New VinFast VF 3 will fill the Suzuki Jimny shaped hole in your heart
The latest and smallest EV from the Vietnamese brand is designed for city dwellers and is aiming to offer range of just 125 miles
We recently confirmed that Vietnamese electric car manufacturer VinFast will be entering the UK market, and it looks like it will try to win our hearts with a mini SUV designed to focus more on character than practicality: the new VinFast VF 3.
Unveiled at the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the VF 3’s heart-warming and extremely blocky design is very reminiscent of the last Suzuki Jimny. The extensive plastic cladding on both cars is another obvious similarity and suggests the VF 3 can handle a bit of rough and tumble, if need be. The VinFast VF 3 looks a little more modern compared to the Jimny though, with slightly more rounded edges and a suggestion of a floating roof.
Its truly dinky dimensions also add to the cute-factor of the VF 3. If you think we’re joking, this three-door all-electric SUV measures just 3,190mm long, 1,679mm wide and 1,620mm tall. That’s alarmingly small compared to the already compact Jeep Avenger or a Dacia Duster. The closest comparison is, once again, the Suzuki Jimny, which is around the same width and height as the VF 3, but is still longer at 3,480mm from nose to tail.
VinFast says you'll be able to squeeze four people into the VF 3, or up to 550 litres of stuff when the rear seats are fully folded down – we don’t expect there will be much of a boot with those seats in place. The interior will also feature a 10-inch infotainment display fitted with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, although we’ve yet to get a look inside.
It all seems quite promising, but like many EVs hoping to appeal to city dwellers or those in the market for an urban runabout, the VF 3’s range will be very short. VinFast is targeting a range of around 125 miles on a full charge, which would put it in the same ballpark as the Mazda MX-30 or the base 24kWh Fiat 500e.
VinFast intends to launch the VF 3 globally but exact timings for a European launch have yet to be announced, and there are no technical and pricing details as yet.
Despite only starting up in 2017, VinFast already has a line-up of four electric SUVs called the VF 6, VF 7, VF 8 and VF 9. It could be branching into new territory soon, too, as it also used CES 2024 to debut an electric pickup truck concept called the VF Wild that previews a future Rivian R1T rival.
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