Hottest New Cars (and Trucks)
If one car is easier to steal than another, it makes sense that it’s a more enticing target for a thief — which is why the list of most stolen cars 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 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 cars unlocked, or the keys and fobs are left inside vehicles, making these vehicles easy targets for thieves. What follows are most stolen new vehicles — a countdown of model year 2018 cars and trucks purloined last year, as reported by the NICB.
24. 2018 Kia Optima
Number Stolen: 366
This is the first year that Kia’s stylish midsize sedan has been called out as a favorite among thieves. The Optima is certainly desirable, offering a great combination of attractive styling, roomy interior, considerable trunk space with a high-level of safety and convenience features. Optima is available with a variety of powertrains, including a very fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid as well as a fun-to-drive high-performance turbo. A new Optima S arrived for 2018, powered by a 185-horsepower 2.4-liter engine that includes a sport front bumper, a rear spoiler, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED fog lights, LED taillights, a 10-way power driver’s seat and optional panoramic roof.
23. 2018 Jeep Wrangler
Number Stolen: 374
An all-new Wrangler premiered last year, helping the iconic off-roader achieve its best sales ever; this has also made the Jeep a bigger target for thieves. The updated model retains the signature 7-slot grille and round headlights, but is more aerodynamic than the previous generation. Two hardtops, a new Sunrider soft-top and a new Sky One-Touch power top are offered. Both 2- and 4-door versions are available in Sport, Sport S, Rubicon and Sahara trim levels. The new Wrangler is much improved, offering a more comfortable ride on-road while retaining its legendary off-road capability.
22. 2018 Nissan Versa
Number Stolen: 379
The 2018 Nissan Versa retains the trophy as the least expensive new car available in America. For a low price of $12,110 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. 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.
21. 2018 Honda Civic
Number Stolen: 385
One of the most popular compact cars in America, the Civic is also 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 and keeping it there for 2018. This 10th-generation Civic features fresh styling, improved aerodynamics, a new vehicle architecture, a more spacious interior and two new engines. Fuel economy is impressive — rated as high as 42 mpg with a new turbocharged powerplant.
20. 2018 Chrysler 300
Number Stolen: 403
One of the last large rear-wheel-drive sedans on the market, the Chrysler 300 has not changed much in the last few years. The big car’s attractive styling and roomy interior have kept sales steady for the last five years, so it is surprising that the 2018 model is the 300’s first recent appearance on the Most Stolen list. The 300 is available in a number of trim levels ranging from the Touring to luxury-minded Limited. Chrysler also offers the 300C with a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 producing 363 horsepower.
19. 2018 Chevrolet Impala
Number Stolen: 412
The Impala nameplate has been around for a long time. The current version 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 steadily declining since 2010, there are still plenty available for thieves to pilfer.
18. 2018 Honda Accord
Number Stolen: 439
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 for the 2018 model 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.
17. 2018 Ford Fusion
Number Stolen: 481
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 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 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.
16. 2018 Toyota RAV4
Number Stolen: 482
As the top-selling model in the Toyota lineup, it is surprising that the RAV4 has not really drawn the attention of car thieves until now. But the all-new 2019 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 — both as standard equipment.
15. 2018 Ram 1500
Number Stolen: 506
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 2018 with a strong showing, posting record sales for the third year in a row. One of the reasons for these high sales (and stolen) figures is that an all-new 2019 Ram went on sale in 2018. The new Ram improves upon the current model in about every way with updated looks and one of the nicest interiors on the market. Six trim levels are available, as well as a new lineup of powertrains that will eventually include a hybrid system.
14. 2018 Nissan Rogue
Number Stolen: 558
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 2017, the Rogue went on to smash that record in 2018. 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.
13. 2018 Nissan Sentra
Number Stolen: 574
Passenger car sales are declining as crossover SUVs remain a popular choice among new car shoppers; however. the Sentra has experienced 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 current 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.
12. 2018 Dodge Challenger
Number Stolen: 575
The designers at Dodge did a wonderful job capturing the look of the classic muscle car and incorporating it into the thoroughly modern Challenger. The 2-door Challenger offers the latest in 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 with its 707-horsepower supercharged V8 powerplant. Can you say joyride?
11. 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Number Stolen: 601
The Jeep brand had great success in 2018, due in part to the phenomenal popularity of SUVs in America. Apparently this appreciation for the SUV is not just with new car shoppers, but with car thieves as well. The 5-seat Grand Cherokee continues its 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.
10. 2018 Chevrolet Malibu
Number Stolen: 698
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, and while sales have dropped off since then, Malibu remains popular with car thieves. Malibu features a sleek exterior design with a wheelbase stretched nearly 4 inches compared to its predecessor to offer more interior space and improved fuel efficiency. A 160-horsepower 1.5-liter turbo or a 250-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo are available, as well as a fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain.
9. 2018 Toyota Corolla
Number Stolen: 699
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 almost 300,000 Corollas sold in 2018, 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.
8. 2018 Dodge Charger
Number Stolen: 719
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. This car tends to attract a lot of attention, which is the likely reason for it ending up on the most stolen list.
7. 2018 Ford Transit
Number Stolen: 723
According to Ford, the big Transit van can be configured in about 60 different ways, given its two wheelbases, three roof heights as well as 150, 250 and 350 variants. Cargo capacity is immense — the largest Transit features a space 172.2 inches long, 70.2 inches wide (54.8 inches between the wheels) and 81.5 inches high for a total of 487.3 cubic feet. This versatility may be why Transit is by far the best-selling commercial van in America, and perhaps its ability to carry plenty of valuable cargo is why it often makes the most stolen list.
6. 2018 Hyundai Elantra
Number Stolen: 775
Over the last few years, Elantra has gained enough momentum to become the best-selling model in the Hyundai lineup — surprising, given the general popularity of crossovers over passenger cars in the U.S. This popularity continues with the updated 2019 Elantra that arrived in showrooms in 2018. With a new hood, front fascia, grille and headlights, the Elantra possesses a more chiseled look than its predecessor. Three engine options are available, including a 201-horsepower unit for the Elantra Sport. Hyundai also offers the latest high-tech safety features including automatic emergency braking. Unfortunately, the all-new Elantra seems to be just as popular with thieves as the previous generation.
5. 2018 Chevrolet Silverado
Number Stolen: 790
While the GMC Sierra — sibling to the Chevrolet Silverado — is a perennial favorite with thieves, the new Silverado has not been stolen in high numbers over the last several years. This change may have come with the introduction of an all-new 2019 Silverado that began arriving in showrooms in 2018. The new Silverado has more passenger space as well as more cargo room. With updated styling inside and out, the big truck offers a variety of powertrains ranging from a new turbocharged 4-cylinder powerplant to V8 options with dynamic fuel management.
4. 2018 Nissan Altima
Number Stolen: 912
Although still quite popular among car thieves, the Nissan Altima has been displaced from the top of this most stolen list. Altima was all new for the 2019 model year, featuring a lower, wider stance and a much more dynamic look, as well as available all-wheel drive for the first time in the model’s history. The updated sedan comes well-equipped with multiple USB ports, Apple CarPlay / Android Auto, a rearview camera and a large display screen. The cabin offers plenty of room up front and in the rear seat. This stalwart sedan offers a nice mix of comfort, style and — most important to the majority of shoppers — great fuel economy.
3. 2018 Toyota Camry
Number Stolen: 976
Camry has held the title of best-selling passenger car in America for 16 years, and with a strong push at the end of 2018 the popular Toyota retained its crown. The Camry was redesigned for the 2018 model year with an updated grille, integrated headlights and sculpted lines that give the sedan a more engaging presence, as well as a completely new interior and choice of fuel-efficient, powerful engines. As the best-selling passenger car in America, it does make sense that Camry would also hold the top spot as the most stolen passenger car last year.
2. 2018 Ford F-Series
Number Stolen: 1,017
Thanks to strong sales in 2018, the Ford F-Series extended its streak as the best-selling vehicle in America to 37 years — 42 years as best-selling truck. This boost in popularity was likely due to the updated styling, added safety and convenience features, and a new 3.3-liter 290-horsepower V6 engine. 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 vehicles last year.
1. 2018 GMC Sierra
Number Stolen: 1,170
Given that the Sierra is the twin to the higher-selling Chevrolet Silverado, it is a bit surprising to see this truck listed as the most stolen instead of the Silverado. The Sierra has had great sales success, helping GMC to its fifth consecutive year exceeding 200,000 units sold. 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 — truck thieves too.