VinFast VF 9 surprises with lower-than-expected price, but falls short on energy efficiency

VinFast VF9 electric SUV receives better than expected EPA range ratings

VinFast VF 9, the Vietnamese automaker VinFast’s new contender in the US electric vehicle (EV) market, aims to carve its niche with a blend of performance and affordability. Initially anticipated to be available with a starting price tag of $83,000 in the Eco trim and $91,000 in the Plus trim, this seven-passenger, all-electric SUV has been introduced with a more attractive pricing structure. The VinFast VF 9 Eco trim will now start at an MSRP of $79,800, while the VinFast VF 9 Plus trim will commence at $85,800. However, the destination charge, which is yet to be disclosed, remains a factor influencing the effective cost.

As part of the Vietnamese manufacturer’s expansion into the North American market, the all-electric, all-wheel-drive VF 9 SUV is expected to be delivered to buyers sooner than later, and its competitive pricing strategy positions the brand as a compelling choice in the growing e-SUV segment.

The 2024 VinFast VF 9 SUV comes equipped with a substantial 123-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack, which promises a commendable EPA-rated range. In the Eco trim, which comes equipped with 20-inch wheels, the e-SUV achieves an impressive range of 330 miles, while the Plus trim, which features 21-inch wheels, offers a range of 291 miles.

However, in spite of the commendable range, the energy consumption figures reported for the vehicle present a mixed picture. The VinFast VF 9 Eco, with 20-inch wheels, records an energy consumption rating of 75 MPGe (approx. 449 watt-hours per mile), while the Plus trim consumes slightly more energy, with an estimated 488 watt-hours per mile. This figure represents increase of almost 9 per cent.

The given energy consumption figures hint at a potential for further optimization to enhance efficiency, trim down battery size, weight, and cost. In comparison, Kia’s EV9 e-SUV comes equipped with a smaller battery of 99.8 kWh, and achieves a range of 280 miles with an energy consumption of around 406 watt-hours per mile.

The VinFast VF 9 e-SUV boasts several other features also. For instance, it offers both 7-seat and 6-seat configurations in the Plus trim with 21-inch wheels. When it comes to acceleration capabilities, its 0-60 mph time is yet to be disclosed, but the company has promised a dynamic driving experience. In short, despite having a room for improvement in energy efficiency, the new e-SUV positions itself as a strong contender in the U.S. market.

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