3 reasons why the Vinfast VF 5 is the ideal first car

    MobilityCars3 reasons why the Vinfast VF 5 is the ideal first car

    “The VF 5 is our family’s first car, and I’m really happy about it,” said La Hoàng Long, a VinFast customer in Southern Vietnam. “Everywhere I go, people have been admiring the car, asking ‘Electric car? It’s beautiful!’ and then inquiring about where to buy it and how much it costs. A few people I know borrowed the car to test drive and said it felt solid and performed well for the price.”

    Long and his wife are part of a growing trend in Vietnam, where first-time buyers are embracing the VF 5. This subcompact EV is also expected to make its entrance into the Philippines in the coming months, promising to be an attractive choice for local consumers. 

    1. It’s beginner-friendly and accessible

    At first glance, the VF 5 is a compact SUV belonging to the A-segment, with precise measurements being 3,965mm long x 1,720mm wide x 1,580mm high. Compared to its gasoline-powered rivals within the same segment, it is slightly smaller but this does not compromise its functionality. 

    With fewer parts and a spacious interior, electric cars can be smaller while still maintaining practicality. The VF 5’s compact dimensions make it ideal for navigating city streets in both Hanoi and Manila, offering both maneuverability and a comfortable ride. Its two-row configuration comfortably accommodates five passengers, perfect for weekend getaways or family road trips.

    With 260-liters of luggage space in its standard configuration, the VF 5 offers ample cargo room for everyday errands. When you need to transport larger items, folding down the rear seats expands the cargo capacity to 900 liters. This versatility makes the VF 5 a practical choice for young professionals or families who need a car that can adapt to their lifestyles

    Despite its compact size, the VF 5 does not compromise on performance. Its 70kW electric motor delivers ample power for city driving, while its 34-minute fast-charging capability ensures convenience on the go.

    The model has proven to be a game-changer for new drivers like Hanoi-based Luu Anh Thu. “The VF 5 gives me a feeling of safety, especially as a woman,” says Thu, highlighting the car’s smooth handling and responsive brakes. It has transformed her from a hesitant beginner to a passionate road-trip enthusiast, planning a cross-country journey across Vietnam.

    2. Affordability and after-sales support 

    For young people starting out in the labor market, price and cost are often the most critical factors. Although VinFast hasn’t announced pricing for the Philippines, expect affordability and flexible purchase options based on VinFast’s history.

    In both its home market and Indonesia, VinFast offers consumers a choice: They can buy the car and battery outright or buy the vehicle separately and participate in a battery subscription program.

    VinFast’s claim of lowering initial costs via this subscription program does have merit. In Indonesia, the VF 5 is listed at IDR310-million (roughly PHP1.1-million), but with the battery subscription program, the price drops to IDR242-million (about PHP870,000). Depending on monthly driving distances, customers can choose between different subscription tiers that suit their needs.

    For those new to cars or electric vehicles (EVs), VinFast’s generous warranties offer peace of mind: 7-10 years or 160,000 to 200,000km (whichever comes first) for the vehicle itself, and 8-10 years with unlimited mileage for the battery. This could be the assurance needed to encourage the switch to electric.

    In the Philippines, some car manufacturers face parts shortages, leading to lengthy repair times. VinFast addresses this by leveraging insights from its successful home market in Vietnam to ensure sufficient component availability.

    “If the Philippines were our first market, determining which components to stock would be difficult. But thanks to our success in Vietnam, we know what to do. We understand which components are most used and will be ready to supply them in the Philippines,” explained Stuart Kinkade, VinFast deputy CEO of Vehicle Development Institute, in a June media meet-and-greet.

    Another advantage of the VF 5 over its gasoline counterparts is the lower operating and maintenance cost. As an EV, it recharges at a significantly lower cost per energy unit than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. It is also known to require less frequent and less costly maintenance than ICE rivals.

    With all of these factors combined, the VF 5 makes EV ownership more accessible than ever, particularly for young people or those seeking affordable options.

    3. Safety: A Top Priority

    While one of its big selling points is affordability, the VF 5 does not compromise on safety. Looking at its specs in Indonesia, upon coming to the Philippines, the VF 5 will likely be equipped with 4 airbags and safety features such as anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), emergency brake assist (BA), and electronic stability control (ESC).

    The VF 5’s safety credentials go beyond spec sheets, having been proven in real-world incidents. In February, VF 5 owner Ngô Minh Đức had a harrowing experience on a highway in Southern Vietnam. His VF 5 was rear-ended by a tanker truck, causing it to spin out of control and sustain damage to the entire driver’s side. Shortly after, while stopped, it was struck again, this time by a 2.5-ton truck, deforming the rear.

    Miraculously, the cabin remained intact, protecting everyone inside. The incident, shared online, stunned many who were surprised by the resilience of the compact electric car. The VF 5 had been traveling at over 90kph when hit the first time, yet it only skidded 200 meters before coming to a safe stop.

    The repair costs further impressed Đức. The total estimate was only around USD5,100 (about PHP300,000) mainly for cosmetic fixes. As an experienced driver familiar with various car brands, he estimated that similar repairs on a gasoline car would have cost at least double that amount.

    Initially, Đức’s family, especially his father, were hesitant about his choice of an electric car. However, his father, who was in the car during the accidents, is now a firm believer in the VF 5’s safety.

    Đức’s experience is a testament to the VF 5’s safety and durability, proving it to be a reliable and secure choice for drivers.

    VF 5: An Accessible Pathway to Electric Mobility

    With its inclusive pricing, innovative battery subscription program, adequate safety features, and stylish design, the VinFast VF 5 is set to redefine the A-segment car market in each market where it enters.

    As consumers increasingly seek cleaner and more sustainable transportation options, the VF 5 offers a compelling and accessible pathway into the exciting world of electric mobility.

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