Safe for a Kid?

My wife and I need a car and we’re considering a Honda Element as well as a Honda Fit. We have a 6 mos old infant so safety is a major concern. Should we simply go with the Element due to its size relative to the Fit?


The size of the Element would be a slight advantage, but they both look pretty equal overall. You can find out more here

I’d go with the Element, not based on safety. You’re going to need space to bring all the stuff that goes with having a kid today. The Fit will fill up fast with stroller(s) et al.

I would be concened about both. The Fit is quite small. And in a side collison I would not want to be in an Elemnet as it has no door pillars for the rear doors.

The Element is clearly safer - it is larger. Here are some results for mini cars in the reference, then look at the results for the Element in small SUVs.

To be fair, the fit is more likely to help you drive away from a potential accident whereas the tipsy elephant keeps you relatively intact in an accident. Your $$ your call

Do you have experience driving trucks and SUVs? A lot of people who drive cars make the mistake of thinking they can drive an SUV the same way they drive a car. With an SUV’s higher center of gravity, this can lead to avoidable roll-over accidents.

If you and your wife have experience driving trucks or SUVs, go ahead and get the Element. If not, get something like the Fit, which has a much lower center of gravity and is more maneuverable in emergency situations.

I would much rather avoid an accident entirely than experience an accident that could have been avoided.

The Fit isn’t on that list. Using the results of other small cars gives you a false comparison, especially if they don’t have the same safety equipment as the Fit.

Parents Magazine and Announce The 15 Best Family Cars Of 2009

See the article at

Frankly I doubt if there is a significant difference in safety. While there is a measurable difference, I would believe, that the real life difference between the two is not significant. I guess if you equate size and weight to safety, then why settle for anything smaller than a full size Hummer?

All car’s today are far safer than they were 20 years ago. I believe the differences in modern cars are not significant.

Since You Are Concerned With Safety, Why Are You Considering Buying A Little Car?

I believe JT Sanders is correct in assessing the Element as safer than a Fit. However, I also agree with FoDaddy and wouldn’t want to be in either of theses little cars with my family when involved in a collision. I just wouldn’t subject my family to that.

I have been in several collisions over the years and none of them were my fault and none could have been avoided. Larger vehicles kept us safe. Larger vehicles are generally safer vehicles. Insurance companies know this. Make an appointment and discuss vehicles, accidents, injuries, and insurance rates with your insurance agent.

You are concerned with safety, you’re in charge, and you have an opportunity to buy a larger, safer vehicle. Do that and you won’t regret it as you could by buying a little car. How much is your family’s safety worth? I’ll bet it’s worth more than anything you could possibly save by buying a cheap little car or trying to get a few more miles per gallon.

Safe for a kid? Kids can’t choose what they ride in. That’s your job. Make safety your top priority. You will thank me later when you’re driving in poor weather conditions some day. Buy as much safety as you can.


I disagree. Bigger is clearly safer. If there is no data, the average or even the best of the group is still worse than the Element. Why would anyone believe that a smallest car from a manufacturer would be safer than any other car they build? There is more size and mass in the Element to absorb the impact compared to the Fit.

The Element isn’t really known for safety. I’d suggest the CRV for a family-friendly crossover.

True that. The Element is a 2 door crossover with half doors behind the normal ones. The CR-V has 4 doors which will make entry and exit for the kids a lot easier for all involved. And similar vehicles to the CR-V would be the Toyota Rav-4, Mazda CX-7(really fun to drive), Ford Escape/Mercury Mariner

If safety was simply a matter of surviving a collision, I might agree. However, I believe a safe vehicle can both avoid a collision and withstand a collision. Vehicle size only helps one of those important safety factors, and only to a small degree. Other factors, like crumple zones and air bags have a much greater influence. At the same time, when you raise the center of gravity and increase size, it hurts the vehicle’s ability to maneuver and avoid collisions.

Frankly, you and some others seem so obsessed with size that it makes me wonder if there isn’t some lack of feelings of personal empowerment influencing your judgment. That is a highly personal matter though, so I won’t ask.

Here are some relevant articles from

Most Important Safety Features for a Family Vehicle

2009 Honda Fit Safety

2009 Honda Element Safety