2023 VinFast VF 8

$46,000 - $56,000
Price Range (MSRP)
VinFast VF 8
2023 VinFast VF 8
2023 VinFast VF 8 Rear Angle View
2023 VinFast VF 8 Dashboard

2023 VinFast VF 8 Review: A Slow Start

Vietnamese carmaker VinFast is a new arrival in the United States, and its VF 8 is a two-row electric crossover that is about the same size as the Tesla Model Y. This is VinFast's first EV in the USA, and the company's decision to enter a brutally competitive segment right from the start suggests it is confident in its products. Initially, the specs all read well: up to 402 horsepower from dual motors resulting in a 0-62 time as quick as 5.5 seconds and charging up to 250 kW. Nothing remarkable, but enough to be relevant for shoppers searching for something different. However, our first encounter with the VF 8 showed it to be rather rough around the edges, as if it was launched a few months before it was ready. Quality issues, a suspension that needs more polishing, and distracting driver-assistance technologies hold this new entrant back and won't help the brand's reputation in these crucial early stages. The initial City Edition models also have a poor claimed range of between 191 and 207 miles, and the upcoming models (arriving later in the 2023 model year) with the bigger battery still won't crack 300 miles. And, at $49,000, there is no great price advantage over established competitors considering that the dual-motor Volkswagen ID.4 is cheaper.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 2 /10
  • Fuel Economy 5 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 6 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 5 /10
  • Reliability 1 /10
  • Safety 2 /10
  • Value For Money 1 /10
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2023 VinFast VF 8 Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 VF 8?

A new arrival for the 2023 model year, the electric VF 8 officially introduces the VinFast brand to Americans. This two-row electric SUV will initially be available in the USA in a batch of 999 examples of the City Edition at a starting price of $49,000 after only being available for leasing at first. However, the brand has already adjusted pricing and offered discounts in response to rivals dropping prices, so this MSRP figure could change again soon.

Initial VF 8 City Edition variants have dual motors, either 349 or 402 hp, and a claimed range of up to 207 miles from the 82-kWh battery.

Models with a larger battery and a longer range will follow later for the 2023 model year. A lengthy list of equipment and Pininfarina-penned styling will help draw more customers through VinFast's doors.

Pros and Cons

  • Attractive exterior design
  • Snappy acceleration
  • Class-leading warranty
  • Many standard features
  • Generous interior space
  • Unpolished ride and handling
  • Questionable fit and finish
  • Unremarkable range
  • Annoying driver-assistance features
  • Quality control not good enough yet

What's The Price Of The 2023 VinFast VF 8?

Between price cuts, leasing options, and a heavily-touted pricing model that separated the price of the 2023 VinFast VF 8 from the battery cost, there is much to unpack here.

For many, what will matter most is the current starting MSRP of the VinFast VF 8 of $46,000 for the Eco City Edition. The Plus City Edition, meanwhile, starts at $53,000. VinFast's price cuts came as Tesla slashed prices, and we would not be surprised to see more adjustments before the 2023 model year is complete. Various lease and loan options are also available.

The 999 City Editions will be replaced by the standard models with the bigger battery, and they cost $49,000 for the Eco and $56,000 for the Plus. A destination charge of $1,200 is applicable. Initially, the price of the new VinFast VF 8 will only be applicable to Californians as the vehicle is only available there - for now.

As for VinFast's battery subscription model, the automaker has told us that while this is still being considered, it is not currently available in the USA.

2023 VinFast VF 8 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Single Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
City Edition Eco
Single Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
Single Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
City Edition Plus
Single Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 VinFast VF 8 Trims and Specs

2023 VinFast VF 8 Handling And Driving Impressions

Our test drive review was of the VinFast VF 8 equipped with the more powerful motors, but the two trims are largely similar. Both 2023 VinFast VF 8 models have dual motors and all-wheel drive. Although able to get up to speed quickly, the throttle response is one of several aspects that could've been better tuned. It isn't the easiest vehicle to drive smoothly, especially in the oversensitive Sport mode, as the car shoots forward more aggressively than expected. We also found the steering a bit too pointed for a family-friendly crossover; the Ford Mustang Mach-E is a much more inspiring vehicle to drive quickly.

Ride quality leaves something to be desired, too, as the suspension is overly firm. Smaller bumps are dealt with acceptably and it's fine on smooth roads, but across pavement that is less smooth or bumps that are larger, the car bobs from front to back far more so than should be the case in a supposedly premium vehicle. It doesn't help that the seats are rather firm, too, and the vehicle is not free of tire roar - especially noticeable in an EV.

The various driver-assistance technologies were also too sensitive, chiming incessantly whenever they sensed the car was approaching a hazard or if you reached the speed limit. On the plus side, the adaptive cruise control and steering assistance functionality work very well. Overall, VinFast has some work to do to make the 2023 VF 8 drive as well as its competitors.

Verdict: Is The 2023 VinFast VF 8 A Good SUV?

After driving the new VinFast VF 8 SUV, we concluded that it isn't a vehicle we can recommend in its current guise. Overall, it feels like an EV with a rushed development process, as evidenced by the patchy build quality, some software bugs, and a driving experience that needs refining. Its base price and maximum range on a full charge are outclassed by numerous rivals, and these are critical factors for a compact electric crossover. The vehicle's redeeming qualities include snappy acceleration in Plus guise and standard features that would cost you extra in many rivals, while we also appreciate the spaciousness of the cabin. But whereas a Tesla's performance, range, and X-factor are all superlative enough to outweigh its few weak spots, the VF 8 doesn't get enough right to offset its shortcomings. It's a below-average EV in a segment full of talent, and we'd wait until VinFast has had more time to refine it before taking the plunge.

What 2023 VinFast VF 8 Model Should I Buy?

The initial City Edition models are limited to 999 units, but we'd wait for the arrival of the models with the larger battery for their superior range. Pricing doesn't change (although the City Editions were introduced with a $3,000 discount), and neither does equipment, but the extra range of almost 60 miles for the base Eco is worth it. As for trims, the VF 8 makes more sense at a lower price, so we'd stick with the base Eco which already has many standard features.

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