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Car Review

BYD Seal review

£45,640 - £48,640
610
Published: 15 Mar 2024
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Interior

What is it like on the inside?

The interior of the Seal is also a tale of two halves. For the most part, it’s very impressive. The quality is strong and the materials good; a mix of leather, tactile suede and ambient lighting all setting a nice tone. Alright, the disco lighting around your feet may seem a bit much, but all the major touchpoints feel good, the crystal-effect gear selector especially nice.

There’s an absence of steering wheel paddles – you’ve only two brake regen choices, and you’ll find them tucked away in the touchscreen. It’s a shame there’s no one-pedal option nor a handful of regen strengths like some of its rivals major in. It certainly robs the Seal of some engagement. 

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How’s the touchscreen?

Being able to rotate it through 90 degrees is a welcome gimmick, catering to different tastes neatly, but the screen is a little too big to be able to quickly flick your eyes at on the move, while negotiating its menus to change the regen or steering weight – not to mention the seat heating and climate control – isn’t the simplest task. Same goes for smartphone integration: good luck dipping in and out of Android Auto every time you want to adjust the fan speed. You'll need it.

It’s one of the poorer ones we’ve used, a car that makes you wish you had a passenger on co-driving duties. There is a secondary screen in front of the driver, but here the information is presented too small, making it hard to see the icons and so on. And when the auto lights flicker on through a tunnel or a bunch of trees, the screens dim to the point you’ll struggle to decipher its contents.

And while having two wireless charging trays up front is great, each time either of the phones within even slightly shifts – through a higher speed corner, for instance – it reactivates the charging, which again dims the touchscreen as a ‘charging active’ alert appears, which isn’t especially useful if it’s at a junction where you’re needing the nav.

None of those are major issues in isolation, rather a small handful of irritants that more established rivals don’t commit. It can – does – make the Seal irritating to operate.

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How is it further back in the cabin?

It’s OK. The panoramic roof really creates a sense of space and openness that it’ll take you a while to realise is slightly misleading. Headroom and legroom is OK, but unless the driver likes to sit high, you won’t be able to get your feet under the front seats.

Meanwhile boot space is 400 litres, with an additional 53 in the frunk. Being a saloon, access is tricky and you’re going to get a dirty finger from the boot release button on the bumper.

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