Are you gripping the steering wheel of a Cadillac Escalade? Cruisin’ with the Bose sound system, subwoofers, climate control mechanism and chrome grille? If so, then grip it tightly because your ride is the nation’s biggest target for auto thefts.
A new report from the Highway Loss Data Institute, an Arlington, Va.-based highway safety research organization says GM’s flagship large luxury sport utility vehicle is six times as likely as the average vehicle to attract car thieves, based on the group’s analysis of auto insurance claims.
Actually, the Escalade has been at the top of the HLDI’s list for the past four years and this year four different versions of the SUV hover at the top. The most sought after is the Escalade EXT has 14 claims per 1,000 insured vehicle years. But the EXT’s pickup bed is likely why its is a major attraction. Pickup trucks are a big hit with car thieves lately, with the Ford F-250 Crew Cab; the Chevrolet Silverado; the Ford F-450 Crew Cab; and the GMC Sierra Crew Cab all coming in behind the Escalade, between 9.7 and 7.3 claims per 1,000 insured years.
Chrysler’s 300 series is at the top of the HLDI theft list for cars, including its original model and the 300 HEMI. The Dodge Charger and the Nissan Maxima were also targeted for their high performance engines.
But don’t fret. If you don’t drive a babe magnet like the aforementioned cars, but instead opt for the sensibility and practicality of an Audi A-6 4-wheel drive or a Mercury Mariner, you’re less likely to find yourself begging the cops to find your car. Those two have the lowest claim frequencies on the institute’s list each, with 0.5 claims per 1,000 insured years. That’s even better than the even-squarer Saturn VUE (which they don’t even make anymore), with 0.7 claims per 1,000 insured years.