BYD Yuan UP: Test drive experience in China

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BYD Yuan UP was launched in China on 26 March 2024. It is the latest addition to the BYD Dynasty series and has a starting price of 96,800 yuan (13,400 USD). The affordable compact SUV targets many consumers, from students to young families. Let’s look closer at the car and how the test drive experience looks in China.

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Booking for a test drive

In China, you need to make an online reservation for a test drive. It is best to book 2 to 3 days in advance via BYD’s official website or third-party app to ensure the car you want to test drive is available. A sales representative will call you to confirm the booking.

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When I arrived at the BYD showroom in Zhuhai, I noticed only the Dynasty series cars were displayed. That includes the Song L, Destroyer 05, Yuan Plus (Atto 3), and the Yuan UP. Interestingly, BYD displayed its Ocean series in another showroom. This only made sense because BYD offered such a wide range of vehicles.

First Impressions

Our test car was the 401km upper trim BYD Yuan UP, priced at 119,800 yuan (16,500 USD). At first glance, the Yuan UP reminded me of the Smart #1 because of its similar dimensions and rear roof lines. Its dimensions are 4310/1830/1675 mm, and its wheelbase is 2620 mm. Walking around the new car, I noticed all the panels lined up well, and BYD didn’t cut corners despite the price tag.

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The Interior

Upon entering the Yuan UP, I first noticed the interior was pleasant. It didn’t have the funky design of the Atto 3, which wasn’t to everyone’s taste. The materials used throughout the interior felt premium. It did not remind me of an entry-level vehicle in any way.

The car had an 8.8-inch LCD instrument cluster and BYD’s signature 12.8-inch rotating center screen, which can be operated via voice commands. The UI felt smooth. A HUD is optional. The doors have ambient lights. The center console houses essential controls and a wireless charging pad.

The driver’s seat was surprisingly comfortable. It was covered in perforated leatherette, which provided me with proper lumber support. The rear seats have decent space and three separate headrests. The headroom and legroom were comfortable and did not feel cramped. However, this compact SUV makes the rear seats more suitable for two adults and one child.

The panoramic sunroof brightened the inside of the cabin and made it seem even more spacious.


There is no frunk when it comes to storage space. The boot space isn’t big and is visually similar to the Dophine.

Behind the Wheel

We took the Yuan UP for a spin to see how it performed in urban conditions. The Yuan UP uses e-Platform 3.0 integrated with CTB (Cell-to-body battery integration) technology. When accelerating at the traffic lights, the 130 kW e-motor felt nice and quick. It can hit 0 – 100 km/h in under 8 seconds and weighs 1,540 kg. Steering felt precise, and the vehicle maintained stability through corners. Despite the accurate steering, there is a drawback. The steering felt light and provided little to no feedback from the road. This is a command issue with entry-level EVs. Even after switching to sports mode, I still found the steering lighter than I prefer.

The visibility was good due to the large windows and thin A-pillars. I did not find noticeable blind spots. The BYD Yuan UP features a MacPherson suspension in the front axle and a torsion beam in the rear. Turning corners and over bumps did not cause the rear passengers discomfort.

As an audiophile, the 8-speaker system in the top trim did not entertain my ears. I wasn’t expecting the thumbing bass to shake the doors, but my ears did not detect any bass from the audio system. Then again, when you consider the price tag. Could I really complain?

Battery Range

According to BYD, the 45.1 kWh battery can provide 401 km CLTC on a full charge. From experience, that will translate to roughly 320 km on a single charge. Depending on your lifestyle, a single charge should be sufficient for 5 – 7 days for most people.

Safety Features

BYD has equipped the Yuan UP with safety features, including advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), such as autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise


The BYD Yuan UP is a well-balanced compact SUV suitable for daily urban driving. I was surprised by the comfort and how much tech the little SUV offered. It is a good example of an affordable vehicle that does not have to feel cheap. Its budget-friendly cost might also appeal to individuals seeking to transition to electric cars without breaking the bank. It will only be a matter of time for it to be launched outside of China like its peers, the Atto 3 and Dolphin.

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