For many Americans, seeing flashing lights in the rearview mirror or hearing sirens as they hurry to a destination is such a damper on fun and is much dreaded. You do not need to be cruising in a high-end European car model to hit speeds that attract the attention of cops. Getting a fast car is pretty easy these days.
Even though regular vehicles may not do speeds attainable by one-off production supercars such as the Bugatti Chiron, they can move at speeds that are a sure speeding ticket magnet. It may have taken mankind about a century to make a regular production automobile that can move at 200mph, but now speed is a common thing and so are speeding tickets.
Owning some vehicle models does not help you stay away from speeding tickets. Luxury cars in particular come equipped to remain stable and fun at high speeds. It is not a surprise that our list of most often ticketed vehicles contains a notable number of such cars. Luxury vehicles tend to keep their owners busy with speeding tickets.
Regular cars also attract speeding tickets a lot, especially when the drivers are youngsters. Younger drivers typically are less cautious and get more enjoyment from keeping the pedal to the metal. Here are 10 of the most frequently ticketed vehicles in the United States, and 10 that are least ticketed for speeding.
20 Most: LEXUS ES 300
The top slot goes to a luxury Sedan, the Lexus ES 300. It was produced from 1992 to 2003 and was the most affordable of the Lexus line-up. It epitomizes an entry-level luxury car, and greatly contributed to the continued success of the Lexus brand. Almost 33.4% of Lexus ES 300 owners have received speeding tickets.
Lexus sold three generations of this vehicle, with the last one lasting from 2002 to 2003. This last vehicle was renamed ES 330, as it was made with a larger V6 engine. All three generations are rather luxurious for their price, well built and roomy.
The ES 300 is not a sports Sedan and is not built for performance. It is preferred by drivers who like straight line travels on a freeway. It’s suitability for environments much suited for speed is probably why owners find it difficult to observe speed limits while driving this car.
The initial issues had a V6, 3 Liter engine that provided 200 hp. This was revised in the upcoming years and the car was equipped with increased engine capacity for better performance. The 2002 Lexus ES 300 is what you will see on the roads most of the time and a used one goes for about $4000.
19 Most: DODGE STRATUS SXT
The Dodge Stratus SXT was designed to achieve superstar status. It seems to have missed that, but owners of this vehicle seem not to be able to keep within expected speeds when cruising in the small car. It is the most ticketed compact car. About 30.2% of the owners of these vehicles have been issued with a speeding ticket.
This vehicle is pricey, has a roomy interior and sharp styling. It has Coupe and Sedan body styles. The sedan had Chrysler engines and design. The 2006 model has a sitting capacity of 5. It is a front wheel drive with 4-speed automatic transmission. It has a 2.4-liter engine with 4 cylinders and has 150 hp. The Dodge Stratus was produced between 1995 and 2006.
The Dodge Stratus SXT is more of a sports sedan, especially when compared with similar vehicles of its time. It has great handling. The coupe is V6 powered and comfy, and certainly not a high strung, small sports car. It also has a very roomy interior which was one of its major selling points. However, a shopper for this vehicle today would be attracted by its price, as it has greatly fallen in value as compared to Japanese sedans of the same time.
18 Most: ACURA CL
The Acura CL is a mystery luxury car. No one knows what CL means and for a car that hardly sold after it was first put on the market, it has a noticeably high ticketing frequency. It was released in two generations. After it became obvious that buyers found better value in similar but less costly vehicles, Acura ceased production of this vehicle.
The Acura CL is a remarkably well-built vehicle and has excellent road manners. It offers plenty of value, most of which would still be under factory warranty. It does not quite match the performance identity of a BMW, though. Torque is not particularly abundant in this vehicle. It will torque steer, however, if you mix ample throttle and steering angle.
For its low popularity, you need to see it as a hidden gem to be impressed. It is one of those luxury/ sports coupes of midsize that suit the passionate only. This is perhaps why owners tend to step on the pedal. About 30.1% of owners have been ticketed for speeding in this car.
What is hot about this car is that it has a performance, type S, close to that of BMW, 328/330 coupes. Its interior finish and fit is European level, and it is loaded with all standard amenities.
17 Most: TOYOTA TACOMA
The legendary Toyota Tacoma is the most ticketed pickup truck. About 30.1% of owners have been given a ticket for speeding. The Tacoma was first produced in 1995 and has been in production since then. It is not only reputed as being very capable and reliable, it is also considered unkillable. The community views this vehicle as being capable of exploits and a survival in situations that would overwhelm a lesser vehicle. It also has industry accolades for being the only vehicle in its range to have some features such as a pre-collision alert system. As well, the Toyota Tacoma took home the 2017 Best Resale Value Award for a mid-sized truck.
This amazing vehicle also makes it to top ten for best resale value for any vehicle. It is America’s best selling compact and midsize pickup. The latest model has a V6, 3.5-liter engine that provides a horsepower of 278. It has swapping cogs that are six speed and automatic. The latest Tacoma sells for about $40,617 and has tough plastic and thick controls inside. The exterior color of Tacoma’s is flat and uncomplicated. This vehicle is certainly built for the off-road. The powerful steering the Tacoma is equipped with is perhaps the reason the owners of this vehicle do ticket-attracting speeds, on the highway.
16 Most: MAZDA TRIBUTE
This vehicle was manufactured between 2001 and 2011 by Ford. It is a compact SUV known for its solid value, agile handling, practical packaging and V6 performance that is surprising. With features so tempting, it is not a wonder that drivers cannot resist accelerating hard when they get behind its steering wheel. Ford, who manufactured this vehicle, have been around for some time, but for some reason, they never updated the specs of this vehicle to match the changing times. They ceased to produce it. This crossover SUV has an easy to drive, and friendly character, which it combines with an all-weather driving function.
The tribute was one of the best small SUVs when it was introduced. It carries 5 passengers and their luggage in its practical cabin and features a V6 engine that is the most powerful in its class. After one year of production, Mazda released a remodeled Tribute with a snazzier interior and new styling.
Later models of the tribute have had improvements in the powertrain department. The improved vehicles came with a choice of a V6, 3 liters, 240 horsepower engine or one with four cylinders, 2.5 liters, 171 hp. Both of these choices are coupled with an automatic six-speed transmission.
15 Most: SUBARU IMPREZA WRX
If you can think of an Impreza on steroids, that is what the WRX is. This rally-inspired machine carves up corners excellently, thanks to its quick turn-in and crisp steering. It is not surprising it is on our list of vehicles which high frequency of receiving speeding tickets. It is at among the top five on the list for most frequently ticketed of sports compact car. A whopping 29.9% of this car’s owners have issued with a speeding ticket. With its race car features, its speeding ticket frequency can only be expected to get worse.
The 2018 model of this car is its fifth generation. Manufacture of the vehicle started in 1992 and it is available only as a sedan. It sits five passengers and has four doors. It is all wheel drive and turbocharged. It has a flat-4, 2-liter engine with six-speed manual transmission. The automatic is continuously variable and remains optional.
According to caranddriver.com, the 2018 WRX is 0.5 seconds slower than its predecessor in accelerating from 0 to 60mph. Perhaps even the manufacturers are trying to slow down this impressive racecourse beast. The WRX gives its sterling performance on smooth terrain and is not ideal for going off-road. The latest model has a base price of $32,205.
14 Most: LEXUS LS 400 SERIES
This luxury sedan was first manufactured in 1989. That it is now over two and a half decades ago which makes this car almost a collectible. It has appeared in numerous movies including some in 2018. This is perhaps what gives it such a luxury car appeal! Think of the cop seeing a vehicle on the road looking exactly like one he saw in a movie recently. Any cop would be tempted to stop the car.
Like in the case of most sedans, its price has been in a free fall since it was initially released. There are quite a few of these around selling at extremely low prices. People who know the value of this vehicle still buy it because of its top of the range construction using bank-vault quality materials and attention to detail.
Its engine is V8 and midsized, and like all the other critical parts of this vehicle, it is built to last. There were updates to the original model, and in 1998, the four-speed automatic transmission was replaced with five. There have been very few alterations to the original model though. It seems like this Japan made vehicle was made right first time around.
13 Most: MERCEDES-BENZ C300
This top-notch luxury sedan comes with features that are state of the art and has a high-end interior. The 2018 Mercedes Benz C300 model gives new meaning to top of the range vehicle. It has an all-new automatic transmission system that is nine-speed. It has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, push-button start, proximity-key entry and a rearview camera.
Perhaps what is even more appealing is that this vehicle is available as a cabriolet, sedan or coupe. With features that are rather tempting for speed, it surely does belong on our list. The cabriolet design is for cruising on the freeway, wind in their hair. Anyone would be tempted to test the handling and other details of this super luxurious car. 29.6% of the owners of the Mercedes Benz C300 4 MATIC have been ticketed for speeding.
The latest Mercedes C300 has a turbocharged 2-liter engine, inline-four that provides a horsepower of 241. The sedan has a hybrid version that is plug-in and provides a horsepower of 275. This car was first released in 1993, and the 2018 model retails at a base price of $52,195. Brooklyn Beckham sat behind the wheel of a Mercedes C300 to take his first drive around London.
12 Most: CHEVROLET MALIBU 2LT
For a mid-sized family car, the Chevrolet Malibu seems to be too high in the ticketing frequency list. This is a car that many feels make America proud, and perhaps this can explain why drivers stretch their limits when they get behind the wheel. Surprisingly, when the 2016 model was released, GM carried an ad that implied their premier trim of this vehicle could be mistaken for a BMW. That did not go well with some columnists who thought the Chevrolet Malibu could hold its own against the perceived better models.
The 2016 model of this car came in three trims, LS, LT, and Premier. It retailed between $22,000 and $36,000. The vehicle is top of the range and Chevrolet put its more than 105-year history to good use in manufacturing this vehicle.
It has a 2-liter engine that is turbocharged and four-cylinder gasoline. It has a torque of 258 pound-feet and a horsepower of 250. It can be manually operated but has an eight-speed automatic transmission.
It has good fuel efficiency at a proven 32 miles per gallon on a highway. It is a front wheel drive. It can be equipped technically to monitor driving speed, for parents who worry about their teens driving.
11 Most: LINCOLN LS
Here is another midsized luxury Sedan that makes America proud. When initially produced by Ford, the Lincoln LS had the technology and appearance that made it competitive against some of Europe’s best luxury sedans at the time. Some owners of this car have given it a 10 in regard to it being fun to drive.
Perhaps it is the hype around this vehicle that makes it a speeding ticket magnet. Others have hailed it as having the roominess of a BMW 5 series but the price of the BMW 3 series. It has been considered quite entertaining when driving on the back road thanks to its well-tuned suspension and the configuration of its rear wheel drive.
Buyers chose between V6 and V8 engines depending on the trim level. The more expensive V8 has a 3.9-liter engine with a horsepower of 252. This engine accelerates the luxury sedan from 0 to 60mph in 7.5 seconds. The LS V6 is the less costly trim and has a 3-liter engine capacity that provides a horsepower of 210. The cheaper V6 has better fuel economy. Ford started production of the Lincoln LS in 2000 and stopped in 2006. The original model received some upgrades in the course of the years it was in production.
10 Least: LEXUS IS 350
Surprisingly, a luxury sedan tops off our list of least ticketed vehicle on American roads. Only 3.4% of the owners of this car have reported being stopped for speeding. Amazing statistics considering that this luxury sedan is not just super comfortable, it also has great performance. Lexus did not compromise here. The Sedan is a rather recent vehicle as the first one was released in 2006.
The 2018 Lexus IS 350 is a beauty to behold. It has the luxury, comfort, handling, and speed expected of a high-end European brand. Yet, unlike most Sedan models, it has a resale history that only Lexus can offer, with a reliability to match. The 2018 IS 350 sells at a starting price of $41,830. The current Lexus is an improvement on the 2017 model.
The defining features of every IS 350 are its powerful V6 engine that provides a horsepower of 306, and a torque of 277 pound-feet. It has a 3.5-liter robust engine. The standard for this vehicle is rear wheel drive, while all-wheel drive is offered as an option. All-wheel drive sedans have a six-speed automatic transmission, while rear-wheel drive sedans have eight-speed. Considering how much class and elegance Lexus has packed into this car, it’s not a wonder owners treat it like a delicate gem and avoid hitting the pedal.
9 Least: BUICK ENCORE
The Buick Encore is the crossover SUV least issued with speeding tickets. This subcompact SUV is packed with excellent fuel efficiency and maneuverability, both of which greatly contribute to its appeal. However, the Encore is more upscale than others in its class. For almost the exact same features found in the encore, you would part with much less if you check out its competitors.
Perhaps this higher cost is what makes the Encore an elegantly driven vehicle. You do not want to part with a high figure for premium features you could get for less elsewhere unless you are ready to be super careful with your ride. 3.2% of owners reported having received speeding tickets.
The vehicle was first produced in 2013. The 2018 model hardly has any improvements over the previous one released in 2017. It, however, features a more powerful 1.4-liter engine with a horsepower of 153. It is offered in six trim levels. Previous Encores came with four-cylinder, 1.4 liter, and turbocharged engines. They also were front wheel drive and featured an automatic six-speed transmission.
But these previous Encore models ranging from sport touring trim and higher have more horsepower, 153, and 177 lb-ft. all these trims have an all wheel drive option available, except the base ISV.
8 Least: ACURA ILX
This Acura is totally forgettable, certainly not one of those machines you can never have enough of. Its interior is unimpressive, and its performance totally lackluster, which places it at the bottom of its class. Perhaps because of its calm demeanor, it does not attract the attention of passionate drivers with too much adrenaline in their veins.
It has a place in our list as a notably conservatively driven car. 5.6 % of the owners of this vehicle reported getting a speeding ticket while driving it.
Some reviewers feel the Acura ILX is basically a Honda Civic, but significantly different though. The Japanese automaker that made this vehicle seemed to have targeted the younger generation looking for an affordable luxury car. This is the impression you get when you consider its appreciably lower price compared to others in its class and its great fuel usage.
It comes with a four-cylinder, 2.4-liter engine with a horsepower of 201. It is a front wheel drive and features eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. It sits five passengers and the current model price point is between $28,100 and $35,100. It was first released in 2013. Every newer model of this vehicle has had little difference with its predecessor.
7 Least: CADILLAC ATS
Another luxury car is on our list of glory. You would think that a most recent luxury vehicle made by an experienced company for GM is made for speed. I would not expect the drivers of such a vehicle to resist hitting the pedal too hard. But this is not true of the drivers of the Cadillac ATS. An amazingly low 6.4% have been ticketed for speeding.
This vehicle was first manufactured in 2013 and the 2017 model is fully qualified to be a world-class sporty sedan. Its platform is lightweight and solid, it has a V-6 3.6-liter engine that is high revving, and offers naturally aspirated 335 horsepower. It is a rear wheel drive and has an eight-speed snappy transmission. Anything about this sedan puts in league with the best of Japanese and European high-end models. It is offered as a sedan and a Coupe.
However, this car has rather underwhelming performance when compared with an ATS-V. It has hardly evolved much where it matters since it was first produced. Such observations make us conclude that this luxury car is for the more careful, conservative driver. No wonder it has an impressive speeding record. A new Cadillac ATS comes at a starting price of $36,490. It is offered in a number of trims.
6 Least: CHEVROLET EXPRESS
The unassuming Chevrolet Express from GM is totally old school. It certainly is not one of those road beasts that breeze past traffic cops at speeds that start the sirens. It is a totally American thing that has changed little over time.
As you would expect of something old and tested, it is impressively well driven. It has a remarkable record, with only 7.7% of owners reporting to have received a ticket for speeding. The vehicle was first made in 1995, and the years have seen few changes to the original design.
The vehicle has dimensions that are rather boxy, a chassis that is quite strong and a simple interior. It is built for commercial use or for hauling up to 15 passengers. When you are transporting a sports team or an extra large family, it is possible that having such a high number of people on board can prevent any driver from stepping hard on the accelerator.
Over the years since it started being produced, it has enjoyed a notable popularity in its segment. Its main competitors, the Dodge Ram Van and The Ford Econoline are much older. The Chevrolet Express is available in three versions, the 3500, 2500 and 1500. Two trim levels are offered.
5 Least: CADILLAC ESCALADE
This elegant luxury SUV from an American automaker seems to be a favorite of drivers who know how to keep trouble at bay. It joins our list as only 8.1% of owners reporting being booked for speeding. At a starting price of $74,695 and $99,795, I don’t see a driver wanting to crash this breathtaking machine.
It was once a preserve of the rich and famous. It ranks amongst the top ten in its class of large luxury SUVs according to US News. Amongst its selling points are its outstanding towing capacity, its V6 engine which is rather punchy and its top-rated cabin. The engine provides 420 horsepower.
All-wheel drive is offered as an option, with rear wheel drive being the standard. The 2018 model has the eight-speed automatic transmission replaced by ten-speed. The Cadillac Escalade was first manufactured in 1995. The initial model has had various updates since then. The 2018 model was last totally redesigned in 2015.
The Cadillac Escalade has good fuel utilization compared to others in its class and has a huge engine that matches its imposing size. The American automaker seems to have put in the effort to make a really appealing vehicle. For those who can afford this beauty, not dashing madly around in it seems to be a prime consideration.
4 Least: GMC SAVANA
Like its mechanically identical twin, the Chevrolet Express, the GMC Savana comes in as another of those well-driven vehicles on American roads. Only 8.8% of drivers with this vehicle reported being ticketed for speeding. It might not even be that easy to speed while driving a full-sized cargo and passenger van if you ask us.
The current GMC Savana van got its name in the mid 90’s. Since its first production then, very few updates have made to this van. For those who prefer a spacious, rugged and competent van, this is the one to go for. Depending on the model of the van you choose, it can sit between 8 to 15 passengers.
It has a half-ton and one-ton configurations and two trim levels. The half-ton series has a V8, 5.3-liter engine with 334 lb torque, 310 horsepower, and automatic four-speed transmission. Each one comes with a V8, 4.8-liter engine, 298 lb-ft, and 280 horsepower. However, the one-ton does have other options.
All Savanas have engines with six-speed automatic transmission and are rear wheel drives, except the half ton which comes with the option of four-wheel drive. For an old vehicle model that is as calm and collected as the Savana, having good manners on the road might not be that difficult.
3 Least: AUDI A3
Amazingly this car also attracts rather calm drivers. Only 9.2% of Audi A3 drivers have been caught speeding. Is it for lack of features to rev up the engine of this Audi that drivers in this vehicle avoid trouble? It is necessary to note that the Audi A4 does rather badly on American roads and has slightly more than double the ticketing frequency of the A3.
So, what is it about Audi A3? The latest 2018 model offers feisty performance on the road. It has features and materials found in other upscale Audi’s despite its affordability. It is a small luxury car, loaded with state of the art technology.
It is fuel efficient and elegantly sporty. It offers stiff competition to other more costly models in its class, with its excellent combination of value and quality. US News declared the Audi A3, the "2018 Best Luxury Small Car for the Money."
Apparently, the Audi A3 is not calm on the road for lack of features. Being a really cool vehicle, it perhaps attracts buyers who are least into doing speeds. The most current model launched in 2015 and has seen updates each year. In 2017, the base engine 170 hp was replaced with a four-cylinder, turbocharged 2.0-liter engine 186 horsepower.
2 Least: BMW 320i
BMW’s 3 series is a top seller in the United States and for such a popular series to have a representation in our list is a notable achievement. But the 320i is the only vehicle in the 3 series that stays well off speeding tickets. Only 9.9% of BMW 320i drivers have received tickets while other members of the 3 series have more than double that ticketing frequency.
The 320i is available as a sedan. Current models have a gasoline engine, 2.0-liter capacity, turbocharged and four-cylinder that provides 180 horsepower. The standard drivetrain on this luxury sedan is rear wheel drive, though the all-wheel drive is available as an option.
It is not for lack of features to cruise at high speeds that would attract tickets be what enables this Sedan to make it on our list? Us News ranks the 3 series sedan the top third small luxury car. This includes the 320i, so our car is loaded. But our 320i is amongst the slightly less elegant in the 3 series, which implies it is so much an entry-level luxury vehicle and much valued where it is owned. Extra care is taken while driving such a treasured luxury vehicle.
BMW created the 3 series to offer you numerous possibilities of customizing your purchase. The 2018 3 series price is between $34,900 and $66,500.
1 Least: RANGE ROVER SPORTS
Our list would be incomplete without an entry from the British automaker Land Rover. One of their best creations, the Range Rover Sports is on our list. This midsized super-luxury SUV can tempt anyone, to either drive too fast or too carefully. When handling such a luxurious SUV it depends on if you are too eager to feel its raw power, or are rather careful with its breathtaking elegance. Despite the awesome performance that this vehicle delivers, majority of American owners choose to handle their machine rather graciously.
It is also notable that this high-end SUV is more of a family car, which makes it unsuitable for speeding. 10.9% of owners said they had been issued with a speeding ticket. This vehicle is a preserve of the very rich and famous around the world, not just in America. Could this be a reason why cops let it pass by? We really don’t know.
To get a 2018 model of the Range Rover Sports, you will need to part with between $466,750 and $113,600. It sits five passengers and is a four-wheel drive. Its powerful engines deliver a horsepower of 254 – 575. The current Range Rover Sports has not been redesigned since 2014. The 2018 version is only slightly updated.
source: motortrend1.com; caranddriver.com; consumerreports.org