- Jul 31, 2013
The Most Stolen Luxury Cars
In 2009, the most recent year from which the FBI has data, around 800,000 vehicles were stolen in the U.S., totaling a loss of about $5.2 billion. Most of these cars were the more popular sedans, like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Simple statistics and odds explains why these high-volume vehicles would top the list.
But what about the cars one would expect to find on this list? The Escalades, Bimmers and Benzes? To see where these luxury vehicles stand, CNBC.com compiled a list of the most-stolen luxury vehicles per thousand produced. In other words, these cars had the highest odds of being stolen.
Click through to see the most stolen luxury cars in the U.S. If you're an owner of one of these (or any vehicle, really), take care to protect your ride. We would highly recommend a Lojak system, the best alarm your dealer sells and maybe a "club" anti-theft device for good measure when you are parking in an open air lot in the city, or on the street.
10. Volvo V70
Theft rate: 3.01 per thousand
This front-wheel drive, five-passenger V70 is powered by a 235-hp, 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed Geartronic automatic transmission. This vehicle features a bold front design and raised hood while still maintaining the basic figure of past V70s.
It's not exactly a sexy car, which is why it's a little surprising to see it on this list. Thieves liked it in 2009 for whatever reason, though.
9. Audi A8
Theft rate: 3.31 per thousand
The five-passenger Audi A8 comes in three variations: 4.2, 4.2 long wheelbase, and W12 long wheelbase. The 4.2L V8 produces 350 horsepower, while the twelve cylinder 6.0L W12 makes 450 horsepower. A full leather upgrade is available on A8L models, while W12 models get the option of 20-inch wheels.
The A8 is a big, expensive luxury sedan -- a pretty obvious target for car thieves.
8. Chrysler Sebring
Theft rate: 3.32 per thousand
The Sebring wasn't Chrysler's best effort and it is barely a luxury car, but thieves went after it nonetheless.
The Sebring is available with three different engines, a 173-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder, a 189-hp 2.7-liter V6 or a 235-hp 3.5-liter V6. A four-speed automatic is bolted to the 2.4L and 2.7L engines, while the 3.5L gets a six-speed automatic.
7. Chrysler Sebring Convertible
Theft rate: 3.73 per thousand
Like the Sebring sedan, the convertible is a borderline luxury vehicle and has since been discontinued. In 2009, however, thieves were all over these.
It comes has the choice of three different tops, a vinyl soft top, a cloth soft top, or a power retractable hard top
6. Mercedes-Benz CL-Class
Theft rate: 3.91 per thousand
The Mercedes-Benz CL is a heck of a vehicle. It's luxurious, distinctive and has a couple of great engine options. It's popular with affluent consumers, critics and car thieves.
Available in four models the CL-Class is a two-door grand touring coupe, with seating for four. The CL550 4Matic, CL600, CL63 AMG, and CL65 AMG all include Active Body Control, Active Curve Bi-Xenon headlights, sunroof, and a Harman Kardon LOGIC7 audio system.
5. Cadillac STS
Theft rate: 4.28 per thousand
For many people, including car thieves, the name Cadillac is simply synonymous with luxury.
The 2009 Cadillac STS comes with a 302-hp 3.6-liter V6 engine or a 320-hp 4.6-liter V8. Available with rear-drive or all-wheel drive, this luxury ride is controlled by a six-speed automatic transmission.
4. Infiniti M35
Theft rate: 4.32 per thousand
Infiniti tends to fly under that radar a bit as a solid luxury brand, but thieves certainly have taken notice, stealing over 4 M35s per thousand produced.
The M35 is powered by a 3.5-liter, 275 horsepower V6 engine. It is equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission with manual sport shifting. Leather seats with heating and ventilation come standard on the M35.
3. Chrysler 300
Theft rate: 4.57 per thousand
One of Chrysler's more successful cars in recent years, the 300 is a luxury ride with bold art deco styling. Unfortunately, it's distinctiveness seems to make it a target for theft.
The 300 is available with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. An optional long wheelbase rear-wheel drive model is available that allows for a rear seat area much larger than the standard car.
2. BMW M5
Theft rate: 7.58 per thousand
The M5 is a high-performance machine from BMW. Because of its limited production in 2009, its theft-to-production ratio is pretty darn high.
Then, there is the lust factor. The BMW M5 is a vehicle that people with money and an appreciation for fast automobiles covet. Unfortunately, not all those people make honest livings. The M5, we would bet, is not so much to strip for parts, but for the thief himself to drive or to sell to another thief with the same eye for automotive finery.
The 2009 M5 sits atop the 5-series lineup. It's powered by a hand-built 500-hp 5.0-liter V10, with suspension and brakes enhanced to match all the power. Buyers can choose between a 7-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) with steering wheel paddles or 6-speed manual transmission.
1. Audi S8
Theft rate: 8.81 per thousand
Like the BMW M5, limited production of the S8 led to a very high theft rate in 2009. Even though only two were actually stolen, S8 owners probably don't like these odds very much.
The S8 is powered by a 5.2-liter 450-hp V10, similar to the engine found in the Lamborghini Gallardo. It utilizes a six-speed Tiptronic transmission and Audi's quattro permanent all-wheel drive system to put the power to the ground. Inside it has standard leather upholstery, Alcantara headliner, ten airbags, and power memory front seats.