Review: Ora Good Cat - Could this Be Your First EV?

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Review: Ora Good Cat - Could this Be Your First EV?

The Ora Good Cat is a new EV brand entering Malaysia in November 2022. It is currently the cheapest EV on sale in Malaysia, starting at RM139k (more on pricing later in the article). 

My review unit was one of the highest specs with all the bells & whistles.

Would this promising, quirky EV from China win Malaysians' hearts? Let's find out in my review where I get to take it home for a few days & do regular car stuff with it.

The Origins of the Ora Good Cat

Ora Good Cat, also known as Haomao in China or Ora Funky Cat in Europe, is a sub-brand by GWM (Great Wall Motors) and is the 8th largest automaker in China. 

I bet you might have seen several Haval SUVs on Malaysian roads?

Well, Haval is also another sub-brand by the same automaker, GWM.

Backed up by a large brand. OK, this Ora brand seems more promising. But what’s your first impression of a car from China?

I'm here to scrutinise as a curious Malaysian car buyer. Let's start:

The Exterior of the Ora Good Cat

The obvious choice to start is the looks of the car. Does it resemble anything to you?

Considering that Ora was designed by the former Porsche designer Emanual Derta. It's no wonder the front (especially the headlights) resembles a Porsche 911.

I also like what I initially thought was a beige paint job, but turns out to be light pink. The 2 tone colour theme different from the roof & body is also a nice touch.

The headlamp design with the ring daytime running lights doubles as a turn signal. Giving this car a modern & trendy vibe. 

The rear end, is very unique. I’ve never seen anything like it. I admire the bold design, especially the integrated rear tail lights into the rear windscreen. 

The rear signal & reverse lights are down on the bumper.

The rear does look futuristic, as most cars that try to achieve that ‘look’ tend to resemble robocop to some extent. 

The physical size of the Ora Good Cat is slightly bigger than the Perodua Myvi, and surprisingly, this top-spec CBU Ora Good Cat comes with 18” wheels with Giti brand tires as standard.

The Retro-Modern Interior

Jumping into the interior, this is where the Ora Good Cat shines the most, in my opinion. As someone who rides a Vespa to work, the retro, modern design resonates with my style.

My first impression of the cabin is that of high quality. All four doors feel heavy & ‘solid.’ Something that Malaysian car buyers look at when considering a car at the show room. 

First impressions: Impressive interior design & built-quality.

There are 2 screens, the instrument cluster for the driver & the infotainment screen in the middle of the dashboard. 

The infotainment's UI/UX looks like an Android player with both Android Auto & Apple Car Play connectivity. 

Unfortunately, both mobile connectivity is not wireless, and the worst part is it requires a USB type A cable (the old school rectangle USB). 

For a futuristic car, USB type A is a backward move as most of our phones have migrated to USB type C. Luckily, that is the only drawback of the interior from my POV. 

The toggle switches blend well with the retro interior design & have a nice ‘clunk’ feedback. 

Rotary gear knob? Wow, am I in a luxury car or something? I'm really vibing with the interior of the Ora Good Cat.  

Behind the rotary gear knob is a Qi wireless charger for a mobile phone & a nice compartment to store my wallet for easy access at the parking lot or toll.

This top-spec Ora Good Cat of my test unit has a panoramic sunroof. I'm not sure if Malaysians use their panoramic sunroofs after the honeymoon phase. 

However, if your car does have one, it elevates the luxuriousness of any interior.

For a compact car, the rear legroom is surprisingly spacious & headroom is ample. I am confident I’ll be comfortable in the back seat of the Ora Good Cat during a long-distance journey.

But, I have to point out the obvious. White leather seats always look good when brand new. But will it stain over time? Especially with young children & chocolate accidents? Only time will tell. 
There’s also 1 USB charging port for the rear passengers. Unfortunately, it too is USB type A.

The Boot Space

For a city hatchback, the Ora Good Cat's limited boot space is not surprising. It is deeper than the boot of the Perodua Myvi, but it is narrower on both sides. 

I did manage to fit my Nuna Trvl stroller at the back together with 1 work backpack, but that’s about it. 

Picking up people from the airport with their luggage may be challenging unless you fold the backseat.

That being said, I understand that the Ora Good Cat is a city hatchback. So it won't make much sense to be too critical about boot space. 

My First Driving Feel

If you haven’t driven an EV before, there is no start engine button like in a regular car. 

Here are the 3 steps to start the Ora Good Cat:

  1. Keep the keyfob in your pocket 
  2. Enter the car & sit in the driver’s seat
  3. Step on the brakes for a few seconds. The instrument panel will show ‘Ready’ & the car is ready to drive!

Once I rotated the gear knob to the reverse position, the 360 camera is automatically activated. Not super exclusive as many modern cars also have this feature, but it helps a lot during parking manoeuvres. 

If this is your first EV, it does feel slightly odd that the car moves with no vibrations. 

There is a slight hum of the electric engine. It is not intrusive but audible if you concentrate to listen. The best way I can describe the faint electric sound through text is that it reminded me of the sound of the electric cable car in Langkawi.

The car itself feels heavy & the suspension handles uneven roads well. Heck, I’m going to say it. It rides with more of a ‘Conti’ feel than my Honda Civic FC

The thick door seals help contribute to a low NVH level during driving around town. 

Handling-wise, it is not a sports car. You might feel the vagueness of the steering if pushed hard, but then again, the Ora Good Cat is designed as a city EV. So for day-to-day driving around town, I find the handling perfectly suitable to its intended purpose.

Bonus: This review car has massage seats! (Unfortunately for the driver only):
I greatly welcome features like this to help Malaysian drivers relax after a long day at work while dealing with horrific KL traffic. Driver seat massage? Underrated. 

The Driving Modes

There are 4 driving modes available. Eco, Auto, Normal & Sports. I was in Auto mode most of the time, where the throttle response is very similar to a normal petrol city car.

Eco mode should be avoided for normal driving as it makes the car feel sluggish. I only used the Eco mode when I'm not entirely certain that I'll make it to a charging station.

Things do get a little more exciting when in Sports mode. The throttle response is more immediate. The Ora Good Cat has a torque figure of 210 Nm similar to my Honda Civic 1.5 turbo. 

But, due to the nature of an electric motor, the Ora Good Cat’s 210 Nm comes instantly & because of that, feels a LOT faster than a turbo petrol car with similar torque figures.

In my video review, you’ll be able to see my head hit the headrest every time I step on the accelerator pedal. Not going to lie, it is very addictive & puts a smile on my face every time I step on the accelerator pedal.

Safety Features of the Ora Good Cat

The Ora Good Cat (aka Funky Cat in Europe) scored an impressive 5-star NCAP safety rating:

On top of that, here are some of the mighty impressive safety features that are available on the top variant of the Ora Good Cat:

  • 360-degree Surrounding Camera
  • Auto Emergency Braking System (AEB)
  • Blind Spot Detection (BSD)
  • Low-Speed Emergency Braking (LSEB)
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
  • Auto Reverse 
  • Lane Keep Assist (LKA)
  • Rear Collision Warning (RCW)
  • Front & rear parking sensors
  • 6 Airbags
  • Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Hill Start Assist (HSA)
  • Traffic Sign Warning (TSW)

These are only some of the safety features that I noticed & find useful during my time reviewing the car. 

Seriously, am I the only one who thinks this is impressive? The Ora Good Cat can humiliate more expensive brands who sell luxury cars with 'spec kosong.'

As a family man who wants the best for me & my family, the Ora Good Cat ticks all of my safety requirements in a car.

Charging the Ora Good Cat

The top-spec Good Cat has a manufacturer EV range of 500 km. But in reality, with me using the AC on full blast & ‘lenjaning’ the car for giggles, the range went down rather quickly (as expected). 

There are 2 ways to charge the Ora Good Cat (or any EV in Malaysia):

  1. AC charging (slow charging)
  2. DC charging (fast charging)

Why on earth would anyone want to do slow charging? Most EV charging stations in Malaysia & some malls in Klang Valley are AC slow chargers. 

During my test drive, the battery was down to around 20% & I used the Park Easy app to book my EV spot in Kiara 163 (slow AC charging) & the car showed that it takes more than 7 hours to charge fully. 
Find out more about EV chargers here.

Varia​​nts, Prices & Warranty of the Ora Good Cat

During the Nov 25th official launch of the Ora Good Cat, there are only 2 variants for the Malaysian market. Both have the same electric motor powertrain, but different battery capacities & specs.

Variant Battery Capacity EV Range Price
Pro 400 47.8 kWh 400 km RM139,800
Ultra 500 63.1 kWh 500 km  RM169,800

The Ora Good Cat comes with a 5-year (or 150k km) manufacturer warranty & an 8-year (or 180k km) battery warranty. More details here.

My Overall Verdict of the Ora Good Cat EV

There you have it, folks. I think the Ora Good Cat surpassed my initial expectations, especially for a car brand from China.

For a car that starts from around RM140k+, it's one hell of a car. However, if I am in the market for an EV, my pic would be top-spec with all the bells & whistles. 

Here's what I like about the Ora Good Cat:

  • Funky design in & out
  • Relatively cheap for a CBU car
  • High tech & excellent safety rating
  • Feels fast in sports mode

No car is perfect. However, what I think could be better:

  • Small boot size
  • USB A ports??
  • Can people plan their EV charging around their busy schedules?

As the Malaysian infrastructure for EV charging stations improves & more impressive EV packages like the Ora Good Cat enter the local automobile market, I'd not be surprised if the adoption of EVs in Malaysia quicker than everyone anticipated.

What do you think? Could the Ora Good Cat be your first EV?

 



Mohd Helmi Hasan Adli

Mohd Helmi Hasan Adli

Head of Media Content

Helmi Hasan Head of Media Content I talk about cars & scooters from the perspective of the average consumer. I value safety, tech features, price & how a vehicle makes the driver feel.


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