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February 2010
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Two Safe
The 2010 Honda Civic and Element named Top Safety Picks by IIHS.

Despite their drastically different appearances and segments, the 2010 Honda Civic and the 2010 Honda Element have quite a bit in common. Both blend surprising versatility with exceptional modern style. Both balance impressive performance with intelligent efficiency. And now, both have the honorable distinction of being named Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).


On both the 2010 Civic and Element, Honda’s commitment to safety is beyond reproach. The company’s legendary emphasis on collision avoidance and protection pays serious real-world dividends when it comes to the safety of Honda drivers and passengers, drivers and passengers of other vehicles and pedestrians.


Honda’s dedication to occupant protection begins in the very construction of their award-winning vehicles. For example, the body design of the 2010 Civic features Honda’s exclusive Advance Compatibility Engineering, an intricate and intelligent system of construction that connects and reinforces a network of structural elements within the frame itself, ensuring a more even distribution of frontal crash energy. The result is a frame better equipped to manage and dispense the intense energy of a collision, and thus better equipped to protect those inside it.


The unibody-constructed 2010 Element features similar intelligent engineering in its sides, where reinforced side-impact door beams have been seamlessly integrated into the vehicle. By providing additional structural support in the event of a collision on either side, Honda has turned a potential vulnerability into an area of strength.


After reinforcing the frame of each vehicle, Honda turned its attention toward driver control, integrating a number of advanced systems that ensure pinpoint precision, impressive capability and exceptional stopping power. The newest Civic harnesses a spirited 140-hp engine with the impressive agility and responsiveness of a MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension setup, as well as the superior wheel-slip prevention of Honda’s available Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®) system with traction control. Standard antilock brakes with brakeforce distribution and available brake assist features ensure confident stopping ability to go along with the Civic’s ample get-up-and-go.


The latest Element also sports Honda’s advanced Vehicle Stability Assist feature, and complements it with a MacPherson strut front and compact double wishbone rear suspension setup (with standard stabilizer bar). The ultra-responsive handling these systems provide is equaled by the impressive capability of the Element’s available Real-Time 4-Wheel Drive, which ensures confident grip and traction when you need it and smooth, comfortable driving when you don’t. The newest Element also comes standard with antilock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution and innovative brake assist features.


In the event of a collision, the new Civic comes ably equipped with some of the most advanced airbags available. In addition to front-side and side-curtain bags, the Civic features dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, which (if needed) inflate at a safe rate determined by the severity of the collision. Honda’s intuitive Occupant Position Detection System uses sensors to determine the size and position of a passenger, and inflates (or prevents inflation of) the side airbag in order to provide the best protection possible. The Element also features six standard airbags, but adds a special sensor that triggers the side-curtain bags in the event of a rollover.


Both the Civic and Element house small but safety-enhancing features like daytime running lights, three-point safety belts and special child seat tethers and anchors. The Civic adds standard active head restraints to help mitigate the jarring effect a sudden impact can have on the neck.


Though they sit atop two starkly different classes, both the 2010 Honda Element and 2010 Honda Civic are cut from the same cloth. With such an emphasis on safety, it’s little wonder why both were named Top Safety Picks by the crash-safety experts, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.


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