Is Your Car a Ticket Magnet? Top Ticketed Cars of 2016
No one likes getting a speeding ticket, but some vehicles grab too much unwanted attention for their drivers. Authorities seem to write a higher number of speeding tickets to drivers of certain vehicle models, according to a survey by Insurance.com. Analyzing data from more than 323,000 survey participants between 2014 and 2016, the comparison website found that some vehicles were more susceptible to being pulled over than others.
The Lexus ES 300 was the most ticketed for the 2014-to-2016 period, which is a change from the top-ticketed Subaru WRX in the previous survey. We’ll detail the top five cars whose drivers receive an unusually high amount of tickets and try to give an explanation for the phenomenon.
Top 5 Ticket Magnets of 2016
Is your car a big magnet for speeding tickets? Take a look at the following list of top five ticket magnets:
1. Lexus ES 300 – 33 percent of drivers ticketed
Lexus produced the ES 300 between 1992 and 2003 and changed the name of the car to ES 330 from 2004 to 2006 with an engine upgrade. There’s nothing remarkable about the personality and style of this midsize sedan, which was designed similar to the Toyota Camry at the time. Most people were attracted to the ES 300 for its higher-quality interior, extra amenities and unique styling cues compared to the Camry. The final generation of the car was equipped with a 3.0-liter, V6 engine that produced 210 horsepower, a five-speed automatic transmission and optional adaptive shock absorbers.
2. Nissan 350Z – 33 percent of drivers ticketed
Nissan introduced the 350Z sports car in a coupe model in 2003 and produced it until 2008. A roadster version was produced from 2004 to 2009. The company replaced these models with a 370Z coupe in 2009 and a roadster in 2010. Similar in body style to a Porsche, the 350Z is a relatively compact car that exudes the same fun and performance as the previous 300ZX, which was discontinued in 2000. The early models had a V6 engine with 287 horsepower and either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. The horsepower was increased to 300 in 2006 and to 306 in 2007.
3. Dodge Charger SE/SXT – 32 percent of drivers ticketed
Dodge has been producing the Charger on and off since 1966, and the two most-recent generations have been in production since 2006. As large, four-door sedans, these generations are a great modern interpretation based on the Chrysler 300 platform. The biggest differences are a more aggressive front-end style and a sloped rear roof line.
In 2006, the SE trim had a five-speed automatic transmission and 3.5-liter, V6 engine with 250 horsepower. The following year, the 3.5-liter engine became optional and a 2.7-liter, V6 with 190 horsepower became standard. Between 2008 and 2010, Dodge produced an SXT trim with a standard 3.5-liter engine. A big overhaul came in 2011, and Dodge gave the SE and SXT a 3.5-liter, V6 with 292 horsepower. A five-speed automatic transmission was standard in the SE, and an eight-speed automatic was standard for the SXT and optional for the SE.
4. Volkswagen Jetta GLI – 31 percent of drivers ticketed
Volkswagen started making the Jetta GLI trim in 1980 and the production continues. This is a small, comfortable sedan, although some production years also had a wagon body available. Its upscale design has attracted customers for most of its history, as have strong engine options. The 2016 Jetta GLI comes with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 210 horsepower and a standard six-speed manual transmission. The car can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in about six-and-a-half seconds.
5. Chevrolet Monte Carlo LS/LT – 31 percent of drivers ticketed
From 1995 to 2007, Chevrolet produced the Monte Carlo in LS and LT trims, bringing back the muscle car that was popular for its high-performance V8 engines from 1970 to 1988. In between these two generations, the company made the Lumina as its replacement, and the newer generation was based on that model. In 2000, the Monte Carlo was updated with a distinctive style and underpinnings from the Chevrolet Impala. Further changes in 2006 used a sportier chassis and improved driving dynamics, returning the car to its roots. The 2006 and 2007 LS and LT models have a 3.5-liter, V6 engine with 211 horsepower. A 3.9-liter, V5 engine with 242 horsepower was optional for the 2006 LT.
Top 5 Cars that Fly Under the Radar of 2016
On the other side of the ticketing scale, there are some cars that don’t grab the attention of authorities quite so much. Surprisingly, these models are more expensive, and you would think that authorities would target them more because of their flashier appearance and higher price. Take a look at the five least-targeted cars below:
1. Buick Encore – 3 percent of drivers ticketed
Buick is making the Encore since 2013. The affordable compact crossover SUV is an infusion of the brand’s essence, giving you a comfortable, quiet ride. Smaller than other crossovers, all trims of the Encore have a 1.4-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 138 horsepower, which makes for lackluster acceleration compared to similar vehicles. With a six-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.
2. Lexus IS 350 – 3 percent of drivers ticketed
Lexus has continued producing the IS 350 since 2006, giving customers a luxury, entry-level sedan. The earlier generation was considered small and crampy, but a redesign in 2014 made the car larger and more spacious for passengers and cargo. The defining element of the IS 350 is its 3.5-liter, V6 engine with 306 horsepower and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The drivetrain comes standard with rear-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is optional with a six-speed automatic transmission.
3. Acura ILX – 6 percent of drivers ticketed
As the smallest luxury, entry-level car in the Acura lineup, the ILX has been produced since 2013. Although it’s based on the Honda Civic, the car has a sleeker style and upgraded interior. The gas-only base model comes with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine with 150 horsepower, a five-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. The 2.4 model comes with a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder with 201 horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission. The ILX Hybrid has a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine and electric motor to produce 111 horsepower and a continuously variable transmission.
4. Cadillac ATS – 6 percent of drivers ticketed
Cadillac started making the ATS in 2013. With an updated style and engaging driving, the compact sport sedan is smaller and cheaper than the CTS and competes with the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 sport sedans. The car is agile, desirable and sharp in appearance, and it’s available in four trims that all come with rear-wheel drive and optional all-wheel drive. The three engine options include
- a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine with 202 horsepower,
- a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder with 272 horsepower, and
- a 3.6-liter, V6 engine with 321 horsepower.
5. Chevrolet Express – 8 percent of drivers ticketed
Chevrolet has been producing the Express since a 1996 overhaul of its Sportvan. The styling changes included high-mounted taillights, an up-to-date cabin and new power plants. Since then, the company hasn’t made any big changes to the passenger and cargo van. It comes in three versions, each with its own engine and drivetrain:
- The 1500 series has a 5.3-liter, V8 engine with 310 horsepower, rear-wheel drive and a four-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional.
- The 2500 series comes with a 4.8-liter, V8 engine with 280 horsepower, rear-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission. A 6.0-liter, V8 engine with 323 horsepower is optional.
- The 3500 series has the 6.0-liter, V8 engine as standard, rear-wheel drive and six-speed automatic transmission. A 6.6-liter, turbodiesel V8 engine with 260 horsepower is optional.
Do Drivers of Certain Cars Really Receive More Speeding Tickets?
Although your car is on the list of the most-ticketed vehicles, you won’t automatically get a ticket while you’re driving. The same goes for flying under the radar; if you drive too recklessly, you will get a ticket, even though you are in your Buick Encore. According to Insurance.com Conumer Analyst Penny Gusner, “It’s the driver that gets tickets, not the car.” It’s interesting to see, however, which cars attract drivers who are more likely to hit the gas pedal a bit too much.
Some vehicles seem to be more susceptible to being pulled over, but the most-ticketed are actually the ones you see on the road more often. The least-ticketed vehicles are luxury models, so fewer of them are on the road, but don’t let your guard down if you drive a luxury car. Remember that you’re more likely to get a speeding ticket if you drive too fast, and it doesn’t matter what type of car you own.