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GWM Ora Funky Cat First Edition

Report 2

Frequent readers of my musings will be familiar with my advocacy of using well-calibrated adaptive cruise control (ACC) systems. Whether urban bimbling, lightning cross-country journeys, or plying motorways, employing ACC promotes motoring wellbeing. Select your speed and chill.

Pleasingly, the Funky Cat’s blessed with an easy-to-operate steering column wand for its ACC, permitting 1mph or 5mph speed increments depending upon how long you hold its position. A more immediate response to these inputs would be useful, especially when reducing speed, as cancelling the ACC and allowing the brake regeneration to slow the car down invariably does the job quicker.

Around town and on dual-carriageways or motorways, the ACC’s reassuringly competent and reliable, behaving much like similar systems in other cars, faithfully maintaining the set distance to the vehicle ahead. Motorway driving further inspires confidence, as the Funky Cat’s additional safety kit ensures you are aware of what’s in your blind spots, with warning signs that subtly appear in your peripheral vision, both within the door mirrors and on the instrument display.

When following other vehicles, the ACC scrubs speed off safely, right down to a complete stop. It’s a system you quickly have faith in, although marks are deducted when you’re brought to a halt on an incline. Despite the Funky Cat having an automatic parking brake, in ACC mode there’s a momentary lapse between stopping and it sensing it’s pointing uphill, resulting in a short roll backwards before the brakes come on.

Single-carriageway roads are not the ACC’s forte, however. Here the Funky Cat is unwilling to maintain the set speed if there’s any degree of road curvature, in some instances braking when you wouldn’t ordinarily choose to without ACC on. Another curiosity is the graphic on the driver’s display showing your position on the road and in relation to the vehicle ahead. Bends and corners seem to trouble it, often illustrating those in front of you as being off the road or in the oncoming lane. I’m curious as to whether this is linked to the ACC’s in-built cornering caution, but perhaps it could be remedied with a software update?

Driving on narrower, rural roads brings further intervention. In those circumstances ‘emergency steering function is activated’ frequently appears on screen with an accompanying bong. Thankfully it’s a far gentler, more natural sensation, with less wheel-tugging than I’ve experienced in other cars – rival makers should take note. You can turn it off, but like all systems designed to score well in Euro NCAP crash tests, it will default to being on at each restart.

Talking of defaults, the Funky Cat returns to the highest of three levels of brake-regeneration whenever you turn the car on. For no reason beyond personal preference, that’s not my setting of choice; an option allowing it to maintain the previously selected regeneration level would be welcomed.

While the Funky Cat’s adaptive cruise control package has its merits, I’ve become more selective about when I use it, usually employing it for urban work and on higher speed, multi-lane roads. Although that initially felt counterintuitive to me, doing so ensures a more relaxed ORA aura.

Mileage 5,781
Arrived 30th June 2023
Price when new £31,995
Price as tested £32,790
Economy (trip computer) 3.35 miles/kWh
Costs None Faults None

What's Hot

Light and easy controls for town driving, yet feels substantial at motorway speeds.

What's Not

Explaining to passengers that all the warning chimes aren’t a critique of my driving.

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