Popular With Thieves
It’s safe to assume if one car is easier to steal than another, it makes a more enticing target for a thief — which is why the list of most stolen cars overall in America is typically populated by older vehicles with little anti-theft protection. However, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau — which tracks annual vehicle theft data across the U.S. — last year’s new models were not immune to being appropriated by thieves. According to the NICB report, anti-theft technology works but owner complacency often plays a role in defeating that technology. Thousands of late-model vehicles are stolen each year because drivers leave keys and fobs inside vehicles, making the cars easy targets for thieves. What follows are the 25 most stolen new vehicles in America — a countdown of model year 2017 cars and trucks purloined last year, as reported by the NICB.
25. 2017 Honda Civic
Number Stolen: 388
One of the most popular compact cars in America, the Civic also is a popular target for car thieves. Civic was redesigned for the 2016 model year, and it seems the updated model has garnered more interest among thieves, returning Honda’s time-honored small car to the most stolen list after a one-year hiatus. This 10th-generation Civic features fresh styling, improved aerodynamics, a new vehicle architecture, a more spacious interior and two new engines. Fuel economy also is impressive — rated as high as 42 mpg with a new turbocharged powerplant.
24. 2017 Dodge Journey
Number Stolen: 408
The Journey is one of the older models in the Dodge lineup, but it still has a high level of popularity — among car thieves at least. Dodge’s affordable midsize crossover with standard 3-row seating, the Journey is offered with a choice of engines including a zesty 283-horsepower V6. Journey is available in four trim levels with front- or 4-wheel drive.
23. 2017 Chevrolet Impala
Number Stolen: 423
Impala has been around for a long time. The current Impala is the tenth generation sold since the model premiered in 1958. The name may be old, but the Chevrolet Impala is thoroughly modern, available with a number of high-tech features including active noise cancellation, 4G LTE wireless connectivity, Adaptive Cruise Control, forward collision alert, a rearview camera and Apple CarPlay. Although sales have been in steady decline since 2010, there are still plenty available for thieves to pilfer.
22. 2017 Chevrolet Camaro
Number Stolen: 431
The Camaro has a storied history on American roads with the first generation introduced in 1967. After an eight-year hiatus, Chevrolet introduced a fifth generation of the legendary Camaro in 2010 with styling reminiscent of that original 1967 design, following up in 2016 with next generation model. Camaro is available with a variety of powertrains ranging from a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine to a supercharged 640-horsepower V8 in the ZL1.
21. 2017 Hyundai Accent
Number Stolen: 432
Following record sales in 2016, the 2017 Hyundai Accent had a decline in sales as well as thefts. Last year’s Accent offered impressive value — even the base SE sedan had an attractive interior that didn’t feel cheap. Features included a 6-way adjustable driver’s seat, a split-folding rear seat, air-conditioning, power windows and door locks and an AM/FM/MP3/CD audio system with six speakers. The Accent’s 1.6-liter engine produces 137 horsepower, and when teamed with the standard 6-speed manual transmission it’s rated at 38 mpg on the highway.
20. 2017 Nissan Versa
Number Stolen: 433
The 2017 Nissan Versa retains the trophy as the least expensive new car available in America. For a low price of $11,990 buyers get much more than a bare-bones econobox. Versa comes standard with air-conditioning, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, an AM/FM/CD audio system and a trip computer. Also standard are traction and stability control as well as anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distribution. The 109-horsepower engine is teamed with a 5-speed manual transmission, and although Versa won’t win any races it is rated at 36 mpg on the highway. It appears that the lowest-priced car on the market is still popular among thieves.
19. 2017 Chevrolet Cruze
Number Stolen: 449
Cruze is one of the most successful small cars the Detroit-based automaker has ever delivered, and is currently one of the best-selling passenger cars in America. Cruze has a comfortable, attractive interior, proving that an inexpensive small car doesn’t have to feel cheap. Exterior styling was updated for 2015 with a number of feature upgrades. The standard engine is a 1.8-liter 138-horsepower four cylinder, but the Cruze really stands out from the crowd with the availability of a clean diesel. The 2.0-liter turbodiesel generates up to 280 lb-ft of torque for quick acceleration and is rated at an impressive 46 mpg on the highway.
18. 2017 Ford Explorer
Number Stolen: 452
In 2011 the Ford Explorer was completely redesigned with a platform and styling unlike any of the previous generations. Sales have continued to climb since that year, and popularity with car thieves has not diminished. Explorer offers many high-tech convenience and safety features including the latest version of SYNC, Ford’s voice-activated infotainment system. Two EcoBoost engines are currently available, including a powerful 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 that makes 365 horsepower.
17. 2017 Chevrolet Malibu
Number Stolen: 468
Chevrolet introduced the Malibu name back in 1964 — when it was a top-line version of the Chevelle — making it the longest running midsize nameplate in the industry. The ninth-generation Malibu was introduced for the 2016 model year, which resulted in the best sales year in more than a decade. Malibu features a sleek new exterior design with a wheelbase stretched nearly 4 inches to offer more interior space and improved fuel efficiency. A 160-horsepower 1.5-liter turbo or 250-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo are available, as well as a fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain.
16. 2017 Ford Escape
Number Stolen: 488
It’s no surprise that a vehicle named Escape is popular with car thieves — it’s one of the top-selling SUVs in America. In fact, the small 5-seat crossover saw record sales in 2017. Escape was updated for 2017 with a new exterior design that includes a raised trapezoidal grille that ties the compact SUV’s look more closely to other Ford SUVs. Interior changes include a new steering wheel, an electric parking brake, a repositioned gear shift and new storage bins. Two EcoBoost engines are available: a turbocharged 1.5 liter producing 179 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque, and a turbocharged twin-scroll 2.0-liter unit producing 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque.
15. 2017 Dodge Charger
Number Stolen: 489
The Dodge Charger is an icon of the muscle-car era, and it’s great to see the brand continuing the tradition with a modern version of this classic vehicle. Charger offers the latest in high-tech entertainment and safety features, but most consider the Charger a performance sedan. The big vehicle is available in a number of torque-producing versions, including the vaunted 707-horsepower Charger Hellcat. These cars tend to attract a lot of attention, which is the likely reason for it ending up on the most stolen list.
14. 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Number Stolen: 491
The Jeep brand had great success in 2017, due in part to phenomenal sales recorded by the Grand Cherokee. The 5-passenger Grand Cherokee was designed as a more upscale Jeep for everyday use while retaining the legendary Jeep off-road capability. Offered with several 4WD systems as well as trim levels, for 2017 the Grand Cherokee line added the off-road-focused Trailhawk and the luxurious Summit.
13. 2017 Nissan Rogue
Number Stolen: 504
Nissan Rogue is one of the hottest-selling vehicles in America, so it’s no surprise to find the small crossover on this list. After achieving record sales in 2016, the Rogue went on to smash that record in 2017. The Rogue has a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with an advanced Xtronic transmission with Eco mode, boasting an EPA fuel economy rating as high as 33 mpg. The 2017 Rogue was also available as a hybrid, and was joined by a smaller model called Rogue Sport.
12. 2017 Nissan Sentra
Number Stolen: 583
As with other manufacturers, Nissan is experiencing a general decline in passenger car sales and Sentra sales are following suit. However, the Sentra has seen steady sales growth since 2012 and is a perennial favorite with car thieves. A member of the Nissan lineup for more than 35 years, the seventh-gen Sentra is available in a wide trim range with two powertrain choices, as well as high-tech features that include Forward Emergency Braking, Intelligent Cruise Control, Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
11. 2017 Honda Accord
Number Stolen: 725
Continuing its streak as one of the most stolen vehicles in the United States, the Honda Accord’s dubious fame is a direct result of its popularity with drivers everywhere as economical, reliable transportation that retains its resale value. Honda introduced an all-new Accord late last year, and it’s better than the previous generation in nearly every way. The new model features fresh styling, an updated interior, a suite of high-tech safety features as well as a lineup of new engines. Honda even added the new Accord 2.0T, which gives this popular four door a turbocharged 252-horsepower engine.
10. 2017 Hyundai Sonata
Number Stolen: 759
The Hyundai Sonata was redesigned for the 2015 model year with a new grille and sharper lines that reflect the style of high-end Genesis brand, while retaining the sloping roofline of the previous model. With its stiffer body structure, the new model emphasizes better ride quality and a reduced interior sound level. Sonata is available with a variety of engines — including a plug-in hybrid system — but most will feature the 2.4-liter 185-horsepower unit that has an EPA fuel economy rating of 37 mpg on the highway.
9. 2017 GMC Savana
Number Stolen: 774
Although many brands have moved to more modern takes on the full-size van, the GMC Savana remains one of the oldest designs on the market. Sales of full-size vans in general are not very high; however, the Savana did have an impressive year in 2017. Available in regular or extended lengths, this big van is only built as heavy-duty 2500 and 3500 variations. Unlike many newer designs, the GMC van has either a sliding or split swing-out door on the right side only. Unique in the industry is an additional 3-person bench seat in the Crew Cargo Van.
8. 2017 Toyota Corolla
Number Stolen: 832
The Corolla is one of the most popular compact cars in America with impressive sales numbers over the last 10 years. Sold in some form since 1966, the Corolla’s continued success can be attributed in part to its impressive fuel economy, roomy interior and extensive list of standard features. With more than 300,000 Corollas sold last year, the small car’s ubiquity means there are plenty on roads for thieves to get their hands on, as well as a high demand for parts.
7. 2017 Ram 1500
Number Stolen: 835
One of the most stolen vehicles in America when all model years are counted, the current Ram is also quite popular with truck thieves. There are also more Ram trucks available to steal — Ram ended 2017 with a strong showing, posting record sales for the second year in a row. With many body styles and powertrains as well as unique convenience features like the Ram Box cargo system, Ram continues to iterate special editions that keep customers coming back to the brand.
6. 2017 Ford F-Series
Number Stolen: 842
Perhaps proving that sales and car thefts are not directly related, the F-Series has topped the annual sales list for more than 30 years, yet it’s not at the top of the most stolen list. Improved technology and smartkeys are likely helping; however, more F-Series pickups were stolen last year than the year prior. The current F-Series is available in hundreds of configurations ranging from the light-duty F-150 to the extremely-capable Super Duty lineup.
5. 2017 Ford Fusion
Number Stolen: 874
When the Ford Fusion received its last major update, it unveiled a bold new look that included a long nose, a sloping roofline and a short rear deck to create a much more upscale statement from the previous conservative design. The best-selling domestic passenger car in America, Fusion is available with two fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines, or for even better efficiency buyers can choose the Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid. Fusion can also be equipped with all-wheel drive. With so many Fusions on the road, it makes sense that it would land on this most stolen list.
4. 2017 Hyundai Elantra
Number Stolen: 929
The stylish Elantra is the best-selling model in the Hyundai lineup. Available as a sedan or hatchback, the value-priced Elantra offers an impressive list of standard equipment, good fuel economy and Hyundai’s 10-year / 100,000-mile warranty with five years of complimentary roadside assistance. The Elantra SE is the lowest-priced version, powered by a 1.8-liter engine that produces 145 horsepower to provide peppy performance. Fuel economy is rated at 27 mpg city / 37 mpg hwy when equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission. Unfortunately, the all-new 2017 Elantra seems to be just as popular with thieves as the previous generation.
3. 2017 GMC Sierra
Number Stolen: 957
Given that the Sierra is the twin to the higher-selling Chevrolet Silverado, it is a bit surprising to see this truck listed as one of the most stolen instead of the Silverado. The Sierra has had great sales success, helping GMC to its best year-to-date sales since 2005. With bold styling and countless configurations including multiple cab styles, bed lengths and drive systems, one might say there is a Sierra for everyone, including — unfortunately — car thieves too.
2. 2017 Toyota Camry
Number Stolen: 1,100
Camry has held the title of best-selling passenger car in America for 15 years, and with a strong push at the end of last year, the popular Toyota retained its crown for 2017. As the best-selling passenger car in America, it does make sense that the car also would be popular among thieves as well as shoppers, with almost the same number of Camrys being stolen in 2017 as in the previous year. The all-new Camry that went on sale last summer is maintaining the sedan’s popularity.
1. 2017 Nissan Altima
Number Stolen: 1,153
Once Nissan’s best-selling model, the Altima experienced a slight decline in sales last year; however, the versatile sedan’s popularity with thieves has increased to the point of pushing it to the top of the most stolen new car list. The stalwart sedan offers a nice mix of comfort, style and — most important to the majority of shoppers — great fuel economy. These features also appear to be popular with car thieves.