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In-depth reviews

GWM Ora 03 - Electric motor, drive and performance

The GWM Ora 03 is nippy enough, but doesn’t shine on the road with a choppy ride and lazy handling

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Electric motor, drive and performance Rating

3.0 out of 5

Price
£31,995 to £34,995
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For now, both the 48kWh (45.4kWh useable) Pure+ and 63kWh (59.3kWh) Pro+ GWM Ora 03 models use exactly the same 169bhp electric motor. All 03 models are front-wheel drive, like the BYD Dolphin, while its MG4 rival is rear-wheel drive.

From its cute looks and small size, you’d expect the 03 to be a good town car. However, the suspension fidgets a noticeable amount when driving at low speeds, compromising comfort around town. At higher speeds, that feeling persists, although the overall set-up itself doesn’t feel unduly harsh or firm; it’s certainly no worse than in some electric rivals like the MINI Electric or Renault Zoe.

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However, there isn’t much compensation in terms of driving fun. Look beyond the lack of body lean, and the 03 feels a little lazy and lumpen through the turns and isn’t helped by steering, which offers little to no feedback. It will be fine for most buyers, but ‘fine’ isn’t good enough compared to the MG4 or MINI Electric. The saving grace might be the Pro+ version, which is said to get variable power steering, but we’ll have to wait until we get our hands on one to find out if this version is any better.

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Thanks to its electric powertrain, very little noise comes from under the bonnet. Unfortunately, this highlights a fairly pronounced level of tyre roar, which is more audible than in the MG4.

A single-pedal driving mode is available, and three further energy recovery modes are selectable via a sub-menu on the touchscreen. The smooth transition between regeneration and mechanical braking is excellent.

We have yet to get behind the wheel of an 03 with the 63kWh battery pack, so we’ll update this section once we have.

0-62mph acceleration and top speed

At 8.3 seconds, the 0-62mph time for the 03 48kWh Pure+ is 0.4 seconds behind the Standard Range MG4. That’ll be barely noticeable in the real world, because electric cars tend to feel sprightly enough around town anyway, thanks to instant power from the electric motor, while the throttle has enough progression in Normal mode to feel easy to modulate. At speeds above 50mph, the acceleration tails off more than in its rival.

Supposedly, the 63kWh Pro+ is a little bit quicker at 8.2 seconds, but we’re suspicious about that, given its electric motor has no more power compared with the Pure+, and the Pro+ weighs 40kg more due to the extra equipment it has and its larger capacity 63kWh battery pack.

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