10 Biggest News Stories of the Week: Toyota RAV4, Volvo XC40 Fall Short as Car Shortage Goes Long

volvo xc40 recharge 2021 02 badge exterior front grille headlights suv white scaled jpg 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

The Toyota RAV4 is a perennial favorite among compact SUV buyers and remained the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. that wasn’t a pickup truck in 2021 even amid a persistent pandemic-precipitated inventory shortage. Assuming there are enough RAV4s to necessitate a choice, prospective buyers will need to decide between the new 2022 model and the outgoing 2021 model. In one of Cars.com’s most popular articles of the past week, we put our thumb on the scale to help you choose.

Related: 10 Biggest News Stories of the Year: Cheap Cars Spend 2021 Up Top, With SUV Pulling Power in Tow

Last redesigned for 2019, the RAV4 sees minor updates for the 2022 model year with commensurate price bumps. The RAV4 Prime plug-in goes unchanged, but the gas-only RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid gain a new color choice, plus revised wheel and headlights, while the hybrid also gets a new mid-tier SE Hybrid trim level. Long story short, we recommend looking for a 2021 model versus paying more for minimal new content — but if you want the long story, follow the link below to our No. 5 news story of the week.

Faring a bit better on this week’s countdown, Cars.com reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder’s comprehensive critique of the 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge charges into fourth place. Wiesenfelder lauds the all-electric subcompact SUV for its remarkable quickness, comfortable ride and how it manages to preserve its luxury SUV bona fides while getting rid of the gas engine. Among its shortcomings, however, are lackluster charging speed and practical-but-unspectacular 223-mile all-electric driving range.

“Its relatively modest range might scare off uninitiated shoppers, but those of us who have owned EVs know that 200-plus miles per day is more than enough,” Wiesenfelder states in his review. “However, EV range comes at a cost, and with a starting price of $55,300 plus a $1,095 destination charge … the XC40 Recharge isn’t cheap. Luxury brands do, however, tend to command a higher price, and its style and SUV-ness are sure to appeal.”

For Wiesenfelder’s full take on the 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge, follow the link below to this week’s No. 4 article.

In the cases of both the RAV4 and XC40 Recharge, would-be buyers will be subject to the current limitations of vehicle inventory — which are substantial, to put it mildly. “Current” is also putting it mildly, as the scarcity of available vehicles both new and used started when COVID-19 first did a number on the American economy and supply chain, and it’s expected to stretch into 2023. TL;DR version: The dearth of cars is still in full effect, and it’s likely to get worse before it gets better. When things do improve, shoppers should get used to a “new normal” of lower inventories and fewer incentives than before the pandemic. If you need a car but can wait, you should wait, and if you need a car but can’t wait, be prepared to compromise and jump as opportunities arise.

To stock up on inventory-shortage info, follow the link below to our No. 1 news story of the past week.

Beyond that, we have headlines on the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, and Audi A3 and S3, as well as Tesla. Here are the top 10 news stories Cars.com readers couldn’t get enough of in the past week:

1. Inventory Shortage Update: Should You Wait to Buy a Car?

2. Up Close With the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST First Edition

3. Which Electric Cars Are Still Eligible for the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit?

4. 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge Review: A Ravenous Rocket

5. Toyota RAV4: Which Should You Buy, 2021 or 2022?

6. One Year Later, Still No BlueCruise for Our F-150

7. What’s New With Electric Vehicles for 2022?

8. 2022 Audi A3, S3 Review: Fast and Flawed

9. What’s the Best New-Car Deal for January 2022?

10. Tesla Hikes Price of Full Self-Driving Package; Cybertruck Production Date Disappears

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Matt Schmitz
Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt Schmitz

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