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Review – VinFast VF 8 (2022)

July 25, 2022


We did have to travel a bit before we could board the VF 8. VinFast, like many other new car brands, comes from Asia. Not from China, but from Vietnam. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about VinFast in the back story on this new brand, but here’s a quick recap:

VinFast is part of the VinGroup: one of the largest private companies in Vietnam. The VinGroup is active in Vietnam’s construction and real estate sectors and has major interests in the education, health, agriculture and tourism sectors. Skyscrapers, hospitals, vacation resorts, a prestigious university, the VinGroup has it all. So does a car brand: VinFast.

VinFast Gigafactory

VinFast has been making cars since 2017. An hour’s drive outside of Hanoi – in Hai Phong – the brand recently built a gigantic factory in 21 months, which we were already allowed to take a look at. Here, the brand builds its models from head to toe, but also assembles its own battery packs. A factory is now also under construction in America, and in Europe the Vietnamese are still looking for a suitable location.

Two models

The adventure began for VinFast in 2017 with two models with a traditional fuel engine, but the automaker is now moving to all-electric models. The VF 8 and VF 9 are the first models Vietnam sent out into the world. To the United States, France, Germany and the Netherlands to be exact. Sometime in December 2022, the first ones will come to our country. Around the same time, the brand will open its first physical dealer in Amsterdam, followed soon by four more locations in the Netherlands.

European quality

During our visit to Vietnam, we got to meet the VinFast VF 8. The Italian design house Pinifarina is responsible for the design of the D-segment SUV. As a result, the 4.75-meter-long VF 8 looks quite European. Under the skin, the car also has a European touch. The powertrain comes from the well-known German ZF and Bosch. VinFast buys the battery cells from well-known suppliers such as CATL and Samsung. Starting in 2024, VinFast plans to put solid-state batteries in their cars. The brand recently announced it was investing tens of millions in ProLogium, a well-known producer of next-generation solid-state batteries.

Tesla interior?

The interior of the VF 8 can safely be described as very minimalist. Like a Tesla Model 3, it is dominated by a large horizontally placed infotainment screen. Fortunately, you do get a head-up display in the VF 8. As a result, you don’t miss a digital instrument cluster while driving. The materials in the interior are of high quality. Everything feels soft, sits firmly together, and the workmanship is fine. Even in the pre-production model that we got to put to the test.

Range VinFast VF 8

There are two versions of the VF 8: the Eco and Plus. You can choose from two battery packs: 82 or 87.7 kWh. With the small battery pack, the Eco variant reaches 420 kilometers on a single charge and 471 kilometers with the large pack. With the Plus variant, that is 400 or 447 kilometers. During our test in Vietnam, we get to drive around a small remote island owned by the VinGroup. We’ll save the action radius test for later in Europe – we’re too short behind the wheel for that now – but during our first drive we were able to briefly tap into the full power.

Rapacious SUV

Even the basic version – the Eco – gets off the ground smoothly. Not surprising, given the hefty system power. The VF 8 has standard four-wheel drive. In short: an electric motor on the front and rear axle. Together they are good for 353 hp and 500 Nm. The 0-100 sprint is accomplished in just 5.7 seconds. If you choose the VF 8 Plus, you will have 408 hp and 620 Nm at your disposal. This version needs 5.5 seconds to accelerate to 100 km/h. Both versions only stop accelerating at 200 km/h. We didn’t test that but on the twisty course VinFast has set out on Hon Tre Island, off the coast of the popular resort town of Nha Trang.

Smart EV

So you’re never short of power in a VinFast EV. Neither is comfort. The driving experience is therefore best described as a fine combination of dynamics and comfort. The steering still feels a bit light, but VinFast will be tinkering with this before they ship the cars to Europe. Braking can be done – as with many other EVs – on the electric motor, allowing you to regain some precious mileage and hardly ever using the left pedal.

Driver assistance systems

Those who prefer to do as little work behind the wheel as possible themselves can of course make use of the familiar driver assistance systems, such as intelligent speed assistant, traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control. Other useful items present in the VF 8 are a rearview camera, parking sensors all around, automatic parking and a 360-degree camera. Steering wheel heating, mood lighting, over-the-air updates, front seats that you can electrically adjust in all sorts of ways and a whole host of other luxury goodies are also present.

What does a VinFast VF 8 cost?

The VF 8 has a starting price of 44,350 euros. For a VF 9 – a seven-seat SUV – you pay a minimum of 59,200 euros. The prices just mentioned do not yet include the battery. It will only be possible to buy a car including a battery from 2024. Until then you have to take out a battery subscription. There are two subscription types: Fixed and Flexible. The Fixed Package has no kilometer limit and costs 120 euros per month for the VF 8 and 150 euros for the VF 9. If you drive less than 500 kilometers per month, you should go for the Flexible subscription. The prices of these will be announced by the Vietnamese soon.

Starting price Range (WLTP) Battery Power
VF 8 Eco €44.350 420 kilometers 82 kWh 353 hp
VF 8 Eco €44.650 471 kilometers 87.8 kWh 353 hp
VF 8 Plus €51.350 400 kilometers 82 kWh 408 hp
VF 8 Plus €51.650 447 kilometers 87.8 kWh 408 hp

If you reserve a VinFast VF 8 before September 30, 2022 for €150, you will get the car delivered to your door by a VinFast expert before the end of this year. That tells you right away how everything works. Fast decision makers will also receive the VinFast Smart Driving package for one year. You can reserve a VinFast through the brand’s website. The 150 euro reservation fee will be refunded if you decide to abandon the purchase.

In the video below, you can watch our first experience behind the wheel of the VinFast VF 8. In this backstory, you can read more about the new brand from Vietnam.