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2023 VinFast VF 8 exterior

VinFast's First U.S.-Bound SUV, the VF 8, Gets Paltry 179-Mile Range Rating

That's not looking good ...

  • The VinFast VF 8 has been approved for sale in the U.S., but there's a problem.
  • The EPA estimates the VF 8's electric range at just 179 miles.
  • That's well short of its all competitors.

The VinFast VF 8, a new fully electric crossover from the Vietnamese brand, has been approved for sale in the U.S., meaning it has received all the necessary certifications it needs to be sold in North America. That's good news for a company that seriously wants to break into the American market. The bad news, however, is that the EPA has estimated the VF 8's EV-only range at just 179 miles.

For an SUV that starts at $59,000, 179 miles of range just doesn't cut it. It's a far cry from the standards set by Hyundai, Tesla, Ford, Volkswagen, and pretty much every other automaker selling an EV right now. Not to mention that many of those brands offer more than 300 miles of EV range for far less money. VinFast did note that range will be improved with a software update in January 2023, but we can't see a software update bridging the gap between the VF 8 and its competitors.

VinFast's site still lists the range target for the VF 8 at an estimated 292 miles, but clearly the first batch of VF 8s tested by the EPA have fallen well below that estimate. It's worth noting that the company's first batch of EVs that will make it to California is a group of 999 VF 8 City models, and that other models might offer more range in the future. The average Californian only drives 23 miles a day, and the abundance of charging stations in the Golden State might negate the VF 8's admittedly poor estimated range. That's a lot of maybes, though.

VinFast does offer a stellar 10-year, 125,000-mile warranty on its cars. But considering that's closely matched by Hyundai (and it's exceptionally rare to see EVs with that kind of mileage on them), we don't think the longevity of VinFast's warranty is a perk for most buyers.

Edmunds says

While these initial range results aren't the most promising, we'll wait to reserve final judgment until we put the VF 8 through the Edmunds' real-world range test.