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Long-term review

Ora Funky Cat First Edition - long term review

£31,995 / as tested £32,790 / PCM £398
Published: 04 Apr 2023
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SPEC HIGHLIGHTS

  • SPEC

    GWM Ora Funky Cat First Edition

  • ENGINE

    1cc

  • BHP

    171bhp

  • 0-62

    8.2s

We’re living with an Ora Funky Cat for six months – will we ever get used to the name?

When we were told that the TG team was adopting a cat, this is not exactly what we had in mind…

And yet, it’s not often that we get to run a car from a completely new manufacturer in the TG garage, so the fact that an Ora Funky Cat has come to live with us for a while is very exciting indeed. I just hope we’ve got a big enough litter tray.

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Although it’s a little bit misleading to label Ora a new manufacturer: it has been building electric cars under the name (which apparently stands for ‘open, reliable and alternative’) in China since 2018 and its parent company is the giant Great Wall Motor.

Ora sits alongside Haval, Wey, GWM and Tank as brands owned by the overlord, and a few years ago it signed a joint venture agreement with BMW for the “development and production of electric vehicles in China”. That means that much of the Funky Cat’s underpinnings could make their way into future electric Minis, so it’d better be good.

But first, the name. In China this particular car is called the Good Cat, while the rest of the range includes the Black Cat and the White Cat (both teeny electric city cars). Fans of political quotations may recognise the naming strategy from former leader Deng Xiaoping’s 1960s quip: “No matter if it is a white cat or a black cat; as long as it can catch mice, it is a good cat.” Niche.

However, Ora’s European head office in Munich decided that Good Cat didn’t really work on our shores, so for reasons known only to them it is now called the Funky Cat. Phew.

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Now to the car. The Funky Cat is an ID.3-sized five-door hatch but with a small 48kWh battery and a claimed WLTP range of 193 miles. A single electric motor drives the front wheels with 169bhp, but you’ll only be able to get juice back into it at maximum speeds of 64kW on a rapid charger.

From the outside it looks rather cute with hints of Mini and even Porsche 911 if you really squint, although certain members of the TG team have been overheard describing it as resembling a melted K12 Nissan Micra. Harsh. On the inside you get two 10.25-inch infotainment screens, lots of fake leather and a worrying lack of physical buttons.

It’s easy to spec a Funky Cat in the UK right now, with the only trim level being the fully-loaded ‘First Edition’ that’ll set you back £31,995. Your only options are then £595 for metallic paint or £795 for the metallic paint and two-tone interior setup that we have here. You get a strong warranty for that cash too – five years with unlimited mileage for the car itself and eight years or 100,000 miles for the battery.

We’ll delve deeper into what you get for your money once we’ve had the chance to play around with the touchscreens properly, but perhaps the big thing to note early doors is that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are currently unavailable on the Funky Cat. Ora assures us that they will arrive via an over-the-air update later in 2023.

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