BYD is a growing brand in China these days with its products growing in comfort, technical innovation, and originality. The New F3, however, isn’t one of those products. While it is the latest version of the sedan, it still harks back to BYD’s old habits of copying another automaker’s designs. In this case, it is Toyota. The Corolla-like car shares many similar features, but has seen some differentiation since the adoption of “New” in its title. As the old saying goes, the sincerest form of flattery is imitation — meaning the New F3 isn’t a bad car, thanks mostly to the Corolla.
The New F3 offers the Chinese and other foreign markets a vehicle for basic transportation. Room for five and a decent sized trunk are present. So is a dual-clutch transmission. Now before you start thinking about a DSG or PDK, this gearbox is tailored more for fuel economy rather than lightning-fast shifts. That becomes even more apparent when considering what the transmission is mounted to; the 1.5-liter four-cylinder produces a scant 107 horsepower and 106 pound-feet of torque. The 60-mph sprint comes in 12 seconds with a top speed of 105 mph.
Sure, it’s not a performance car, but the payoff is 44 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in the city. As a whole, the New F3 seems very focused for shorter, in-town jaunts than long highway cruising. And that’s just fine as most of its sales region is concentrated urban areas.
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The BYD New F3R is the Chinese automaker’s answer for those needing a five-door hatchback with more car-like characteristics. Fitting into the compact class, the New F3R offers tidy exterior dimension for city dwellers while still offering a decent amount of room inside.
While BYD offers some rather surprising technology in a few of its cars, the New F3R is left out in the cold. A push-button start, a power sunroof, dual front occupant airbags, brakes that include ABS and electronic brake distribution, and an alarm system seem to be the only real features. Of course, that leaves room for a budget-friendly price tag at the end of the day.
BYD does offer the New F3R with its standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional CVT. Both transmissions are bolted to the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder. Those equipped with the CVT do get 14 extra horsepower, totaling 120. The manual-equipped cars make do with 106 horses.
Though BYD is pushing to enter the U.S. market, it’s unlikely the New F3R will make the jump. Crash test and emissions standards, along with a dull design, are its limiting factors. Now that’s not to say BYD couldn’t heavily revise the New F3R to become sellable in the U.S., but all the needed changes would basically constitute an all new vehicle.
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The BYD F0 is a member of the A-segment of five-door family cars, a popular class of cars in many parts of the world. However, unfortunately for the Chinese automaker’s legal standings, the F0 is a near carbon copy of the Toyota Aygo. While we’ll steer clear of the legalese, its important to note the F0 won’t likely make a jump into the U.S. market.
Besides the troubles above, the F0 is a decent little five-door hatch. Its tidy dimensions make it a good option for close-quarters city driving and its spacious interior is plenty big for four passengers; five if they’re small.
Speaking of small, its three-cylinder engine is better measured in cubic centimeters rather than liters, coming in at only 998 cc. A five-speed manual transmission sends all 67 horsepower to the front tires. With such a compact engine in a compact car, the F0 is estimated to get roughly 56 mpg on the highway.
While it may be a direct copy of the Aygo, the car still offers a decent package for Chinese buyers looking for an inexpensive hatch.
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Hitting the market in 2012, the F5 Suri has made quite a splash in the Chinese car market. Google BYD’s F5 Suri sedan and you’ll notice most headlines include something about the sedan earning a five-start safety rating in China’s nationwide C-NCAP testing standards. The car was even crowned “The Safest Car in China,” surpassing even contenders from Ford and Volkswagen. The car even holds the title of the world’s only remote-controllable sedan.
Wait, remote controllable? Yep. The BYD F5 Suri was the first of BYD’s products to come with a remote control that operated the car from up to 10 meters ( 30 feet) away for tight parking and other similar situations. While it might not be the cell phone controller James Bond used on his BMW 7 Series in Tomorrow Never Dies, the F5 Suri’s four-directional remote allows the outside driver to turn the wheels and move the car forward and back at very low speeds.
The F5 Suri isn’t all party tricks, though. It comes with a host of standard equipment found in all modern global sedans. A turbocharged engine with direct injection is mated to a dual clutch transmission, eight airbags envelope the cabin, a myriad of electronic safety systems keep the car on the road, and a host of driver centric technology makes F5 feel more premium.
Though BYD’s long-term plans include shipping globally, including the U.S., things aren’t quite to that point yet. Passing the U.S. safety tests and emissions regulations are only the first hurdle.
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The BYD S6 was first introduced in 2010 at the Guangzhou Auto Show in China before hitting the Chinese market in 2011. The SUV enjoyed great sales success thanks to its popular design, interior features, and five-star C-NCAP crash-test rankings. Features like its TFT gauge cluster, onboard digital TV, smart key, and remote control made it a standout among the competition.
While the S6’s design might not be the most beautiful in the world, it offers many the perks Chinese SUV buyers are looking for. Its familiar Mitsubishi-sourced engines give buyers a choice of three powerplants and three transmissions. Seating for five comes standard and the rear seats fold down, making room for more cargo.
While BYD has been trying to launch its brand in the U.S., word is still out on when, or if, a launch will occur. If it does manage to bring vehicles to the U.S., look for the company to bring an updated version of the S6 to market.
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The BYD Qin might not be a known vehicle in the U.S., but that soon may change. The Chinese automaker BYD is preparing to make its entrance into the American market . The Qin is the successor to the F3DM plug-in hybrid that launched in 2008. While sales were initially good for the F3DM, a slow-down prompted a replacement, so BYD decided to take its hybrid technology and stuff it into the Su Rui sedan, thus creating the Qin in 2013. Now the BYD Qin is aiming for car markets in Europe with availability happening sometime in the latter part of 2015 and an American entrance happening shortly after.
Previous Qin models have been a huge success for BYD in China. The company, which was founded in 2003, has rocketed to the top spot in plug-in hybrid sales in its home country. Now with an American headquarters already located in California, BYD is poised to invade.
However, this isn’t the first time BYD has promised a U.S. version of its cars. Back in 2010, BYD was set to bring its e6 hatchback over, but the move was ultimately postponed. Now with a more solid product, the automaker is more ready than ever.
So what’s the Qin all about? Well first off, don’t get used to the name. BYD says the Qin nomenclature will likely be changed for European and American sales. What its name will be is still unknown. What we do know is the heavily revised 2015 Qin is a respectable plug-in hybrid vehicle with an obtainable price, decent range, and styling that isn’t half bad.
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