ORA Funky Cat review

ORA Funky Cat

We road test the first car from a new brand to the UK – the ORA Funky Cat EV…

With its cool name and retro looks, this affordable electric hatchback is our introduction to ORA – one of five brands owned by Chinese car giant, Great Wall Motor.

Founded in 1984, GWM is China’s largest producer of SUVs and pick-up trucks, and the Funky Cat will be followed by more 100% electric siblings, probably all with cute feline names.

Apparently, ORA stands for “Open, Reliable and Alternative” and so far the strategy seems to be working well because ORA sold 135,000 cars in China during 2021 and several thousand UK motorists have already registered an interest in the Funky Cat.

ORA Funky Cat

Priced from £31,995, ORA has kept it simple at launch with just a ‘First Edition’, available in four colours, including Aurora Green and Nebula Green.

Featuring a 48kWh battery offering an official range of 193 miles, power comes from a 169bhp electric motor driving the front wheels, giving a 0-62mph time of 8.3 seconds and a top speed of 99mph.

It can be charged via a 6.6kW home charger in five hours 24 minutes, or 3 hours 12 minutes using an 11kW public charger.

ORA Funky Cat

If you can find a rapid 100kW connection, you’ll be back on the road in less than 45 minutes.

The Funky Cat is bigger than it looks in pictures, so it’s more Golf than Polo, or Focus than Fiesta. Crucially, it’s also about the same size as the VW ID.3 – the electric vehicle ORA reckons is the Funky Cat’s closest rival (though we’d say the Citroen e-C4 is closer still).

With its blend of retro features and modern touches, this five-door family hatchback is a breath of fresh air on the road.

ORA Funky Cat

There are hints of MINI, VW Beetle, Nissan Micra and Alfa Romeo MiTo, with its round headlights, sloping nose and bonnet creases.

The Funky Cat’s wheel-in-each-corner profile is more unique with clever curves and a high waistline, while its pert rear is not unlike a Nissan Leaf, though the ‘Cat’ has low set lights, a full width lightbar along the bottom of the tailgate window and a sporty spoiler.

The interior is right up there with the MINI Electric in terms of build quality and the near-premium use of materials. It feels solid too (the doors close with a satisfying clunk).

ORA Funky Cat

It’s funky inside with a minimalist design and a trim matching the exterior colour. There’s a big two-spoke steering wheel, a row of toggle switches and a 10.25-inch touchscreen, plus a large digital driver’s display (also 10.25 inches).

Note: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will form part of an over-the-air update in summer 2023.

A special mention for the voice command system, which works surprisingly well. Simply say “Hello Ora” and you’re away. It recognises your voice too and it’s very good at opening and closing windows!

ORA Funky Cat

The Funky Cat is spacious too, with enough room for adults to sit behind adults, though the boot is a modest 228 litres (rising to 858 litres with the rear seats flipped down).

The heated and electrically adjustable leatherette seats are comfortable and even feature cool cross stitching usually found on luxury cars (check out the door cards too).

When it’s time to set off, simply select D via a centrally located rotating knob, release the parking brake and you’re away. Accompanied by a distant whine, the Funky Cat is as swift as you’d expect for a relatively lightweight EV.

ORA Funky Cat

Smooth, comfortable, fun, and easy to drive with light steering, visibility is good, while cabin refinement is admirable.

There’s also some decent performance (it’s not hard to spin the front wheels if you floor it, especially in the wet) and you can choose from various drive modes.

Stick to Eco for town driving, Normal on more open roads and Sport for occasional bursts of range-sapping run.

ORA Funky Cat

You can also select single-pedal drive mode, which almost eradicates the need for brakes – simply lift off and it slows down fast. Or you can choose between three levels of regen via the touchscreen.

However, despite its looks, the Funky Cat is no match for the MINI Electric in the handling department. Push it to the limit in faster corners and it becomes unsettled, but for everyday driving it’s a joy.

So, as long as you don’t go expecting hot hatch driving dynamics, the Funky Cat won’t disappoint, while a real-world range of 150 miles is way above the smaller MINI’s 100 miles.

ORA Funky Cat

Standard kit on the Funky Cat Launch Edition includes LED headlights, wireless phone charging, adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree camera system, a rear traffic cross alert and autonomous emergency braking (AEB).

In fact, it’s so safe that Euro NCAP awarded it a maximum five stars in crash testing.

ORA Funky Cat

No car is perfect, and the Funky Cat is no exception., because it’s not without its irritations.

For instance, the indicators are tricky to cancel. They require an incredibly light touch and it’s all too easy to activate the opposite signal.

We’re sure it won’t be such an issue after a few weeks of ownership, but it’s not ideal initially.

ORA Funky Cat

The various bongs and safety warnings are slightly overbearing too, while the infotainment screen looks cool, but could be much bolder with a larger typeface.

Overall, the Funky Cat is an impressive debut model for GWM in the UK, and if it can keep its pricing competitive, it could be the cat’s whiskers.

Verdict: The all-new ORA Funky Cat is a welcome addition to the EV scene. Not only does it stand out from the crowd, but it also offers practicality, fun driving, good build quality, a useful battery range and a five-year unlimited mileage warranty.

GMM ORA UK

ORA Funky Cat

The Best Electric Cars — Ranked

Electric cars are one of the biggest trends today. But while they’ve only started gaining popularity in the last ten years or so, the first electric cars hit the road over a century ago. Electric cars were all the rage between 1890 and 1910 until the much cheaper Model T Ford came along and undercut the market. After that, electric cars slowly disappeared from the road.

Modern electric cars don’t look to be disappearing any time soon, and in coming years, we’re only bound to see more of them. More drivers are switching to electric vehicles every year to save money and be more eco-friendly. Going electric makes sense with the upcoming ban on internal combustion engine vehicle sales in 2030

Ten years ago, there were very few electric cars available, and they cost a pretty penny. But there are now hundreds of fantastic and affordable options, especially with car leasing and finance options. We’ve ranked the top five electric cars to help you decide if you’re considering an electric car.

The Top 5 Electric Cars Available

Before we jump into the top five, it’s important to clarify how we rank the best electric cars. To decide which electric vehicles make the top five, we’ve looked at several different areas to assess just how good they are, including:

  • Price
  • Maximum range
  • Charging time
  • Technology and features
  • Driving experience.

Using these parameters, we’ve put together the best electric cars that are affordable for most drivers. 

1. Tesla Model 3

Of course, a Tesla is at the top of our list. We can’t ignore that the manufacturer is at the forefront of electric cars and is, in some ways, responsible for the electric revolution. Tesla’s Model 3 is the company’s entry-level car, and it’s an impressive one. Tesla has managed to find the perfect balance of price and performance with the Model 3. It’s not as expensive as the Model S, but it’s still a very capable car. 

The Model 3 is a sleek and stylish saloon that seats five adults comfortably. It has a range of up to 360 miles on a single charge and can accelerate from 0-62 mph in just 4.2 seconds. Tesla has also equipped the Model 3 with advanced driver-assistance features, including automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.

2. Kia EV6

Kia took a little while to join the electric market but didn’t take long to make a mark. Kia’s EV6 is an absolute game-changer. Kia has pulled out all the stops with the EV6, engineering it from the ground up as an electric vehicle. The result is a stunning SUV with long-range (328 miles), fast charging, and impressive performance. 

Kia has also made the EV6 fun to drive, with sharp handling and plenty of torque and affordable. It’s the perfect car for anyone who wants to switch to electric without making any compromises. Kia has raised the bar with the EV6, and it’s going to take some serious beating in the electric SUV market. 

3. Skoda Enyaq

The Skoda Enyaq is an all-electric SUV that’s almost neck and neck with the Kia EV6. It’s packed with features that make it a joy to drive, and its striking design is sure to turn heads. But what sets the Skoda Enyaq apart is its range. It can travel up to 330 miles on a single charge with a fully charged battery. And when you do need to recharge, the Skoda Enyaq can be plugged into a standard domestic socket (although you’ll want a dedicated EV charger). 

Skoda has long been known for producing reliable, affordable cars, and the Enyaq is no exception. This all-electric SUV is Skoda’s first foray into the world of EVs, and it offers a compelling mix of range, comfort, and value. Whether you’re driving across town or country, the Skoda Enyaq has got you covered. Skoda Enyaq is the perfect car for anyone who wants to enjoy the freedom of electric motoring without any range anxiety.

4. BMW i4

The BMW i4 is BMW’s all-electric executive saloon. This vehicle is BMW’s first foray into the electric saloon market, and it’s a pretty impressive one at that. The i4 has a range of up to 358 miles on a single charge, and it can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in just 5.7 seconds.

While the BMW i4 has a higher price mark than some of its competitors, BMW is quickly becoming a leader in the electric car market, and the i4 is just the latest example of its commitment to innovation. With its long-range and competitive price, the BMW i4 is a popular choice for those looking for a luxury electric car.

5. Volkswagen ID.3

The Volkswagen ID.3 is an all-electric hatchback from Volkswagen. It’s the first car built on VW’s MEB platform, designed specifically for electric propulsion. The ID.3 is available in three different battery sizes, with a range of up to 340 miles on the largest battery.

The ID.3 is an impressive car; it’s affordable, practical and fun to drive. And because it’s a Volkswagen, it comes with all the quality and reliability you expect from the German brand. Plus, it’s won multiple awards, including Top Gear, Carbuyer and GQ awards.  

So there you have it, the best electric cars ranked. If you’re thinking about switching to an electric vehicle and you’re not quite set on any in the top 5, there are plenty more impressive electric cars to choose from. Almost every major manufacturer now produces an all-electric range, so you’re spoilt for choice.