BYD Dolphin vs Fiat 600e: which brand makes the best budget EV?

Around town: The Dolphin requires its driver to be a little more measured with their right foot than in the Fiat, because clumsy throttle inputs when pulling out of a junction can quite easily produce a chirp of wheelspin. Once on the move, it's clear that the BYD's ride is much softer than not only the Fiat's, but many other rivals', too. It's really quite comfortable when cruising around town at low speeds.

A & B-roads: A mix of squidgy suspension, above-average weight and very little in the way of feedback through any of the controls means that there's very little fun to be had when threading the Dolphin along a country road. The stability control keeps things on an extremely tight leash, so it always feels safe and predictable, but that seems at odds with the car's sprightly performance; the instant throttle response gives a turn of speed that's really surprising for this class, and the seven-second 0-62mph time feels entirely believable. Motorway: At motorway speeds, the BYD lacks a little refinement compared with the Fiat.

Road noise in particular is more audible, but there's also a touch more wind whistle once you reach the national speed limit. That aside, it's a comfortable place to be, and there's still plenty of punch as you accelerate up to 70mph on a slip road.


In a class where so many alternatives are largely dull and grey inside, our test car's blue upholstery with red highlights is a refreshing change. It's a shame, then, that this currently isn't available to customers, with the only choice on offer at the moment being all black.

At least a standard panoramic sunroof bathes the interior with light.

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