Video test – BYD Tang EV: This Chinese 7-seater electric SUV arrives in France!

After a first attempt that came to an end, the Chinese manufacturer BYD is once again trying to enter the French market for electric passenger cars. Among the 3 models that will be available soon, this family SUV that positively surprised Maxime Fontanier.

7 seater SUV

Also a manufacturer of battery-powered trucks, buses and traction equipment, BYD (Build your Dreams) intends to take advantage of the Mondial de l’Automobile that will take place in Paris from October 17th to 23rd to present a diversified range that will include 3 electric cars .

Maxime Fontanier has recently taken control of the plush, long Han EV sedan next to a Tesla Model S, as well as the Atto 3 compact SUV cut to compete with the Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro EV. He invites us to discover now the Tang EV that fits into a rectangle measuring 4.87 x 1.95 m, for a height of 1.73 m.

BYD is not the only Chinese manufacturer to offer such a machine designed to accommodate up to 7 people on board. Nio and Hongqi, for example, do this with their respective bulkier ES8 (5.02 x 1.96 x 1.76m) and E-HS9 (5,209 x 2,010 x 1,713m) models. With a much closer footprint (4.90 x 1.95 m), the Voyah Free, also recently tested by our journalist, only offers 5 seats.


Integral motor skills

The Tang EV’s 2.82m wheelbase fits playfully, very precisely between those of the Atto 3 (2.72m) and the Han EV (2.92m). The massive look of this family SUV is softened by Full LED headlights at both ends.

The copy we were able to discover is based on 22-inch wheels fitted with Continental tires with thin sidewalls (265/40) and low rolling resistance. Well-perforated, the 5-arm light-alloy wheels reveal the ventilated disc + caliper set. ” In terms of brakes, it seems to be quite serious. “, estimates from this point of view Maxime Fontanier.

It specifies that the machine has no air suspension. It is no longer piloted. Full traction is ensured in the Tang EV by 2 permanent magnet motors that develop a combined power of up to 380 kW (516 hp), for 680 Nm of torque. Values ​​already seen with the Han EV sedan. As well as the maximum speed limited to 180 km/h.


restock

The 3 cars that will be presented next month in Paris are equipped with LFP (lithium iron phosphate) batteries with blades that have the particularity of offering better energy density, more safety, weight gain and ease of repair. With a useful energy capacity of 86.4 kWh, the package gives the Tang EV a range of 400 km on a WLTP combined cycle.

Cut into the rear right fender, the circular charging hatch houses a Combo CCS connector that accepts no more than 110 kW of DC power. It’s a bit stingy compared to the European competition. ” In China they don’t have very fast chargers. They prefer to have 50 kW. This is something that should evolve over time in European models », considers Maxime Fontanier.

However, 30 minutes would be enough, according to the manufacturer, to bring the Tang EV’s battery power level from 30 to 80%. It also charges an 11 kW AC device for home charging or connecting to the many 22 kW terminals now installed in public spaces.

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she has breast

Behind the electrically opening and closing tailgate, the trunk of the BYD family SUV offers 235, 940 or 1,655 liters playing on the folding backrests of the second and third compartments. No weird under the hood, but a double bottom that receives a compartment intended to store charging cables and standard emergency and safety equipment.

Accommodating 3 rows of seats in a car less than 4.90 m long imposes some concessions. The backs of the 5 seats in the back are not the thickest. The two-tone upholstery – chocolate and caramel – with seams is, however, treated with care and offers good comfort. The middle seat slides into 2 parts, which makes access to the rear even easier. Note that the row 2 center bench must be reserved for occasional use.

The side armrests with cup holders rest in the aft wheel arches for the comfort of the 2 rear occupants. Behind the driver and his right-hand neighbour: 2 vents, 2 USB sockets and several storage spaces.

Let’s move on

Coming out of the back seat, Maxime Fontanier judges: “ Frankly, the quality of workmanship, on first impression, is quite impressive! “. Wide front doors encourage you to settle on board. Different materials line the interior doors, including alcantara, topped with a customizable LED light line.

Common to the 3 electric cars tested, this 15.6-inch touchscreen can be oriented as desired in either landscape or portrait mode. Rotation takes place electrically after pressing a button. Despite an internal operating system, the infotainment system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

As responsive as it is fluid, the tablet is also used to intervene in vehicle settings, as well as displaying the navigation system and rear-view camera views, including the 360-degree top view. BYD has also mastered ergonomics in the family SUV. This is visible in the digital instrument display, steering wheel controls and shortcut buttons around the steering selector.


comfort elements

The BYD Tang EV at our disposal is topped with a panoramic roof that brings beautiful light on board. However, it can be hidden if needed. Below, the 2 passengers installed in the front now have several storage spaces in a very traditional way: in the door panels, in the glove compartment and under the central armrest where there are also 3 sockets (USB + 12V). An induction charger and 2 cup holders complete the equipment.

Before heading out on the road, the driver will be able to electrically adjust their seat, including the seat length level. Your neighbor too. The steering wheel position can also be revised in height and depth. You need to press a small button at the trigger selector level to start scrolling. This move will also be reproduced in Han EV and Atto 3.

few rounds

In BYD electric cars, regenerative braking is never too strong. It can be adjusted according to 2 modes with a button to the left of the trigger selector. ” It stays low no matter what “, says Maxime Fontanier.

No paddles behind the steering wheel, nor the possibility of immobilizing the vehicle without using the brake pedal. Fans of these 2 systems will likely be disappointed. Probably less those who will discover electromobility with this car. Acceleration responsiveness and steering harshness are more binary configurable.

But not the suspension. In the model at our disposal, the chassis is adjusted according to China-specific comfort standards. Firmer, units delivered in Europe and in particular France before the end of this year 2022 will be adapted for our market. “We feel it’s a little firm at low speeds, but it’s not uncomfortable or flashy,” says the man in the cap.

Smooth feel under braking

The manufacturer calculates the time required to descend from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds. Using the Launch Control device available on the 3 BYD models that will soon be presented in Paris, the specialist journalist did even better in 0.3 s.

The behavior of the braking system of the Han EV and Atto 3 did not please him much. No better with the Tang EV credited at 2,500kg scale. He describes: ” It’s heavy, sure, but the weight is mostly felt because the brake pedal doesn’t feel very good. It’s quite slow at the beginning of the race and after that we have a difficult point. There’s always a little bit of inertia at the start, regardless of the configuration, Standard or Sport “.

This does not prevent you from obtaining strong braking at the end, with automatic lighting of the hazard warning lights.


prices

If we know that the first copies of BYD Han EV, Atto 3 and Tang EV will be delivered in France at the end of the year, we still don’t know which network they will be distributed through. It is also the unknown in terms of pricing. ” In Norway, this 7-seat Tang EV is priced the same as a Tesla Model Y Performance “, compares Maxime Fontanier.

This allows for a more spacious vehicle with 7 seats. In terms of dynamism, the Tesla Model Y remains sharper. The Chinese SUV, however, is a very interesting, modern and well-made product, with better ergonomics than Tesla. It’s a nice surprise! “, he concludes, almost impatient to be able to try it according to his usual scenarios.

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