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New Car Reviews

New Car Review | Ora Funky Cat 400+

Published 5th April 2023Read Time 15 min

Good Stuff 👍

Specification level, wow factor

Bad Stuff 👎

User interface, space in the boot

What is the Ora Funky Cat?

All-electric hatchback with bags of character

We welcome another Chinese brand making fully-electric cars into Ireland. The latest edition is from manufacturing powerhouse Great Wall Motors. We might not have heard of them in Ireland, but they are a serious player, making well over a million vehicles per year in China.

The Funky Cat is a unique-looking, playful hatchback with decent range. It’s packed full of features and technology that, on paper at least, make a lot of more expensive European cars seem a bit featureless. But how does it stack up to nearly 1,500kms of driving over a week’s testing?

How about the looks of the Ora Funky Cat?

Different, quirky and a real blend of designs

Critics of the Ora’s styling say that it looks a little like they took the design sketches of a modern Mini and a classic Porsche 911, and stuck them in a blender. Although we can certainly see their point, we think that’s a little unfair. The Ora certainly is different, but in a world full of increasingly similar SUVs, a bit of character like this should be applauded. 18” alloys fill out the wheel arches nicely.

The exterior of the Funky Cat is quite curvaceous. The front light clusters are admittedly Mini-esque, forming a bulge that carries over the wheel arches. ‘Ora’ lettering stands proudly on what is a wide rear hatch, pronounced by the fact that the indicator and brakes lights are offset onto the lower bumper. Although bigger in person that it seems in photos, it is still a reasonable 4.2 metres long.

Blake Boland
“The 300Pro costs €31,995, and the bigger battery 400 Pro+ costs €39,995 However, if you do longer trips from time to time, then it is worth paying for the extra range.”
Blake Boland AA Road Tester

What is the inside of the Ora Funky Cat?

Roomier than expected, nicely finished.

Inside, the playful design language follows through. It is also a lot more spacious than you might expect. Boot space was sacrificed for cabin space, and unless you really need to cart around a lot of baggage, then your passengers will really thank you for it.

The steering wheel on the Funky Cat is quite big, but it’s thin and easy to grip. A few haptic-style buttons control things like the volume, with shortcuts also. There are two 10.25” screens, with one sitting directly behind the steering wheel and the other slightly toward the centre of the dash.

The driver’s display has good resolution and displays a huge amount of information. It also gives a visual representation of where the car is in the lane, showing up other vehicles that are around it. This is linked with the various cameras and sensors around the car.

The infotainment screen also has good resolution. A series of shortcuts buttons give access to the comprehensive list of features and settings built into the Funky Cat. On paper, it is incredible what the Funky Cat offers here, easily beating the majority of other cars on the road. However, the execution falls a little short. Your view of the shortcut buttons are blocked by your hands on the steering wheel. We also found that the text and buttons were a little small for ease of use during driving. There could be some work done on how intuitively the system operates.

Space for the driver and passengers is excellent for a car of this size. Thanks to the panoramic sunroof, light floods in making it open and airy. Legroom for passengers in the rear is very impressive. The boot is quite small, however, at 228 litres. This probably won’t suffice for a young family, but this isn’t the target market of course!

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What is the Ora Funky Cat like to drive?

Peppy acceleration, adaptive cruise control, good range

The Ora Funky Cat 400Pro+ has a 59.3kWh usable battery and WLTP range figure of 420km. Although that’s a little optimistic unless you’re pottering around the city in summer, it is still quite good. A more dependable, real-world figure would be 330km to 350km.

The Funky Cat gets a 126kW motor that drives the front wheels. This gives 250Nm of torque and a 0-100km/h time of 8.2 seconds. Top speed, not that you’ll ever get close in Ireland, is 160km/h. We found the Funky Cat a little slippy off the line. The auto-hold function is great in heavy traffic, but when you want to take off quickly, it’s a bit tricky to find the balance and not spin the wheels out. Of course, you could put it into Eco Mode to dull the acceleration, but this misses the point surely.

The Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist and Lane Centering take some of the burden away from a long motorway drive. Sound insulation is decent. The heated, cooled, electric massage seats help you get to your destination in comfort. We’ve driven plenty of cars two or three times the price that don’t have these features!

Which Ora Funky Cat should I buy?

If you can pay the extra for the 400+, do.

There are two options when it comes to buying the Ora Funky Cat; the 300 Pro and the 400 Pro+. The 300 Pro has a smaller 45.4kWh usable battery. WLTP range is 310km instead of the larger 420km. There are also a few creature comforts missing in the 300 Pro option such as heated steering wheel, opening panoramic sunroof and electric tailgate.

As there is a significant price difference, we would be tempted to save the bit of money and opt for the smaller battery. The 300Pro costs €31,995, and the bigger battery 400 Pro+ costs €39,995 However, if you do longer trips from time to time, then it is worth paying for the extra range. You get a real world jump of about 80km range. As the DC charging on the Funky Cat isn’t great, you may be happy to have that bit of range in reserve.

Is the Ora Funky Cat safe?

The Funky Cat scored top marks from the NCAP tests

The Ora Funky Cat scored very well in the Euro NCAP tests when tested in 2022. It achieved scores of 92% for Adult Occupant, 83% for Child Occupant, 74% for Vulnerable Road Users, and 93% for its Safety Assist features. This is an impressive score overall, enabling it to achieve a full 5-star rating.

Verdict

Almost brilliant, but not quite.

We desperately wanted to love the Funky Cat, we truly did. It’s a breath of fresh air in a market dominated by mid-sized SUVs. The level of specifications and features is astounding. There is good range for a car this size and it will charge well on AC. There really is so much to love about it. It will rightly put a gigantic grin on some customers’ faces.

For us, unfortunately, it is just not executed as well as it could be. The DC charging is underwhelming, and we just couldn’t get to grips with the user interface. Aside from a few gripes, we are still delighted that the Funky Cat is in Ireland. With a few small tweaks for the European market, this could be one of the most impressive cars on the road.

Although we don’t think it’s done enough to stand head and shoulders above the competition, it has to make your shortlist and be taken for a test drive if you were in the market for something like a Fiat 500e, VW iD.3, MG4 or MINI electric.

Spec Check ⚙️

Ora Funky Cat 400+

Motor

126kW, FWD

Torque

250Nm

0-100km/h

8.2 seconds

Range

Up to 420kms WLTP, 330-350km real world estimate

Charging

AC - 11kW, DC – 67kW peak

Top Speed

160 km/h

Co2

0g/km at the tailpipe

Luggage capacity

228 litres, 858 seats down

Pricing

From €31,995 / €39,995 as tested.

For more information go to Ora Ireland.

 

 

 

Video Review

Blake Boland reviews the Ora Funky Cat

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