GWM Ora Ora 03 Review & Prices

The Ora 03 is a stylish and tech-filled EV, but it could go further on a battery and the boot is tiny

Buy or lease the GWM Ora Ora 03 at a price you’ll love
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RRP £31,995 - £34,995 Avg. Carwow saving £600 off RRP
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£31,395
Monthly
£184*
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wowscore
6/10
Reviewed by Jamie Edkins after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Huge equipment list
  • High-quality, spacious cabin
  • Lots of driver assistance tech

What's not so good

  • Small boot
  • Alternatives have more range
  • Disappointing to drive

Find out more about the GWM Ora Ora 03

Is the GWM Ora 03 a good car?

The Ora 03 is the first car to go on sale in the UK from Chinese car firm GWM. It might look like it’s Mini-sized in photos, but it’s actually close to a Volkswagen ID3 in dimensions, so it’s closer to a small SUV than a small city car. If you’re looking at an Ora 03 then cars like the Volvo EX30, Smart #1 and MG4 may also be on your shopping list.

You might know this car as the Ora Funky Cat, but it was renamed at the end of 2023. That's a shame because the odd name felt apt, as the best way to describe this electric car's styling is, well, ‘funky’. It looks like the result of an amorous evening between a Volkswagen Beetle and a Mini, and the result is a handsome family EV which stands out on the road.

The funkiness continues with an elaborate headlight and taillight show when you unlock it, and some fish that swim across the screens when you open the door. Cute.

Inside it’s similarly smart, with high-quality materials to be found throughout. It feels much more upmarket than the ID3, for example. The twin 10.25-inch displays are bright and crisp, however they can be a fiddle to operate. You do get voice commands as well through, and these work very well.

Even the base model comes fully loaded with wireless phone charging, an excellent range of cameras for parking and low speed manoeuvres, LED headlights and much more.

More good news is found in the back seats, where even taller adults will have plenty of room. It’s just as posh as the front and the arm rest has a couple of cup holders. On the down side, the Ora 03 is fairly narrow so it can be a bit of a squeeze for three adults.

The GWM Ora 03 comes fully loaded with kit which you pay extra for on more expensive cars

The boot is the Ora 03's weak point. At 228 litres it’s a bit bigger than the Mini Cooper Electric. But this car is the size of an ID3, which has a 385-litre boot. There’s some under-floor storage but you’ll probably have to store your cables in the main compartment, while a big load lip makes it difficult to lift heavy items in and out.

Behind the wheel, the Ora 03 is at its best in the city. The steering is light, making it easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces. Acceleration is slow to pick up from a standstill but it’s quick and responsive once on the move. The suspension does an adequate job of soaking up bumps as well, although it can get a bit fidgety over smaller imperfections.

On the motorway there is a lot of wind noise, which can be annoying over long distances. It’s not as comfortable at higher speeds either, while most alternatives, such as the MG4, are more fun to drive in the corners.

There are two battery options for the Ora 03, the larger of which will do up to 260 miles on a charge. Not bad, but a Volkswagen ID3 can manage up to 357 miles and the cheaper MG 4 SE has 281 miles of range.

Overall, the GWM Ora 03 is a decent addition to the UK’s family car market. It provides a high-quality and spacious alternative to more traditional brands and outperforms them in many ways. However, its small boot and disappointing motorway driving do count against it.

If you like the look of the GWM Ora 03 and are interested in getting behind the wheel, check out our Ora 03 deals to see how much you could save. Or check out used GWM Ora 03s here. Remember too, that when the time comes to sell your old car you can do that right here through Carwow's network of trusted dealers.

How much is the GWM Ora 03?

The GWM Ora Ora 03 has a RRP range of £31,995 to £34,995. However, with Carwow you can save on average £600. Prices start at £31,395 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £184.

Our most popular versions of the GWM Ora Ora 03 are:

Model version Carwow price from
126kW Pure+ 48kWh 5dr Auto £31,395 Compare offers
126kW Pro+ 63kWh 5dr Auto £34,395 Compare offers

When you consider how much kit you get as standard, the Ora 03 represents great value for money. It’s a few thousand pounds more expensive than the MG4, but the Ora is better equipped and has a posher cabin. The Volkswagen ID3 is considerably pricier and, despite being more practical, the interior doesn’t look or feel as posh as this newcomer.

There are two trim levels to choose from: Pure+ and Pro+. The main difference between these two is the driving range - the Pure+ will do 193 miles on a charge while the Pro+ has 260 miles of range - although the latter does have some extra kit such as massage seats, automatic parking assist and a reversing assistant. It’ll cost you around £3,000 to upgrade to the Pro+, and it’s well worth the money for the added range alone.

All cars get a 360-degree camera, twin 10.25-inch screens, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and wireless phone charging.

Performance and drive comfort

The Ora 03 is easy to drive around town, but the poor refinement gets annoying at higher speeds

In town

The Ora 03 is happiest when cruising around town. The steering is nice and light, making nipping in and out of tight spaces a breeze, and there are plenty of cameras around the car to help you out.

The suspension does a decent job of soaking up bumps in the road, although it can feel a bit jittery over smaller imperfections. It’s still more comfortable than a Cupra Born, but a Volvo EX30 handles rough surfaces with aplomb.

There’s a momentary pause when you put your foot down before the car moves forward, meaning pulling out at junctions requires planning to make sure you don’t get caught out. It’s pretty punchy on the move though, so nipping past the odd cyclist is easy.

Speaking of cyclists, the Ora 03 has a raft of safety systems on board to keep an eye out for them and other vulnerable road users. It’ll warn you if there’s a bike in your blind spot when you’re in slow moving traffic, and it even brings up the blind spot camera to show you where they are.

There’s a single pedal driving mode, which is great when traffic builds up because it increases regenerative braking and can stop the car without the driver touching the brakes. It would be nice to have a quick access button somewhere, though, rather than having to dig into menus to access it every time you get in the car. The same can be said for the safety tech, because silencing the endless beeps and bongs requires a lot of screen prodding.

If manoeuvring isn’t your strong suit, the Pro+ model comes with an automatic parking assistant which can slot you into a tight space with no input from you. It also has a reversing assistant, which can replay your last few yards of driving in reverse to get you out of a tricky spot. You have to be in a very difficult situation to call on this system though, because it is very slow.

On the motorway

The Ora 03 is less happy when you venture out onto the motorway. The first thing you’ll notice is the excessive wind noise, which quickly becomes annoying and requires a little more radio volume to drown out than you might expect, given the refinement seen elsewhere.

The suspension is less composed, too. It’s not that it’s uncomfortable, it just feels like bumps in the road unsettle the car, meaning it’s always jiggling along and never quite relaxes.

There’s a lot of driver assistance technology included as standard, with adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist the key advantages on the motorway, taking some of the stress out of long trips.

On a twisty road

Again, the Ora 03 isn’t at its best on a winding road. The steering is the issue here because there’s little feedback from the surface so you can’t be confident the front end has grip. The MG4 is much more composed in this regard, and is more fun as a result.

The driver assistance technology can be a little intrusive here, too. On tighter British roads, the lane keeping systems will often tug at the wheel because they think you’re too close to the verge. You can turn it off, but you have to do it every time you get back in the car.

Space and practicality

The cabin is spacious both front and rear, but the boot is disappointingly small and there’s no storage under the bonnet, either

The Ora 03’s confusing proportions are most obvious in the cabin. It looks like it should be pretty cramped, but when you jump inside it’s as spacious as a small SUV. It’s easy to get comfortable because the steering wheel adjusts for both height and reach, while the front seats are electrically adjustable.

The two front chairs are nice and comfortable as well, with enough support that you don’t get a backache after a long stint behind the wheel, it’s just a shame that there’s no adjustable lumbar support. The range-topping model has heated, ventilated and massaging seats as well. Very fancy.

Storage is okay, with a cubby hole beneath the arm rest, a small shelf for your phone that includes the wireless charging pad, and another small spot beneath the dashboard. The cupholders are here too, and while they’re deep and grippy they sit low behind the gear selector making them tricky to get to while on the move.

The glovebox has one of the smoothest actions on any car, gently lowering when you press the open button. However, it’s quite slow, so could prove annoying if you want to quickly grab something from inside.

Space in the back seats

Space in the rear is similarly impressive. Even taller passengers will find plenty of head, leg and knee room, though it’s a bit of a squeeze with three across the back and there’s not much support for your thighs.

There’s a fold-down armrest between the two outer seats, which has a couple of cupholders inside, or you can fit large bottles in the door bins if required. There are pockets in the back of the seats, too, with the only disappointment that there’s only a single USB slot for rear passengers.

Fitting a child seat is a pain-free affair as well thanks to the wide-opening back doors, although you do have to stab around between the seat back and base to find the ISOFIX anchor points.

Boot space

That impressive cabin space does come at the expense of boot space, unfortunately. At just 228 litres it’s not much bigger than the Mini Electric, and quite a bit smaller than the 267 litres found in the Vauxhall Corsa Electric, which is a much smaller car. Compared with the ID3, it’s well down on the Volkswagen’s 385 litres.

What’s more, there’s nowhere to store the parcel shelf under the floor, and only a small section to put a three-pin plug charger, so you’ll need to put the bulky Type 2 cables in a bag in the boot, eating up more room. There’s also a large load lip, which makes it tricky to load large, heavy items in and out.

There aren’t many clever features in the boot either, with no tie-down points or 12V sockets in sight. The seats fold down 60:40 to open it up to 858-litres of space, but there’s a big ridge in the floor which makes it hard to slide bulky items to the front.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

The interior look and quality is a strong point for the Ora 03, but the infotainment system is a faff to use

Jump inside the Ora 03 and it’s tough to find anything to fault in terms of quality. There are soft and squidgy materials throughout that give a proper premium appeal. There are scratchy plastics to be found but you have to go looking for them.

There are three colour combinations to choose from, with dark grey upholstery coming as standard. Pay a little extra and you can have either a red and cream or green and cream cabin to match the exterior paint job. Strangely though, this is only available on the entry-level Pure+ model. The Pro+ gets a black interior and that’s it. Boo.

You get two 10.25-inch displays as standard, and they look great. The graphics are sharp and they’re pretty bright. You get some virtual fish swimming across the dashboard when you get in as well.

Unfortunately looks can be deceiving, and the central infotainment screen can be very frustrating to use, with tiny icons and laggy response times making it a faff to navigate, especially on the move.

This is especially bad when almost all of the car’s functions are controlled through that screen. Adjusting the climate control, turning on the heated seats or turning off the driver assistance systems all require too much thought when you’re driving, especially if you’re using Android Auto or Apple CarPlay because you have to exit the smartphone mirroring to access these menus.

The 03 does have one saving grace on the infotainment front though, and that’s the voice commands. One press of a button on the steering wheel and you can tell the car what you’d like to do, and it’s pretty good at recognising your phrases. You can just tell it to set a temperature, but it’s annoying that it brings up the climate menu when it makes the change and you have to prod your way back out of it to go back to your multimedia.

The other screen sits in front of the driver, and it displays all the information you need in a clear and concise way. It’s also more customisable than the digital driver’s display you get in a VW ID3, and the Volvo EX30 doesn’t have one at all.

Electric range, charging and tax

There are two battery options for the Ora 03, starting with the 48 Kwh pack in the Pure+ model. This version has an official 193 miles of range, which is better than smaller cars like the Mini Cooper Electric, but an MG4 can do 270 miles in its most basic form.

If you want a more useful driving range, the Pro+ has a larger 63kWh battery with 260 miles of range. That’s slightly more competitive, but it’s still down on the MG4 and a Volkswagen ID3 can manage almost 100 miles more. A week with the Pro+ model in mixed driving conditions saw a real-world range of around 230 miles.

The 03’s charging speed leaves a bit to be desired as well, because the Pure+ car can only charge at 64kW at a DC fast charger. This means it takes over 40 minutes to charge from 15-80%, while a Volkswagen ID3 can charge from 5-80% in just half an hour.

Gof or the larger battery in the Pro+ and you can charge at 100kW, but it still takes 48 minutes to charge from 15-80%.

Electric vehicles are particularly appealing for company car buyers because they have a benefit-in-kind tax rate of just 2% until 2025, making them considerably cheaper in tax than even a small, economical petrol-powered hatchback. You’ll also be exempt from vehicle excise duty until 2025.

Safety & security

Safety-conscious buyers will likely be drawn to the Ora 03’s vast suite of driver assistance systems. Not only did it get full marks in Euro NCAP safety testing, its huge score was beaten only by more expensive, ultra safe cars from the likes of Tesla and Lexus.

Equipment includes adaptive cruise control that will stop and start in traffic, lane keep assist, lane centring, auto emergency braking and much more.

There’s also a facial recognition system that has a variety of functions. For one, it will keep an eye on the driver and display a warning if they look drowsy or are not paying attention, for example if using their phone. It can also recognise different drivers and load appropriate settings, such as their work destination in the sat nav.

As useful as these systems sound, they can get intrusive and annoying in practice. The car is constantly beeping and bonging, especially in heavy town traffic where the front collision warning is overly sensitive. It doesn’t help that a lot of the warnings in the car are verbal and quite loud, which grates after a while. While you can turn these systems off, it’s a faff through the screen and they all default to on every time you get in the car.

Reliability and problems

With this being the first electric car GWM has sold in the UK, it’s unclear whether you should expect solid reliability. However, electric vehicles tend to be more reliable than combustion-engined cars. GWM has also been building cars for the Chinese market for several years now, which should be reassuring.

The standard Ora 03 warranty is five years with unlimited mileage, while the battery has an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty.

Buy or lease the GWM Ora Ora 03 at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £31,995 - £34,995 Avg. Carwow saving £600 off RRP
Carwow price from
Cash
£31,395
Monthly
£184*
Ready to see prices tailored to you?
Compare new offers
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