BYD S1 launch

To mark their 4th year anniversary, Solar Transport and Automotive Resources Corp. (STAR Corp.), the official distributor of BYD cars in the Philippines, is entering the flourishing subcompact crossover class with the newest member of their S nameplate — the BYD S1.

The BYD S1 looks like a typical subcompact crossover — small (and cute) and with relatively high ground clearance than sedans and hatchbacks. It’s like a “small SUV,” so to speak. For comparison, it’s a bit smaller than the Ford EcoSport in width and height but longer in overall length and wheelbase.

Up front, the S1 has a chrome wing grille with sweptback automatic halogen headlamps on its ends. To further heighten its appeal, it’s equipped with LED daytime running lights while the lower mesh grille has fog lamps on the side. It also has bumper diffuser that exhumes an active and sporty demeanor.

In profile, the S1’s distinct trait is its C-pillar design that seems to connect the 2nd row windows to the rear glass. The side repeater and 17-inch aluminum alloy rims complete the look.

At the rear, the crossover has rear fog lights for better conspicuity, while the sporty spare tire cover houses the rear view camera. A high-mounted brake light is also present for added safety.

Inside, the S1 is fully-loaded with features that not all subcompact crossovers have. It has leather upholstery, a push start/stop system, and an 8-inch Android multimedia system that can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth, Aux-in, or 2 USB ports. As for cargo space, its already hefty 340L boot can be expanded to 1,200L with the rear seats folded.

The best thing about the S1 is its tech features, starting with the smart key system. Aside from keyless entry, you can remote start the car and turn on the air conditioning without even entering the cabin. This is pretty handy when you left your car parked on a sunny parking lot for hours.

Moreover, the park assist system doesn’t end with just 4 sensors and rearview camera. It also has a side view camera installed, which you can use in tight parking spaces. Other tech and convenience features include hill descent control and speed-sensing door locks.

As for safety, the S1 is equipped with dual front airbags, seatbelt for all 5 passengers, stability control, and the soon-to-be-mandatory ISOFIX child seat anchors.

At the heart of the BYD S1 is a 1.5L gasoline engine. This 16-valve mill has a max output of 110 hp and 240 Nm of torque. It’s then transferred to the front wheels via a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT).

The BYD S1 is available in its sole GLX-I variant with 2 colors to choose from: Timo White and French Red. It has a price tag of P1,068,000.

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