BYD is budding as an automaker and its products are continually getting better. Take for example, the new Qin hybrid. Other vehicles the automaker produces are still stuck in the budget bottom basement and the F3 is a prime example. The F3 is produced side by side with its replacement, lovingly called the 2014 New F3. While neither car can match the Qin’s impressive looks, interior comforts, or technological advancements, the two cars offer a value to customers with limited budgets.

At first glance, the F3 might look familiar. That’s because it’s a near carbon copy of the ninth-generation Toyota Corolla, produced from 2000 to 2006. BYD gets the copy so perfect, in fact, that the body panels are interchangeable. Toyota likely isn’t amused.

Regardless, the F3 offers inexpensive transportation for five with a decent trunk and a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard and a six-speed dual clutch gearbox comes optional. A look at the F3’s website reveals standard features like power mirrors, body-color trim pieces, adjustable front seats, power windows, and a intermittent windshield wipers. It’s apparent the F3 isn’t marketed towards the U.S. or European markets.

Click past the jump to read more about BYD F3.

  • 2014 BYD F3
  • Year:
    2014
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    105 @ 5800
  • Torque @ RPM:
    106 @ 4800
  • Displacement:
    1.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    12 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    111 mph
  • Price:
    8650
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2014 BYD F3 High Resolution Exterior
- image 574903

The exterior of the BYD F3 is identical to the ninth-generation Toyota Corolla. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and BYD did pick a solid car to model its F3’s designs after. However, those Corollas were never exciting to look at, so it translates right over to the F3. BYD tried to dress things up with fake chrome trim on the grille, larger headlights, and fog lights down low.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,533 MM (178.46 Inches)
Width 1,705 MM (67.12 Inches)
Height 1,490 MM (58.66 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,600 MM (102.36 Inches)
Track 1480/1460 MM (58.26/57.48 Inches)
Min.Turning Radius <IMG//>

Interior


2014 BYD F3 Interior
- image 574898


The copycat story continues on the inside of the F3. Everything from the switchgear to the overall design is transferred from Toyota. The four-spoke steering wheel comes with wood inserts while the rest of the interior is covered in plastic. The radio is circa 1998, as is the HVAC system with its manual recirculation slide switch. The manual transmission comes with a super-tall shifter with a billowy boot. Power windows, locks, and rearview mirrors add some tech to the package.

Expect rear seat room to match that of the Toyota’s decently spacious accommodations. Sliding front seats can make room for those with longer legs.

Drivetrain


2014 BYD F3 Exterior
- image 574899


Under the F3’s hood lies a 1.5-liter four-cylinder that produces a just-adequate 105 horsepower and 106 pound-feet of torque. A high 10.4-to-1 compression ratio and four valves per cylinder help the four-banger get nearly 40 mpg on the highway.

The engine comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission. Optional is a six-speed, dual-clutch gearbox programmed to make the most out of every drop of fuel; no speed-shifting shenanigans here. Top speed is listed at 111 mph and expect 60 mph to come in roughly 12 seconds.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine model BYD483QB
Engine type L4/16 Valve,Water cooling,SOHC
Displacement 1.5
Max.Power 105 HP @ 5,800 RPM
Max.Torque 106 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM
Compression ratio 10.4:1
Top speed 180 km/h (111 mph)
Transmission 5MT

Prices

2014 BYD F3 Exterior
- image 574908

Pricing for the F3 starts at the equivalent of $8,650 as of the exchange rates on 12/9/2014. BYD doesn’t list the option price for the six-speed dual clutch gearbox, but don’t expect a hefty price considering the car costs thousands less than an Mitsubishi Mirage.

Competition

Toyota Corolla

2014 Toyota Corolla High Resolution Exterior
- image 509691

Well here it its — the real deal. The Corolla has undergone several generational changes since the 2006 model year, including the last update for 2014. The Corolla comes with a great new look, plenty of interior refinements like a touchscreen infotainment system, and a 140-horsepower engine.

That engine is a 1.8-liter unit in the gas-friendly Eco trim, but other engines are available. Pricing starts at $16,800 and goes up to $20,100 for the range topping Eco Plus trim level.

Honda Civic

2014 - 2015 Honda Civic High Resolution Exterior
- image 535427

Another huge global competitor in this segment is the Civic. It’s been around in its current form since 2013. When the Civic’s latest generation launched in 2012, its exterior styling was met with negative reactions. A heavily revised version debuted for 2013 and has remained since.

Power comes from three four-cylinder engine options: a 1.5-liter making 110 horses; a 1.8 liter making 140 horses; and a 2.4-liter making 201 horses. Pricing starts at around $18,000 and rises just above $23,000 for the sporty Si model.

Conclusion

2014 BYD F3 Exterior
- image 574915

The BYD F3 is an aging product that is quickly being surpassed, even in the Chinese market. With BYD’s growth is bringing plenty of respectable and interesting products that actually have potential in the U.S. and European markets. It would be advisable for BYD to drop such copycat products from its lineup before ever attempting to break into new, more discriminating markets. Hopefully that will happen by the time the Chinese automaker makes a stab at coming ashore.

  • Leave it
    • Copies the ninth generation Toyota Corolla
    • Looks very cheap
    • Likely won’t pass U.S. & Euro crash standards
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