In-depth reviews

Ora Funky Cat review

The Ora Funky Cat may not be to everyone’s tastes, but it’s a great electric city car with a plush interior and all the kit you could possibly need

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

£31,995 - £33,795
Fuel Type:


  • Decent to drive
  • Stylish cabin
  • Lots of standard equipment


  • Unsettled ride
  • Mediocre range
  • Tight boot
Car typeRangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge
Electric193 miles7 hours (est. 0-100%, 6.6kW)43 mins (15-80%, 64kW)

Ora Funky Cat verdict

Ora has landed on all fours in the UK with its first electric car, the Funky Cat. If you can get past the rather silly name, you’ll find many paw-sitives about this electric supermini; the Funky Cat features a suitably funky and surprisingly plush interior, a sprightly electric motor and a strong five-star safety rating. However, a fidgety suspension set-up means the Ora never quite feels as sophisticated to drive as rivals, while a tiny boot and short range means it’ll struggle to compete with cars such as the Volkswagen ID.3 from the class above. It represents good value for money, though, and this has helped the Funky Cat put itself among the pigeons and clinch our Best Urban Electric Car award for 2023.

Details, specs and alternatives

Ora is the latest Chinese car maker hoping to take Europe by storm. Its first model, the Funky Cat, is an electric supermini that straddles two segments, being slightly larger than a Fiat 500e or Vauxhall Corsa Electric, but slightly cheaper and less practical than the equivalent Volkswagen ID.3 or Renault Megane E-Tech. Of course, there’s no forgetting the MG4 and BYD Dolphin, which also both originate from China and are more affordable to buy than the Ora.

From the outside, the Funky Cat is a somewhat Frankenstein-esque amalgamation of the Porsche 911 and Volkswagen Beetle. It’s a cute thing, nonetheless, and is available in a variety of bright colours. Plus, if buying a car named the ‘Funky Cat’ doesn’t say enough about your personality, you can also specify the car with jazzy two-tone upholstery for an instant conversation starter.

All Funky Cat models get a 46kWh (useable) battery and a 169bhp electric motor; these provide a range of up to 193 miles and propel the Chinese hatchback from 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds.

Despite coming out in 2022, the First Edition remains the only trim level available to UK buyers – Ora says a sporty GT model and cheaper entry-level cars will arrive soon. Still, the First Edition is pretty desirable given the long list of standard kit on offer, with all cars getting 18-inch alloy wheels, LED lights all round, leatherette upholstery, twin 10.25-inch screens with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a wireless phone charger and a 360-degree camera system.

Range, battery size & charging

Battery sizeRangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge
46kWh193 miles7 hours (est. 0-100%, 6.6kW)43 mins (15-80%, 64kW)

The Ora Funky Cat is powered by a 46kWh battery that gives it a range of up to 193 miles on the WLTP test cycle. While this is more than a base MG4, Long Range versions of that model top 270 miles – and that’s not even mentioning the new Extended Range model which will do up to 323 miles on a charge. Thanks to recent updates, even the Peugeot e-208 and Citroen e-C4 put the Ora to shame range-wise, too.

If that wasn’t enough, we must stress that the Funky Cat’s 193-mile figure is a best-case scenario, showcased by the fact we could only manage around 2.8 miles per kWh during our winter tests. This translates to a range of around 134 miles – quite a lot less than Ora’s claimed figure. It should be much easier to get closer to this during the warmer months, though; we managed around four miles per kWh, giving a range of around 180 miles.

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Another thorn in the Funky Cat’s side is its mediocre 64kW maximum rapid charging speed; the industry standard is at least 100kW these days, with the Ora taking roughly three-quarters of an hour to top-up from 10-80%. In comparison, the Volkswagen ID.3 can charge at speeds of up to 175kW and can charge its much larger 77kWh battery in just 28 minutes. 

Of course, plugging the Funky Cat into a 7.4kW home wallbox – or even a standard three-pin plug – will take much longer. It can charge at AC speeds of up to 11kW, but most homes don’t have the three-phase electrics to take advantage of that.

Running costs & insurance

You may feel a bit like a cat on a hot tin roof spending more than £30,000 on an electric supermini, but thankfully Ora’s offering has low running costs. For example, its electric car status means the Funky Cat sits in the rock-bottom 2% Benefit-in-Kind bracket for company car drivers. With this in mind, business users could pay as little as £128 in tax per year to run it.

While using public chargers can be just as expensive as filling up a petrol car, charging the Funky Cat at home should cost around £14 at the current maximum energy rate, under the price guarantee of 30p per kWh. It’s also exempt from road tax (VED) until 2025, and can enter the London Congestion Charge and other low emissions zones for free.

0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower

The Ora Funky Cat may not be quite as enjoyable to drive as, say, a MINI Electric, but it still feels relatively light on its paws. The Funky Cat’s electric motor offers plenty of punch – especially around town where it’s able to dart in between small gaps with ease. The steering doesn’t offer much feedback, but it’s direct nonetheless, and there’s little body roll whenever you throw the Funky Cat into a corner.

Its biggest flaw, however, is the ride, because the Funky Cat’s firm suspension means it tends to jostle about over poorer road surfaces. It’s never uncomfortable, but an MG4 feels a lot more refined, despite being even sportier to drive.

Like many electric cars, the Ora Funky Cat has a one-pedal driving mode. This can be configured in three different levels of brake regeneration via the touchscreen and is incredibly smooth around town. Once you’ve got used to how the system works, you’ll very rarely have to touch the brake pedal at all.

Interior, dashboard & infotainment

The bright and jazzy interior of the Funky Cat will either be loved or hated. We happen to be quite fond of the Ora’s cabin and think it’s almost criminal to go for anything other than one of the two-tone colour schemes; material quality is strong throughout and we particularly like the quilted upholstery on the door cards.

The Funky Cat’s dual-screen infotainment system has more of a whiff of Mercedes A-Class about it, although it’s nowhere near as intuitive to use. In contrast to the Funky Cat’s bright interior and exterior, both screens’ graphics are rather dark and dingy, with a few too many sub-menus. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard and we recommend you use them because although the main display itself is pretty responsive, the native software lets it down. It’s also annoying that the climate controls are buried in the touchscreen, rather than being integrated into the row of satisfying toggle switches below.

Boot space, seating & practicality

LengthWidthHeightBoot space (seats up/down)
4,235mm1,825mm1,603mm228/858 litres

Although it may look like a mutated Fiat 500 from a distance, the Ora Funky Cat is actually more similar in size to the slightly larger – and much more expensive – Volkswagen ID.3 and Cupra Born. The doors don’t open all that wide, but there’s plenty of head and legroom in the rear seats, with the flat floor enabling you to easily carry three abreast for short journeys.

The boot, on the other hand, isn’t great, and with just 228 litres on offer, there’s not enough room to swing a… you know. A Vauxhall Corsa Electric has a 390-litre boot, while a Kia Niro EV almost has double the amount of space, at 475 litres. Still, the Funky Cat’s rear seats can be folded to expand space to a better-but-still-not-fantastic 858 litres.

Reliability & safety rating

We’d be surprised if you’d heard of GWM Ora before the arrival of the Funky Cat – especially given it only formed in 2018 back in China. Therefore, there’s very little to go on in terms of reliability – the Funky Cat is yet to have sold in large enough numbers to feature in our Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. What we can say, however, is that electric cars should, in theory, be more reliable than their petrol brethren, given they have fewer moving parts to go wrong.

Being a new entry into the market hasn’t stopped the Funky Cat from being awarded a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP. Standard safety kit includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assist, blind spot monitoring and a 360-degree camera system for tricky manoeuvres. Adaptive cruise control and traffic jam assist should also help you feel like the cat that’s got the cream in bumper-to-bumper traffic. 

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