Not a lot of buyers end up choosing between a Toyota Prius hybrid and a Cadillac Escalade full-size sport-utility vehicle for their new car.

Now, in addition to its top-of-the-charts gas mileage--50 mpg on the EPA combined cycle--there's another reason to opt for the Prius: Its earlier models have some of the lowest theft loss rates of any vehicle sold in the United States.

The data comes from the Highway Loss Data Institute, which issued its annual report on the most and least stolen vehicles today.

Certain models of the 2007-2009 Escalade have theft claims filed at the highest rate of any vehicle, with the worst version having an average theft claim of $146 per vehicle. It's closely followed by Ford's F-250 crew-cab full-size pickup trucks.

The theft-claim number of 1-to-3-year-old Toyota Prius models, by comparison, comes in at a mere $2 per vehicle, putting it seventh from the bottom in a list of more than 200 different models sold in the U.S.

The only cars that did better than Toyota's signature hybrid-electric vehicle were the luxury Volvo S80, the Subaru Impreza compact, and four midsize SUVs: the Honda Pilot and Nissan Murano, plus two models of the now-discontinued Saturn Vue.

Would it be stretching to suggest that Prius theft rates may inch up again when gas prices rise from their currently low $2.80 back toward $4 per gallon?