonable price. I predict that this car will be a mega-hit wherever it ends up sold. 

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