Test Drive | BYD Seagull is not only affordable but fun to drive

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BYD’s all-electric 5-door hatchback, the Seagull Honor Edition, is its most affordable EV, starting at 69,800 yuan (9,650 USD). In 2023, the Seagull sold over 280,217 units in China, making it one of BYD’s best sellers. The Seagull is also known as the Dolphin Mini in the international market. Let’s look at the new Honor Edition and see how it performs. 

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Booking for a test drive

Two days after the BYD Sealion 07 launched, I made an online reservation for a test drive. However, unlike in my previous experience, a BYD representative did not call to confirm the booking. Since I was on a tight schedule, I decided to walk into the showroom and try my luck. 

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Upon my arrival at the BYD showroom in Zhuhai for the Ocean series, I showed my reservation to the BYD representative. “The new car has not arrived at our showroom yet. Is there another car you would like to test drive?” the BYD rep replied. While I was slightly disappointed that the Sealion 07 was not available for our readers’ request for a test drive, my attention was immediately drawn to the little bright yellow car outside the showroom. It was the BYD Seagull, ready to be explored.       

First Impressions

Our test car was the 405km upper trim BYD Seagull Honour Edition, priced at 85,800 yuan (11,850 USD). Looking at the Seagull headlights, I can’t help but think of the Lamborghini Huracan. After all, the former Lamborghini designer Wolfgang Egger designed the Seagull, hence its nickname, ” Lamborghini-mini.” Its dimensions are 4125/ 1770/ 1570 mm, and its wheelbase is 2700 mm. 

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The Seagull has a large single front windscreen wiper and no rear screen wiper. It also has semi-concealed door handles and a large rear spoiler. All the panels are well aligned. 

The Interior

Upon entering the BYD Seagull, I noticed the interior was simple yet fashionable. The design language is reminiscent of the BYD Dolphine. The interior uses a combination of cloth, leather, and hard plastics, which you would expect from an entry-level vehicle. 

It has a four-way adjustable steering wheel, which is not found in the more expensive Dolphin. BYD’s signature 10.1-inch rotating center screen is integrated with the DiLink system and can be operated via voice commands. The center console houses essential controls with a wireless charging pad. It supports both Bluetooth and NFC entry.

The seating positions for all four seats are surprisingly good; there is lots of headroom and legroom. The driver’s seat is covered in leather and feels comfortable. The rear seats have decent space for two adults. Compared to the BYD Yuan UP we tested earlier, the Seagull feels smaller and less premium. 

The mirror adjustment panel slopes downward towards the driver’s feet, making it very hard to see from a proper seating position. So, make all the required adjustments before you start driving the car.  


There is no frunk; it is a subcompact hatchback, after all. The boot space is small but usable. The rear seats can be folded down for extra storage space. There is no center console storage area.  

Behind the Wheel

The FWD Seagull Honor Edition was surprisingly fun to drive on suburban roads. At only 1240 kg, it has 55 kW of power and 135 Nm of torque, which was quick at the traffic lights. 

The suspensions provided good cushioning throughout the test drive. The ride quality was well maintained, even on humps and bumps. BYD’s e-Platform 3.0 has strengthened the car’s rigidity. Despite the body roll, the vehicle felt confident when turning corners at higher speeds.  

The steering offered precision, and the vehicle remained stable while navigating. However, as found on the BYD Yuan UP, the steering felt too light, a common concern with entry-level EVs. 

The visibility was good throughout the car. No noticeable blind spots were found. 

The car does 0 – 50 km/h in around 4.9 seconds and has a top speed of 130 km/h. When traveling from 100 km/h to 120 km/h, the acceleration is relatively slow, so do not expect to effortlessly overtake other cars on the highway. When traveling above 100 km/h, the motor noise overwhelms the music from the car stereo. 

Battery Range

According to BYD, Seagull has a range of 405 km (CLTC) and a battery capacity of 38.88 kWh. In the real world, this translates to roughly 320 km on a single charge. 

Safety Features

The Seagull includes safety features such as six airbags, rear disc brakes, an electronic parking brake, an Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), brake assist, intelligent cruise control, rear parking sensors and cameras, and a remote smart parking assist system.


The BYD Seagull reminded me of my first car, the Daihatsu Charade. It is small, practical, fits four adults, gets you from A to B, and, most importantly, very affordable. What is different from the BYD Seagull is its looks and the level of comfort you get for a very low price. Not to mention how much fun you may have in the little front-wheel drive. Imagine BYD Seagull hot-hatch that resembles the BYD Ocean M Concept we saw at the Beijing Auto Show!  

The Seagull may not be made for long road trips, but it is ideal for picking up the kids, buying groceries, and going to work every day. It will make a great second car for the family.

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  1. Very interesting – I love a small car, preferably a hatchback. When we leave Europe to move to Asia soon, we’ll leave behind our trusty and fun VW ID.3…but do we need something that large? It will be interesting to see how roomy this feels and how it handles. But honestly – I’d pay a bit more to remove the “BUILD YOUR DRREAMS” from the back of the vehicle. It’s my car…it’s not a billboard, and I’m not being paid to advertise a somewhat clunky slogan. “BYD” is fine, but that’s just too prominent.


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