2024 BYD Seal U plug-in hybrid SUV: First details for Australia - SUV VEHICLE

2024 BYD Seal U plug-in hybrid SUV: First details for Australia


The BYD Seal U – a Chinese-made plug-in hybrid rival for the Mitsubishi Outlander SUV – will be offered in two model grades when it arrives in showrooms later this year.

There will be two variants of the 2024 BYD Seal U family SUV – neither of which will be fully electric – when Australian showroom arrivals commence between April and June this year.

The Seal U has been approved for sale in Australia in two plug-in hybrid variants – branded ‘DM-i’ – which combine a small petrol engine with electric motors and a large battery pack for a claimed driving range of up to 150km in lab testing.

As expected, an electric Seal U will not be offered in Australia – unlike Western Europe – as BYD has not developed the engine-less variant in right-hand drive.

Prices are yet to be confirmed, however in China a top-of-the-range variant is cheaper than a base-model BYD Seal electric sedan, or flagship MG HS Plus EV plug-in hybrid – vehicles which cost about $52,000 drive-away in Australia.

Government approval documents show two variants – Dynamic and Premium – with different power outputs. Prices are yet to be announced.

The Dynamic is believed to be front-wheel drive, combining a 72kW petrol engine with a 145kW electric motor for a system power output of 160kW.

The Premium is all-wheel drive, combining a 96kW petrol engine with a 150kW front electric motor and 120kW rear electric motor for a system output of 238kW.

The documents do not yet provide any further details on the engine or battery, but the petrol motor is believed to be a 1.5-litre four-cylinder – possibly in non-turbo and turbo forms in the Dynamic and Premium respectively.

In China there are 12.9kWh, 18.3kWh and 26.6kWh batteries available for claimed electric ranges of 71km, 110km and 150km respectively. The power outputs quoted for Australia suggest the larger two batteries may be offered here.

BYD says the larger batteries and more powerful electric motors are intended to see the car rely on electric power more than petrol – though when the battery runs flat, it will continue to drive on petrol propulsion if there’s fuel in the tank.

While it shares its badge with the Seal electric sedan in Australia, the Seal U is built on different underpinnings, and is sold as the Song Plus in China – named after the Song imperial dynasty (from 960–1279), rather than a piece of music.

The Seal U measures 4775mm long, 1890mm wide and 1670mm tall, riding on a 2765mm wheelbase.

Compared to a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – which is available with five or seven seats, unlike the five-seat-only Seal U – the BYD is 65mm longer nose to tail, 28mm wider, and 59mm longer in wheelbase, but 85mm lower.

Boot space of 552 litres is claimed in Europe, which can fold to 1440L with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats down.

Available features overseas include a 15.6-inch rotating infotainment touchscreen, wireless phone charging, an Infinity sound system, synthetic leather-look seat upholstery, ambient cabin lighting, a crystal-look gear selector, and LED headlights and tail-lights.

MORE:Search Used BYD Cars for Sale
MORE:Search Used BYD Cars for Sale


Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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