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SAFETY | 10 out of 10
Good," frontal offset impact; "good," side impact
Five stars, frontal impacts; five stars, side impacts; three stars, rollover risk
Active front seat head restraints have been designed to help reduce the severity of neck injuries in the event of a rear impact
The 2010 Honda Element does surprisingly well in safety for a vehicle that looks more than a little quirky. With excellent scores in the major crash tests and a wide range of standard safety equipment, it's nearly all good news.
The Element is one of few vehicles to sweep both the IIHS and NHTSA crash tests; it earns the IIHS's highest possible score, "good," in both the frontal offset and side impact tests. In NHTSA testing, the 2010 Honda Element wins perfect five-star ratings in all impact tests, including front and side impacts. In addition, the Element garners a Top Safety Pick Award from the IIHS in 2009, with the organization citing the Honda Element's "good performance in front, side, and rear tests and standard electronic stability control." The Element's relatively poor rollover rating from NHTSA, a mere three stars—due to its tall, narrow body—is its only downside.
Honda makes sure that the 2010 Honda Element is well equipped with safety features too. Edmunds predicts that the latest edition of the Honda Element "should also be safer than ever, thanks to new safety equipment including standard stability control and optional side curtain airbags." Autoblog notes that the Element "is equipped with dual-stage, dual-threshold supplemental restraint system (SRS) airbags for the driver and front passenger." Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com also invariably mention the rollover capabilities of the airbags, as Motor Trend points out that "both front- and rear-seat passengers get side-curtain airbags, which the vehicle can adjust for optimal protection in the event of a rollover."
For outward visibility, the 2010 Honda Element is also better than the typical utility vehicle—again, probably a positive that's the result of its boxy shape. ConsumerGuide notes that the "SUV-tall driving stance and short nose offer a panoramic feel, but the roof pillars slice into visibility aft and over the shoulders." On EX and SC trims, a rearview camera is offered.
The 2010 Honda Element is a high achiever in safety, with rollover potential the only subject of worry.