Most Stolen New Cars
If one car is easier to steal than another, it makes sense that it would be a more enticing target for a thief — which is why vehicles most stolen in America are typically older models with little anti-theft protection. Technological advances in theft prevention and detection during the last two decades have greatly reduced the number of newer vehicles stolen in the U.S. However, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau — which tracks annual theft data — vehicle theft in America rose a full 11 percent last year, and the latest 2020 models were not immune from being stolen by car thieves.
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According to the NICB report, the pandemic and resulting economic downturn — as well as reduced civil and social services — contributed to the rise in vehicle thefts during 2020. The NICB says anti-theft technology works, but owner complacency often plays a role in defeating that technology. Thousands of late-model vehicles get stolen each year because drivers don’t take the simple precautions of locking their cars and taking the keys and fobs with them, which makes the vulnerable vehicles easy targets for thieves. What follows are the most stolen new cars — a countdown of the new vehicles most popular with car thieves in 2020, as reported by the NICB.
25. Land Rover Range Rover
Number Stolen: 332
As the crown jewel of the Land Rover Lineup, the Range Rover brings to market a time-tested blend of luxury and legendary off-road capability. With a starting price around $90,000, the Range Rover features full-time 4-wheel drive with electronic traction control, an 8-speed automatic transmission and an extensive list of safety and convenience features. A variety of engines are also available, ranging from a mild-hybrid inline 6-cylinder to a powerful 557-horsepower V8. With so much luxury, capability and sheer power, it’s no wonder the Range Rover is a popular vehicle among car thieves.
24. Chevrolet Tahoe
Number Stolen: 333
Last year Chevrolet rolled out an all-new version of the popular Tahoe full-size SUV. The best-selling full-size SUV in America, the new Tahoe improved in myriad ways via standout styling, plenty of power and range of new features. Chevrolet builds the 2021 Tahoe — and its larger SUV sibling, the Suburban — on a new chassis with a longer wheelbase and new independent rear suspension. Not only does this setup provide an improved ride, it also allows for a lower load floor and improved overall passenger space in all three rows. Buyers (as well as thieves) can choose from a range of V8 engines or a powerful Duramax Turbo Diesel.
23. Kia Sorento
Number Stolen: 351
Kia has experienced great success in the competitive midsize crossover segment, and last year the Korean car company continued that trend with the introduction of the all-new 2021 Sorento. The fourth generation of this three-row SUV features new styling, a roomier interior, a range of powerful engines and — for the first time — a fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain. Kia designers gave the 2021 Sorento much bolder lines than the outgoing version, with clear ties to the automaker’s larger Telluride SUV. Styled with more squared-off front and rear ends, the new Sorento possesses more classic SUV looks. According to the NICB numbers, it appears this new model is also popular with car thieves as well as consumers.
22. Honda Civic
Number Stolen: 369
One of the most successful compact cars in America, the Civic has been a popular target among car thieves for many years. The tenth-generation Civic debuted early in 2017, built on a new vehicle architecture with improved driving dynamics and a more spacious interior. Last year Civic received a light refresh and a range of new features, as well as the new Civic Sport trim. The Honda Sensing safety system is now standard on all trims, which includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. Thanks to its continued popularity, and in spite of anti-theft tech, the Civic’s reputation as a solid mark among car thieves persists.
21. Honda Accord
Number Stolen: 384
The Honda Accord remains one of the best-selling passenger cars in America, which has also contributed to it becoming a favorite among car thieves — the more wheels on the road, the more opportunities for theft. Available in a range of trim levels, the Accord received a refresh last year including updated styling and additional safety features. Inside, an 8-inch display screen is now standard on all trim levels, as are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The fuel-efficient Accord Hybrid gets powertrain updates to improve throttle response while still delivering close to 50 mpg.
20. Dodge Challenger
Number Stolen: 400
Designers at Dodge did a wonderful job capturing the look of the classic muscle car and incorporating it into a thoroughly modern Challenger. The 2-door Challenger offers the latest high-tech entertainment and safety features, but this retro-looking coupe is really all about performance. The Challenger can be equipped with a variety of high-powered engines, although the most talked-about variant is the Challenger Hellcat Redeye with its 797-horsepower supercharged V8 powerplant. Can you say joyride?
19. Mitsubishi Outlander
Number Stolen: 414
The Mitsubishi Outlander doesn’t sell in large numbers, although it still manages to be a favored vehicle with car thieves. At a starting price of less than $25,000, the Outlander is available with Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control all-wheel-drive system. Two engines are available, including a 3.0-liter MIVEC V6 that produces 224 horsepower and 215 lb-ft of torque. Mitsubishi also offers the Outlander as a plug-in hybrid that has the same 224 horsepower but gets 22 miles of electric-only range and impressive fuel economy.
18. Ford Mustang
Number Stolen: 438
The latest-generation Mustang debuted for 2015 with a lower, wider stance; a lower roof height; wider rear fenders and a wider track. For 2018 Mustang received updated styling with a lower hood, wider grille and a new front splitter designed to create what Ford calls “a meaner, leaner look.” Even though Ford added a range of powerful turbocharged 4-cylinder engines to the mix, the Mustang GT still gets a proper V8 producing 460 horsepower. Those seeking ultimate performance should consider the Shelby GT350 and GT500 — the latter boasts a supercharged V8 grinding out a prodigious 760 horsepower; plenty of options for those who want a Mustang without paying for it.
17. Jeep Compass
Number Stolen: 459
The least expensive model in the Jeep lineup, the Compass offers Jeep capability in a small crossover. Powering the compass is a 2.4-liter Tigershark engine producing 180 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. Available with front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, the Compass comes in a range of trim levels that offer styling to match the rest of the Jeep lineup. With available Jeep Active Drive Low and Selec-Terrain system, the Compass is a proper Jeep that thieves apparently appreciate.
16. Chevrolet Equinox
Number Stolen: 497
Chevrolet’s second-best-selling vehicle after the full-size Silverado pickup, Equinox is one of the most popular utility vehicles in America — and that popularity makes it appealing to car thieves. Equinox stands out in the crowded crossover market with projector-beam headlights, LED running lights, wider horizontal taillights and LED taillights for upper trim levels. Inside, the Equinox features a down-and-away instrument panel with a low windshield base for improved outward visibility. Two engine choices for Equinox are a 170-horsepower 1.5-liter turbo or a 252-horse 2.0-liter turbo teamed with a 9-speed automatic transmission.
15. Toyota RAV4
Number Stolen: 516
The top-selling model in Toyota’s lineup, the RAV4 had not drawn enough attention from thieves to rank it as one of the most stolen new cars in America until 2019; the all-new model that went on sale in 2018 could have been the trigger. One of the original compact crossovers on the American market, the updated RAV4 features bold new styling, improved capability, better performance and an array of new safety and convenience features. In addition to the updated styling and efficient powertrains, the RAV4 now comes with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection as well as lane departure alert — and both are standard equipment.
14. Nissan Rogue
Number Stolen: 562
Rogue is one of the hottest-selling vehicles in America, so it’s no surprise to find this small crossover on the NICB list. As the best-selling vehicle in Nissan’s lineup, Rogue features a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine teamed with an advanced Xtronic transmission with Eco mode that boasts an EPA fuel-economy rating as high as 33 mpg. Rogue is available in three trim levels, and also comes as a smaller model called Rogue Sport. Nissan introduced an all-new Rogue for the 2021 model year; it will likely be a popular target for thievery as well.
13. Jeep Wrangler
Number Stolen: 649
An all-new Wrangler came to market in 2019, helping the iconic off-roader achieve its best sales ever; apparently the big numbers have also made the Jeep a bigger target for thieves. The updated Wrangler is available with a choice of two hardtops, a new Sunrider soft-top or a new Sky One-Touch power top. Both 2- and 4-door versions are available in Sport, Sport S, Rubicon and Sahara trim levels. The Wrangler is much improved, offering a more comfortable on-road ride while retaining its legendary off-road capability.
12. Ford Fusion
Number Stolen: 682
When Fusion went through its last major update, the sedan received a bold new look that includes a long nose, a sloping roofline and a short rear deck to create a much more upscale statement than the previously conservative design. The best-selling domestic passenger car in America, Fusion is available with two fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines, or for even better efficiency the Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid are also available. Fusion can also be equipped with all-wheel drive. With so many Fusions on the road, it makes sense that it would land on the most stolen new cars list; however, owners and thieves alike may be sad to hear that Ford has ended Fusion production.
11. Kia Optima
Number Stolen: 687
In 2019 the NICB recognized Kia’s stylish midsize sedan for the first time as a favorite among car thieves. The Optima is certainly desirable, offering a great combination of attractive styling, a roomy interior, considerable trunk space and a high level of safety and convenience features. Kia updated the Optima for 2019 with fresh styling as well as a more advanced driver assistance system. Optima has been replaced by the all-new K5 for the 2021 model year. Time — and NICB data — will tell if thieves are equally as fond of the new model.
10. Dodge Charger
Number Stolen: 738
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, although most would consider the Charger a performance sedan. The big vehicle is available in a number of torque-generating versions, including the vaunted 797-horsepower Charger Hellcat Redeye. This car tends to attract a lot of attention, which is the likely reason it ended up on the NICB’s list of most stolen new cars.
9. Ford F-Series
Number Stolen: 875
Thanks to strong sales in 2020, the Ford F-Series pickup extended its streak as the best-selling vehicle in America to 39 years — 44 years as best-selling truck. This boost in popularity can likely be attributed to updated styling, added safety and convenience features, and its impressive versatility and capability. With so many copies of this capable truck on the road, it’s no surprise to discover that it was one of the most stolen new cars last year.
8. Jeep Grand Cherokee
Number Stolen: 876
The Jeep brand experienced great success in 2020, due in part to the phenomenal popularity of SUVs in America. Apparently this appreciation for the SUV is not only among new car shoppers but car thieves as well. The 5-seat Grand Cherokee continues the tradition of offering impressive off-road capability in an attractive package. Available in several trim levels and 4WD systems, the Grand Cherokee line ranges from the off-road-focused Trailhawk to the luxurious Summit. Jeep also offers a high-performance version called the Trackhawk, which boasts a staggering 707 horsepower.
7. Hyundai Elantra
Number Stolen: 989
Over the last few years, Elantra has gained enough momentum to become one of the best-selling models in the Hyundai lineup — surprising, given the general popularity of crossovers over passenger cars in the U.S. Hyundai introduced an all-new Elantra last year and, based on sales increases this year, the new model has been well received. Unfortunately it seems to be quite popular with thieves as well. The new Elantra gets a wide grille, and a long, low hood adds to the sporty coupelike silhouette. Inside, Elantra can be equipped with two connected 10.25-inch display interfaces under one pane of glass that gives the interior a futuristic feel. A fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain is now available.
6. Toyota Camry
Number Stolen: 1,041
Camry has held the title of best-selling passenger car in America for 19 years, claiming this crown in 2020 as well. Toyota introduced the eighth-generation Camry a few years ago, and last year this best-seller received updated exterior styling, interior improvements, and the latest version of the company’s Safety Sense 2.0 suite of safety features. For those seeking sportier looks and driving experience, Toyota offers the Camry TRD with performance suspension and brakes, more aggressive styling and a cat-back exhaust system.
5. Ram Truck
Number Stolen: 1,547
One of the most stolen vehicles in America when counting all model years, the 2020 Ram is also popular with truck thieves. This admiration might be a consequence of simply more Ram trucks available to steal — Ram ended 2020 with a surprisingly strong showing. One reason for the truck’s high sales (and theft) figures could be due to an entirely new model being introduced a few years ago. The Ram has bold exterior styling, and the interior is one of the nicest on the market. Multiple trim levels are available, as well as a new lineup of powertrains that includes a powerful diesel and eventually a hybrid system. At the end of last year Ram added the high-performance 702-horsepower TRX, designed for tackling off-road terrain at high speeds.
4. Chevrolet Malibu
Number Stolen: 1,175
Chevrolet introduced the Malibu name back in 1964 — as a top-line version of the Chevelle — making it the longest running midsize sedan nameplate in the industry. The ninth-generation Malibu arrived for the 2016 model year, which resulted in its best sales year in more than a decade. Although sales have dropped off since then, Malibu remains popular among car thieves. Malibu features a sleek exterior design with a wheelbase stretched nearly 4 inches compared to its predecessor, offering more interior space and improved fuel efficiency. A 163-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine or a 250-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four are the available powertrains.
3. Toyota Corolla
Number Stolen: 1,295
One of the most popular compact cars in America, Toyota’s Corolla has been posting 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. Toyota rolled out an all-new Corolla last year — along with a Corolla Hybrid — featuring updated styling with a wider stance, as well as signature LED headlights and a range of new features. Three powertrains are available, including an efficient hybrid system that has a U.S. EPA rating of more than 50 mpg. With more than 200,000 Corollas sold in 2020, 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.
2. Chevrolet Silverado
Number Stolen: 1,447
Although the GMC Sierra — sibling to the Chevrolet Silverado — had been a perennial favorite among car thieves in years past, the new Silverado seems to have become the favored offspring. In 2019 an all-new Silverado arrived with fresh styling as well as improved performance and capability. Chevrolet’s best-seller can be configured in hundreds of ways with different cab sizes, bed lengths, drive systems and trim levels that range from the basic Work Truck to the luxurious and powerful High Country. With seven different engine / transmission combinations, the Silverado 1500 can be set up for whatever task necessary — including towing up to 13,400 pounds when the need arises.
1. Nissan Altima
Number Stolen: 863
The Nissan Altima tops the NICB’s list of most stolen new cars for the second year in a row — clearly the new version introduced for the 2019 model year has resonated well with consumers as well as car thieves. Altima received a major styling update as well as available all-wheel drive for the first time in the model’s history. Two engines are offered, including the first production engine that uses variable compression — a lower compression ratio provides more power, while a higher ratio gets better fuel economy. The Altima comes with a range of advanced safety features including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, high-beam headlight assist, lane departure warning, rear door alert and a rearview monitor.