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BYD Seal vs Tesla Model 3 vs Polestar 2: spec battle!

 

The BYD Seal is about to launch in Australia, but how does it stack up against two of its biggest electric sedan rivals?


BYD has officially announced price and specs for its new electric sedan, the Seal, which is due in Australia by the end of 2024. 

The new model certainly looks competitive in terms of pricing and what you get for the outlay, but how does it stack up against the very popular Tesla Model 3, or even the Polestar 2?

For this spec battle, we’ll take a look at the base offerings for each of the three companies, rather than the highest priced flagship models.

2024 BYD Seal front 3/4 shot static 2
This is the brand-new 2024 BYD Seal

It’s worth noting that both the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2 have been updated for 2024, with increased range and more features. The Polestar liftback has also gone rear-wheel drive for the first time in its history.  

Let’s find out in Chasing Cars’ latest spec battle! 

How much do these electric sedans cost?

Beginning with the newcomer to the market, the BYD Seal has been officially announced to start from a very competitive $49,888 before on-road costs for the entry-level Dynamic rear-wheel drive variant. 

Tesla has also updated its Model 3 for 2024

The Dynamic is followed by the $59,798 Premium rear-wheel drive and the $68,798 Performance all-wheel drive variants. 

The Seal undercuts the Tesla Model 3 which starts from $61,900 before on-road costs for the base rear-drive model. The dual-motor all-wheel drive Model 3 long range is priced from $71,900 before on-road costs. The updated Model 3 Performance is not currently on sale at the time of writing. 

Polestar, meanwhile, offers its 2 liftback at a starting price of $67,400* before on-road costs for the standard range single motor variant. Pricing steps up to $71,400 for the long range single motor rear-wheel drive, and $76,400 for the long-range dual-motor variant. 

The Polestar 2 is now rear-wheel drive for 2024

The most expensive Polestar 2 will cost buyers $85,400 before on-road costs for the long range dual-motor with the performance pack added. 

So it’s the BYD Seal that comes in cheapest with a strongly competitive entry price. Even in high-spec Performance guise, the Seal is still $3100 cheaper than the most expensive version of the Tesla Model 3.

How far can you travel with these electric sedans?

The BYD Seal in entry-level Dynamic guise has a claimed WLTP electric driving range of 460km thanks to its 61.44kWh usable ‘Blade’ lithium-ion battery. 

2024 BYD Seal charging port with lead
The base BYD Seal offers 460km of range (WLTP)

Range for this model is as high as 570km (WLTP) in Premium guise with its larger 82.56kWh usable battery pack. 

The Tesla Model 3, meanwhile, claims a much higher 513km (WLTP) electric driving range for its entry-level rear-drive electric sedan thanks to a 57.5kWh usable battery pack. 

The long-range dual-motor has a claimed electric range of 629km (WLTP) thanks to a larger 75kWh usable battery pack.

Front right view of a 2024 BYD Seal
The new BYD Seal is also available in a Performance variant

Rounding out the pack is the Polestar 2, which has been updated for 2024. In standard range single-motor guise, owners will be able to travel up to 546km (WLTP) thanks to a 67kWh usable battery pack. 

The high-spec long-range dual-motor has a claimed driving range of 593km (WLTP) with a 79kWh usable battery pack. 

The entry BYD Seal is certainly impressive in terms of range, but it can’t quite get to the same range figures as the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2. 

The popular Model 3 kicks off from $61,900 before on-road costs

How long will you have to wait for these cars to arrive?

BYD Australia says that there are no supply issues for its models, meaning that people can get into a premium BYD vehicle in their home garage without delay. There is expected to be no supply issues surrounding orders for the upcoming Seal sedan.

The Tesla Australia website states that if ordered today, a new 2024 Model 3 build could arrive between January and March 2024. 

The 2024 Polestar 2 liftback can be delivered pretty quickly

As of October 2023, Polestar was quoting on its website an expected arrival date for the Polestar 2 of late November 2023. 

Standard equipment of the models 

Starting with the BYD Seal Dynamic, standard equipment included for the model is extensive and as follows:

  • 15.6-inch rotating touch screen
  • 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster
  • Regenerative braking modes 
  • V2L functionality 
  • 110kW DC charging speed (150kW DC max for Premium and Performance variants) 
  • Imitation leather seat trim
  • Multi-function steering wheel
  • Eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat 
  • Six-way power adjustable passenger seat
  • Front seats ventilation and heating
2024 BYD Seal interior centre touchscreen and wheel
A look inside the BYD Seal with its large 15.6-inch touchscreen
  • Wired Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto 
  • 12-speaker sound system
  • Satellite navigation
  • DAB radio 
  • 2x USB-C ports and 2x USB-A ports 
  • LED headlights and tail lights 
  • Sequential indicators 
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Two wireless phone chargers 
  • Air filtration system for air conditioning 
  • Dual-zone climate control

The Tesla Model 3 follows with this standard specification:

  • 15.4-inch central touchscreen
  • 18-inch Photon alloy wheels
  • Nine-speaker sound system
  • Over-the air updates 
  • Wireless phone charging 
  • Glass roof
  • Driver profile modes
  • Tesla arcade gaming 
  • In-car navigation
  • Battery pre-conditioning 
  • Camp mode and Dog mode
The Tesla Model 3 also has a mode to look after your dog!

Lastly, the Polestar 2 standard range single motor has the following features:

  • 11.2-inch centre touchscreen with Android Automotive OS
  • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster 
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Full electric front seats
  • LED headlights and daytime running lights
  • Eight-speaker sound system (larger Harman Kardon sound system optional)
  • DAB+ radio
  • Over-the-air updates 
  • Integrated apps including Google Maps, Spotify and Apple CarPlay 
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Wireless phone charging 
  • Four USB-C ports 

The BYD Seal provides such great value for money when looking across the spec sheets, especially when entry price is factored in.  

MY24 Polestar 2 long range dual motor wide interior shot
A look inside the 2024 Polestar 2

What powers these electric sedans? 

The entry-level BYD Seal Dynamic runs a single rear-mounted electric motor that produces total outputs of 150kW/310Nm. The high-spec all-wheel drive Performance produces 390kW/670Nm. 

The entry-level Tesla Model 3 also uses a rear-mounted electric motor that produces outputs of 208kW/420Nm. The flagship Model 3 produces 366kW/493Nm

2024 BYD Seal interior wide shot
The BYD Seal’s interior certainly looks premium from the pictures

Polestar’s 2 electric sedan rounds up the pack with a rear electric motor (for 2024) that produces 200kW/490Nm

The entry BYD Seal Dynamic is down on power against the key rivals, however makes up for things with the all-wheel drive Performance flagship.

How large and practical are these electric vehicles?

The BYD Seal measures in at 4800mm long, 1875mm wide and 1460mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2920mm. The BYD model has a front trunk capacity of 50 litres and a rear boot capacity of 400 litres. 

MY24 Polestar 2 long range dual motor boot picture
The Polestar 2 has a 405 litre boot and a 41 litre front trunk

The Tesla Model 3 measures in at shorter than the Seal at 4720mm long, narrower at 1849mm and sits lower with a height of 1441mm. Wheelbase length is 2875mm. The Model 3 has a larger 88 litre front trunk and a 594 litre boot capacity. 

Finally, the Polestar 2 measures in at 4606mm long, 1859mm wide and 1479mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2735mm. The 2 has a smaller 41 litre front compartment and 405 litre of boot space. 

How safe are the Polestar 2, Model 3 and Seal?

2024 BYD Seal full boot capacity with suitcases
The BYD Seal has a 400 litre boot

 In terms of safety systems, the BYD Seal will come well equipped with the following features:

  • Front , side, side curtain, far side and rear side airbags
  • Adaptive cruise controls
  • Automatic emergency braking 
  • Lane departure warning 
  • Lane departure prevention
  • Emergency lane keep assist
  • Traffic sign recognition 
  • Intelligent speed limit control
  • Front cross traffic alert with braking 
  • Rear cross traffic alert with braking
  • Blind spot detection
  • High beam assist 
  • Driver attention warning
  • Head-up display (on Premium and Performance only)

The BYD Seal is yet to be rated by the ANCAP safety authority. 

Meanwhile, the Tesla Model 3 comes fitted with the following safety features:

  • Five-star ANCAP safety rating 
  • dual-frontal , side chest and side head curtain airbags 
  • Lane assist 
  • Speed assist 
  • Collision avoidance assist
  • Forward collision warning 
  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • In-cabin camera
The Tesla Model 3 currently has a five-star ANCAP safety rating

The Polestar 2 standard range single motor features the following safety features:

  • Five-star ANCAP safety rating 
  • Eight airbags 
  • 12 parking sensors
  • Four cameras to provide 360-degree field of vision
  • Collision avoidance and mitigation
  • Lane keeping aid
  • Lane departure warning 
  • Oncoming lane mitigation
  • Driver alert control
  • Rear collision warning and mitigation
  • Cross traffic alert with brake support 
  • Road sign information
  • Blind spot information
  • Post-impact braking
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system

Verdict: which performs best on the spec sheet?

2024 BYD Seal front end exterior shot
The BYD Seal offers lots of value on the spec sheet

It’s hard to look past the BYD Seal when it comes to bang-for-your-buck value, with an extensive standard specification list and a surprisingly low entry cost. 

While the Seal does not deliver as strongly when it comes to electric range or pure electric grunt, it’s easy to see that this model is likely to succeed on Australian shores. 

Look forward to an extensive Chasing Cars review of the new BYD Seal in the coming months as the first Seals arrive into the country. 

If you’re interested in one of these vehicles, make sure to visit their manufacturer website or visit a dealership for more information.

*Please note pricing for the Polestar 2 has been amended to reflect the correct figures.