The Ora GT is a cool-looking variation on the standard Ora, still a city car, but has some real style that sets it apart – even from the rest of its own range. 

Great Wall Motors has made the Ora since 2018, and this model since late 2020. It is marketed overseas under different names including the Ora Good Cat and the Ora Funky Cat. Here in New Zealand it’s just Ora EV. 

The GT is the top-spec Ora. How does it differ from the Ora Standard Range?

What We Like and Dislike About The 2023 GWM Ora GT

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Equipment levels
Rear legroom
Nippy performance
Feeling of space inside
Build quality
Visibility in general
Boot space
No rear wiper
Real-world range 
Lane keep assist

What’s In The 2023 GWM Ora Range?

There are four versions in the Ora range available in New Zealand

Standard Range – $42,990

Extended Range – $47,990

Ultra – $55,990

GT – $58,990

The Standard Range has a 48 kWh Lithium-ion battery while all others in the range have the same larger 63kWh Ternary Lithium “extended range” battery. All versions are front-wheel drive with an electric motor delivering 126kW/250Nm. The relative advantages of the different battery technologies are not so clear-cut. The Ternary Lithium battery has a higher energy density so it can store more power for the same weight, and it is also not as affected by very cold weather, the latter likely to be more of an advantage overseas than in New Zealand. On the other hand, the Lithium-ion has a better cycle life. (more on the differences can be found in Comparison of lithium-ion and ternary lithium batteries).

All models have the same electric motor so outright performance across the range is virtually identical, 0 – 100 km/h at 8.4s for all but the GT at 8.5s. The expected driving range is 310km for the Standard Range, 420km for both the Extended Range and the Ultra, and 400km for the GT. While the GT is slightly down on this measure, it does have additional features over the rest of the model range.

2023 GWM Ora GT Colour Range

The Standard Range, Extended Range and Ultra models are available in:

  • Hamilton White 
  • Sun Back 
  • Glacier Blue
  • Sun Back with a white roof
  • Aurora Green with a black roof
  • Hamilton White with a black roof
  • Mars Red with a black roof

All models have a black interior except the Aurora Green coloured model which has a green interior. Models with a different coloured roof cost an extra $500. 

The GT model is available in:

  • Chalk Grey (the colour of our review car)
  • Sun Black 
  • Mars Red 
  • Hamilton White 
  • Glacier Blue 

All GT models come with a black interior with red stitching and accents.

The as-tested price of our review car is $58,990.

For a full list of specs and options available for the GWM Ora Standard Range head on over to GWM New Zealand’s website.

How Does The 2023 GWM Ora GT Compare To Its Competition?

The GWM Ora GT does not have the lure of its entry-level model, the Ora Standard Range being the “cheapest” new EV in NZ. The Ora GT is comparable with an increasing spread of EVs from long-time car brands like Nissan, Peugeot and Opel, and new players like MG and BYD. 

Make/ ModelBattery
Peugeot e-208 GT50100/2608.3383311$67,990
Opel Corsa-e SRi50100/2608.1383309$59,990
GWM Ora GT63126/2508.5400228$58,990
Nissan Leaf e+ 59kWh59160/3406.9385405$56,990
Peugeot e-20850100/2608.3383311$56,990
BYD Dolphin Extended60150/3107.0427345$52,990
MG4 Excite 6464150/2507.2450363$51,990
Opel Corsa-e50100/2608.1435309$49,990
Nissan Leaf e+ 39kWh39110/3207.9270405$47,990
MG4 Excite 5151125/2507.7350363$46,990
BYD Dolphin Standard4570/15012.3340345$46,990
GWM Ora Standard Range48126/2508.4310228$42,990

Please note that DriveLife does its best to ensure the information above is correct at the time of publication, however, prices, specifications and models can change over time. Please bear that in mind when comparing models in the comparison table.

First Impressions Of The 2023 GWM Ora GT

The Ora GT appears bigger in the flesh than in photographs. It is a small car but with an SUV-like height. The overall unique styling of the Ora is different from most other similar new cars. At first glance, the side profile has hints of the modern Fiat 500, crossed with elements of the new Mini. The headlights are very Mini-like, round with a wide chrome bezel surrounding a perimeter band of white LED for the driving light which turns orange for the indicator. Like on the GWM Haval Jolion Lux Hybrid, these headlights put on a bit of a show when first unlocking the car.  

The exterior GT styling features are extensive and coherent. All around the car, charcoal coloured carbon-fibre patterned mouldings are used to good effect. In the front bumper, they are used for some sporty scoops and a central spoiler complete with red garnish, and on the rear bumper, the lower centre section forms a rear splitter again with red highlights on each of the vertical fins. On each side of the car, the carbon-fibre mouldings continue over each wheel arch and as a side skirt.

The wheels deserve a special note as they are well-detailed, comprising five key segments one of which is outlined in bright red paint, matching the red paint on the brake callipers, all adding to the sporty vibe. The rear of the car is very “clean” in its forms mainly because there are no normal light clusters. The brake/tail lights are a strip along the lower edge of the back window, with the indicators/reverse lights being located low and to each side of the bumper. The final touches are an impressive rear spoiler design at the top of the rear hatch. The outer is painted body colour and has two vents each lined with bright red. On both ends there is a “GT” badge in red letters on a black background outlined in red.

While our review car is yet another “grey car”, to its credit, it’s a blue-grey that contrasts brilliantly with the red/black GT trim package. 

It is a city car and doesn’t pretend to be anything else. While the GT version has no extra go-faster performance over its siblings, the styling sets it apart and gives it a tangible fun factor. 

What’s The Interior Like In The 2023 GWM Ora GT?

The interior is light and airy and with plenty of space. The pillars and headlining are finished in an ivory-coloured fabric and together with the large sunroof, significantly lifting the interior. The GT’s interior detailing is impressive; The materials used and the quality of the finish are quite spectacular. The faux leather on the seats is both comfortable and attractive with contrasting charcoal-greys and red flashes. All of the main touch points are soft including the dash capping, a grey top joined with a fine line of red stitching to a contrasting red strip across the width of the car, housing the air vents.

Red-strip detailing continues on the top portion of the steering wheel and the door armrests. The faux leather on the steering wheel is attached with an elegant stitching pattern, typical of that seen on high-end car interiors. More red stitching is used on the padded centre armrest. The seat belts too are red, albeit in a darker tone. To cap off the GT-specific detailing, the letters “GT” are embroidered in red into the centre of all headrests. 

The front seats are impressively specified. They are electrically adjustable with 6-way for the driver with a memory function for different drivers, and 4-way for the passenger. They are also heated and cooled, and come with two-stage massaging. The heating and cooling worked well and the massaging would be very effective on those longer trips. The rear seat is surprisingly roomy for adults and has a fold-down centre armrest with dual cup holders. The rear seat backrests can also be folded forward 60/40 split for additional load space.

The steering wheel has haptic buttons on both spokes giving access to information screens within the main dash to controls in the infotainment system. Behind the wheel are three stalks; wipers on the right, lights/indicators on the left, and lower left a third stalk for the cruise control system. The steering wheel is heated and fitted with both tilt and telescope adjustment.

In the centre-lower dash is a set of physical air conditioning chrome-finished toggle switches, attractive and good to use, but their design is hugely reminiscent of the modern Mini. 

Below the a/c, the centre console starts almost at floor level, stepping up in three levels. Because of this lower-level starting point, it contributes to a greater feeling of space in the front. At the front of the lowest level are two USB-A ports and a 12-volt socket, a small tray and dual cup holders. Above and behind this on the middle step is a rotary knob for gear selection and two buttons, one for the parking brake and the second to select auto parking brake operation. Behind this is a Qi phone charging pad with a sufficiently grippy rubber finish to prevent your phone from moving. On the top-most step of the console is a padded armrest which hinges over a small but deep storage. Under the passenger side of the dash, more storage is provided by a decent-sized glovebox.  All doors are fitted with good-sized pockets, capable of holding regular-sized drink bottles. 

The large sunroof is divided with the front 2/3 opening and the rear portion fixed. Beneath is an electrically operated blind, the same ivory colour as the headlining. 

At night with the only interior ceiling lighting being at the front of the car, it is difficult to see anything in the back seat and rear floor area – like my bag.

The boot space is rather small, suffering the most from the overall design of the car with only 228 litres of storage. Under the carpeted floor is a tyre repair kit and pump with no spare wheel. Bridging the gap between the top of the back seats and the rear hatch is possibly the smallest parcel tray I have ever seen. 

What’s The 2023 GWM Ora GT Like To Drive?

On first unlocking the car a chime is heard and a pair of fish swim over the screens completing before vanishing into the Ora “exclamation mark” logo. At this point, the car is effectively on and ready to be driven. There is no separate “power on” button, simply put your foot on the brake pedal, select a gear using the rotary knob on the centre console and drive. I quickly got used to this and liked it. However, if all you had done was to enter the car you would have to turn off the car with a button on the far right of the dashboard if you were not re-locking the car. 

As soon as you drive away at very low speeds, the car plays a science-fiction sound. Above around 15km/h, the sound dies away. While initially I thought this was somewhat odd, I did find it useful simply to indicate when you had started moving. In many electric cars, they are so quiet, that it is possible to creep forward without realising – this sci-fi sound at least lets you know when you are moving. 

Driving the car is easy and visibility is good. It is a good-handling car with a competent suspension set-up that encourages nippy progress and manages our poorer road surfaces well. Being an EV, hill-work is an effortless joy. It can quickly accelerate to the open road speed limit and is pleasantly quiet with low levels of wind and road noise (coarse chip excepted). The steering, while well weighted, is lacking in any real feedback. All in all, it is a satisfying performer, ideal for round-town and longer-range journeys.

On the steering wheel, haptic buttons on each side give ready access to screen menus on the right and phone/volume on the left. These work OK, but you do have to look at where you are pressing, so individual buttons would be my preference.

The infotainment system has a common set of menus that cover most of the car’s systems and settings from safety features to driving, to air conditioning and those heated and cooled seats. In the system, you can manually select the screens to run in dark mode or light mode, or this can be set to auto on ambient light levels. I ended up choosing just dark mode, it was fine for both day and night and avoided the indecision the auto system was prone to, switching between the two. 

Surprisingly while the car had its own navigation app, there were no installed maps for it. That said, Android Auto is wireless and was super quick to connect, often starting my music playing as I lowered myself into the driver’s seat. It generally worked although losing the connection a few times during my week with the car. 

Most of the controls for the air-con, seat heater/cooling and massage functions and the steering wheel heater were accessed in the infotainment system. While this is reasonably accessible with a few touchscreen selections, these actions still take your attention away from the road. Conveniently, those Mini-styled toggle switches provided immediate access to the essential functions of a/c, on/off and clearing the front and rear windows. Really handy was that in using one of these toggle functions is a quick key directly into the infotainment a/c controls screen – no diving into the menus required. Brilliant. 

In EVs I do like the one-pedal driving mode. In the Ora, this worked up to a point but you would need to use the brakes to bring the car to a complete stop. 

Just like in the GWM Haval Jolion Hybrid, a driver alert camera is mounted to the driver’s side A-pillar. And like my experience with the camera in the Jolion, the camera in the Ora has been calibrated well enough not to overreact. 

Driving at night I found the headlights well-pointed and the high beam has a good useful spread. When used on auto function, it was almost faultless in detecting oncoming cars before the high beam could impact them.

The Ora also has a tyre pressure monitoring system, reporting back to the dashboard and raising an alert if one should fall a little low. In my car, the day I collected it, the system detected three of the tyres were low and a red warning triangle appeared on the dash to tell me. On pumping them up the warning disappeared. A handy system.

The adaptive cruise control system is operated by a third stalk hidden behind the steering wheel Pulling it towards you turns the function on, down to reduce the speed setting and up to increase it, each movement changes the set speed by 5km increments. Pushing it away from you cancels it. This all worked reasonably well. With this active, on the dashboard, it creates a real-time animation of everything it is monitoring relative to you. This is quite impressive as it models the road configuration and uses various vehicle forms to match the vehicle types around you including pedestrians and cyclists. 

In general, day-to-day driving. The car did emit a lot of beeps. Primarily these are related to an overzealous lane keep assist function. This became tiresome, and while I could ignore the beeps, it was counter to having such safety features. Another safety feature, the lane keep assist was more abrupt than I wanted so I tended to turn that off. With both these systems being software-based, I hope a future update can better moderate them. 

Probably the most niggly feature of the car for me was how the indicators work. They don’t always self-cancel so in trying to cancel it you end up operating the opposite direction indicator…and so on. I found it annoying, and at best confusing for other motorists. It requires a very subtle touch and mid-roundabouts are not always conducive to that. 

On wet days it was disappointing the car had no rear wiper; something we are seeing more often. That said, when parking the camera system has great picture quality so looking out the back window isn’t needed. And if parking is your nemesis, the Ora is fitted with a system to park itself. I tested this and it worked brilliantly, even taking a second bite to ensure it was perfectly aligned with the park.

On 100% charge, it generally indicated a range of more than 350 kilometres depending on how spirited my driving had been. During my time in the car, it recorded 18.3 kWh/100km, up on the specified 16.7 kWh/100km but still reasonable. The prediction was consistent with the rate at which it used power and the range prediction seemed pretty accurate. Clearly less than the 400km claimed.


Back in January, I reviewed the base model Ora and had mixed feelings about the car. Some of it I really liked, and other aspects not so much. But I came away with a feeling that if you wanted New Zealand’s cheapest EV, it was a pretty good car.

I grabbed the Ora GT from Peter for a few days to see if my thoughts had changed, and they really haven’t. There are aspects of the Ora GT I love, and aspects I really do not love. Sadly, it wouldn’t take too much to sort out the ‘not loves’ and end up with a car that would be excellent, especially at its price point.

To get a few of the negative things out of the road right now, this car beeps. A lot. The lane departure warning would start beeping when you are almost 2 feet away from the white line, and it goes on for far too long. That drove me a little crazy. On the motorway, I’d get more beeping from the rear cross traffic alert, just because there was a car in the lane next to me (and staying in its lane, I might add).

The steering controls have no markings, so there’s guesswork needed to find out what does what. And since I had the Ora in winter this time – it has no rear window wiper and that made reversing out of my driveway that much tricker, even with the camera.

I’m not sure if “it’s me, not you” but the indicators on the Ora GT seemed to stay on sometimes, after I had flicked the stalk back to centre. There was no real pattern here, sometimes they would, and sometimes they wouldn’t. It confused other drivers, and me too, to be honest.

And like the Haval Jolion and Haval H6 we recently reviewed, the keyless entry had a mind of its own too. It worked rarely – if the car didn’t unlock on the first touch of the door handle, it wasn’t going to at all, and you had to get the keyfob out of your pocket and hit the button on it.

That’s not all the ‘not loves’ but it’s the highlights. On the positive side of things, I love the red interior of the GT version; it’s different (not black!) and tastefully done. It’d be easy to go overboard here, but GWM has kept it tasteful.

One feature of the Ora GT that I don’t recall in the base model is the ‘reverse track’ system. We’ve seen this only in high-end BMWs, where the driver can select on the infotainment screen to make the car go back the way it came, up to 50 metres max. For those drivers that are not confident at reversing, this could be a nice solution.

The Ora GT is still a fun car to punt about the city. It’s a little funky but with that comes some attitude as well. Want to spin the front wheels? It doesn’t take much. The car is a great city runabout, with a reasonable range too.

I said earlier it would not take GWM much to sort out the issues I mentioned. A rear window wiper doesn’t add a lot of cash to the build, and the other ‘not loves’ are programming changes.

If GWM got those things sorted, it would make the Ora GT a great little hatchback EV.

2023 GWM Ora GT – Specifications

Vehicle Type5 door, small hatchback EV
Starting Price$58,990
Price as Tested$58,990
Power, Torque
Spare WheelTyre repair kit only
Kerb Weight, Kg1,580
Length x Width x Height
4254 x 1848 x 1596
Boot Space / Cargo Capacity,
(seats up/seats down)
Energy Economy,
Advertised Spec – Combined – 16.7
Real-World Test – Combined – 18.3
Low Usage: 6-10 / Medium Usage 11-19 / High Usage 19+
Towing Capacity
Kg, unbraked/braked
Not rated
Turning circle
Small: 6-10m / Medium 10-12m / Large 12m+
Warranty8-years unlimited km battery warranty
7-years unlimited km vehicle warranty
5-years Roadside Assist
Safety informationANCAP Rating – 5 stars – Link – 5 Stars – QEN833 

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2024-gwm-ora-gt-electric-car-reviewI enjoyed my week with the Ora GT. It is a dressed-up standard car and included in the GT spec car are some nice luxury features and it is loaded with accessible tech. It is a great car to drive, and plenty spacious for a family commuter. And, it has that fun factor. <br><br> If you are in the market for an EV city car, the Ora GT is worthy of being on your list.


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