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In-depth reviews

GWM Ora 03 review: funky electric car with a top-notch safety rating

Cute retro looks and lots of safety kit help the GWM Ora 03 stand out from rival electric vehicles

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Price
£31,995 to £34,995
  • Strong Euro NCAP safety rating
  • Well equipped
  • Plenty of rear legroom
  • Small boot
  • Not as efficient as rivals
  • Rivals have quicker recharge times
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The GWM Ora 03 (formally known as the Ora Funky Cat) is a small electric car aimed to challenge the likes of the BYD Dolphin and MG4. It’s pricier than the MG, but it’s being marketed as a more luxurious EV loaded with safety and convenience features.

Like the popular MG4, interior quality could be better, and while it does come in five-door form, the practicality of the 03 is hampered by a small boot. The 03 isn’t all that much fun to drive, with a fidgety ride and uninvolving steering. It is very safe according to Euro NCAP, though, so it should be a reassuring place to put your children. And they’ll probably like its cute looks.

About the GWM Ora 03

Making any new car stand out against more established competition is hard, especially when launched by a new-to-market brand trying to secure a foothold in the industry. But it’s fair to say that the GWM Ora Funky Cat caught its fair share of attention just from its name alone. Well, you might have said that, but its rather odd name has now been consigned to the bin, with the tamer title of 03 now being applied to the smallest GWM Ora model. But without an attention-grabbing moniker, what’s left to make you take notice of the 03 over the popular MG4?

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To most UK buyers, the car manufacturer GWM Ora will seem unfamiliar. It is, in fact, a sub-brand of Great Wall Motors (hence the GWM part of GWM Ora), the company that brought us the Great Wall Steed pick-up truck back in 2013. Since then, it has diversified from simply being a leading manufacturer of pick-up trucks and SUVs in China to include Ora, a specialist in making only fully electric cars.

The 03 (also known as the Ora Good Cat in other markets) is GWM Ora’s debut model in the UK. It’s a five-door, five-seat small electric car that looks set to challenge the likes of the BYD Dolphin, MG4, and MINI Electric.

Along with a change of name, the 03 is now available in different trim and battery sizes. The First Edition has now become the entry-level Pure+, with the price of just under £32,000 remaining the same. A pricier Pro+ has been added as the top-of-the-range 03 model for around £35,000.

The battery capacity ranges from 48kWh (45.4kWh useable) for the Pure+ to 63kWh (59.3kWh useable) for the Pro+ and, therefore, the range increases from 193 miles up to 261 miles. However, these driving range figures are still below what an equivalent MG4 can achieve.

At least you get plenty of standard equipment for your money, because even the base 03 Pure+ comes with 18-inch alloys, electric front seats, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, a 360-degree camera system, rear parking sensors, and wireless phone charging. Stepping up to Pro+ adds heated, ventilated, and massaging front seats, front parking sensors, plus an auto park system and an electric tailgate.

A more sporty GT variant is said to be coming later, but no details have been given yet. We’ll update this review when we know more about it.

Frequently Asked Questions
The GWM Ora 03’s standout looks, pleasant to-look-at interior, strong safety and high equipment list help, but the poor driving experience, annoying autonomous tech and small boot mean cheaper EV rivals are a better bet.
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