GWM ORA 03 Review: A retro-inspired EV with a quirky personality
In the ever-evolving landscape of electric vehicles, the GWM Ora 03 (previously coined the Funky Cat) emerges as a head-turning option from ORA which recently made its debut in the UK. With its retro-inspired design and futuristic technology, the ORA GWM Ora 03 offers a unique blend of sustainability and style. While it's a newcomer to the UK, it certainly packs a punch. Launching in the UK with impressive delivery times you could get behind the wheel in no time.
Retro style, modern tech
One of the immediate standout features of the GWM Ora 03 is its striking colour scheme options. Unlike many competitors, this electric vehicle embraces a vibrant and playful exterior, reminiscent of classic icons like the Volkswagen Beetle and the beloved Fiat 500. Flashing headlights and taillights show off its distinctive charm when unlocked, while fish swimming across the screens inside the car add a bit of fun.
Safety enhanced, experience personalised
The GWM Ora 03's appeal goes beyond aesthetics. It features groundbreaking safety features that truly set it apart from the crowd. The Driver Monitoring System (DMS) is a standout innovation, offering facial recognition technology giving you a personalised driving experience. This system can adjust settings like temperature preferences. If you like it chilly but your partner likes it warm, you can have the best of both worlds. The advanced AI voice control system, activated by the phrase "Hey Ora," is a pretty cool feature. The voice assistant effortlessly manages your music, climate control, and can even open or close the windows. It also prioritises safety by providing prompts if it detects signs of driver fatigue or distraction, creating an even safer drive for you.
In terms of connectivity, the GWM Ora 03 currently lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, which could be a drawback if you love music on a car trip. But they do have plans to add this in the future.
Conquer city streets
Designed with city life in mind, the GWM Ora 03 is a perfect fit for urban driving. Its punchy acceleration makes navigating busy streets and darting through traffic a breeze. It isn’t quite there with the smoothness of acceleration compared to some of its competitors like the Fiat 500e or the VW ID.3. It focuses on practicality, affordability, and style, ticking all the boxes for an ideal city-centric car. Whether you're headed to the shops or meeting friends for dinner, this quirky EV offers a sustainable option that doesn't compromise on fun.
Step inside the GWM Ora 03, and you'll find a fun and stylish interior with pops of colour that match its vibrant exterior. Physical buttons make adjusting the air conditioning a breeze, while the abundance of charging ports makes sure you stay connected even when on the go. The spaciousness of the cabin is surprising given the GWM Ora 03’s compact size , not just for the driver but also for passengers, accommodating even the tallest of friends without sacrificing comfort.
On the road the GWM Ora 03 impresses with its nimble steering, particularly around tight corners which is super useful when navigating tiny streets. The integrated display provides a real-time view of the surroundings, aided by anti-curb assist cameras that help you navigate tricky turns. The inclusion of driver convenience features like adaptive cruise control and lane departure assist makes long journeys a little easier and more enjoyable.
Range & Efficiency
Considering its affordability, the GWM Ora 03 offers an impressive range of around 160 miles on a full charge. It falls slightly short when compared to rivals such as the Fiat 500e in terms of regenerative braking as the GWM Ora 03 delivers quite a harsh brake making the ride not as smooth..
The GWM Ora 03 shows its commitment to safety through the abundance of safety features it offers. The car includes 360° cameras, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control, giving you peace of mind on the road. The GWM Ora 03 has also got high safety ratings in the small family car category from the NCAP.
When it comes to charging, the GWM Ora 03 offers convenience and efficiency like any modern EV. With a fast charger, you can recharge around 130 miles of range in just 45 minutes. The regenerative braking system also further maximises efficiency. The car's range might not be enough for long journeys, meaning you need to allow for stops to change up on road trips.
GWM Ora 03 vs Fiat 500e
The GWM Ora 03 and the Fiat 500e are two distinctive EVs, both with their own unique characteristics. The GWM Ora 03 catches the eye with its retro-inspired design and vibrant colour options while the Fiat 500e stays true to its traditional roots, embracing a more conventional design.
When it comes to safety, both cars are truly great. The GWM Ora 03 offers advanced features like a DMS and AI voice control enhancing personalisation and safety. The Fiat 500e includes safety technologies such as blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning although lacking the same level of AI integration.
Both cars are made for city driving thanks to their compact size and manoeuvrability boasting nippy acceleration and agile handling, perfect for urban streets.
In terms of range, the GWM Ora 03 comes out top with an impressive 160 miles on a full charge whilst the Fiat 500e's is 145 miles.The regenerative braking in the GWM Ora 03 isn’t quite as smooth as the Fiat 500e making the Fiat a much more smooth and comfortable drive.
Whilst both EVs have quirky design and are ideal for navigating a city the GWM Ora 03 is the more affordable option but you do sacrifice some driving comforts for this.
GWM Ora 03 vs Vauxhall Corsa
The GWM Ora 03 makes a great first EV, so what if you’re thinking about going electric? Another stylish city car, the Vauxhall Corsa is similar in size to the GWM Ora 03 with the Corsa coming out on top by around 20 litres. They both have similar power, reaching 60 mph in around 8 seconds, no speed demon but certainly powerful enough to nip around in.
The Corsa does have a smaller back cabin compared to the GWM Ora 03, but the size of an EV is one of their great advantages.
It is also worth considering that the GWM Ora 03 has limited rapid charging capabilities so if you use your car for long distances it might not be the one for you. The steering in the GWM Ora 03 compared to the Corsa is also pretty light making the Corsa a little more pleasurable to drive.
Our ratings for the GWM Ora 03
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