2022 GWM Ora Good Cat first look – cheapest EV in Malaysia doesn’t feel cheap at all, 500 km range legit?

The Ora Good Cat has to be one of the most intriguing cars ever to come out of China. Is it the cute name, the quirky design, the good specs? Probably a sum of the above, with a big portion of design. Unlike the thousands of generic looking SUVs from China, the Good Cat looks like nothing else in the market today (the Porsche 356 is no longer on sale). Like some of you, I’ve been keenly waiting for this review.

If you need an introduction, this maneki-neko is the Ora Good Cat from Great Wall Motors (GWM), which is now officially in Malaysia as a brand. The Good Cat, or Haomao in Mandarin, is set to hit our market in Q4 this year, along with some Haval SUVs. Ora (EV) and Haval (SUV) are GWM’s brands.

This is an early preview unit courtesy of Flux. The car subscription company is running a weekly EV subscription programme for you to “own an EV for seven days” and try out the electric life, which as you’d expect, is a bit different from owning/using ICE-powered cars. Fits into your life easily or too much compromises? Flux has the Good Cat, second-generation Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Kona Electric in its electric fleet.

In Malaysia, four variants will be offered, namely the Tech, Pro, Ultra and Ultra G. All will come with an electric motor rated at 143 PS/210 Nm driving the front wheels, allowing for a top speed of 152 km/h. One-pedal driving is available and there are five drive modes – Normal, Sport, Eco, Eco+ and Auto.

Both the Tech and Pro will come with a 47.8-kWh lithium iron phosphate battery that can provide up to 400 km of range in the NEDC cycle. It’s eight hours to fill this battery up via AC charging (Type 2 connection) at the vehicle’s max input of 6.6 kW. With DC fast charging, you can get from 0-80% state of charge (SoC) in 46 minutes at 60 kW. Both the Tech and Pro are estimated to start from RM14Xk.

Next up is the Ultra, which is estimated to retail from RM15Xk. The range is up to 500 km thanks to a superior 63.1-kWh ternary lithium battery. With AC charging, it takes around 10 hours for a full charge and DC fast charging gets the battery from a 0-80% SoC in about 40 minutes. The range-topping Ultra G is mechanically similar to the Ultra, but it comes with more equipment and a corresponding price tag of from RM16Xk.

2022 GWM Ora Good Cat first look – cheapest EV in Malaysia doesn’t feel cheap at all, 500 km range legit?

Currently, the cheapest EV on sale in Malaysia is the base Hyundai Kona Electric 39.2 kWh at RM156,538. That crossover has a WLTP range of 305 km. Note that the Good Cat’s quoted range is in the older NEDC standard, and not the latest WLTP cycle that most carmakers use today – WLTP typically pulls the range figure down by around 20% – we explain this in the review.

Specs wise, the Tech comes with 17-inch alloys, LED headlamps and DRLs, LED taillights, keyless entry and start, fabric seats, a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, automatic air-con with PM2.5 filter, a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, four speakers, cruise control, two airbags, ESC, rear parking sensors, hill start assist, low-speed emergency braking and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

The Pro adds on 18-inch alloys, automatic headlamps, power-folding side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, electric panoramic sunroof, synthetic leather upholstery, powered six-way driver’s seat, 360-degree camera, wireless phone charger, USB port for a dashcam as well as side and curtain airbags to make it six in total.

2022 GWM Ora Good Cat first look – cheapest EV in Malaysia doesn’t feel cheap at all, 500 km range legit?

Also fitted are a range of active safety and driver assist systems, including adaptive cruise control with intelligent turning, traffic jam assist, automatic emergency braking with intersection support, front collision warning, a wisdom dodge system, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and lane centre keeping.

The big batt Ultra gets the Pro’s kit list, but with the addition of a welcome light effect for the headlamps, memory for the powered side mirrors, driver seat memory with welcome function, two more speakers (total six), automated parking, emergency lane keeping, lane change assistant, blind spot detection, rear collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert and braking, plus front parking sensors.

The Ultra G is identical to the Ultra when it comes to equipment, but it comes with special colours in and out. The range-topper is the only one that can be had with an exterior in Hazel Wood Beige/Wisdom Brown or Verdant Green with a white roof. Also exclusive to the Ultra G are brown/beige and green/grey cabin colour options. Kit wise, what you see here should be very close to our range-topping Ultra G.

If you’re wondering if this cat is a giant one masquerading as a kitten (think Hyundai Ioniq 5), it’s not. The Good Cat is 4,235 mm long and 1,825 mm wide, which makes it shorter but wider than a Honda City Hatchback (4,345 mm long, 1,748 mm wide). The Ora’s 2,650 mm wheelbase is 50 mm longer than the B-segment City’s. Compact but roomy, as Hafriz demonstrates in the video. The boot is very small, though.

Our man also has high standards for interior appointments, and the cabin of the cheapest EV in Malaysia impresses him, although it does come with some very frustrating elements. Check out the video above and tell us what you think of the Ora Good Cat.

If you look at it long enough, it might meow at you.

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