Cars Most Likely to be Stolen

Cars Most Likely to be Stolen

A recent study on car theft has just assured me the likelihood of someone stealing my Honda Fit is refreshingly low. The same study provides one of the few convincing reasons to outfit yourself with this compact Honda instead of a Hemi—or an Infiniti Q50.

The Fit’s unfitness for hotwiring isn’t only due to its available manual transmission; not a single subcompact is on the HLDI’s list of the 20 vehicles most likely to be stolen. 

Instead that list dominated by luxury vehicles, pickup trucks, and cars and trucks that have engines powerful enough to provoke envy and spontaneous searches for wire hangers. Almost half of the 20 vehicles leading the likely-to-be-stolen list are also equipped with all-wheel drive. (For getaway scrambles across highway medians, perhaps?)

However, the shining stars of the theft frequency list are the Dodge Charger Hemi and Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. Interestingly, no other muscle cars compete with these Hemi-powered Mopars for their status atop this list, and are accompanied instead by an unlikely third-wheeler: the Infiniti Q50. This triad has the dubious distinction of being stolen at more than five times the average theft rate for 2016–2018 model year vehicles. 

“The models most likely to be stolen tend to be powerful, pricey, or pickups; but vehicle theft is also a crime of opportunity,” Matt Moore, the institute’s senior vice president, said in a statement. “Better security features on all vehicles would be the best way to address the problem.”

In general, car theft is on the rise. Though modern cars are more theft-resistant than older vehicles, many of them also come with the convenience of push-button starting. Lazy drivers often drop their high-tech, security-defeating key fobs in the console or cupholder when they run in Wal-Mart, making theft absurdly simple.

HLDI’s figures are based on the probability of the vehicles being stolen. The study compares thefts with sales rather than tabulating the gross number of thefts; that’s why some vehicles with relatively low sales appear on the most-likely-to-be-stolen list.

It may surprise enthusiasts who place the BMW 3 Series high atop a pedestal, but car thieves are apparently not into mass-market Bimmers. The 2016–2018 3-series tops a different list as the vehicle least likely to be stolen, and is followed by two Teslas: the Model S and Model X. The HLDI speculates that Teslas sport such a the low theft rate because they are typically parked either in garages or close enough to a house to reach an AC outlet or charger. A HLDI report from last year also showed that electric vehicles had relatively lower theft rates than conventionally powered cars and trucks.

One prominent dropout from the most-stolen list is the Cadillac Escalade, which used to lead the HLDI’s rankings for total vehicle theft. The Institute attributes that to both more competition in the luxury SUV segment (the Infiniti QX80 and Land Rover Range Rover are now on the list of 20 most stolen vehicles) and the fact that Cadillac started adding more robust anti-theft features in 2015.

None of us would put ourselves above enjoying some subtle envy when rumbling around in a Hemi, but with great power comes… great responsibility. There’s a reason Andrew Garfield’s Spiderman jumps a guy hijacking his way into a 7 Series. 

Most frequently stolen vehicles of the 2016-18 model years:
Dodge Charger HEMI
Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
Infiniti QX50 
Infiniti QX80
GMC Sierra 1500 crew-cab
Dodge Challenger
Nissan Maxima
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew-cab
Chrysler 300 four-wheel-drive
Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan AWD
Dodge Charger AWD
Dodge Durango AWD 
Land Rover Range Rover
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew-cab 4WD
Dodge Charger
Nissan Titan crew-cab short bed
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
GMC Sierra 1500 crew-cab 4WD
Audi A7 AWD
Infiniti QX80 AWD

Least frequently stolen vehicles of the 2016-18 model years:
BMW 3-series four-door
Tesla Model S AWD
Tesla Model X AWD
Chevrolet Equinox AWD
Buick Encore AWD
Subaru Legacy with EyeSight
GMC Acadia
Subaru Forester with EyeSight
GMC Acadia AWD
Volkswagen New Beetle
BMW 3 Series AWD
Subaru Outback with EyeSight
Subaru Crosstrek
Chevrolet Traverse
Subaru Crosstrek with EyeSight
Lexus RX 450h AWD
Honda Odyssey
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Cadillac XT5

Content provided by Hagarty

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The 5 best roadsters

The 5 best roadsters

by Kyle Smith // June 5, 2019

There is no feeling like the brush of cool air coming over the windscreen as you motor down the roadway. Almost every manufacturer has produced a roadster at some point, so we asked Hagerty members which one is their favorite. Here are the most popular answers.

Honda S200
Packing nearly 100 horsepower per liter, the Honda S2000 is a feat of engineering. The two-seater is sleekly styled and while small, is packed with function. The entire cockpit is driver-centric, and the rear-wheel-drive platform paired with a manual six-speed transmission promises a lively driving experience. They appear to be only going up, might be the time to shop for one now.

Mazda Miata
Embodying all the enjoyment—even the exhaust note—of a little British car, but with traditional Japanese reliability, is a sure fire recipe for those who like fun to drive cars. The Miata hit that nail square and hard, making itself a favorite of those in the search for a modern roadster. The first generation from 1989-97, also known as NA, are typically favored by those seeking a pure experience, but the subsequent generations are still wonderful cars to enjoy.

We expected a wide range of responses, but we will say we didn’t expect a pack of Morgan lovers to come out of the woodwork (pun intended) to declare their love for open top motoring. A pure British roadster, this fits the traditional definition by leaving the side windows behind. The majority of the responses calling for inclusion of the Morgan nameplate made reference to the Plus Four, a more powerful version of 4/4 model, which was built from 1950 to 1969.

Chevrolet Corvette
The second-generation Corvette is best known for the one-year-only split-window of 1963, as it was a gorgeous design and also the first Corvette without the option to remove the roof (the convertible, of course, wasn’t a split-window) Arguably the most American roadster (we would accept arguments that the ’32 Ford is a tie for the spot), the Corvette is the quintessential roadster for those who want an exhaust note that sounds as good as the American flag looks. Barring a few years after 1976 when no American production cars had the convertible option, the Corvette has always had the box on the order form for a drop top. We hope it stays that way.

Triumph TR3
The term LBC encapsulates a lot, but when you break it down to Little British Cars, to us there are few that fit the term better than the Triumph TR3. Hagerty members mentioned a number of Lucas-electrics-equipped cars, but the most support seems to lean on the curvaceous TR3. While British in heritage and production, between 1955 and 1957, 90-percent of TR3 production was shipped to the shores of the U.S.

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5 Simple Modifications You Can Do In Your Driveway

5 Simple Modifications You Can Do In Your Driveway

Factory stock condition is good enough for most people, but if the desire to make your car unique overtakes you, it’s best to start with simple modifications and leave the engine swaps and custom suspension for later. Here are five simple modifications that you can do in your driveway—no garage or special tools required.

A rowdy exhaust note has been the sign of performance for decades, and with the multitude of options for mufflers there’s no shortage of different options to create a system for just the sound you want. We do advise to be careful and not go too extreme and annoy the neighborhood or make your car virtually undrivable due to the interior noise. While rusted exhaust hardware is one of the biggest headaches of automotive repair work, it can be done while lying on the pavement with a car supported by a good set of jack stands. Just make sure your new parts bolt on before you remove the old exhaust and find out you’ll need to learn how to weld. Shifter
When it comes to changes on a car, making adjustments to items that the driver directly interacts with will feel much more significant than others. A short throw shifter or other upgrades, like better bushings in the linkages, will increase the positive feel of a manual transmission shifter. Wheels
Changing the appearance and stance of a car can be as easy as bolting on a new set of wheels. Proper sizing is key, of course, as to not detrimentally affect the vehicles handling, but there are more tools than ever available to enthusiasts to ensure proper fitment. Additional benefits can also be gained by dropping wheel weight or changing the size to allow for more tire options, which leads to the next item below. Tires
Tires are one of the easiest and most significant ways to change your car’s performance. Only drive in the summer? No need for all seasons. Want authentic experience from your first-generation Miata? There is an option for that too. Needless to say, proper tire selection can make the car behave just the way you want it. Brakes
Modern brakes are almost always very good from the factory, but occasionally those on vintage cars leave something to be desired. Properly adjusting a set of drum brakes is a great start, but the next step is replacing parts. You don’t need big changes to make a difference. Upgrading to an improved formula brake shoe material in drum setups or a pad replacement for disc brakes can significantly improve feel and stopping power. A fluid flush and refill will also often give the brake system a refreshed feel and more confidence from the driver’s seat.

Happy tinkering!

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Spring Tune-Up Advice

Spring Tune-Up Advice

Spring has sprung! The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and it is time to get your special cars back on the road!
Here are five easy tips for waking your car up from a long winter’s nap.

Power up
Put the battery back in place. If the car is a newer model abounding in electronics, the battery may have been left under the unlatched hood with the charger’s cables hooked up, not only keeping the charge fresh but also providing minimum power to the digital processors. Oh, and look at those terminals, wiping away any buildup.

Inspect the tires
Tires were “aired up” a few extra pounds in the fall to prevent flat spots. Now the sidewall rubber should be inspected for cracks or bulges. Adjust air pressure to the recommendation. How old are the tires? Even if tread depth is substantial, rubber breaks down after a few years and tires need to be replaced. Maybe this is the year.

Walk around the car
Inspect for signs of corrosion or rodent mischief. Mice love wiring! Traces of their activity will have collected on the plastic sheet that was laid out on the garage floor. If the tailpipes were blocked up with steel wool to foil the critters, it should come out now. Check all belts and hoses for cracks.

Check the Oil
If indeed it was changed in the fall, the level should be good and lubrication properties uncompromised. If it wasn’t changed, now’s the time. Although leakage of coolant or hydraulic fluid would be pretty obvious, it can’t hurt to double-check the levels.

Start it up
The engine may splutter after startup. Check the instrument panel for warning lights. Once the engine settles into a rhythm, the car can get under way. Take it easy in the first few miles until fluids and lubricants come up to operating temperature. Components like valve seals and suspension bushings will be grateful.

Now let ‘er rip, and enjoy a safe driving season.
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