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2023 ORA Good Cat Review: Cause Effective

Jay Tee
09/11/2023

With loads of embellishments and standard features, the ORA Good Cat is one of the most cost-effective and affordable EVs on sale in Singapore.


2023 ORA Good Cat 03


Launched: August 2023 – Price: S$166,999 with COE
Five-door, compact hatchback, five seats
143hp, single-motor electric drive, 16.7kWh/100km, 420km range


PROS
Adorable, retro-futuristic styling
Generous list of standard features
Impressive range and efficiency figures

CONS
Limit boot capacity
Fiddly steering wheel controls
Sluggish infotainment system

Photos: Jay Tee

SINGAPORE

It’s always nice to be reacquainted with an old friend. Especially when the friend in question was your travelling companion on the 2,200km GWM EV convoy tour.

That “friend” is the ORA Good Cat 500 that served my co-pilot and me faithfully on the week-long drive from Thailand to Singapore, keeping us safe and sheltered from the tropical heat of South East Asia. From winding coastal roads to dual carriageways, the feline EV soldiered on as we relied heavily on Google Maps to keep us headed in the right direction.

Alas, we’re reuniting with the Good Cat on more familiar territory here in Singapore, albeit with even more embellishments and an even more extensive list of standard features.

Apart from the tweaked model designation, the Good Cat is mostly identical to the cars we drove on our convoy tour. Its shell is still every bit as “retro futuristic” with clear nods to sixties Porsches, Mini and VW Beetle design cues. As a nod to its retro styling cues, the car even has chrome encircled round headlamps and a two-tone colour scheme that is undeniably MINI-eqsue.

The car’s squat stance is enhanced by its short front and rear overhangs, with bulbous fenders and flared rear haunches that extend to the car’s wide derrière. The rear windshield sees an integrated taillight strip with reverse and turn indicators mounted lower on the rear fascia. 

Our particular test car’s Aurora Green paintwork appears blue at a glance but shifts to green under different spectrums of light – which was the whole reason that I picked it over the Galaxy Beige and brown test car. I’d hesitate to call it cute, but it only seems fit to do so.

Despite its compact footprint and exterior proportions, the Good Cat is taller than most hatchbacks (and some saloons) in the segment at nearly 1,600mm high. Its long wheelbase and tall roofline means the cabin is larger than what you’d find in most hatchbacks, but the caveat of that increased interior space is the car’s tiny 228-litre boot.

Mercifully, the spacious cabin is well furnished with suede upholstery and quilted leather on the door cards and seats. The dashboard sees a single panel that houses two 10.25-inch screws for infotainment and gauge cluster displays, along with a toggle switch panel for HVAC controls. But the Singaporean litter of Good Cats receive more bells and whistles than their Malaysian and Thai counterparts.

As standard, local specs include electronically adjustable seats in the front that have ventilated and massage functions as well as touch-sensitive haptic controls on the multi-function steering wheel. Unlike the Malaysian and Thai cars, local models even proper tilting and telescoping steering columns, a park button and wireless smartphone connectivity. The latter feature isn’t without its flaws, cutting out intermittently between startups. But for the majority of my time with the car, it was an easily rectifiable issue.

We might’ve missed out on the aforementioned embellishments on our road trip from Thailand, but these minor changes do little to alter the driving experience of the Good Cat. That being said, I spent most of my time behind the wheel with the cooled and massage seats on at the expense of battery charge – which was well worth it.

On the roads from Bangkok to Malaysia, the Good Cat managed itself well on all manner of badly paved tarmac and rutted streets without jostling the cabin too much. Here in Singapore, the Good Cat’s soft suspension copes even better on our smoother road network soaking up road imperfections for a more cosseting ride.

The Good Cat’s on-paper century sprint time of 11 seconds is nothing to write home about but in practice, the car’s 143hp/210Nm powertrain is sprightly enough to make short work of lane changes at highway speeds. It feels quicker than its specifications would suggest and it hustles its 1.6-ton kerb weight with ease.

Par the course for most EVs on the market, switching between the Good Cat’s drive modes alters the throttle map considerably for more immediate surges of acceleration in sport mode, or for a more gentle build up of speed in Eco mode. The car even plays a little jingle for each of the four driving modes.

Curiously, accessing the car’s one-pedal drive mode required delving into the infotainment menus. But in most instances, leaving the car in peak braking regeneration nets you the same effect and stopping power. Granted, there’s a learning curve for drivers to operate the pedals for smother operation. With enough practice, it’s a perfectly manageable system that serves to improve your efficiency figures considerably.

The Good Cat’s 63.14kWh battery is rated for 420km of range on a single charge. Despite that, the car’s quoted 16.7kWh/100km efficiency figure is easily bested. While I was unable to reset the trip computer (ORA’s engineers are working on it), the car still averaged under 15kWh/100km even with heavy footed driving on my part. Even when it comes time for you to top up the batteries, the car accepts up to 67kW at a DC charger which should be enough to get you from 0-80% in well under an hour.

For S$166,999, the ORA Good Cat is a lot of car for the money, especially so when you consider the fact that nearly 60% of its list price covers your COE premium. 

Given its extensive list of features, the Good Cat 03 is one of the most affordable and cost-effective electric vehicles in Singapore. It undercuts many EVs from established manufacturers, comes with more bells and whistles that overshadow those offered by legacy brands and it has decent economy figures to boot.

ORA Good Cat

DrivetrainFull electric
Electric Motor / LayoutSingle Motor / Front
Motor Power / Torque143hp / 210Nm
Battery Type / CapacityLithium-ion, 63.14kWh
Standard Charge Type11kW AC
Fast Charge Type67kW DC
Electric Range*420km
0-100km/h11 seconds
Top Speed152km/h
Efficiency16.7kWh/100km
VES BandA1
AgentCycle & Carriage Singapore
PriceS$166,999
AvailabilityNow
Verdict:The ORA Good Cat’s impressive range, efficiency figures and a generous list of comfort features makes it one of the standout EVs in its segment.

Tags:

good cat GWM ora ora good cat

About the Author

Jay Tee

A millennial with the mental age of a quadragenarian, CarBuyer's latest stringer writes and talks about anything with four wheels and a motor. Doesn't fully get TikTok, makes TikToks anyway. Moonlights for TopGear Singapore. Follow him on Instagram (and TikTok) at @jayyteejy

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