Speeding tickets, right? One of the major banes of contemporary living and nearly a right of passage for most young Americans. But what causes speeding tickets? Well, speeding of course—seriously, don’t do that. However, we’ve noticed that some cars are more likely to get tickets than others—and believe us, the insurance companies know it too. So for your edification, here’s a list of the top 30 most ticketed cars.
50. Scion FR-S
The FR-S always pops up on lists of hot performance cars within the $25K range, so it’s no mystery as to why it’s on this list as well. A significant number of FR-S drivers have been cited for some type of driving violation over the previous three years. Given its sports car looks, it’s no wonder why this car gets pulled over a lot. Knowing you’ve got all that horsepower at your disposal, anyone would be tempted to floor it.
49. Subaru Tribeca
The Tribeca sold so poorly that the auto manufacturer decided to discontinue the SUV model back in 2014. An estimated 29% of Tribeca owners have received tickets related to speeding within the past three years. Surely the volume is lower than many of the other cars we have on this list, the Tribeca’s rate of ticketing is the highest in the utility vehicle segment.
48. Mini Cooper S
The Mini Cooper S is no stranger to this list. Having cramped a high performance engine in such a very small package, driver’s usually find themselves pushing the limits of this vehicles speed, nimbleness and agility in everyday city traffic.
47. Ford Windstar
A favorite of soccer mom’s, you might wonder why the Ford Windstar is even on this list. If you come to think about it though, these cars are no stranger to speeding tickets it’s likely that majority of their drivers are running late, racing to get their kids to school in the morning and to soccer practice in the afternoon.
46. Volkswagen Jetta GL
One sign of a well-built car is its stability at higher speeds. Having a strong engine and a smooth ride, some might find themselves past the speed limit on the highway and not even realize they’re speeding. That could explain how a lot of Jetta drivers easily earn speeding tickets.
45. Toyota FJ Cruiser
Whatever the reason, drivers of these sport utility vehicles have found themselves with a ticket in hand in recent years. This discontinued Toyota SUV model still has a few fans and around 28% of them have been pulled over because breaking a traffic law or two.
44. Saturn Aura
The Saturn Aura was a midsize sedan that debuted at the North American International Auto Show in 2005. Around 27.1 percent of Aura owners were ticketed with speeding violations.
43. Scion xA
The Scion xA was a 5-door subcompact hatchback that was produced from 2004 to 2006. Close to 27.8 percent of xA owners received speeding tickets.
42. Suzuki Reno
The Suzuki Reno, also known as the Daewoo Lacetti, was a compact car produced by Daewoo since 2002. 28.1 percent of Reno owner’s received a ticket for traffic violations.
41. Hyundai Veloster
The Hyundai Veloster is a coupe produced by Hyundai since 2011. The Veloster is manufactured in South Korea and Thailand. Around 28.1 percent of Veloster owners received violations.
40. Mazda 2
The Mazda 2, also known as the Mazda Demio, has been produced since 1996. The 3rd Generation won the 2008 World Car of the Year with the 4th Japanese Car of the Year for 2014-2015. 28.4 percent of Mazda 2 drivers received a traffic violation charge.
39. Mercury Topaz
The Mercury Topaz was a compact car produced by Ford from 1984 to 1994. Around 28.8 percent of Topaz drivers received violations.
38. Volkswagen Rabbit
The Volkswagen Rabbit also known as the Volkswagen Golf, has been produced since 1974. 29.6 percent of Rabbit drivers have been ticketed.
37. Ford Taurus
The Ford Taurus, also known as maybe the least attractive Ford maybe ever, is a sedan that has been produced since 1970s. Research says you have a 400% chance to get a ticket in this vehicle.
36. Pontiac GTO
Granted, this data is a bit dated. It only applied for the time frame of 1970-1980. But, the Pontiac GTO used to get pulled over all the time. There is a 350% chance of receiving a ticket while driving this car.
Especially red ones…they’re a speeding ticket waiting to happen!
34. Mercury Cougar
Mercury Cougar’s are an attractant to police cars – it’s science.
33. Hummer H2
The Hummer H2 was a large SUV built by AM General from 2002 to 2009. There was an average of 292% of violations given to H2 drivers per 100,000 miles.
32. Ford F-150
Sorry to say it, Ford trucks drivers…this one is gonna hurt. But it’s true. There was an average of 270% of violations given to Ford F-150 drivers per 100,000 miles.
Okay, listen. This one isn’t actually a car that gets pulled over too often. But we had to show you this! What would you do if you’re driving down the road and all the sudden you see a fully dressed Batman inside of his Batmobile being pulled over by a real police officer. That would be crazy!
30. Pontiac Grand Prix
The Pontiac Grand Prix was a set of coupes and sedans produced by the Pontiac Division of General Motors. They produced the coupes from 1962 to 2002, and they produced the sedans from 1988 to 2008. There was an average of 182% of violations given to Grand Prix drivers per 100,000 miles.
29. Hyundai Tiburon
The Hyundai Tiburon was a South Korean sports coupe produced from 1996 to 2008. 27.7% of Tiburon drivers were ticketed with speeding violations.
28. Chevrolet Impala LT
The Chevy Impala LT is a full-size car that has been produced from 1958 to 1985, 1994 to 1996, and is has now been currently produced since 2000. 26.8% of Impala drivers have received speeding and traffic violations.
27. Honda Civic Si
The Honda Civic Si is a compact sports car that has been produced since 1984. 25.5 percent of Civic drivers have been ticketed.
26. GMC Sierra K1500
The GMC Sierra K1500 was produced by General Motors and Chevrolet. 24.4% of Sierra drivers have received speeding and traffic violations.
25. Fiat 500
The Fiat 500 was a small city car that was produced from 1957 to 1975. 23.8% of Fiat drivers have been ticketed.
24. Toyota Supra
Another defunct model from Toyota that still seems to attract risk-takers and speed demons. An estimated 30% of Toyota Supra drivers have some kind of blemish on their records.
23. Pontiac GTO
The Pontiac GTO may have ceased production a long time ago but still rakes in a high number of speeding tickets.Around 32% of GTO owners had received citations in the past three years. Being one of America’s original muscle cars, it holds a unique spot on the the list. Standard hood scoops and a 350 horsepower engine explains its position among this group.
22. Infiniti QX80
Let’s set aside performance and speed for a minute because another way to get noticed by the police is size. The Infiniti QX80 is anything but small, given that it performs as well, driver’s would sometimes find themselves at the helm of a ship as opposed to a car.
21. Toyota Prius C
Who said hybrids wouldn’t make this list? Apparently, an estimated 21% of Toyota Prius owners have been pulled over in the past years for speeding and other traffic related violations. Driving a Prius does help save the environment when it comes to emissions but it won’t save you if you get caught speeding.
20. Pontiac G8
Another performance model from the Pontiac lineup, the G8 never fails to attract unwanted attention. With hood scoops that scream performance, law enforcement have found themselves pulling over more and more of these cars since they came out.
19. Chevrolet Tahoe K1500
The Chevy Tahoe was one of the first SUVs, and emerging from the dark times in which the sport utility vehicle was brand new it did a lot to define the entire class of automobiles. An outgrowth of GM’s popular Jimmy model, the Tahoe had the capacity for a then-whopping 9 passengers and a fuel economy so dismally low that just mentioning it can make a hippie cry.
The Tahoe is unique on this list in that it has seen both police and military use in addition to their popularity with civilian drivers. So whether you’re busting criminals, driving your troops around a battlefield, or just getting through your day the Tahoe has what it takes—apparently enough so to land on the list of the most ticketed cars.
18. Mazda 3i
Another variation on the Mazda 3, the Mazda 3i is designed to be fun to drive: a smooth body style with a glass-slick six-speed manual transmission and a 2.5 liter 184 hp engine all work together to deliver a not-unimpressive top speed of 132 miles per hour and a zero to sixty time of 7.4 seconds. When you break it down to that kind of math, it’s no wonder that the Mazda 3i is making an appearance on a list of the nation’s most ticketed cars. If you drive one, you know what we’re talking about. If you don’t, give one a spin sometime soon.
17. Ford Fusion S
A four-door mid sized sedan with classic lines and a reputation for comfort, the Ford Fusion S is an environmentally sensitive adaptation of the company’s CD3 platform. The S series is a pretty cool gas/electric hybrid introduced in the 2006 model year with the intent of securing Ford a place in the eco-car market that would later feature such vehicles as the Nissan Leaf and the Toyota Prius.
This is also another vehicle which got bogged down in a controversy. In 2012, Consumer Reports published an article claiming that Ford Fusion S models had lower gas mileage than the company had claimed. What does this have to do with the model’s presence on a list of the most ticketed cars? We don’t know, but we’re hoping to spawn a few conspiracy theories here.
16. Lincoln LS
The Lincoln LS is a mid-sized, rear-wheel drive sedan marketed as an executive vehicle—and that’s where we think all the trouble starts.
Of course these things get frequent tickets: they’re being piloted by Mr. or Ms. Very Important, on their way to the Big Meeting. Big names in big cars have little regard for traffic rules, and an outright disdain for speed limits. Couple that with a vehicle powered by a Jaguar AJ 3.0 liter V8 and a purpose-built transmission, and it’s no wonder that the Lincoln LS Series gets more than its share of traffic tickets. Roll on, big wig. Roll on.
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15. Chevrolet Malibu 2LT
The Chevy Malibu is a mid-sized American car with a whole lot of history—these things first rolled off the line in 1963. The current round of 2LT is the benchmark for the fleet-model Malibus and are widely produced around the world . . . in places like China, Uzbekistan, and Russia.
Hmmm . . . we’re sensing another international conspiracy.
There’s some truth to this one: back in 1981, GM of Canada produced a series of Malibus for sale to the nation of Iraq—then headed by Saddam Hussein. The whole mess around the “Iraqi Taxi” Malibus is a dark spot in company history. Maybe, just maybe, the frequent ticketings are the government seeking its revenge.
14. Mercedes-Benz C300
More properly known as the Mercedes-Benz W205, this entry level luxury car first appeared in the US at the Detroit Auto Show in December of 2013. European sales started the following year. The C-series was intended to be the standard-bearer for the company’s entry-level cars, and its 241 hp 2.0 liter engine was an attractive performance package for those interested in a luxury vehicle that could also prove enjoyable to drive. Loaded with a host of safety and performance features and fully integrating the most advanced consumer technology of its time, the C300 is an impressive machine in any of its body styles or configurations. At least you look smart and classy when getting ticketed in one of these.
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13. Subaru Impreza 2.5L
We’ve talked about other Imprenza models above, and explored the ways in which they might be bringing all these tickets on themselves. However, the 2.5L variation, introduced in the 2014 model year, offers an easier-to-follow explanation for its high ticketing rate—an explanation that is almost charming in its simplicity:
There’s a lot more torque behind this model. With the new FA 2.5L engine peaking twice as soon as its predecessors—258 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm—we find it easy to believe that increased performance lead to more drivers pushing past the legal speed limits.
12. Lexus LS 400 Series
Another full-sized luxury car from Japan, the Lexus LS 400 made its debut in 1989 and has been in production in some form or other ever since. It’s a milestone vehicle in its native land—the Lexus LS was the first successful Japanese car to enter the international luxury vehicle market. This in turn threw the whole market into a tizzy, with other big manufacturers slashing prices and pushing out competing models as quickly as possible. The effect on the industry was so widely felt that Car and Driver magazine entered the Lexus LS 400 onto their list of “The 24 Most Important Vehicles of the 20th Century”.
So are the tickets another conspiracy—corruption funded by jealous rival car makers in order to bring down the might of the Lexus LS 400? Probably not, but it’s a lot of fun to think about.
11. Subaru Impreza WRX
A Subaru Impreza as one of the most ticketed cars on the road? How does that make sense—this whole list is verging toward the surreal. However, despite the compact nature of this particular car, for the variant in question it’s a little more understandable.
“WRX” supposedly stands for “World Rally Experimental”–the X just makes it look cooler, we suppose. Thus it’s a throw back to the glory days of Subaru’s original World Rally, with all-wheel drive, heavy-duty engines, and enhanced steering and structural support adding to the performance capabilities. So this isn’t the Subaru for driving the kids to school—this one’s capable of great things, as a number of American drivers have apparently discovered.
10. Mazda Tribute
The Mazda Tribute may be the first crossover vehicle to appear on this list—it’s also marketed as the Ford Escape, and we’ll assume that the high rate of ticketing applies to both models. Both are based on the underpinning from the Ford CD2 platform, which in turn derives from the Mazda GF underpinnings—Ford and Mazda have a complicated relationship, in case you’re wondering.
None of which explains how the Tribute/Escape ended up on a list of the most ticketed vehicles. They’re fun to drive—we’ve taken one out a time or two—and they’re pretty quick for a compact CUV. So maybe that’s all that need be said: a fun to drive car with a relatively speedy acceleration can occasionally get a lot of tickets. Or more than occasionally.
Oh, and there’s a hybrid version, so if you’re going to play speed racer at least be good to the planet while you do it.
9. Toyota Tacoma
The first pickup truck to appear on the list, the Tacoma is a workhorse machine that all too often becomes a fetish vehicle that carries more accessories than it does work materials. That’s a shame, in a way: the Toyota Tacoma boasts an impressive payload, huge cab space, and a bed long enough to put a swimming pool in. So why all the tickets? Hmmmm . . ..
Well, a little research reveals that during the ongoing US military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, US special operations types have become fond of the Tacoma—to the extent of buying them at US dealership and modifying them before shipping them in country. So are the tickets issued in the US part of a government conspiracy? We may never know, but it might explain a few things.
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8. Acura 3.0s
The Acura 3, also known as the Acura TL, is a mid-sized luxury car currently in production from Acura. With four generations having been made from 1997 to the present, it’s hard to know which one is getting all the tickets with the not-always-complete information available from the insurance companies and the police. However, it’s got a spot on the top 20 list of the most ticketed cars, so we’ll do the best we can.
The Acura TL series openly embraced the “Internet of things”–that is, the idea that web access is everywhere and that everything is a web-capable device. So with onboard WiFi and computing, it’s entirely possible that the joys of online life have contributed to distracted driving and more tickets. Or at least that’s the best theory we have.
7. Dodge Stratus SXT
Hmmm. Another mid-sized car. Another mid-sized car made in part as a family vehicle. America, we think you may have a problem.
The Dodge Stratus was the mid level entry for the Chrysler JA paltform—the higher end version was the Cirrus and the rarely sighted lower end was the Breeze. Why aren’t there more meteorological names for car models? We don’t know, but someone should get on that. All reports indicate that they drove well, and that the 2.4 liter EDZ/EDT I4 engines peformed as well as you’d expect for a car of this type. But that’s hardly enough to get all the tickets this thing racked up, so what gives? Well, maybe the Stratus just flew too high. Rimshot!
6. Volkswagen GTI
OK, we were expecting a list loaded with performance vehicles and supercars, but a Volkswagen Golf variant? The mind boggles. But it’s true, the Volkswagen GTI is one of the most ticketed vehicles out there.
We’re not sure what to say about this—the engineering is of course impressive in a very German way, and the 292 horsepower engine isn’t lacking in the slightest. But who is driving these things so quickly, or so aggressively, as to get a ticket?
Oh yeah. Aggravated soccer moms who are dealing with kids, work, and getting their husband to please fix the garage door it’s been three weeks could you just . . . hang in there, ladies. You’re the real VIP.
5. Mazda 3
The Mazda 3S was sold in Japan as the Mazda Axela, a word we’re told is a portmanteau from “accelerate” and “excellent”. We love it when car makers deliver a statement in the vehicle name.
And the truth is that the Mazda 3 does all of those things—this is a truly excellent car, comfortable and high performing for a compact vehicle. While neither the 0-60 time nor the top speed—14.2 seconds and 106 miles per hour, respectively—are impressive, the tight handling and overall zippy feel of the thing mean that the Mazda 3 can move when it needs to. And you may decide that it needs to just before you hit a speed trap, you lucky jerk.
4. Chevrolet Monte Carlo LS/LT
A personal luxury car produced over six generations, the Chevrolet Monte Carlo has a well-earned place in American automotive history, but it’s hard to imagine it as a ticket magnet. Well, in order to explain that, let’s take a look under the hood of some more recent models.
A 3.5 liter LZE V6 delivering over 200 horsepower and around 215 lb ft of torque mean that this thing can zip off the block pretty quickly for a luxury car. The low body design, beautiful ergonomics, and wide windshield mean that it’s both easy to drive and deceptively easy to push to speed. When you’re relaxed and comfortable, it’s easy to just let your foot ride a little harder on that gas pedal . . .
3. Dodge Charger SE/SXT
The Dodge Charger in its contemporary form marks a return to the glory days of American muscle cars: big bodies, big engines, big aggressive driving styles perfect for either highway cruising or street-racing. While we can’t recommend the latter—obey the law, people—we can understand how a vehicle like this, capable of delivering high end performance—would end up on the list of the most ticketed cars. We’d like to take a minute and acknowledge the courage of those still driving these things; the insurance premiums alone must be mind blowing.
Fun fact about the Dodge Charger: they’re very popular in the US as police cars. Which means that when the driver of a Charger gets ticketed the person doing the ticketing might be the driver of another Charger. Weird, huh?
2. Nissan 350Z
Sold as the Nissan Fairlady Z Z33—a name that raises more questions than it answers—the Nissan 350Z is another variation on the Nissan FM platform. Produced in both coupe and roadster versions from 2002-2009, this car is the product of a female designer—Diane Allen, to be precise. The VQ35DE 3.5 liter engine is capable of great things, as any driver will attest who has been lucky enough to get behind the wheel of one of these bad boys.
In addition to their penchant for gathering traffic tickets, the Nissan 350Z has another grim statistic attached to it. With 143 deaths per million vehicle registrations, the 350Z’s two door version is one of the least safe cars on the road.
1. Lexus ES 300
There’s a lot to be said for a Japanese performance vehicle. There’s a unique feel to a Japanese sportscar or luxury ride—let alone their supercars. The body style, the design of the engines, and the roar of the thing in action are all distinct to the Japanese car industry, and we’re happy to help them celebrate their identity.
The Lexus ES 300 sure lives up to any standard you’d care to set. The 3.0 liter 1MZ-FE V6 can create more than 300 horsepower, and while the platform isn’t a speeder it will get you there fast and in style. With all that in mind, it’s not a wonder that a car this easy to drive and with this much power can get ticketed so often.
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