Does what we drive affect how we drive? That’s the question posed by Quality Planning , an analytics company that works with auto insurers. Quality Planning ranked the vehicles most likely to be ticketed, based on the number of moving violations issued for each 100,000 miles driven. The resulting top ten of the list contains a few predictable entries, but it’s not entirely comprised of flashy red sports cars.
But before we begin the list of the worst behaved vehicles, a rundown of the good guys. The top five “cautious vehicles,” that is, the ones with the lowest percentage of violations, are:
5. Buick Lacrosse sedan
4. Kia Spectra sedan
3. Chevrolet C/K 3500/2500
2. Mazda Tribute SUV
1. Buick Ranier SUV
Eight of the top ten cautious vehicles were SUVs or minivans, indicating drivers with passengers (probably of the younger, biological offspring sort) drive more carefully. Click ahead to see the countdown of the worst offenders—or as they are termed in the study, “spirited vehicles,” with commentary from Marty Padgett of TheCarConnection.com and MotorAuthority.com and additional information and insight provided by Quality Planning.
Average Age: 40
% Male: 44%
The Volkswagen GTI hatchback is the perennial favorite with younger drivers looking for a sporty, fun German car. “The VW GTI wants you to drive fast,” reasons Padgett. “Why else would they turbocharge it, and give it the most entertaining handling of any Volkswagen, period? Enthusiastic handling attracts enthusiastic owners—and since it’s been in production since the 1980s, there are thousands of GTIs out there accumulating points faster than, say, the entire NHL.”
*Violations/100,000 miles driven, expressed as percentage of average.
Average Age: 47
% Male: 44%
No surprise here, say the researchers at Quality Planning — This is Mercedes’ most powerful convertible makes it very tempting to drive in a spirited fashion. “Mercedes CLK63 AMG – A last-generation Mercedes coupe that’s been replaced by the latest E-Class Coupe, the CLK paired sexy styling with huge AMG power, says Padgett. “As with the CLS and SL, these Benz buyers can probably afford a ticket here and there, and aren’t worried about a moving violation or parking infraction when there’s a sale going on at Restoration Hardware.”
Average Age: 40
% Male: 41%
Pontiac’s sporty and inexpensive model attracts price-conscious, aggressive drivers, according to Quality Planning. “The Pontiac Grand Prix doesn’t have the same street cred as some of the other cars on this list,” says Padgett, “but it has an attitude in its looks that probably has parallels in the people who buy them second and third-hand. Supercharged versions were available, too, so it’s not out of the question to rocket up to 120 or 125 mph in one, if it’s still in good shape after all these years.”
7. Acura Integra Coupe
Average Age: 33
% Male: 60%
This sporty import is popular with younger men, who insurers know to be more risky drivers. Padgett points out that the Acura Integra hasn’t even been sold brand-new in America since the mid-1990s.“The fact that the cars still exist, and are still getting so many citations, is a testament to its durability and its spirited performance—and more proof to Honda that it needs to go back to building more cars like this one.”
Average Age: 46
% Male: 58%
Another big and powerful Benz makes the ticketed list. “The Mercedes-Benz CLS just looks gorgeous at speed, so we should applaud those drivers putting it to its highest, best use,” says Padgett. “The CLS 63 AMG is the strongest performer in the CLS lineup–it’s the equivalent to BMW’s M5 or the Cadillac CTS-V—so it’s no surprise its owners exercise every one of its 507 horsepower whenever they can.”
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