When Alan describes his new red GWM Ora, he says it’s a car that redefined his expectations of vehicle style and design. After looking at numerous cars that all felt like a slightly different version of the same thing, the GWM Ora put an end to his search. Now that he’s been driving his new car for a few months, we caught up with him to see how it’s going.
Like an increasing number of Kiwis, Alan made the decision earlier this year that he wanted his next car to be a greener choice. Although he had never driven an electric vehicle, his husband’s experience with a hybrid car got him thinking. Why not go fully electric and enjoy the benefits of fuel savings and a cleaner drive?
Living and working in suburban Wellington, Alan wanted a car that was compact and easy to drive through the inner-city streets but also delivered on performance, style, and technology.
But, with most of the well-known EV brands being either too large or having a hefty price tag, he wasn’t sure if he’d find the right fit. That’s when he discovered the GWM Ora EV – a car he describes as “breaking the mould in terms of EV design”.
One of the first things Alan noticed about the GWM Ora was its eye-catching design. “A lot of traditional car manufacturers are coming up with cars that look the same,” he says. “Nothing really distinguishes them.”
The GWM Ora, on the other hand, stood out from the crowd. “From the funky outline of the exterior to the interior ergonomics and modern-retro aesthetic, it feels like a reinvention of the car.”
Buyers have the option of a white interior, which really stands out as something different, or classic black. “I chose the black which feels very upmarket and modern,” he says.
Less is more
The size of the car was a significant factor. “I didn’t have the need for a big SUV that would fit a family and the dog,” Alan explains. What he wanted was an affordable smaller car that would suit him as a city run-about.
“The GWM Ora was exactly what I was looking for in terms of size and price,” he says.
Transitioning from a traditional car to a high-tech EV can take a bit of getting used to. But Alan says the GWM Ora’s seamless blend of innovation and intuition made it incredibly easy to use.
“Things like the Apple CarPlay, wireless charging, and keyless entry are fantastic,” he says.
“The touch screen system is user-friendly and easy to configure to your preferences. Now that I’ve customised the settings to how I like it, I hardly need to touch anything. Every time I get in the car it’s all set up and good to go.”
The daily drive
Inner-city driving can often feel like a chore, but now that he’s had a few months behind the wheel, Alan says his daily commute is something he looks forward to.
“It’s a very smooth and comfortable drive,” he says, highlighting the car’s torque as a particular standout. “It’s great for zipping around the urban streets and getting up to speed on the motorway.”
Alan explains that one standout feature is the adaptive cruise control. “It’s fantastic for driving in traffic because it automatically gauges the distance to the car in front and adjusts the speed accordingly.”
With its plush faux-leatherette seats, the comfort factor inside the car is also a big bonus. “It feels like I’m sitting in an armchair; it’s so comfortable,” says Alan.
And the little things make a big difference too. “There’s a nice space for my coffee mug – very important!” he says. “And the sound quality of the stereo system is great which just adds to the overall driving experience.”
Safety was another key consideration for Alan, and the Ora didn’t disappoint. With a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, he had the confidence he was making a quality purchase. “The safety features, like automatic braking, are not just bells and whistles; they genuinely keep me safe,” he says.
Another feature that’s become indispensable for Alan is the 360-degree camera. “It makes reversing so much safer and easier. I use it all the time.”
Plenty of range
When it comes to electric vehicles, range is often a hot topic. For Alan, it was crucial that his new car could comfortably handle his daily commute around Wellington without the need for frequent charging. The GWM Ora standard model offers a generous range of up to 310 km, more than meeting his needs.
But it’s not just the numbers that impressed Alan; it’s the reliability of the battery measurement. “Ironically, I actually have less ‘range anxiety’ with the Ora than I did with my petrol car,” he shares.
“I used to find that once I got below quarter of a tank of petrol, I started to get a bit panicky about filling up. That last quarter always drops like a stone. But with the Ora, the charge percentage is very accurate, and it drops at a consistent rate, so you don’t get caught off guard.”
Alan also offers some sage advice for those considering making the switch to an electric vehicle. “You have to think differently when you’re buying electric,” he says. “Buy for the 80% of what you’ll do, not the occasional trip. My average daily distance is only 60 km, so getting something with an excessive range would have been overkill.”
When it comes to charging, Alan says his Evnex E2 smart wall home charger is a game-changer. “For my daily commute, it charges in less than 90 minutes,” he says.
And buying from Brendan Foot Supersite?
When it comes to buying a car, the dealership experience can make all the difference. For Alan, Brendan Foot Supersite has been a trusted partner for over a decade.
“I bought my first car through Brendan Foot Supersite 12 years ago. I’ve always had really good service,” he says.
Alan appreciates the straightforward, no-nonsense approach Brendan Foot Supersite offers. “They give me good advice without a sales pitch,” he shares. “And I can speak to them when I need to; they’re easily accessible.”
“I’d happily recommend them to anyone considering their next car purchase.”
Contact the team at Brendan Foot Supersite to arrange a viewing or to book your GWM Ora test drive today.