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Is Driving a Certain Car Your Ticket to Traffic Court?

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Look, just because you drive a Subaru WRX doesn’t mean you’re more likely to be the type of person who exceeds the speed limit or breaks other traffic laws. OK, it actually does mean that, but we’re not the ones saying it, is. The auto-insurance rate-comparison website analyzed online quote info from more than half a million drivers and more than 500 car models between January 2013 and July 2014, and identified the cars most likely to be used in the commission of a traffic offense. Coincidentally, a fifth of the list is composed of competitors in’s $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge in which the WRX scored the fastest times.

Related: The $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge

According to the study, one in three drivers of the turbocharged, all-wheel-drive Subaru WRX compact performance sedan has had a traffic violation for an offense such as speeding, failure to yield or drunken driving in the past three years, making it the No. 1 most-ticketed car.

Continuing with the fast-but-frugal theme, the most-cited brand overall was Scion, nearly 28 percent of which were involved in a recent violation; that’s compared with less than 20 percent for all car models considered. In fact, nearly half of the top 20 comprises relatively inexpensive performance coupes or sedans, including Cheap Speed challengers the WRX, Scion FR-S (No. 3), Hyundai Veloster (No. 11) and Volkswagen GTI (No. 12).

“Cars don’t get tickets, drivers do — but those drivers like the WRX,” Managing Editor Des Toups said in a statement. “The top 20 list contains other sporty cars, such as the Scion FR-S and Mitsubishi 3000 GT, but also includes the hybrid Toyota Prius c, three sport-utility vehicles and the long-defunct Mercury Topaz.”

Still, notes, horsepower isn’t the sole driving force behind the trends. Vastly higher-performing supercars like the Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Viper and Nissan GT-R rank well below average, likely due to their higher price tags and typically older drivers less-inclined toward risk-taking.

Do you drive one of the most-ticketed cars? The full top 20, followed by the percentage implicated in a recent traffic violation, is below:

  1. Subaru WRX sports sedan, 34 percent
  2. Pontiac GTO sports coupe, 33 percent
  3. Scion FR-S sports coupe, 33 percent
  4. Toyota Supra sports coupe, 31 percent
  5. Subaru Tribeca crossover, 30 percent
  6. Volkswagen Rabbit hatchback, 30 percent
  7. Mercury Topaz compact car, 29 percent
  8. Scion tC sports coupe, 29 percent
  9. Toyota FJ Cruiser SUV, 28 percent
  10. Mazda2 subcompact hatchback, 28 percent
  11. Hyundai Veloster performance hatchback, 28 percent
  12. Volkswagen GTI performance hatchback, 28 percent
  13. Suzuki Reno hatchback, 28 percent
  14. Scion xA hatchback, 28 percent
  15. Pontiac G8 sports sedan, 28 percent
  16. Mini Cooper S Countryman crossover, 28 percent
  17. Mitsubishi 3000 GT sports coupe, 27 percent
  18. Saturn Aura sedan, 27 percent
  19. Infiniti QX56/QX80 SUV, 27 percent
  20. Toyota Prius c hybrid hatchback, 27 percent photo by Evan Sears

Photo of Matt Schmitz
Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt Schmitz

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