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New 2024 BYD Seal U DM-i plug-in hybrid: Price, specs and release date

Written By Phill Tromans

2024 BYD Seal U DM-i

The new BYD Seal U DM-i is a premium, yet value-for-money SUV powered by a plug-in-hybrid system, and prices have now been announced.

While the BYD brand is still very new to the UK, it's wasted no time in expanding its range of cars. The new Seal U is not to be confused with the impressive Seal saloon – rather, it's an SUV built to rival cars like the Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson and Volkswagen Tiguan, available with front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive and powered by a plug-in hybrid system that comes in two power specifictions.

Prices start at £33,205 on-the-road for the entry-level Boost model, while the more powerful, four-wheel-drive Design model costs from £39,905. Those costs mean the Seal U squeezes under the £40,000 threshold for the premium Vehicle Excise Duty surchage, saving owners several hundred pounds a year on car tax.

Power comes from a 1.5-litre petrol engine and a single electric motor in the Boost model, or two motors in the Design model. An 18.3kWh battery gives the Seal U an electric-only range of up to 49.7 miles, according to official figures.

2024 BYD Seal U DM-i
The BYD Seal U rides on 19-inch alloy wheels as standard, with sleek bodywork lines that extend to rear lights.
2024 BYD Seal U DM-i
Power in the range-topping Design trim is an impressive 324PS, which means a 0-62mph time of around six seconds.

New 2024 BYD Seal U DM-i: price and release date

The new BYD Seal U is available to order now with the first deliveries due in September.

Customers can choose from the front-wheel-drive Boost, which costs £33,205, or the four-wheel-drive Design at £39,905.

2024 BYD Seal U DM-i
Standard interior features in the BYD Seal U include a large 15.6-inch rotatable infotainment screen, as well as a digital driver display.

New 2024 BYD Seal U DM-i: exterior and interior

The BYD Seal-U uses the same design inspiration as the Seal saloon, and features 19-inch wheels and an X-shaped front end with U-shaped LED headlights. Four paint colours are available – Delan Black, Time Grey, Snow White, and Tian Qing, which is a light blue.

The interior is designed to feel premium, with vegan leather upholstery, multi-coloured ambient lighting and a gear shifter designed to look like a water droplet. (There are various aquatic references within the BYD line-up – the design language is called Ocean, and the Seal U sits alongside the Dolphin hatchback in the range.) A panoramic sliding sunroof is included as standard, which is impressive – that kind of feature is normally reserved for top-of-the-range models in rival cars.

The infotainment system – which BYD calls the Intelligent Cockpit System – is controlled through a 15.6-inch touchscreen that, as in other BYD cars, rotates from portrait to landscape at the touch of a button. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included. The Seal U also features a digital instrument panel in place of traditional dials, and a 10-speaker sound system. A head-up display, which projects driving information onto the windscreen ahead of the driver, is included as standard, as is a wireless phone charger.

Vehicle to Load (V2L) is also standard, which lets you charge electrical items from the car's battery

The specification of the Boost and Design models is very similar – the main differences are with the powertrain.

In terms of practicality, there are five seats, and the rear seats fold down in a 60:40 split to allow extra storage space in the boot. Said boot has a capacity of 425 litres, or 1,440 litres with the seats folded. In comparison, you'll get 558 litres in a plug-in hybrid Hyundai Tucson.

The new BYD Seal U promises a premium and feature-packed interior.

New 2024 BYD Seal U DM-i: engine, electric motors and battery

Customers have a choice of two plug-in hybrid powertrains in the BYD Seal U. Both use what BYD calls Super DM (Dual Mode) Technology to marry a 1.5-litre petrol engine with one or two electric motors, depending on the model.

In the Boost model, the engine produces 98PS while the single electric motor makes 197PS. Combined, the system can put out 218PS and 300Nm of torque, with an electric-only driving range of 49.7 miles. Fully fuelled and with the battery fully charged, BYD says the Seal U DM-i Boost has a total range of 671 miles.

The Design model uses a more powerful 130PS version of the engine, mated to two electric motors – one on the front axle putting out 204PS and one on the rear with 163PS. All together, the Seal U DM-i Design makes 324PS and 500Nm. It'll hit 62mph from standstill in 5.9 seconds, and the electric-only battery range is 43 miles.

A third model is expected in the future, called the Comfort. This will ahve a larger 26.6kWh battery giving it an electric-only range of up to 78 miles.

2024 BYD Seal U DM-i

There's room for five in the BYD Seal U, while the boot space is 425 litres, expandable to 1440 litres if you fold down the rear seats.

There's no fully electric version of the BYD Seal U, but all models use a plug-in hybrid system that features a petrol engine and one or two electric motors. That means it can run on electric power only and can be recharged by plugging it into the mains. Depending on the model, you can drive for up to 50 miles per charge.

The BYD Seal U can charge at speed of up to 18kW, which means the battery can be filled from 30-80% in 35 minutes using a suitable charger.

BYD offers a six-year/93,750-mile warranty on the Seal U DM-i, which is impressive against most of its opposition. For example, Hyundai offers only five years on the Tucson, although thaht's with unlimited mileage. However, Kia offers seven years of cover on the Sportage, albeit with a 100,000-mile lilmit.

BYD will also warranty the Seal U's battery to 70% of its original capacity for eight years or 125,000 miles, and there's an eight-year/93,750-mile warranty on the electric motors, too.


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