The Korando may be a bigger and more obviously useful proposition, then, but it’s definitely more on a par with its Chinese rival when it comes to playing The Irritation Game. This is nothing to do with Benedict Cumberbatch, but a crucial test to which I subject each test car in the first few miles we spend together: just how long will it be before I find a feature that really riles me up?
The Ora is one of the best players I’ve yet encountered. It was mere minutes after taking delivery that its ‘helpful’ AI assistant’s insistent warnings had me quivering with rage. “Please brake,” she says softly if someone brakes four miles ahead. “Don’t get distracted!” she advises if I yawn, cough or gaze for more than two seconds at an interesting bird at the side of the road. I keep meaning to put some electrical tape over the in-car camera.
The Korando isn’t quite so loquacious, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less frustrating to rub along with. “Bing, bang, bong, you’re doing something wrong,” it implies tunefully with its repeated warning chimes, which are as distracting and grating as they are unhelpful. Because even though this occurred several times in my time with the car, I didn’t once work out what it was, er… bonging on about.
The Korean claims back its edge (as expected) when it comes to the fitness for purpose of its infotainment. While a touch rudimentary compared with the likes of Hyundai and Volvo, the Korando’s interfaces are clear, intuitive and agreeably quick to navigate because everything is roughly where you’d expect it to be. Conversely, the Ora’s tiny touch controls and illogically arranged menus make on-the-move adjustments a near-impossibility, and some truly baffling quirks suggest that more needs to be done to make this car cater to a UK audience.
The radio frequencies are all listed in megahertz, for example, and the ‘now playing’ scroller seems to only show the song that was on when you started the car. These might seem like minor gripes, but they really do add up.
Still, chances are, if you’re in the market for a Funky Cat in the first place, none of the above comparisons will have any tangible influence on whether you go through with the purchase. It’s the sort of car you buy with your heart, not your head, because while it may not make outright sense on paper (and there are several cars at this price point that do), you can’t help being taken in by its puppy-dog eyes and charismatic conception.