Say hello to…
…the Ora Funky Cat may have one of the most memorable names in the new car market, but it’s also a relatively straight forward five-door fully electric small family hatchback with a range of 193 miles. However, that gets a little ahead of things, as most fleets won’t have heard of, or know much about Ora.
Ora is a sub-division of Chinese manufacturer Great Wall Motors (or GWM) and builds only battery electric vehicles. The Funky Cat is the first model to come to the UK, but Ora (so named because it stands for Open, Reliable, Alternative) has already teased buyers with a larger D-segment four-door saloon. Ora openly admits its rivals for the Funky Cat include the Volkswagen ID3, Cupra Born and Hyundai Kona EV. However, conspicuous by its absence from Ora’s rivals’ list is also the MG 4; a car that’s the same size and similar in price. Ora claims the MG 4 isn’t a rival because the Funky Cat is a more premium product.
At launch (at the end of November 2022) there will be just a single trim level and a choice of four colours with no options.
- First Edition
Standard equipment on the First Edition includes blind spot detection, fatigue monitoring, adaptive cruise with stop and go, lane keeping, lane centring, rear cross traffic alert and brake, traffic sign recognition, lane change assist, fake leather upholstery, powered driver and passenger seat, 60:40 split folding rear seats, 10.25-inch infotainment screen, wireless phone charging, satnav, Bluetooth, DAB radio, internet radio, 10.25-inch instrument screen, keyless entry and start, facial recognition, voice recognition, one-pedal driving, auto lights, climate control, auto wipers, powered windows, 360degree camera, reversing camera, rear parking sensors and 18-inch alloys.
Is The Ora Funky Cat Suitable For My Fleet
Fully electric family hatchbacks are in seriously high demand from business drivers and fleets thanks to their low benefit-in-kind tax position. EVs that are also good value are in even more demand and are selling like hot cakes.
So is there any reason why the Ora Funky Cat shouldn’t go straight on a fleet list? There are two main points to consider. Firstly the boot space is small. At 228 litres it’s one of the smallest in the class. For instance the Hyundai Kona’s is 385 litres, the VW ID3 at 375 and the MG 4’s boot is 363 litres.
The second is the battery size and resulting range. The Ora Funky Cat is only available with a 48kW battery which results in an official range of 193 miles. If this is enough, then fine – and our testing gave a real-world range of 173 miles. Most rivals also have a larger battery option for greater range.
The maximum charge speed is a slightly average 64kW.
Leasing An Ora Funky Cat
With the on-sale date still a few weeks away, whole life cost information and lease rates aren’t available. Ora quotes a personal lease of £399 a month for a 48-month, 8,000 miles per year personal contract hire plan against a car that has a list price of £31,995.
Running costs should be low with a two-year, 18,000 mile service interval and an insurance rating of 21E.
Driving An Ora Funky Cat
Even from the pictures, it’s obvious the Ora Funky Cat is a bit different from almost everything else available. Yes, it’s still clearly a five-door hatchback, but in a world of crisp, sharp styling lines, the Funk Cat is a all curved lines and rounded edges.
Get inside and the look is more conventional, but one that’s modern and of very high quality. The materials and construction feel premium. Both the faux leather seats and the dashboard material look far more expensive than the price would indicate. The twin screens on the dashboard are very clear and of high resolution.
There’s also a huge amount of rear leg and headroom for a car in this class with plenty of space for a six-foot passenger to sit behind a six-foot tall driver. As previously mentioned, the payoff is a small boot.
Out on the road the front-wheel drive Ora’s basic character is very grown up. The ride is refined and comfortable. There’s little body roll in the corners and the steering weight is good. However, while the steering weight is well-judged, there’s ultimately little feedback about what the front tyres are doing – something that rivals do better. Combine this with an effective, but wooden brake feel and you quickly realise the Ora Funky Cat isn’t a sporty car.
There are different drive modes, but ultimately they don’t make a lot of difference to how the car feels. And in our case switching between modes seemed to disable the one-pedal regenerative braking mode – something that’s several deep in the menu system to reactivate.
For those that like a vast amount of clever technology in their cars (such as facial recognitions used to control vehicle pre-sets and audible speed warnings if the car thinks you’re not obeying the limit) the Funky Cat infotainment system is impressive. For those that want to be left alone to drive the car, it’s less appealing.
The large touchscreen is easy enough to navigate (better than the Volkswagen Group system), but it’s not quite as fast to react to inputs as the best.
Up against the legacy car brands the Ora Funky Cat is a compelling proposition, particularly at its price point. However, with the MG 4 now on the market, this will be its biggest rival.
FleetandLeasing.com Verdict On The Ora Funky Cat
In an era where brands are trying to work out how to differentiate their electric cars, Ora is offering something different with the Funky Cat, a high value, high quality and boldly styled hatchback.
Ora Funky Cat
- Model: Funky Cat First Edition
- Power: 171hp
- Torque: 250Nm
- Max speed: 99mph
- 0-62mph: 8.3s
- Official range: 193 miles
- Test range: 173 miles
- CO2 emissions: 0g/km
- BIK tax band 2022/23: 2%