Getting a speeding ticket is a rite of passage for many young Americans. It can be rooted in the excitement of finally driving your first car and wanting to experiment with the juice. Speeding is the fault of humans, but there some cars that don't help keep people within the limits. Such cars are always secretly whispering to you to step on the accelerator. These cars are often good-looking, attracting further attention, and their drivers have become accustomed to being pulled over by the cops.
There are also people who are generally bad drivers and will attract the attention of the cops no matter what model of vehicle they are driving. (But please, if you're pulled over for over-speeding, let it not be in a piece of junk.) Yet, some models in the list have a notorious record with the law, and car owners are likely to be pulled over even when they're not going beyond the speed limit. Insurance.com conducted a research that involved 323,000 car models to examine which ones were more likely to be ticketed, given their previous brushes with the law. What was fascinating about the study was the fact a lot of 'normal' cars made it to the top of the list even if one would expect supercars to be leading because they're designed for speed; that's why people buy them. Here are 25 of the most frequently ticketed cars in the United States.
22 Subaru Impreza 2.5L
The list wouldn't have been complete if there was no Subaru vehicle. The Impreza is one of Subaru's most successful cars to date ever since it was launched in 1992. Their owners can be a nuisance on the road with the loud exhausts.
Speeding tickets are common with the Impreza, and more than 35% of the owners have been issued tickets in the last 5 years.
The second and the third generations form a chunk of the Subaru Imprezas on the road today. They have a more refined 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. The WRX models are geared for performance. A 2007 model that's in good condition can go for $5,000. The Subaru Impreza is good for the tracks, but don't try to push the legal limits when on the streets.
21 Toyota Supra
The Supra name sounds like a 'naughty' car that's not afraid to get ticketed. The Celica is a more popular name of the model, and the car was in production between 1978 and 2002. It's made a comeback with a 2019 model in the works. The Toyota Supra has the design of a supercar with a rare spoiler for aerodynamic purposes. Before it was discontinued, the Supra featured in movies, video games like GranTurismo, and music videos.
About 30% of owners have been ticketed, and it might have something to do with the hype.
The Car has even appeared in the Fast and Furious movie series. There are not a lot of them on the road at the moment, which makes them soft targets.
20 Volkswagen GTI
The Volkswagen GTI is one of my all-time favorite vehicles, and it has everything to do with the sheer speed and raw power. There's no way it was going to miss on this list because a lot of GTI owners are always pushing the limits when it comes to testing and performance and, in most cases, find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
The GTI is Volkswagen's best selling model and was estimated to have sold 29 million units by 2012.
This no small feat even if Volkswagen has the biggest factory in the world. The GTI exterior alone screams trouble, with the accolades it's received over the years. The ticketing frequency is expected to be high for a family car with 292 horsepower.
19 Mazda 3
The Mazda 3 is a high-performance sedan that's been on the assembly line since 2003. Every year, there's a new model with an improved performance and design. The 2009 model seems to be the one with the issue with the cops. The interior was class leading for a car that was manufactured in 2009, and that must've been a contributing factor for the high number of tickets.
2012 saw the introduction of the SkyActiv technology, which provided a new direct-injection engine with a rigid body and a 6-speed transmission. It broke the record for the fastest-selling car in 2014, managing a total of 14 million units. It's easy to see why it's one of the most frequently ticketed cars since they're in such high numbers on the road.
18 Dodge Charger SE/SXT
The Dodge Charger is at the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to performance and price. It's common with NFL athletes who want to tackle other motorists on the road. It's no surprise that the Dodge Charger is on the list. The car is designed with street-racing technology, and you can't really blame the owners when you have such power in a vehicle.
The muscle car is making a return with the 2018 model, which has a base price of $32,495.
This is a fair price to pay if you want a muscle car that has a 6.2L Hellcat V8 engine and is able to produce up to 707 hp. More than 45 years of muscle heritage has gone into building the vehicle.
17 Nissan 350Z
The Nissan 350Z was produced as a roadster and as a coupe version from 2002 to 2009. It's popularly known as the Nissan Fairlady, but there's nothing lady-like with the car when it comes to amassing tickets. The car was designed by Diane Allen who happens to be one of the few women in this line of trade.
The car has the design elements of a luxury supercar, and any cop would be tempted to pull it over. The convertible roadster is a piece of work and has an electric retractable roof. There have been special editions over the years. The Nissan 350Z is one of the safest cars on the road, but the same cannot be said when it comes to the vehicle's penchant for collecting tickets and being cited for minor traffic offenses.
16 Toyota FJ Cruiser
Starting us off is the Toyota FJ Cruiser, which has been on the assembly line since 2006. The car has finally been discontinued in 2018 after 12 years. At least we know there'll not be a lot more tickets for the Toyota FJ Cruiser. Around 28% of owners have been ticketed for speeding. The car is a midsize SUV that looks something you'd take to the desert to race.
It's more tailored for off-road driving, but owners can't resist the temptation of stepping on the gas.
The Toyota FJ Cruiser also has a conspicuous exterior, which is hard to go unnoticed by the cops. It's a reliable vehicle and will last a long time. You just have to deal with the ticketing prejudice.
15 Infiniti QX80
More than 30% of Infiniti QX80 drivers have received citations in the last 3 years. You can't really blame them when you see the interior of the luxury SUV. It looks like a futuristic spaceship, and its performance under the hood doesn't help either. The Infinity QX80 is a niche vehicle and sold 14,000 units for the 2017 model.
Car and Driver described it as a 'luxury yacht.' Under the skin, you get a 5.6-liter V8 engine, and it comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission for flawless cruising.
The brisk acceleration capability is one of the reasons why the Infinit QX80 is frequently ticketed. It has a top speed of 133 mph, and it can go from 0 to 60 in 6.2 seconds, which isn't bad for an SUV its size.
14 Toyota Prius
The Prius is one of the most popular hybrid cars of the 21st century. It's known for its legendary fuel economy. One thing that people don't know about the Toyota Prius is that it's a frequently ticketed car. About 21% of Toyota Prius owners have been ticketed, which is a big number for such a vehicle. The violations haven't only been limited to overspeeding. The Prius might be good for the environment but not for your pocket when it comes to ticket fines.
It's definitely a hybrid worth considering if you want a reliable car that's good with gas. The newer models have improved in terms of technology and interior comfort, which could result to even more ticketing.
13 Pontiac G8
This is another Pontiac on the list, and the car seems to attract unwanted attention from the cops. The hood scoops shout nothing but performance, and traffic cops can't help themselves when they see it on the streets.
The G8 had a short lifespan and was discontinued in 2009 because of discouraging sales figures.
There aren't a lot of them on the streets, and the few that are remaining can't go unnoticed. A second-hand Pontiac G8 might not be expensive, but you'll have to contend with the fact that they're attractive to ticketing. Make sure you're driving under the speed limit so that you don't give the cops a reason to stop you for whatever reason.
12 Chevrolet Tahoe K1500
The Chevrolet Tahoe is one of the most reliable trucks ever built and can last for a decade or two if it's well taken care of. With the Chevrolet Tahoe K1500, you're buying not only a reliable truck but also one of the most frequently ticketed cars. The car can seat up to 9 people and is popular with the police and the military. The police are well aware of its comfort, and it can sometimes be too relaxing on the road to the point that you find yourself overspeeding, even when you had no intentions to do so. The 6-speed automatic, together with the 355 hp, makes for a beast on the road. It has a top speed of 111 mph, and the fuel economy is great.
11 Ford Fusion S
The Ford Fusion S is a great family sedan but still makes it on the list of the most frequently ticketed cars. One of the reasons could be the fact that it's an inexpensive car that packs a punch when it comes to performance on the road. The base price starts at $22,995. It has a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with a total output of 175 horsepower.
There's also the all-wheel drive, which is an optional feature. The 6-speed automatic transmission is all about muscle and athletic handling. The Ford Fusion S is a hybrid vehicle that's good with fuel economy. In fact, some users have reported lower mileage on gas than what the company claims.
10 Lincoln LS
This is another midsize sedan that's popular with traffic police. The car looks sporty and has a polarizing exterior, which is definitely bound to catch the eye of the police. The car is no longer being produced, but the ones that are still on the road are often stopped for traffic offenses. You can't really blame the car, as it has a 3.9-liter V8 Jaguar engine, which isn't common in small cars.
There have been around 262,900 Lincoln LSs produced, and a lot of them are still running today.
It's a good second-hand vehicle to buy, and there are some you can get for as low as $4,000. Just make sure you're not breaking any traffic rules with this vehicle.
9 Chevrolet Malibu 2LT
Chevy vehicles are the bad boys on the road, and ticketing for traffic violations is a common occurrence for some models. The Chevrolet Malibu 2LT has a starting price of $28,000 for a new 2016 model. The fuel economy is phenomenal, as you can get 22 mpg in the city and 33 on the highway.
It's quite unclear why the Malibu 2LTT is one of the most frequently ticketed cars when it looks like an 'innocent' family sedan.
The thing with cars is the exterior doesn't tell you the whole story. Things start unfolding once you get under the hood. The Chevrolet Malibu has a 2.0-liter engine, which is capable of producing 250 hp. It comes with 6-speed automatic four-wheel drive with a wheelbase of 111.4 in.
8 Mercedes-Benz C300
This is the first car from a luxury brand to be featured on the list. Although it's not an excuse, it's easy to understand why a Mercedes-Benz is likely to be ticketed compared to other vehicles on the list. The Mercedes-Benz C300 is no exception. It was first launched in 2013 as an entry-level vehicle. The new 2018 model starts at $40,000 and is ranked by USnews to be 9th in the small luxury vehicles line.
The interior is elegantly refined with fine-grade materials. New owners are more likely to be fined for overspeeding as a result of the comfortable interior and the new engine transmission. There are a couple of power options available, the most notable one being the 503 hp handbuilt V8 engine.
7 Lexus LS 400 Series
The Lexus LS 400 made its debut in 1989 and is in production up to today. A lot of the LS 400 series vehicles have made their way to the US, and people like the car because of the reliability it provides. The car is designed to take over the luxury market by offering something that's affordable. Luxury carmakers had to slash prices because it was getting hard to compete with the Lexus LS 400 Series. Car and Driver magazine voted the LS 400 into the list of '24 Most Important Vehicles of the 20th Century.' The car is still important in the 21st century but is also prone to attracting ticket fines for reasons that aren't easy to understand or explain.
6 Subaru Impreza WRX
The Subaru Impreza WRX deserves a special mention on its own because of the number of tickets it's collectively accumulated in the last 5 to 10 years. The WRX is the high-performance variant of the Subaru Impreza. It's seen as the natural rival to the Mitsubishi Lancer, which was a hot cake in the '90s.
"WRX" is an abbreviation for "World Rally Experimental," which is already a red flag for the cops.
The car has been used in so many movies as a getaway carrier, and it's not hard to see why it's one of the most frequently ticketed vehicles. The WRX badge will always attract attention to the owner, and it doesn't get easier if you have loud exhausts, as your neighbors can even call the cops on you.
5 Mazda Tribute
The Tribute as a brand isn't well known but has managed to make it on the list of the most frequently ticketed cars. The car was in production from 2000 to 2011 and was produced as a compact SUV. The Tribute borrows heavily from the Ford Escape, which could be a reason why it's frequently ticketed. The Hybrid feature of the Mazda Tribute has been one of its unique selling points over the years. It's a reliable vehicle, which is economical on gas and which will save a fortune when it comes to maintenance.
The tribute is astonishingly quick for a compact SUV. Owners sometimes forget this fact and are quick to step on the pedal, thus attracting the high number of tickets.
4 Toyota Tacoma
The Toyota Tacoma is another vehicle that's also on the list of the most reliable trucks of all time. It has an imposing exterior, and one can be tempted to push it to the limit to experience how it feels like at top speed. The Tacoma has been used by the US military for a couple of years and was popular in Afghanistan when used by the special operations division. That could be a basis for a conspiracy theory behind the frequent ticketing of this vehicle.
The Tacoma can be used for both play and work, although the latter is more appropriate. It has a huge cab space, a long bed, and an impressive payload. The Tacoma can still go fast when it's towing a load. This might be one of the reasons it's notorious for being pulled over in the United States.
3 Acura CL
There have been 4 generations of the Acura CL since 1997, and it's not easy to determine which one has had the most number of tickets. There was a lot of fanfare when it first launched, but what's not clear is how it managed to be among the most frequently ticketed cars.
Most of the cars in the market are old models that you can get for as low as $2,500. The cars are cheap to maintain and are good on gas. They're 'high-tech' cars, which could be the reason why owners like speeding. It's definitely a great car if you're on a budget and want the adrenaline rush of getting a ticket.
2 Dodge Stratus SXT
This is a 4-door sedan was in production from 1995 to 2006 and was based on the Chrysler JA platform. The critical acclaim at launch did propel the status of the car, but sales started plummeting over time. There weren't many models of the vehicle, which is why it's mind-boggling to see how they raked in the tickets. The culprits have to be from the second generation, which had some amazing numbers under the hood.
The Stratus coupe, in particular, was a car of interest. It had an aerodynamic design with rear spoilers.
Under the hood, there's a 3.0-liter V6 engine, and it came with the option of a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic. There were a lot of safety concerns for the first generation.
1 Lexus ES 300
The Lexus brand might've been designed for luxury, but they're a menace when it comes to attracting speeding tickets. The Lexus ES 300 was sold as a 'cheaper' luxury sedan, which appealed to a large number of car consumers.
The car is not only luxurious but also has a high performance under the hood. It has a 3.0-liter V6 engine, which is capable of 300 horsepower. The 2018 model has even better numbers but might not be for everyone price-wise, at it starts at $41,000. Lexus has evolved over the years and can now compete with the likes of Mercedes in terms of luxury and performance. The Lexus ES 300 is a good vehicle to buy if you're looking for a luxury sedan.
Source: Insurance.com; topspeed.com; wikipedia.org