Manufactured in Vietnam in style by renowned Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina, with the company’s headquarters recently moving to Singapore, the 2023 VinFast VF9 electric SUV is a global product with an estimated range of up to 369 miles per charge. If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard of the VinFast name before, it’s because the company is still preparing to start selling its vehicles in the United States for the first time. The VF9 is roughly the size of the Kia Telluride and offers three rows of seats in its fully equipped cabin. All models are equipped with a 402-hp dual-motor electric powertrain and all-wheel drive. Tech features abound inside: all VF9 models come with a large 15.6-inch infotainment screen and several driver assistance features. When the VF9 goes on sale, it will compete with SUVs from other startup automakers like the Rivian R1S as well as offerings from established brands, such as the upcoming Kia EV9.
What’s New in 2023?
While VinFast is a new automotive brand on the North American coast, VinFast has been building and selling vehicles in Vietnam since 2017. The VF9 was launched alongside the smaller VF8 SUV as the brand’s first US offering. The first SUV range will be built in Vietnam and imported, but the company has already started plans to build a factory in North Carolina that is meant to localize manufacturing in the US starting in 2024.
Price and Where to Buy
The VF9 is offered in Eco or Plus variants with two different battery sizes. The Eco Enhanced range is the one with the longest driving range, but the Plus model features the most luxurious features, including a panoramic glass roof, leather upholstery and second-row captain seats. The prices listed above are estimated based on the latest information from VinFast for the total cost of purchasing a single VF9 and its battery pack, but the company is also planning a unique option that reduces the price of the VF9 but adds a separate monthly fee for how much the battery rents.
EV Motor, Power and Performance
All models come with the same all-wheel-drive electric powertrain, consisting of two electric motors for a total of 402 horsepower. We haven’t ridden the VF9 yet, but we hope the acceleration is at least adequate. VinFast estimates that the VF9 should hit 60 mph in just 6.3 seconds. When we get a chance to test the VF9 ourselves, we’ll update this story with driving impressions and test results.
Range, Charge and Battery Life
The driving distance varies depending on which battery is installed. While we don’t know the size of any of the available battery packs, VinFast says the Standard Range battery can provide up to 272 miles of driving in the Eco trim, but that number drops to 262 miles for the Plus model. The Enhanced Range battery is more powerful and offers an estimated 369 miles of driving on the Eco and 360 miles of driving on the Plus. Both plans can charge on a DC fast charge connection, and VinFast says the smaller of the two can charge from 10 to 70 percent in 26 minutes.
Real World Fuel Economy and MPGe
The EPA has yet to provide an estimate for the VF9’s fuel economy figures, but when we learn of that information, we’ll update this story with details. We’ll also be planning to use the VF9 on our 75 mph highway fuel-efficient route to test real-world efficiency. For more information on VF9 fuel economy, visit EPA website.
Interior, Comfort and Cargo
The cabin of the VF9 looks quite premium in the photos, featuring a three-row layout and a design that wouldn’t look out of place on an Audi. Heat-adjustable faux leather seats are standard, but the upscale Plus trim adds genuine leather upholstery, massage features and a second-row captain’s seat. Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard and features an air ionizer to help remove odors from the cab; going with the Plus trim adds a third climate control zone for the rear passenger compartment. The power-operated rear liftgate will open handslessly if you kick your foot under the rear bumper, but we’re not sure how much cargo space we’ll find there once the hatch opens.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The large 15.6-inch dashboard-mounted display doubles as an infotainment touchscreen as well as a digital gauge screen, a design similar to the Tesla Model Y. The heads-up display also projects important information onto the windshield in front of the driver, so those who don’t like the idea of glancing to the right to keep an eye on the speed will be able to have the info available instantly. A voice assistant is included to allow users to interact with the system without touching the screen. There are other features to help pass the time while charging, such as onboard video games and e-commerce services built into the software.
Safety Features and Driver Assistance
All VF9 models come with a full package of driver assistance features, including some easy-to-use features such as automatic high-beam headlights and traffic sign recognition. For more information on the VF9 crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) website. Key security features include:
- Standard automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring
- Standard lane departure warning with lane guard assistance
- Standard adaptive cruise control with lane centering
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
VinFast’s generous 10-year/125,000-mile warranty coverage will help allay the fears that come with taking a risk on an electric SUV from an unknown brand. Only the Genesis GV60 comes close to a 10-year warranty policy that extends to 100,000 miles.
- Limited warranty covers 10 years or 125,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 10 years or 125,000 miles
- Battery components are protected for 10 years or 125,000 miles