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The BYD F3 is a compact car (4 doors sedan, 5 passengers) produced in China by BYD Auto and released there in 2005. The F3 is one of the top selling compact cars in China, looking very similar in front appearance to the 9th generation Toyota Corolla and back appearance to the Honda Fit Aria. As of January 2010, the BYD F3 retails for approximately CN¥60,000 (US$9,300) and the "out the door" price in China is approximately 20% more, for a total on-road cost of CN¥70,000 (taxes, licensing, insurance) (US$10,850). Through all of 2009, the BYD F3 held the honors as top selling compact vehicle on the China mainland.
In April 2012, the second generation BYD F3 Plus, also called Su Rui, was launched at the Beijing Auto Show. During 2013, the BYD L3 was also introduced in several export markets as the New F3.
The BYD F3 features a 4-cylinder, 1.5-liter, Mitsubishi Orion engine (4G15S) with distributor-less Bosch ignition and fuel injection. The vehicle boasts Euro 4 emissions standards. Engine output is 75 kW (101 hp). Fuel efficiency is rated at approx 7 L/100 km (40 mpg-imp; 34 mpg-US). The transmission MaTriX is a 5-speed manual transmission - similar to that used in the Mitsubishi Colt, Galant, and Mirage vehicles. Three point safety belts, power steering, alloy wheels fitted with 195/60 R15 tires, 4-wheel ABS disk brake system as standard, LED tail lights, and halogen headlights.
The BYD F3 owner can choose from 3 trim packages (GL-i, GL-X, and GL- Xi). All models come with standard equipment: AC, AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo, electric windows and mirrors. Optional equipment includes upgraded leather seats, 3rd brake-light, driver and passenger air bags, auxiliary front fog lights and upgraded audio / IVI (in vehicle infotainment). Color schemes are white, black, champagne, and red, with black being most common.
Derivatives of the BYD F3 include the BYD F3DM (dual mode, rechargeable electric / gas rechargeable vehicle) and BYD F3R (hatchback version). In 2009, BYD introduced the G3 as an updated/upgraded compact class vehicle - however, the F3 will continue to be sold in domestic markets.
In March 2011, BYD reduced prices on 5 of their vehicles to address slowing domestic PRC auto sales as government incentives and stimulus wind down. The price reductions range from 5 to 15% of vehicle cost. The price-reduced models include the F0, F3, G3, F6. Several new models are due out in 2011 including a Mini-van and a HUV/CUV vehicle.
In March 2011, a review of the BYD F3DM (dual mode electric and gas vehicle) was published in the NY Times news paper. The author gave the BYD F3DM a solid, if rather utilitarian review. The price point is reported to be approximately US$20,000 after government incentives, approximately 50% cheaper than the competing Chevrolet Volt. Currently BYD is planning a dealer network in North America with the first retail outlet slated for Los Angeles, California. 5 other dealerships are expected initially.
One common complaint in the BYD F3 is a "shake" on hard acceleration. This has been isolated to a series of defective front-wheel-drive axles, CV joints, or a combination of both. In some cases, faulty engine rubber mounts can be a cause of excessive acceleration shake. Replacement of these front-axle CV joints will cure this problem.
The mechanical air conditioning selector system is controlled by cable, and the cables can spring loose, causing the mode selection to become inoperable. This can be repaired/replaced relatively easily.
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