Built in Vietnam with a design by renowned Italian automaker Pininfarina, with the company’s headquarters recently moved to Singapore, the 2023 VinFast VF9 SUV is a global product with an estimated driving range of 369 miles per charge. If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard the name VinFast before, it’s because the company is still preparing to start selling its cars in the US for the first time. The VF9 is roughly the size of a Kia Telluride and offers three rows of seating in its well-appointed cabin. All models come with a 402-horsepower twin-turbo electric motor and all-wheel drive. Tech features abound inside: All VF9 models come with a large 15.6-inch infotainment display and numerous driver assistance features. When the VF9 goes on sale, it will compete with SUVs from other emerging automakers such as the Rivian R1S as well as offerings from well-known brands, such as the upcoming Kia EV9.
What’s new for 2023?
While VinFast is a new auto brand on the shores of North America, it has been building and selling vehicles in Vietnam since 2017. The VF9 is launching alongside the smaller VF8 SUV as the brand’s first offerings in the United States. The first batch of SUVs will be built and imported in Vietnam, but the company has embarked on plans to build a plant in North Carolina aimed at localizing manufacturing in the United States starting in 2024.
Pricing and which one to buy
The VF9 is offered in either Eco or Plus with two different battery sizes. The Eco Enhanced package is the package with longer driving range, but the Plus model offers the most luxurious features, including a panoramic glass roof, leather upholstery, and second-row seats. The above prices are estimated based on the latest information from VinFast for the total cost of buying one of the VF9 and its battery pack, but the company is also planning a unique option that lowers the price of the VF9 but adds a separate monthly expense for what amounts to a battery rental fee.
EV engine, power and performance
All models come with the same all-wheel drive electric powertrain, which consists of two electric motors totaling 402 horsepower. We haven’t driven the VF9 yet, but we expect the acceleration to be at least adequate. VinFast estimates that the VF9 should hit 60 mph in under 6.3 seconds. When we get a chance to test the VF9 engine for ourselves, we’ll update this story with driving impressions and test results.
RANGE, CHARGING AND BATTERY LIFE
Driving range varies depending on the battery pack on board. While we don’t know the size of any available battery packs, VinFast says the Standard Range battery can provide up to 272 miles of driving for the Eco model, but that number drops to 262 miles for the Plus model. The Enhanced Range battery is more powerful and delivers an estimated 369 miles of driving in Eco and 360 miles of driving in Plus. Both packs are capable of charging on DC fast charging, and VinFast says the smaller of the two can charge from 10 to 70 percent in 26 minutes.
Fuel economy and MPGe in the real world
The EPA has yet to provide an estimate for the VF9 engine’s fuel economy numbers, but when we find out that information, we’ll update this story with details. We’ll also plan to take the VF9 on the highway’s fuel economy route at 75mph to test its efficiency in the real world. For more information on the fuel economy of the VF9, visit Environmental Protection Agency website.
Interior, comfort and shipping
The cabin of the VF9 looks rather impressive in photos, and features a three-row layout and styling that doesn’t look out of place on an Audi. Electrically adjustable faux-leather seats with heating are standard, but the premium Plus trim adds natural leather upholstery, massage function, and second-row captain’s chairs. Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard and has an air ionizer to help clean and deodorize the cabin; Going with the Plus trim adds a third climate control zone for the rear passenger compartment. A hands-free powered tailgate will open if you kick your foot under the rear bumper, but we’re not yet sure how much cargo space we’ll find there once the hatch opens.
Information, entertainment and communication
The large 15.6-inch dashboard-mounted screen acts as a touchscreen for infotainment as well as a digital gauge cluster, a design similar to that of the Tesla Model Y. The head-up display also projects important information onto the windshield in front of the driver, so those who don’t like the idea of throwing A sneak peek at the right speed monitor will be able to provide this information directly. A voice assistant is included to allow users to interact with the system without touching the screen. There are other features to help pass time while charging, such as onboard video games and an e-commerce service built into the software.
Safety and driver assistance features
All VF9 models come with a comprehensive suite of driver assistance features, including some convenient features like automatic high-beam headlights and traffic sign recognition. For more information on crash test results for the VF9, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSAThe Insurance Institute for Highway SafetyIIHS) sites. Key safety features include:
- Standard Automatic Emergency Braking and Blind Spot Monitoring
- Standard Departure Warning with Lane Keeping Assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control with lane centering
Warranty and maintenance coverage
VinFast’s generous 10-year/125,000-mile warranty coverage should help allay the fears that come with indulging in an electric SUV from an unknown brand. Only Genesis GV60 comes close to a 10-year warranty policy that extends to 100,000 miles.
- The limited warranty covers 10 years or 125,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 10 years or 125,000 miles
- Battery components are covered for 10 years or 125,000 miles