GWM ORA 03 126kW Pure+ 48kWh 5dr Auto

  • Automatic
  • Electric
  • 5 door hatchback
  • 8.3 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 171 bhp Engine power
  • 193 mi Combined range
  • 48 kWh Battery capacity
  • 8 yrs Battery warranty

Ten Second Review

Once called the Funky Cat and now called the 03, what we have here is a remarkably appealing car. This trendy little Chinese EV comes from freshly created Great Wall Motors brand ORA and aims to offer people seeking a small, fashionable all-electric hatch a refreshingly different option.

Background

This is a small EV from Chinese maker Great Wall Motors, who sold the cheap but uncompetitive Steed pick-up here between 2012 and 2016. They returned in late 2022 with this car, first called the 'Funky Cat', then rather more blandly re-named in 2024 as the '03'. It's a remarkably credible offering sold under a fledgling Great Wall Motors sub-brand called ORA, which has the ambitious goal of selling up to 50,000 versions of this car a year in the UK, using a combination of selected dealers, shopping centre outlets and online selling. The same car is known as the 'Cat 01' or the 'Good Cat' in China. Where it's also joined in the showroom by three other variants - the 'Pink Cat', the 'White Cat' and the 'Black Cat'. Yes really. Around 1,000 'Funky Cat' versions of this model were sold before it changed its name to '03' in early 2024, which coincided with an increase in drive range to 260 miles. This car is in the vanguard of a horde of Chinese EV imports bound for Europe. MG and Volvo are already basically Chinese brands, with Nio and iPhone maker Foxconn among those marques still to come. So, can this 03 model cut it? Let's find out.

Driving Experience

You should find the 03 to be a perky little thing. Power is sent to a 171PS motor on the front axle with 250Nm of torque, which in the most affordable variant is powered by a 48kWh battery - that's what we tried. There's the usual single-speed auto gearbox. And the sprint to 30mph is dispatched in just 3.8s and 62mph in 8.3s, en route to a limited top speed of 99mph. That's as fast as you'll go in an 03. Still, what's on offer is just about enough for the car to feel eager - though that's not the same as it being satisfying to drive: if you want kart-like handling, you'll prefer a MINI Electric. For 03 folk, a 'Sport' drive mode is provided, but you won't ever feel much like using it; this isn't really that kind of car. The other modes are 'Normal', 'Eco' and 'Auto', each setting accompanied by its own specific chime as you select it - 'Sport' by what sounds like some sort of thunderclap. Body roll is evident at speed in tighter corners, the weird Giti GitiComfort tyres aren't especially grippy and the light steering gives very little feedback, even if you select the heaviest of the three available settings ('Sport'). Drive with less abandon and you might get somewhere close to the claimed EV range figure, which is rated at 193 miles for the base 48kWh version and 261 miles for the alternative 63kWh 'PRO+' model. To aid your driving efficiency, a display to the right of the instrument cluster screen waves up and down in shades of green, turquoise and red, but all it actually does (apart from making you feel queasy if you look at it for too long) is tell you what you already know (how hard your foot's on the throttle). A better tool for properly maximising drive range lies with all the various provided braking reg settings. There are three ('light', 'normal' and 'strong'), plus a dedicated 'one-pedal' mode which, if engaged, basically means you'll hardly ever have to use the actual brake except when coming to a complete stop. It's great around town, which of course is where that light steering comes into its own. And where you'll notice that the ride's quite supple and effective at dealing with potholes and speed humps. It's a different world from driving a bumpy, unyielding MINI Electric.

Design and Build

There's a lot that's interesting about the 03's retro-stylised looks, its design seemingly influenced by everything from a Porsche 911 to a Mini. Actually, it if you're looking at it as an alternative to an EV MINI, as many customers will, you need to know that it's slightly larger than one of those - measuring in at 4,235mm long and 1,825mm wide, these dimensions being more akin to a Volkswagen ID.3. And of course, it looks trendy. Most early models came with 'Nebula Green' paint and black upholstery, but there's the option of swapping this for more overt 'Aurora Green' paint with green interior trim - or bright 'Mars Red' paint with red interior trim. Funky or what? Inside, where you're faced with a pair of seamlessly-joined twin screens, there are clear MINI influences - the central silver toggle switches and the steering wheel. But the ORA sub-brand also wants to imbue its own minimalist vibe, one that's pleasantly odd, incorporating materials that are surprisingly plush in places - though a little less so in others. You're looked after by leatherette seats and dual zone climate control and are provided with a wireless smartphone charger and keyless entry. You're faced with a pair of 10.25-inch displays that take care of the instrument cluster and the infotainment screen, seamlessly joined at the top of the dashboard. It's in the back that you'll notice the difference between this car and other small fashionista EVs. A relatively long wheelbase of 2,650mm means even a couple of six-footers could sit reasonably comfortably. Out back, there's a 228-litre boot, which is reasonable for a car in this class. Total capacity in the seats-folded format is 858-litres. The 03 doesn't provide any additional 'frunk' space beneath the bonnet up-front.

Market and Model

For our market, this Chinese brand has two 03 model trim levels - 'PURE+' which gets you the smaller 48kWh battery and is priced at around £32,000 (or from £228 a month); and 'PRO+', which gets you the larger 63kWh battery and costs around £35,000 (or from £298 a month). Sales are via the www.gwmora.co.uk website, via selected dealers or via the ORA brand outlets in shopping centres that the company plans. There's a high level of specification as standard, including wireless phone charging, facial recognition, electric front seats, app integration and 'Hello ORA' intelligent voice assistance. The 'PRO+' version adds features like heated, cooled and massage front seats, a heated steering-wheel, a panoramic sunroof, a powered gesture tailgate, rear privacy glass and advanced automatic parking assistance. GWM ORA is also introducing new colours to the 03 model range, including a metallic 'Moonlight White' paint option with a contrasting Starry Black roof. There's lots of advanced driver assistance features too, thanks to 12 ultrasonic radar sensors and a whole array of exterior cameras, whose informational feedback is processed by an ultra-modern Qualcomm snapdragon chip that enables level 2.5 autonomous driving. Autonomous parking capability is also provided. The safety situation is encouraging as well. Safety equipment includes Blind spot detection, Traffic jam assist and Lane keep assist with a Lane centring function. And it seems that this car is also fundamentally safe. In recent EURO NCAP tests, the 03 scored a maximum 5 stars overall, with an 83% score for adult occupant protection, 83% for child occupants and, for vulnerable road users, an 74% score.

Cost of Ownership

The 03 charges with Type 2, 6.6kW single-phase AC and 11kW three-phase AC charging and comes equipped with a CCS socket as standard. The maximum charge speed - just 67kW - is distinctly on the modest side though; most rivals - an MG4 for instance, can charge at 100kW or more. With the 48kWh version, 6.6kW home charging will take users around 5.4 hours based on a 15%-80% charge status (or 7.2 hours with the 63kWh version). This time is cut drastically when moving up to 11kW three-phase supply charging (the sort of thing you might have at your office), which takes 3.2 hours (or 4.4 hours with the 63kWh version). Public DC rapid charging will take 42 minutes (from 15-80%); or 48 minutes with the 63kWh version. You can of course set charging times via the centre screen or the provided 'GWM Ora' app. We gave you the EV range figures in our Driving section - 193 miles for the 48kWh version and 261 miles for the 63kWh variant. The 03 is backed by a 5-year vehicle, unlimited mileage warranty, with cover on the battery for 8-years or 100,000 miles. Service intervals are in-line with best-in-class competitors, scheduled every 2 years or 18,000 miles, whichever comes first. Insurance is from group 21E.

Summary

There's a lot to like here. Provided you don't mind trying something different and you happen to dig the retro-futuristic styling. If you've looked at fashionista small EVs like the MINI Electric, the Honda e and the Mazda MX-30 and, understandably, been put off by cramped interiors and pathetic driving range figures, then the ORA 03 could well be your car. It's priced well, doesn't feel too cheap, has a bit of character, gives you a decent distance between charges, offers a proper back seat and comes with a long warranty. If you were to add in a few posher aesthetic touches and stick on premium German badging, the press would probably be raving about it. As it is though, for most, this will remain in the short term, a strange Oriental confection. For the future though, make no mistake: the Chinese are coming.

  • Facial recognition system
  • Front cross traffic camera
  • Lane Centering
  • Multifunction steering wheel with audio and cruise controls
  • Steering wheel manually adjustable
  • Tailgate
  • Voice control
  • Wireless phone charger
  • 12.5" touch-screen display
  • 2 USB sockets
  • 6 speaker sound system
  • AM/FM and DAB radio
  • Bluetooth telephone and audio streaming
  • Rear side wing doors
  • 12V socket
  • Front centre armrest
  • Height and reach adjustable steering wheel
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Rear centre armrest with cupholders
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • Curtain airbags
  • Driver and passenger airbags
  • Front and rear seatbelt reminder
  • Front centre airbag
  • Front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Front seatbelt load limiters
  • Front seatbelt pretensioners
  • Height adjustable front seatbelts
  • Height adjustable rear seatbelts
  • Manual child lock in rear doors
  • Outer rear seatbelt pretensioners
  • Outer rear seatbelts load limiter
  • Side airbags
  • Tyre pressure monitor
  • Alarm
  • Immobiliser
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Remote central locking
  • Wireless phone charging
  • Battery Capacity % guaranteed under warranty: 70
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 48
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Charge Time (Mins): 324
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Percentage Change: 15-80
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Power Supply - kW: 6.6
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Charge Time (Mins): 192
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Percentage Change: 15-80
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Power Supply - kW: 11
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Charge Time (Mins): 43
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Percentage Change: 15-80
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Power Supply - kW: 64
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Charge Time (Mins): N
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Percentage Change: N
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Power Supply - kW: N
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • Charging Port Location: Left and Right Side Front
  • Coupler/Connector Type: CCS Type 2
  • Maximum Charging Rate - kW: 64
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 8
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb: 16.7
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb: 3.7
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb: 310
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb: 193
  • CO: N
  • CO2 (g/km): 0
  • HC: N
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Noise Level dB(A): N
  • NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: N
  • CC: 1
  • Fuel Delivery: N
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • AdBlue: False
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 0.0
  • Badge Power: 171
  • Coin Description: 126kW
  • Coin Series: Pure+
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 27E
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 5
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 24
  • Service Interval Mileage: 18000
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 999999
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 5
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 8.3
  • Engine Power - BHP: 171
  • Engine Power - KW: 126
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 184
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 25.5
  • Engine Torque - NM: 250
  • Top Speed: 99
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: N/A
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 215/50 R18
  • Tyre Size Rear: 215/50 R18
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: N
  • Wheel Type: 18" ALLOY
  • Height: 1603
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4235
  • Wheelbase: 2650
  • Width: 1825
  • Width (including mirrors): 2010
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): N
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1970
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 858
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 228
  • Max. Loading Weight: 430
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1540
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.25