The VinFast VF3 Compact Crossover SUV wants to be the most affordable electric vehicle

The VinFast VF3 Compact Crossover SUV wants to be the most affordable electric vehicle

  • VinFast is bringing the 2023 VF3 concept to CES for a global launch, with plans to start accepting early reservations in 2024.
  • The two-door electric model is expected to offer a range of up to 125 miles, making it one of the shorter-range models available.
  • The VF3 will be introduced in the United States, Engine1 It has been reported, although a specific timeline for its market debut has not been announced yet.

Both Tesla and VW may have small, affordable electric cars in the works, but both have been delayed multiple times. Moreover, VinFast can beat them in the market with VF3.

The Vietnamese automaker, which just started U.S. deliveries a few months ago with a hiccup or two, is bringing the pocket-sized electric vehicle to CES in Las Vegas after it debuted in Vietnam in June, with plans to bring it to the U.S. in Production form such as Engine1 mentioned.

and this is He should It will end up undercutting the price of almost all other electric cars, including the Fiat 500e, which will land here within weeks.

The two-door VF3 measures just 125.6 inches from nose to stern, making the Chevy Bolt look like a stretch limo. In fact, the first generation Chevy Bolt is gone Three feet Longer than the VF3, to give you an idea of ​​how small this cute two-door is.

Even the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, not known for its generous interior space, was a foot longer than the VF3, at 144.7 inches.

If the VF3 reminds you of the new Suzuki Jimny, especially in the aggressive yellow color, you’re not alone. But we also get some classic Niva vibes from it.

The VF3 will not be fully rated and will not compete with existing vehicles.

Despite being a foot shorter than the old Niva, the VF3 will still offer two rows of seating, and with the rear seats folded down, that will give it 19.4 cubic feet of cargo space. With the second row still up, this means that luggage space will be minimal.

But after all, cargo space isn’t the point of something like this.

The short wheelbase means battery space will also be at a premium, with VinFast promising a target range of 125 miles without revealing battery specifications.

The interior of the car


The VF3’s interior reveals a simple cabin, along with a 10-inch infotainment screen.

But we’ll likely be talking about something well below 50kWh once the production version gets here, which would make it roughly competitive with the 149-mile range of the new Fiat 500e.

We’re also not expecting more than one engine despite the generous 16 inches of ground clearance, so the VF3 won’t quite be as under-rated and won’t compete with existing vehicles.

When it comes to interior features, VinFast promised a 10-inch infotainment screen as well as Android Auto and Apple Carplay connectivity.

It’s too early to tell if the price will be right for what the VF3 will offer, but the VF3 should face a renewed cast of characters once it gets here including the next-gen Chevy Bolt, which will offer much more range even in base form.

We expect the VF3 to rely more on pricing well below the $22,000 mark rather than features or range. To be clear, VinFast has not revealed any details regarding the planned prices in different markets.

Just like other short-range electric cars, the VF3 will inevitably end up being the second or third car in the household, so it won’t be a car for family holidays or for every local use case for that matter.

But as a touring local channel, VF3 should be able to find an audience that can live with some compromises.

Should automakers offer affordable electric models below the $25,000 mark, or should they? Is most demand still for larger vehicles with greater range? Let us know what you think.

Headshot of Jay Rami

Guy Ramey grew up around very exotic European cars, and instead of looking for something reliable and comfortable for his personal use, he was drawn to the more adventurous side of the reliability spectrum. Although French cars have been following him over the past decade, he has somehow managed to avoid ownership of a Citroën, considering it too mundane, and is currently eyeing cars from the former Czechoslovakia. Jay has been with Autoweek since 2013.

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