Dodge Challenger Hellcat, Pickup Trucks Top America’s List of Vehicles Most Likely to Be Stolen
If you’re the happy owner of a Mopar, be careful that crooks don’t leave you with no car.
Dodge's muscle car twins the Charger and Challenger aren't just a figurative steal; they're also the normal kind according to a new Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) study on stolen vehicles.
Using data from insurance claims on vehicles between the 2016 and 2018 model years, the HLDI established the models most and least likely to be targeted by thieves, as well as trends that could help predict what other models may be at risk. Each model was then assigned a rating called "relative claim frequency," where 100 denotes an average rate of theft, with higher numbers meaning a greater risk, and vice versa. Note that these numbers don't indicate that a model makes up a larger proportion of vehicle thefts, only that it is at a greater risk of being stolen.
Per the HLDI, here are the top 10 models most likely to be stolen, ranked via their relative claim frequency:
- 544: Dodge Charger Hemi
- 529: Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
- 525: Infiniti Q50 sedan
- 422: Infiniti QX80
- 393: GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab
- 358: Dodge Challenger
- 351: Nissan Maxima
- 320: Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab
- 293: Chrysler 300 AWD
- 291: Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan (long wheelbase)
Of the 10 dishonorable mentions ranked 11 through 20, variants of the Dodge Charger occupied an additional two spots, while trucks and SUVs or crossovers filled the other eight. The majority of the most-at-risk models are aspirational vehicles—the ones people dream of owning—like muscle cars, luxury models, and pickup trucks.
"The models most likely to be stolen tend to be powerful, pricey or pickups, but vehicle theft is also a crime of opportunity," explained HLDI Senior Vice President Matt Moore. "Better security features on all vehicles would be the best way to address the problem."
To back this claim, the HLDI points to the Cadillac Escalade, which it says was once the most-stolen model by a huge margin but for a variety of reasons has disappeared from the most-stolen list. Extra competition in its segment is one explanation, but an arsenal of anti-theft technology added for the 2015 model year is also attributed for its falling theft rate.
We know you also care about the least-at-risk models, so here are the study's bottom 10.
- 4: BMW 3 Series
- 11: Tesla Model S
- 12: Tesla Model X
- 15: Chevrolet Equinox
- 15: Buick Encore
- 17: Subaru Legacy
- 19: GMC Acadia
- 20: Subaru Forester
- 20: GMC Acadia AWD
- 21: Volkswagen Beetle
Family cars and other unfashionable models dominate this list, but there's a seemingly anomalous appearance by three luxury vehicles at the very bottom. Tesla's presence is explained by its vehicles' well-known Sentry Mode security system, but what's the BMW 3 Series doing down there? Maybe it's not aspirational anymore and someone forgot to tell us, but we suspect it's because thieves would rather steal its mirrors.