Honda has announced a new entry-level Vi variant of its popular CR-V mid-size SUV.

Priced from $28,690 plus on-road costs, the CR-V Vi is $2400 cheaper than the current VTi range opener, and is designed to take aim squarely at the likes of the Mazda CX-5 Maxx and Toyota RAV4 GX.

In a bid to cut costs, the VTi’s 140kW/240Nm 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder has been swapped out for a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated unit. It produces 113kW of power and 189Nm of torque, and is paired exclusively to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) – fuel consumption is rated at 7.6L/100km on the combined cycle.

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Standard equipment levels in the Vi are modest, with 17-inch alloy wheels, reversing camera, electric park brake, tyres pressure monitoring, full-size spare wheel. LED taillights and LED daytime running lights. The main omission is the Vi’s infotainment screen, a 5.0-inch touchscreen without any sort of smartphone mirroring bar Bluetooth – as opposed to the 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto used by the VTi grade and above. There’s also no active safety tech to be seen, as that’s all reserved for the range-topping VTi-LX.

The new Honda CR-V Vi is on sale now.

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