Having your car stolen sucks; ask me how I know. While there might not be some master list that thieves constantly cross-reference to figure out which cars are best to steal, there's definitely a pattern of which cars get more attention from scofflaws.
The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) on Thursday published its list of vehicles that are most likely to be stolen. Focusing on the 2016-2018 model years, this study only looked at whole-vehicle theft -- the HLDI has other reports that take wider theft claims, including parts, into account. The group isolated whole-vehicle theft claims by determining if the insurance payout related to a theft was around the same value as a total loss stemming from a collision.
The Dodge Charger, when equipped with a Hemi V8, topped the HLDI's list of 2016-2018 vehicles, with a relative claim frequency more than five times the average. The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat wasn't too far behind, nor was the Infiniti Q50 sedan. The Infiniti QX80 SUV and GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab pickup truck round out the top 5. The whole list is generally split between mass-market cars with big engines, luxury vehicles and pickup trucks.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have the BMW 3 Series sedan, which has a theft claim frequency 25 times lower than the average. Second and third place belong to the Tesla Model S and Model X, respectively, followed by the Chevrolet Equinox and Buick Encore. In fact, there are a number of GM SUVs on this side of the list, along with a number of Subaru vehicles.
"The models most likely to be stolen tend to be powerful, pricey or pickups, but vehicle theft is also a crime of opportunity," said HLDI senior vice president Matt Moore in a statement. "Better security features on all vehicles would be the best way to address the problem." To that end, HLDI's press release praised Cadillac's Escalade for falling off its list after receiving a number of antitheft features starting in the 2015 model year, including glass breakage and tilt sensors.
Take a look at the full HLDI list in the gallery below.