After six months of ownership, Out Of Spec's Francie says she likes her VinFast VF8. Then, as the 39-minute video goes on, she describes a litany of issues with the car, some of which are serious. Yet its feature set is good, it's comfortable enough and hasn't left her stranded, so her review is pretty positive. It's a good reminder that, for most people, a car doesn't have to be the most competitive or flawless vehicle to be satisfying to own.

I'm surprised at the positive tenor of the video, as I was one of the first journalists to drive the VF8 during my Road & Track days. The car's poor ride and indefensible body control made me carsick on our short loop. Its suspension wasn't properly aligned, pulling hard left on the highway. And the software was buggy, unfinished and ugly. Based on this new owner review from Out Of Spec—one of our favorite EV channels, which leased the car for a long-term test—Vinfast has made some improvements to the VF8, and the car isn't as much of a basket case as I'd have expected. But there are still plenty of issues. 

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VinFast's Brutal Critical Reception

When VinFast invited journalists to drive its first U.S.-market product, it received the worst reviews of any car in recent memory. Critics skewered the VF8 for its bad ride, choppy dynamics, poor quality and unfinished software. But VinFast remains committed to the U.S. market and is trying to improve its products and image.

Francie notes that the car consistently glitched during the early months, with weird error messages constantly popping up. Clearing them required exiting the vehicle, locking it, letting the car go fully to sleep and then getting back in. These issues couldn't be fixed with over-the-air updates because Vinfast doesn't do over-the-air updates. That's a strange choice for a company with an extraordinarily small network of service centers.

VinFast VF8 $249/month lease deal

Out of Spec took advantage of one of VinFast's compelling lease offers.

Luckily, Frankie was able to stop at the Vinfast service center in Wichita, Kansas for the update on her drive out to Colorado, but the process took hours. She says that the error message problem was fixed by the software update, though the car still seems to be glitching during the video. It locks and unlocks seemingly at random, and Out Of Spec's Kyle Conner notes that it took three minutes of fighting with the A/C system to get the temperature set properly. 

Her list of dislikes goes on. She notes that the gear shifter sometimes doesn't work, confusing both her and her dad. The car also forgets all of her driver settings on startup. So if she wants to disable the car's creeping at a stop, or set it to Eco mode or turn off the many chimes it uses for driver assistance, she has to do that every time she gets back in the car. So her startup process involves disabling some chimes, and she uses creep mode because—even though she might like to disable it—she doesn't care enough to do it on every power cycle. The lift-gate is another pain point, requiring a mix of physical force to open it and patience for the car to finish lifting it on its own. 

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Still, she likes the car. She notes that most Vinfast owners are happy with their, too, appreciating the styling, tech features and uniqueness of the VF8. She likes that it has a "Dog Mode" to protect her pup, Rafiki, something that's still not available on most EVs. Plus the ZF-made highway driving assistance tech works well, keeping her centered in the lane while still allowing her to steer wide of big trailers and semis. Along with comfortable seats (Kyle dissents here) and cool ambient lighting, the ADAS suite makes the VF8 a decent road trip car.

I can't say I'd be as happy with the car after experiencing so many glitches. But for most people, even an underwhelming electric car is enjoyable to own. Even the mediocre options offer plenty of power, decent charging specs, plenty of tech features and some unique functions unavailable in internal combustion cars. But given that Kyle Conner is known to be a tough EV critic, I'm glad to see that he's taking the VF8 for a while. After daily-driving it for a few weeks or months, I'm excited to see what he thinks about it. Based on his commentary in the video above, it may be a bit more in line with my opinion of the VF8.

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