The Cadillac Escalade is instantly recognizable. Its massive chrome grill has become unanimous with success, its tinted windows are indicative of fame-and now, it's also the poster child of American auto theft.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety's annual lists of the most and least stolen cars for 2008 include model years 2005 to 2007. The 2007 Cadillac Escalade ESV is the most stolen vehicle, while the 2007 Cadillac Escalade comes in at number three. Seven of the ten most stolen vehicles this year happen to be SUVs or trucks, and nine of the vehicles on the list are made by the domestic automakers. Congress can berate the Detroit three for making "unwanted" vehicles all they want, but here is evidence to the contrary.
IIHS spokesman Russ Rader says the Escalade has been sought after by car thieves because of accessibility. "If you've got a typical family sedan... it is most likely spending the night in a suburban garage." The fact that Escalade owners are known for pimping their rides may have something to do with it as well-the custom rims, radios and navigation systems that might be installed in an Escalade are far more alluring than the factory options on a family sedan.
The IIHS ranks each vehicle according to the number of claims per 1,000. They also give the average loss payment per claim. The list of ten most stolen vehicles in America is rounded out by the Honda S200 Convertible. On the ten least stolen vehicles list, the 2005 - 2007 Ford Freestyle comes in at ten, while the 2005 - 2007 Mercedes-Benz E-Class ranks as the safest car.
Source: IIHS via Forbes