Browse over 9,000 car reviews

GWM Ora 2023 review: Extended Range

City style gets an electric makeover with the GWM Ora.
  • DrivetrainFront-mounted electric motor / FWD
  • Battery capacity63kWh
  • Battery typelithium-ion
  • Range420km (WLTP)
  • Plug TypeCCS2
  • DC charge rate80kW
  • AC charge rate11kW
  • Motor output126kW/250Nm
  • Efficiency(14.1kWh/100km)
Complete Guide to GWM Ora

You're just going to have to take my word for it, but there really has never been a better, more cost-effective time to buy an EV in Australia.

The Chinese brands are driving the bargains, sure. But they're not alone. Tesla is slicing prices like it's operating a deli, with the Model 3 and Model Y finding new pricing lows seemingly every week.

Add to the chat brands like BYD and MG – the two are currently duking it out for the title of Australia's cheapest EV with the Dolphin and MG4 – and things are looking up for electric vehicle shoppers.

And into that fray comes GWM's entrant, the Ora. Promising funky styling, a long driving range and a budget-friendly bottom line, it offers plenty to tempt the EV curious.

Most importantly, in the wake of BYD and MG announcing a rock-bottom entry point to their EV ranges, GWM has also taken a razor blade to its pricing model.

We've put the GWM Ora Extended Range to the CarsGuide test to see just how this city-friendly electric vehicle measures up.

Price and features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

The Ora Extended Range starts at $45,990 plus on-road costs. In true GWM (and Chinese brand, for that matter) style, there is plenty of bang for your buck on offer here.

Outside, there are 18-inch alloy wheels, all-LED lighting (including DRLs), and heated door mirrors.

Inside, there are twin 10.25-inch screens. Inside, there are twin 10.25-inch screens.

Inside, there are twin 10.25-inch screens (one in the centre in the cabin, the other that's placed in front of the driver). There's wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with wireless device charging, too.

All-LED lighting (including DRLs). All-LED lighting (including DRLs).

The seats are synthetic leather, but they feel nice enough, and the driver and front passenger seat feature electric adjustment.

There's also dual-zone climate control, as well as USB charge points and a power outlet.

Design – Is there anything interesting about its design?

Okay, so when I first approached the GWM Ora, I wasn't sold. It looked a little too cutesy – especially painted in the 'Glacier Blue' of our test car, one of the five colours on offer – but I've got to admit it grew on me.

Think of it as something of a blend between a new-style VW Beetle and a Fiat 500, with maybe a sprinkling of 911 thrown in for good measure. So retro, still modern, and definitely looks like it was designed in the city, for the city.

And it is cute, especially the way the headlights do a little happy dance whenever you first unlock the car, or the way the tech lights up on the inside when you first get in.

The cabin is genuinely lovely, too, with more soft-touch materials. The cabin is genuinely lovely, too, with more soft-touch materials.

The cabin is genuinely lovely, too, with more soft-touch materials (including the felt-like dash covering and the quilted panels in the doors) and nice touch points (like the rotary-style gear selector) than you find vehicles in this price point from many far more established brands in Australia, and a generally soothing, tech-heavy ambience.

The front seats are a better place to spend time than the back seats, of course – the twin-screen set-up is great, the thin line of air vents that split the dash looks clean and premium, and the four toggle-like switches that shortcut access to some of the climate features are a nice tactile touch, too.

Seriously, it's a nice, comfortable place to spend time, the Ora, and it feels pretty premium to boot.

Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside?

The Ora is unashamedly a city car but, thanks to its EV underpinnings, there's a surprising amount of room in the back seat, too.

The Ora measures 4235mm in length, 1603mm in height and 1825mm in width, and it rides on a 2650mm wheelbase.

To put that into perspective, the Toyota Corolla hatch is 4375mm long, 1435mm high and 1790mm wide, so you can see what segment the Ora plays in.

The front seats are a better place to spend time than the back seats. The front seats are a better place to spend time than the back seats.

There's not much in the way of amenities for back seat riders – save a single USB charge point – but there is the luxury of space.

I'm 175cm, and I could easily, and comfortably, sit behind my own driving position without touching the seat in front or the roof, and the lack of a tunnel running through the middle of the cabin makes it easier to fit three across the back, too.

The boot, however, is on the small side. Open it, and you'll find just 228 litres of space with the rear seats in place. Fold them flat, and that number grows to 858 litres.

Under the bonnet – What are the key stats for its motor?

As you've no doubt guessed from the whole 'Extended Range' part of the name, our car is fitted with the biggest battery in the Ora fleet, a 63KWh lithium-ion battery pack, compared to the 48kWh offering in the entry-level Ora.

Power comes courtesy of a front-mounted electric motor delivering 126kW and 250Nm to the front wheels – enough, GWM says, to deliver a sprint to 100km/h in 8.4 seconds.

Efficiency – What is its driving range? What is the charging time?

A bigger battery means a bigger range, and the Ora Extended Range will serve up a very manageable 420km between charges on the WLTP testing cycle.

When it comes time to plug in, an 11kW wallbox (three phase) will see you go from 10 to 80 percent charged in 6.5 hours. Use an 80kW fast charger (you can use more powerful DC chargers, of course, but the input into the Ora is capped) and you'll take on the same level of charge in 50 minutes.

Driving - What is it like to drive?

The GWM Ora Extended Range is the best GWM product I've driven to date. It's really that simple.

Now, full disclosure, I'm yet to drive the brand's new Tank product. But I have driven almost everything else, and nothing felt as instantly easy or as comfortable as my time behind the wheel of the little Ora.

The GWM Ora Extended Range is the best GWM product I've driven to date. The GWM Ora Extended Range is the best GWM product I've driven to date.

Honestly, it's a pleasing drive at almost every turn, with a smooth delivery of pretty generous power, a ride that handles city streets with aplomb, and steering that is easy and predictable.

It's not perfect – the cabin can be noisy at times, and the screen interface (when you don't have your phone hooked up) is fiddly and demands perfectly precise taps to make it work. And it can feel over-powered, especially in damp conditions, with those little front tyres spinning up a storm when you're too heavy with the accelerator, forcing the traction control to step in.

Cheerful little city EV that does a lot more right than it does wrong. Cheerful little city EV that does a lot more right than it does wrong.

Oh, and the steering wheel feels comically big, and like you're steering a <i>Pirates of The Caribbean</i> tall ship rather than a city car.

And they're gripes, sure. But the overall impression of the GWM Ora is that of a cute, cheerful little city EV that does a lot more right than it does wrong.

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What is its safety rating?

Full credit to GWM here, with the Ora nabbing those coveted five safety stars, this time from Euro NCAP, though the brand says its working on getting them translated to ANCAP stars here in Australia.

The safety story starts with seven airbags, a 360-degree around-view camera and rear parking sensors, but there is a heap of active safety stuff on board, too.

There's AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection, stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection with lane change assist, lane departure warning and even a semi-autonomous lane keep assist function, which will keep you within the lines on freeways.

Add to that rear cross-traffic alert, rear collisions warning, traffic sign recognition and a driver drowsiness detector, and you've got a pretty full bag of safety goodies.

Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs?

The Ora is covered by a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty (the battery is covered for eight years) which includes five years of roadside assistance and five years of capped-price servicing.

Servicing is required every 15,000km or 12 months, with each of your first five capped at just $99.

  • DrivetrainFront-mounted electric motor / FWD
  • Battery capacity63kWh
  • Battery typelithium-ion
  • Range420km (WLTP)
  • Plug TypeCCS2
  • DC charge rate80kW
  • AC charge rate11kW
  • Motor output126kW/250Nm
  • Efficiency(14.1kWh/100km)
Complete Guide to GWM Ora

A funky, tech-savvy and fun city EV that doesn't pretend to be anything its not. This is city motoring made modern. The GWM Ora is not perfect in every way, but fun enough to overcome it.

$45,990

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Score

4/5
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.