Ora Good Cat Malaysia review: A bargain of an EV

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Wapcar Automotive News – So far, we’ve seen a variety of electric vehicles ranging from futuristic cars to fast cars, to ones that look like any other car. But for EVs to really succeed in the market, they need range (not distance, we’ll talk about that in a bit). Not every EV has to be a big crossover or have enough power to rip your face off. Some should just be having fun. And cute!

This is Ora Good Cat 2023, by the Chinese company Great Wall Motor (GWM). It’s a fun name for an adorable little car. But is this amazing cat really good enough? We turned this car around to find out.

First, a little hygiene. This car was not lent to us by GWM but by the subscription service Flux. The company offers some of the latest electric vehicles, including this Good Cat as well as the BMW iX, Mini Cooper SE and Hyundai Kona Electric. You can even drive a Tesla.

You can register any of these vehicles for as long as you like, and you can switch to another electric vehicle or even a gas-powered car at any time. Insurance, road tax and maintenance are all taken care of, plus a door-to-door delivery service will deliver the vehicle to you and take it in for on-site servicing. Visit the official website for more information. A nice place to spend time

The color palette continues on the inside, where you’ll find attractive brown or green leather trims. It matches the light interior which really helps to make the car feel bigger than it really is, but good luck keeping it clean. The good news is that the Good Cat is at least solidly built – even though the odometer shows more than 14,000 kilometers from where it must have been heavily used, the car still feels as tight as a drum. That’s a big relief, as China doesn’t really have the best reputation for build quality.

The only thing I don’t like is the center console located at the bottom. They’re all finished in beige (or light gray in the case of the Verdant Green model), which feels cheap, especially considering that the USB ports and 12-volt outlet covers are black. This is not pretty.

Then there can be no such bright colors in heavily used areas. There’s a reason other cars have darker drawers – dirt is everywhere here, and if you spill something in the cup holder, you’ll have a hard time cleaning it up. The unique colors are nice, but overall, I think I prefer the black interior, which is standard. Everything is fine here, though, with plenty of chrome detailing and a Mini-style rotary switch. You can clearly see where the designers get their inspiration from. The seats are comfortable too – the driver’s bench is electrically adjustable and even has a welcome feature that slides the seat back to give you more room to get in. Rear legroom is also quite good, although headroom is a bit tight for passengers.

The case Good Cat is in is about boot space. There’s only 228 liters here, and there’s also no real underfloor storage, meaning the charging cable has to scramble for space with the rest of your luggage. There’s also no front trunk, so the rear trunk is all you get.

Too fast for everyday use

The first thing you notice as soon as you leave is that Good Cat has mastered the basics. It doesn’t have a lot of power – the front engine only makes 141 hp and 210 Nm of torque – so it’s never going to blow up like a Tesla. But it makes good use of 141 horsepower. It feels more powerful than the numbers suggest, using instant torque for very quick acceleration.

In our tests, the Good Cat accelerated from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.29 seconds. It doesn’t feel fast – and indeed it’s much slower than the 7.9 seconds GWM claimed – but that’s more than enough for everyday driving. Top speed is limited to 160 km/h.

As you’d expect from an electric car, the Good Cat is relatively quiet, with no real ‘engine sounds’ to speak of; There’s also good insulation to block wind noise, although the Giti tires can be heard on rough roads. What this silence does is amplify some of the noise from other parts of the vehicle, which you wouldn’t normally notice in a petrol or diesel car. I continued to hear a hum from the rear, as well as a click from the front when braking when adaptive cruise control was active.

Speaking of brakes, the Good Cat has a single-pedal driving mode, but the braking force isn’t really strong enough for everyday driving – I found myself having to hit the brake pedal when I got to a red light. Also, the feature tends to turn off at random times, which is a bit confusing. This could be due to faulty software…we’ll cover that later.

Overall a comfortable ride, with tireless handling

As for driving, the Good Cat is generally comfortable for daily driving, although there are instances where it lacks a bit of dexterity. It’s not quite as sturdy as the Volvo XC40 EV we also drove recently, but there’s an underlying certainty in the way the car wobbles over minor surface imperfections. Fortunately, this will soften as you get up to speed.

Given its small size and wide track, you might expect the Good Cat to cause chaos on street corners, but that’s not the case. Of course, it has stable handling thanks to the position of the battery which gives it a low center of gravity. But the car also rolls a bit, the steering is numb and imprecise, and there’s no real ability to adjust when you lift the throttle in the middle of a corner. It also dives a bit under heavy braking, which can become an issue if you’re driving energetically with a few friends, especially those with a weak stomach.

Okay, so the Good Cat isn’t exactly a great cornering car, it just isn’t. But for everyday use, apart from the feeling of driving a bit jerky at low speeds, it is actually quite an enjoyable experience. You can certainly do much worse for less than RM150,000.

It can almost drive itself In terms of safety, the Good Cat comes with all the driving aids you could possibly want. Even the base Pro model gets things like automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-centering assist that should help reduce highway fatigue. Unlike the inconsistencies I encountered with the XC40, the systems performed very well here. The car handles predictably when accelerating, braking, and cornering, meaning I can trust it to handle long distances on its own. While at Volvo I got bored and just turned off the systems, in Ora I kept turning them on. It’s a big win for GWM, helping to remove the perception that Chinese cars are unsafe. 

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