BYD Dolphin Hatchback, agile and distinctive

In BYD Auto, Car Reviews, Electric cars by Maggie Barry

It is rare to get excited about door handles

Car Reviewed: BYD Dolphin Comfort Hatchback

In the new BYD Dolphin, they are quite remarkable -shaped like dolphin fins. Unusual, yes, but actually comfortable, intuitive, practical, as well as pretty.

Indeed, the whole car has an oceanic theme, reflecting its Dolphin name, with a wave-like line across the dash incorporating the circular air vents.

Chinese carmaker BYD ‘Build your dreams’ says the car, a small hatchback, is like the Dolphin as it is intelligent, agile and distinctive.

This is the third car from BYD to arrive on British shores. It is smaller than the Atto 3, which we reviewed a few months ago and, like its stablemate, is very reasonably priced. Also in the line-up is the super-stylish BYD SealRead our reviews

It has a neat nose, integrated rear spoiler and tail lights that flow across the rear hatch, where the company name is spelled out.

Inside, the vegan leather front seats are adjustable. There is ample space in the rear and piles of luggage space, 345 litres rising to 1310 with the seats down.

But it is the tech that BYD reckons will be this car’s unique selling point because it is not merely a car manufacturer but a global innovator of energy solutions.

Thus, the Dolphin uses the company’s blade battery. This wraps the battery cells in honeycomb formations, which are then compressed into blades laid upright in the battery compartment. The battery is so strong that it forms part of the car’s structure and its density makes it ultra-efficient. The blade is complimented by a heat pump, which heats the battery in winter and cools it in summer, allowing it to work at optimum levels.

This gives the Dolphin a range of up to 265 miles in the Comfort and Design trim ranges,  with a battery of 60.4kWh. 211 miles in the Active trim and 193 in the boost, both of which have a lower powered battery of 44.9kWh.

And the tech does not finish there. In the centre of the – sits the rotating 12.3-inch colour screen. At first, I thought this was a gimmick, but there is practicality behind it. Driving through the countryside, we used it in landscape mode. Still, when we hit the busy streets of Madrid on our test route, we switched it to portrait mode,  giving us a more vertical idea of where we needed to go – the location, the Plaza de la Republica Argentina with its fountain and dolphins, of course.

There is a smaller screen atop the steering wheel that reflects the information on the screen, which is very handy. The Dolphin also responds well to voice controls, like ‘Where are the nearest chargers?’ and ‘What is the weather forecast?’

Like the Atto, the controls for temperature, driving modes, and the parking brake are not just functional, but also stylish. The round rocker switches below the screen add a touch of elegance to the interior of the Dolphin.

The Dolphin comes with a plethora of safety systems, including a 360-degree parking camera that provides a comprehensive view of the car’s surroundings, aiding in parking and maneuvering. The design trim also gets a full-length panoramic roof, which not only enhances the car’s aesthetics but also provides a spacious and airy feel to the interior.

BYD says this is the first model in the ocean series. The cars are available at BYD’s quickly growing network of UK dealers now.

Author Rating 4/5

Car Reviewed: BYD Dolphin Comfort

on the road price as tested £29,490

  • 0-62mph 7secs
  • Top speed 100mph
  • Powertrain 60.4kWh battery / 150kW electric motor
  • Battery Range up to 265 miles
  • Max Power 150ps
  • Torque 310Nm
  • Dimensions MM 4290 L/1770 W/1570 H
  • CO2 emissions Zero
  • Transmission 1-speed automatic
  • Bootspace 345 / 1310 1itres (seats folded)

Maggie Barry


Maggie Barry is an Award winning journalist, she regularly travels in Europe and beyond to test drive cars. A former lecturer in journalism and motoring editor of Media Scotland she has written for and contributed to the Daily Record and Sunday Mail among others. She is on the panel judging the Scottish Car of the Year and Women’s World Car of the Year. She lives near Glasgow with her husband and several cars.

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