We recently collected the new GWM ORA Funky Cat from Charles Hurst on the Boucher Road and set off on another weekend EV test.
Accommodation & Equipment
This ‘First Edition’ demonstrator is a smart looking 5 door family hatchback in its metallic ‘Aurora Green’ and ‘Moonlight White’ roof. The interior is two-tone too and the initial impression is there’s much more room inside than I was expecting, particularly in the rear with two 6-footers easily able to sit one behind the other. That generous rear seating is at the expense of boot space though, with a capacity of just 228 litres
There are 2 screens up front, one behind the steering wheel with all the important stuff for the driver, the other, a snappily fast touch screen for the infotainment. The voice control works well, and a “turn on the radio”, or “set fan speed to 2” quickly elicits the correct response. Nice.
The impressive array of driver aids includes forward collision warning, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control, which matches the speed of the car in front, while allowing you to adjust the distance in-between. The blind spot detection system is excellent, providing amber warning lights in the door mirrors plus a change of tone should you turn on your indicator to move into an occupied lane.
The 360 surround camera system provides that useful helicopter view and kicks in automatically at low speeds. Other standard equipment on this ‘First Edition’ includes wireless phone charging, 18” alloy wheels and LED headlights (although no heated seats). Under the bonnet you’ll find the motor, inverter and ancillaries,
Performance, Handling & Ride
Drive selection is via a rotary dial on the centre console. There are the usual driving modes, Eco, Normal, Sport (and Auto). You can turn on that one-pedal driving mode that we EV drivers love so much, from a menu in on the touchscreen
With a 0-60 time of 8.3 seconds, this Cat is nippy enough and while you can tell that it is front wheel drive under hard acceleration, it never loses composure.
Ride is nice and compliant, with the suspension soaking up all but the biggest pole holes from the wide selection Northern Ireland currently has on offer. This was one of the most pleasant aspects of the car over the weekend, making travelling in the Funky Cat a very comfortable experience.
The retro design brings to mind the styling of the Mini and Fiat 500. It’s ‘cute’ and, well, Funky.
On the inside the big chrome toggle switches continue the nostalgic theme, whilst providing the tactile feedback and ease of use we all crave in a world where almost everything has gone touchscreen.
There are plenty of other neat touches too, like the full width rear light bar which has some cool tricks as you turn the car on.
Charging & Efficiency
The Type 2 CCS charging socket is in the front left wing and supports 11 kW AC and 64 kW on a DC rapid.
In terms of range, we found this Cat pretty efficient and our 71 mile Sunday run with 4 adults on board returned exactly 4.0 miles per kWh. That was over a good mix of A roads, motorway and urban driving.
4.0 miles/kWh x 45.4 kWH Usable = 182 mile range
The early summer temperatures of around 18 degrees provided near perfect conditions so, as usual, the EV Database’s real world range of 160 miles sounds spot on.
That range, along with its 5 Star Euro NCAP safety rating will make this an idea small family car for many, and it sounds like the bigger battery Funky Cat will be available here in the coming months (already available in Ireland) if you need to go further.
The Funky Cat comes with an 8 year / 100,00 mile battery warranty, plus a 5 year / unlimited mileage car warranty. There’s plenty more to love here too, not least all that standard equipment, the roomy interior, efficient drive train and that ‘funky’ personality.
Prices for the ORA Funky Cat start from £31,995. Many thanks to the Charles Hurst Group for the loan of the car for this review.