Honda Accord Versus Ford Fusion: Which Is Safer?

October 31, 2010

I’m trying to decide if I should buy a Honda Accord or a Ford Fusion. My friends tell me Honda has a better name, but I prefer the Ford styling. Can you help?

Both the Honda Accord and Ford Fusion are great cars. They compete with the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, and Hyundai Sonata in the moderately priced, mid-to-large family-size class of 4-door sedans. We learned yesterday that the Ford Fusion was Motor Trend’s 2010 Car of the Year and the Honda Accord has been named Car and Driver’s “10 Best” an astounding 24 times. You can’t go wrong with either vehicle.

For the purpose of our comparison we’re looking at the Honda Accord EX-L and the Ford Fusion I4 SEL. These are not base models. Each comes with some luxury features that we’ll speak about later in this series. For now, we want to look at safety issues.

Crash Test Ratings

We are not yet able to compare the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) tougher new crash test ratings for each vehicle. This year, the NHSTA made changes to the way it conducts its tests and there simply hasn’t been time to test all models from all manufacturers under the new system.

Why is this significant? When the Toyota Camry was tested under the new, stricter guidelines where models in the same class are compared against each other, its 5-star crash test rating dropped to three out of five stars. This, despite the fact that Toyota asserts that the 2011 Camry is essential the same car as last year when it garnered a near-perfect score.

The Accord was tested under the new, stricter guidelines and passed with flying colors. It retained its perfect 5-star rating, best in the class. However, the Ford Fusion has not yet been run through the new system. But we know that last year the Fusion was rated very high, but not perfect. It scored 5-stars on all crash tests, with the exception of receiving four out of five stars on the rollover test and the side impact of the rear occupant test.

Safety Features

The Accord and Fusion are almost equal when it comes to safety features. They each have a long list of high tech advances that keep you and your family safe. This list includes electronic stability control, side curtain air bags, 4-wheel disc brakes, and hands-free Blue Tooth, to name a few.

However, the Ford Fusion is missing a significant advancement in auto safety that the Honda Accord makes standard. Dynamic head restraints—the ones that move higher and closer to the occupant’s head to reduce whiplash injuries in the event of rear-end collision—are available on the Accord, but not available on the Fusion.

Tomorrow we look at which of these two family sedans has the advantage when it comes to price.

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