Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Also, I was gifted a trip to Vietnam to drive the VF8. I received no compensation but I did get to stay in a few cool hotels which I share below.
With the launch of its first car in 2019, Vinfast has become an up-and-coming player in the automotive industry in record time. They are only four years old and in 21 months they launched three cars. Now, this Vietnam-based company has gained global recognition for their electric SUVs, the Vinfast VF8 and VF9. I had the privilege of going to Vietnam and seeing the Vietnamese car maker in person. They are bringing both of their electric SUVs to market in the United States soon and I got the chance to drive the VF8 for 45 minutes. Let’s take a look at these two vehicles and see if they are worth all the hype.
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Vinfast VF9 – A 3-Row Electric SUV Option
The Vinfast VF9 is an AWD 3rd-row SUV that features a sleek design and quality construction. The interior appears to be spacious and comfortable, with plenty of legroom for passengers and an adjustable driver’s seat. It also features ample cargo space with an extra storage area on the back side of the vehicle. Underneath, it has an all-wheel drivetrain that helps give it off-road capabilities as well as improved traction in inclement weather.
The car also comes equipped with advanced safety features such as blind spot detection, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking. It also boasts impressive performance numbers with its 2.5 liter turbocharged engine capable of outputting 200 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque. On top of this, it can get up to 50 miles per gallon as well as having one of the quietest rides on any SUV out there today due to its soundproofing technology.
The VF9 comes with a bigger battery that is built to last 8 – 10 years. If the battery doesn’t last that long, Vinfast will put in a new one. Due to supply chain shortages during the pandemic, Vinfast ended up building its own batteries. The battery comes with a 10-year, 125,000 miles warranty.
Full disclosure: I did not drive the VF9 while I was in Vietnam. I wasn’t even allowed inside of it. This is all information that was provided to me by Vinfast. This picture of it was as close as I got to it.
Vinfast VF8 – A Spacious Electric Alternative
The Vinfast VF8 is a great choice for those looking for a more spacious electric SUV without sacrificing quality or performance. This model features an exterior design that stands out from other cars on the market while still being understated enough to not draw too much attention when you’re out driving around town. Inside you’ll find plenty of space for passengers along with plenty of cargo room too, thanks to its split rear seats which fold down when you need more room in the trunk. I was extremely surprised at how large the second row was. I think you could get three car sets in it.
Underneath it has a 1.6 liter turbocharged engine capable of producing 155 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque while still getting up to 40 miles per gallon fuel economy ratings–making it one of the most efficient cars on the market today when it is fully charged! In order to get full acceleration the SUV has to be charged above 80%. Under 80% charge and you will not get peak power.
It also comes equipped with advanced safety features such as blind spot detection, lane departure warning systems, forward collision warning systems, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking which are designed to help keep you safe on your travels around town or down highways alike! There are 11 airbags in the VF8.
I did get to drive this vehicle for just under an hour, but I drove the Vietnamese version of the car, not the American version. I was able to speak to one of the engineers and he shared the following difference you can expect. The American version will have more stability and foam is being added to the tires to achieve less road noise. It will also have one-pedal driving, so when you let off the gas pedal the car slows down, eventually coming to a complete stop. They are also planning to add regenerative braking at some point.
I could never quite figure out how much this SUV was going to cost. I was told three different numbers, but until there’s an American version on the ground for sale we won’t know. One of the numbers I heard was just over 70K but there’s no way, cause it’s not that kind of quality.
North American Manufacturing is Coming!
Not only are they bringing their electric SUVs to America, but they are also building a manufacturing facility in North Carolina. The first phase will be the vehicle manufacturing plant and the second will be a battery pack manufacturing facility. Due to the pandemic causing chain supply issues, Vinfast ended up making its own batteries. At this point, they make all aspects of the vehicles including everything from the electronics to the plastic!
While I was in Vietnam they took us to experience the extreme uniqueness of the country. And yes, I considered much of what I saw and ate to be much different from other cultures I have been lucky enough to experience. The food was mainly seafood which was a little tough for me since I am allergic to a lot of it. A lot of the seafood they have is not something I’ve ever had before, so since I wasn’t sure what I could eat without issues I basically went borderline vegetarian. Vinfast was very accommodating. I got these baskets of food at each meal which were adorable and tasty.
One of the highlights for me personally was the resorts and hotels we stayed at. It seemed like every time we changed hotels it just kept getting better in various ways.
Vin Pearl Ha Long
The first resort I stayed at was the Vin Pearl Ha Long, situated on its own little island in the world-renowned Ha Long Bay. The views from my patio were incredible. I could see a ton of rock islands not far away. Based on photos I had seen of Ha Long Bay, I assumed you had to venture way out to see them, kind of like you have to do in Thailand in places. I was completely wrong. It’s easy to see from the mainland an extremely short boat ride.
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
The second place I stayed was in Hanoi, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. It is an iconic award-winning luxury hotel found right in the heart of Hanoi’s old quarter. I absolutely adored the rooms and the way old-school heritage colonial elements kept it richly decorated. It also had all the modern amenities I happen to need blended in aka Nespresso and a minibar!
From here it was a super short walk to see many things including the famous puppet show, a beautiful park, and tons of street food options. Hanoi is a truly fascinating city.
Vin Pearl Nha Trang
The third place I stay was another Vin Pearl property but this time I was down south. The Vin Pearl Nha Trang is on one of the best beaches in the entire country. My room was less than ideal, but the patio and the view more than made up for it! It was stunning. One of the days I was able to take a jet ski out into the bay and it was so much fun. I highly recommend it.
It was next to an amusement park that had an epic nighttime show at VinWonders Nha Trang, one of the biggest theme parks in Vietnam.
All in all, both models offer drivers something unique; comfort meets convenience in the Vinfast VF9 while green meets practicality in the Vinfast VF8. Whether you’re looking for something sleek or something utilitarian–there’s definitely something here for everyone! So if you’re looking for a new car that will turn heads down Vietnam’s streets then look no further than either one of these two models from Vinfast!