GWM Ora 03 Review 2024

GWM Ora 03 At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The GWM Ora 03 provides welcome competition to the more affordable electric cars on the market. But there are some significant flaws which may be hard to overlook.

+Good size for its price tag. Sound driving experience. Unusual design.

-Small boot. Confusing infotainment system. Not as polished as some rivals.

As the shift towards electric cars continues, there has been an array of new entrants to the European market, one of which is GWM, a Chinese firm that has been around for some 40 years. The GWM Ora 03 – previously known as the Funky Cat – is a compact hatchback designed to compete with the MG 4, although it is closer in size to the Volkswagen Golf, while its pricing puts it up against smaller EVs like the Peugeot e-208. Read on for our full GWM Ora 03 review.

At present, there are two model options. The GWM Ora 03 Pure+ is the entry-level variant and is fitted with a 48kWh battery, offering a WLTP range of 193 miles, with a 171PS electric motor driving the front wheels.

The GWM Ora 03 Pro+, meanwhile, has a larger 63kWh battery, with a claimed WLTP range of 260 miles, and offers the same 171PS output.

One of the most distinctive elements of the GWM Ora 03 is its design. The exterior presents a deliberately friendly face with retro-inspired curves.

It might not suit all tastes, but it is eye-catching, and arguably shows inspiration from the MINI and – at a stretch – the Porsche 911. The design also gives the illusion that this is a small car, but in truth it is closer in its exterior dimensions to models from the class above.

Inside, the GWM Ora 03 is a little more conventional, but still has some appealing aspects. The layout follows the current trend of being relatively minimalistic, with a large digital display ahead of the driver and few physical buttons elsewhere around the cabin.

There is also a somewhat premium feel to the interior, with a suede-effect finish to the dashboard and quilted door cappings, although there are some cheap-feeling plastics dotted around.

To drive, the GWM Ora 03 is either on a par with – or at least reasonably close to – the best cars in the class. The performance on offer from the 171PS electric motor is usefully brisk, and a 0-62mph time of 8.3 seconds should be more than enough for most buyers.

The driving experience is undemanding, with decent ride comfort on a variety of road surfaces. There is little feedback through the steering, however, which means it is unlikely to be a good choice for enthusiastic drivers.

In summary, the GWM Ora 03 impresses in many areas, particularly for a manufacturer that is new to the UK. It is decent value, well specified and feels like a good-quality product. It is also more spacious than many similarly-priced rivals, which will appeal to many buyers.

On the downside, its range is not as impressive as that offered by some rivals, and there are one or two elements, such as the infotainment system and driver assistance systems, which lack the polish of more established contenders.

Ask Honest John

What's the best small electric hatchback?

"What's the nearest electric 4 four door car of a similar size to an Audi A1?"
We'd recommend a BYD Dolphin, GWM Ora 03 or Peugeot e-208. All three are impressive five-door electric cars, similar in size to your Audi A1.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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