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    • Sharp drive-away price
    • Handsome, interesting interior
    • Spacious back seat
    • Limited boot space
    • Regenerative braking feels very gentle
    • Our drive was brief...

    Australia’s fast-growing stable of electric vehicles is about to welcome yet another Chinese entrant.

    The GWM Ora, known as the Funky Cat or Good Cat overseas, is now available to order through GWM dealers, with the first vehicles set to touch down locally in April.

    Size-wise the Ora sits between a Volkswagen Polo and Golf. Unlike its main rivals, it’s a conventional passenger car – there’s no raised ride or off-road pretence here.

    Its price makes it one of the cheapest electric vehicles (EVs) on sale Down Under, rubbing shoulders with the MG ZS EV and BYD Atto 3. Two battery options are on offer. Range is either 310km or 420km depending on which battery pack you opt for.

    Our time behind the wheel was limited, so a more detailed review will follow when we have an extended stint. In the meantime, signs are positive.

    How does the GWM Ora fare vs its competitors?
    View a detailed breakdown of the GWM Ora against similarly sized vehicles.

    How much does the GWM Ora cost?

    The drive-away price on the base Ora ($44,490-$47,891) makes it one of Australia’s most affordable electric vehicles.

    2023 GWM Ora pricing:

    • GWM Ora: $43,990
    • GWM Ora Extended Range: $47,990
    • GWM Ora Extended Range GT: $53,990

    All prices exclude on-road costs

    MG has ended its drive-away deal on the ZS EV, meaning it’ll set you back between $46,195 and $49,130 drive-away depending on state, while the BYD Atto 3 has a list price of $48,011 before on-roads – equivalent to more than $50k drive-away.

    Drive-away pricing is also available for the Ora. It varies from state-to-state, due to the range of incentives on offer.

    • 2023 GWM Ora
      • NSW: $45,550
      • ACT: $45,137
      • QLD: $46,114
      • SA: $46,891
      • TAS: $45,090
      • WA: $47,891
      • VIC: $47,234
      • NT: $44,490
    • 2023 GWM Ora Long Range
      • NSW: $49,550
      • ACT: $49,137
      • QLD: $50,194
      • SA: $51,051
      • TAS: $49,090
      • WA: $52,403
      • VIC: $51,402
      • NT: $48,490
    • 2023 GWM Ora Long Range GT
      • NSW: $55,050
      • ACT: $54,637
      • QLD: $55,804
      • SA: $56,771
      • TAS: $54,590
      • WA: $58,405
      • VIC: $57,138
      • NT: $54,125

    What is the GWM Ora like on the inside?

    It’s an interesting little hatch, the Ora.

    The car on show during our preview drive had a white and turquoise interior that really stands out, while the general design borrows from a few places to create a look and feel all of its own.

    The driving position is pretty good for bigger drivers, and the seats themselves are trimmed in quality-feeling faux leather. There are some hard or scratchy materials around, but overall the cabin presentation is solid given the sticker price.

    Even the rear doors are trimmed in the same faux-leather and suede combination as the fronts, rather than cost-cutting hard plastic. It’s a nice touch.

    Storage spaces abound up front, while the Mini-aping toggle switches below the air vents add a touch of flair. There’s a wireless phone charger beneath the central armrest up front, but you’ll need to plug in to use smartphone mirroring.

    Rear seat space is a surprise. It’s genuinely usable back there for adults, with impressive legroom and enough headroom for lanky teenagers to sit comfortably without scraping their heads on the roof.

    There’s a USB port back there, along with a fold-down central armrest. Although it’s smaller than a Golf on the outside, the Ora feels similarly spacious in the second row.

    The boot has suffered, however. It’s a bit of a letterbox, with a significant loading lip and low floor, but you’ll get a week’s shopping in there. If it’s boot space you’re after, the BYD Atto 3 or MG ZS EV shape as better alternatives.

    Claimed boot space is 228 litres, expanding to 858L with the rear seats folded.

    What’s under the bonnet?

    Power in the Ora comes from a front-mounted electric motor making 126kW of power and 250Nm of torque.

    Two battery packs are offered. The standard range is a 48kWh lithium-ion unit, and the Extended Range is a 63kWh unit.

    The GWM Ora has a claimed range of 320km on the tougher WLTP test cycle. Opting for the Extended Range ups that to 420km on the same test.

    GWM says the smaller battery can charge from 10 to 80 per cent in 41 minutes.

    How does the GWM Ora drive?

    Smooth, quiet, and punchy off the mark, the GWM Ora ticks all the electric boxes.

    With 126kW of power and 250Nm of torque, it has similar outputs to a Volkswagen Golf 110TSI. By virtue of its electric motor, however, it picks up with more gusto and squeezes you back in your seat more determinedly from standstill.

    Our quick drive revealed it accelerates comfortably to highway speeds, and feels pretty nicely tied down when you sling it into a few corners.

    The brake pedal is set quite high relative to the accelerator, and it’s worth noting how gentle the regenerative braking feels on the move.

    Although GWM points to one-pedal driving as an option, even on the wide expanses of the AARC’s high-speed bowl we found ourselves tapping the brakes to slow the car rather than leaning on the regeneration.

    The steering feels reasonably direct, and vision from the bubble-shaped window line is good.

    There’s a more than a hint of wind noise from the mirrors at highway speeds, and you hear a bit of road roar from the tyres.

    Neither of these is unique to the Ora; both the ZS EV and Atto 3 elicited similar feedback from the CarExpert team during their reviews.

    The Ora certainly shows plenty of promise. We’re looking forward to spending a week behind the wheel to learn even more, however.

    What do you get?

    Ora and Ora Long Range highlights:

    • 18-inch alloy wheels
    • LED headlights
    • 10.25-inch instrument binnacle screen
    • 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system
    • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
    • Wireless phone charger
    • Leatherette seats
    • 6-way electric driver’s seat
    • 4-way electric passenger seat
    • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
    • Surround-view cameras
    • Rear parking sensors
    • Adaptive cruise control

    Ora GT brings:

    • Unique 18-inch alloy wheels
    • Unique bumpers and grille
    • Powered hands-free tailgate
    • Panoramic sunroof
    • Red brake calipers
    • Memory for driver’s seat
    • Heated steering wheel
    • Automatic parking

    Is the GWM Ora safe?

    GWM’s electric hatchback received a five-star rating from Euro NCAP, pointing to a five-star rating from ANCAP.

    The GWM Ora received an adult occupant protection rating of 92 per cent, a child occupant protection rating of 83 per cent, a vulnerable road user protection rating of 74 per cent, and a safety assist rating of 93 per cent.

    Standard safety equipment across the range includes:

    • 7 airbags
    • AEB with Pedestrian, Cyclist, Junction assist
    • Blind-spot monitor and assist
    • Lane departure warning
    • Lane keep assist
    • Rear cross-traffic alert
    • Reverse collision warning
    • Traffic sign recognition
    • Camera-based driver monitoring

    How much does the GWM Ora cost to run?

    The GWM Ora is backed by a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty like the wider range.

    The battery is also covered for eight years.

    Five years of roadside assist and five years of capped-price servicing are also included.

    CarExpert’s Take on the GWM Ora

    We’ll need more time behind the wheel to get a proper read on the Ora, but initial signs are positive.

    It has a sharp drive-away price, and based on our quick spin will be solid to commute in day-to-day.

    Throw in the unique looks and a handsome, well-equipped, and surprisingly spacious interior, and you can see how the Ora could follow in the wheel tracks of the BYD Atto 3 by jumping out of the blocks on the sales charts.

    All of this is contingent on supply, of course. Time will tell whether GWM taking a conservative approach to the number of cars it brings Down Under at launch will pay off, but we’d wager it’ll be selling every car it can get… and more.

    Click the images for the full gallery

    MORE: Everything GWM Ora

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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