10 most popular cars to steal in the U.S.

Cadillac Escalade

This status symbol makes drivers a target for thieves. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

There is a lot of incentive to keep track of which cars thieves like to make off with more than others. The list of the most popular stolen cars, or most regularly stolen vehicles, is tracked by several sources, including the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The IIHS has just released its report on the most popular vehicles among thieves for this year, and the list does not exactly surprise. There is a surprising corollary, but one that thieves don’t likely consider.

Escalade tops the list of stolen cars

Car thieves love to steal Cadillac Escalades more than any other vehicle. Not only that, but in six of the previous seven IIHS reports, the Escalade has been the leader of stolen vehicles. An Escalade is seven times more likely to be stolen than any other vehicle. Despite the fact that the luxury SUV does come with some anti-theft features, car thieves simply tow them away. The high theft rate likely is due to the glamorous nature of the Escalade versus other luxury SUVs, such as Land Rovers. The full report is available on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website.

Car thieves compared to raccoons

There’s an urban myth that raccoons are especially attracted to anything bright and shiny. While the animal’s predilection toward such gleaming metal is not proven, car thieves’ proclivity for vehicles that shine is. The IIHS report for the most stolen vehicles lists luxury SUVs, luxury cars and full-size pickups as the most usual targets. Here’s the full list of most stolen vehicles:

  • Cadillac Escalade
  • Ford F250 4 Door
  • Infiniti G37 2 door
  • Dodge Charger HEMI
  • Chevrolet Corvette Z06
  • Hummer H2
  • Nissan Pathfinder Armada
  • Chevrolet Avalanche 1500
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew
  • GMC Yukon

Thieves want performance cars, luxurious SUVs and big pickups. Trucks also often contain tools, which sweetens the deal for a car thief.

You would not believe what other list these cars are on

There is another list some of the above vehicles are on. The Escalade and the Ford F250 are both on Forbes list of the Worst Made Cars on the Road. The bottom line, however, is this: if you want your risk of theft to be minimal, a flashy show of status is something you might want to avoid. Unless you have the cash for a new car.

Further Reading

IIHS Most Stolen Cars

Forbes Worst Made Cars on the Road

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