Motoring – Road Test by Mark Slack

ORA Funky CAT First Edition – engaging and stylish

As a motoring writer I’m lucky to receive invitations to drive new cars on their launch, and later to have such cars for extended periods. Driving a car for a few hours on a launch, and then sampling it for a week, can confirm your initial thoughts, or sometimes highlight issues over the time of longer loan.

When I first drove the ORA CAT last year I came away impressed, and having spent a week and several hundred miles behind the wheel my view has remained largely unchanged. The CAT isn’t possessed of the usual aggressive looks, pencil thin lights and sharp angles. Style is always subjective but those who saw the ORA all thought it a pleasant change from the more usual brutalist styling stance of many new cars.

Prices start at €36,807/£31,995, so this isn’t some bargain basement entry-level model but it comes as standard with smart cruise, auto dimming rear view mirror, electric front seats, wireless phone charging, built-in sat nav’, high beam assist, auto lights and keyless entry and start. Heated seats would have been welcome on colder mornings, but these aren’t even available as an option.

You can specify a number of colour schemes that match exterior with interior and while maybe not for everyone’s they add a bit of life to the usually rather dull automotive palette on offer from many car makers. The build quality of the ORA appears good, although cheaper, hard plastics lurk at lower levels in the cabin. In general it’s a nice place to be and certainly doesn’t lack comfort for longer journeys.

Unfortunately, it does lack the range of some competitors, the 193 miles official figure would in reality be more like 160 miles in my view. The main issues though are the ridiculously over sensitive safety features, such lane keep and autonomous emergency braking. No matter the road lane keep kept activating and the emergency braking decided to apply itself when an oncoming car was waiting in a filter lane. The car behind me was not happy!

To be fair to the ORA there are still updates to be done so these tweaks will hopefully improve matters, and add the long overdue Apple Car Play and Android Auto. It’s an engaging car but at its price these niggles should have been dealt with long before the car came to market. Although only minor issues, when added together they make a potentially good car rather irritating.


Facts at a Glance

Model: ORA Funky CAR First Edition

Engine: 48 kwh battery – 171 PS

Gears: Automatic

Price: €36,807/£31,995

Performance: 0-100 kph (62 mph) 8.3 seconds/Maximum Speed 160 kph (99 mph).

Range: 310 km/193 miles on single charge

Charging: 100kw DC charger from 15% to 80% = 42 minutes/11kw AC charger from 15 to 80% = 3 hrs/6.6kw AC home charger from 15% to 80% = 5.5 hours

Emissions: 0 g/km

Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets


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