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ORA Funky Cat First Drive Review

The ORA Funky Cat has characterful styling, it’s good to drive, it’s relatively affordable for an EV, and it has a quality feel.

  • ORA Funky Cat
  • ORA Funky Cat
  • ORA Funky Cat
  • ORA Funky Cat
  • ORA Funky Cat
  • ORA Funky Cat
  • ORA Funky Cat
  • ORA Funky Cat
  • ORA Funky Cat
  • ORA Funky Cat
  • ORA Funky Cat
  • ORA Funky Cat
Green Car Guide Rating: 8/10

Key stats

  • Model/Engine size:   ORA Funky Cat First Edition
  • Fuel:   Electric
  • Electric driving range (WLTP): 193 miles
  • Maximum rapid charging rate:   64 kW

Summary

  • Characterful styling
  • Quality feel, including the interior
  • Good to drive
  • Relatively affordable compared to many EVs

Background

Most people won’t have heard of the ORA Funky Cat, and that’s because it’s a new car in the UK. Not only that, the company behind the car, Great Wall Motor, will also be a fresh name to many. However Great Wall Motor (GWM) is one of China’s biggest automotive manufacturers, with five brands. In 2021, GWM sold 1.28 million units globally, with £16.6 billion gross annual revenue.

ORA is the Chinese car maker’s first all-electric car brand, which has sold around 135,000 vehicles in China since 2018, and it’s launching into markets across Europe this year.

ORA Funky CatORA Funky Cat

Design & Engineering

The ORA Funky Cat has a 48 kWh lithium ion phosphate battery, a 171 PS electric motor, and it’s front-wheel drive.

The exterior design has character – perhaps reflecting the ‘Funky Cat’ name – with styling reminiscent of a MINI – although at 4,235mm long, the ORA Funky Cat is larger than a MINI five-door hatch (which is 3,982mm in length). However, at just 228-litres, the Funky Cat’s boot capacity isn’t huge, and it features a high sill.

The Funky Cat’s cabin exudes a feel-good factor thanks to its interesting design, with the red exterior colour also featuring in the interior of our test car, but perhaps the biggest surprise is that the dashboard materials and the fit and finish all look and feel high quality.

ORA Funky CatORA Funky Cat

ORA Funky Cat Driving Experience

The ORA Funky Cat shares the qualities of most other electric cars, ie. there’s instant response when you drive off, with good performance, and the driving experience is quiet and refined.

In our relatively limited first drive review, ride quality appeared to be good overall, and the handling was fun – however there was some wheelspin from the front-wheel drive chassis when accelerating from standstill in the wet (the ‘Giti’ tyres, which aren’t well known in the UK, may be a factor in this).

As with most of the latest EVs, the majority of car controls are accessed through the touchscreen, which is relatively wide and features shortcut buttons on the right-hand side of the screen. Some physical buttons can be found on the steering wheel, and there’s a rotary dial for the gear selector.

One button which is hidden away is the drive mode switch, which is on the right-hand side of the dashboard behind the steering wheel; if you can find it, this gives you the options of Normal, Eco, Auto and Sport.

ORA makes big claims about the voice control system in the Funky Cat, saying that speaking to the car can avoid the use of traditional car controls. We tested this voice control system within the limited time constraints of the launch event and it does seem to work better than many systems that we’ve previously tried.

The Funky Cat also features facial recognition, which enables the car to recognise a driver and save their settings.

ORA Funky CatORA Funky Cat

ORA Funky Cat Electric Range and Charging

The ORA Funky Cat has a WLTP combined electric driving range of 193 miles. It wasn’t possible to test the real-world range during the short time on the launch event, but we hope to do this soon.

The Funky Cat has a maximum rapid charging rate of 64 kW, which is slower than most competitors. This translates to a 15% – 80% charge at a 100 kW rapid charger taking 42 minutes 30 seconds.

There’s an ORA app which allows you to control car functions such as climate preheating and cooling.

How to charge an electric car

ORA Funky CatORA Funky Cat

Price And Model Range

The ORA Funky Cat First Edition is available from £31,995. There are no factory options other than metallic paint (£595), and metallic paint and dual tone interior (£795). First Edition colours are Aurora Green with Moonlight White roof, Mars Red with Starry Black roof, Starry Black and Nebula Green.

The ORA Funky Cat is also available on lease for £399 per month along with a £3,600 initial payment.

ORA says that if you order a Funky Cat around the time of launch you could take delivery of one within a few weeks.

The 21E insurance group should mean fairly low insurance premiums, and ORA says that the comprehensive suite of driver assistance systems is a key factor in the low insurance group.

The Funky Cat also has a 5-star Euro NCAP rating, along with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty, an eight-year/100,000 miles EV battery warranty and EV powertrain warranty.

ORA is in the process of expanding a network of physical dealerships in the UK.

ORA Funky CatORA Funky Cat

Conclusion

The ORA Funky Cat has characterful exterior styling, an interesting interior, the refinement that you would expect from an EV, and decent driving dynamics. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the quality of the car, especially the cabin.

With prices from £31,995, the Funky Cat is at the more affordable end of the EV spectrum, and there’s more good news in terms of reasonably quick delivery times.

However the 193-mile range isn’t huge, the 64 kW maximum charging rate isn’t particularly fast, and the 228-litre boot isn’t the best in class. But overall the ORA Funky Cat is a good overall package and a welcome addition to the choice for EV buyers. Based on a relatively short first drive, the ORA Funky Cat is awarded a Green Car Guide rating of 8 out of 10, but we look forward to spending more time with the car for a full review.

Car facts and figures ORA Funky Cat First Drive Review

  • Test electric driving range: TBC miles
  • Consumption (WLTP): 16.7 kWh/100km / 3.7 miles/kWh
  • CO2 emissions (WLTP): 0 g/km
  • Vehicle tax rate (VED):   £0
  • Benefit in Kind (BIK) company car tax liability (2022/23): 2%
  • Price:   £31,995
  • Insurance group:   21 E
  • Power:   171 PS
  • Torque:   250 Nm
  • Max speed:   99 mph
  • 0-62 mph:   8.3 seconds
  • Weight:   1,540 kg
  • Towing capacity: 0 kg
Paul Clarke

Review by:
Paul Clarke, GreenCarGuide Editor