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I watched Dateline NBC last night and they were doing a piece on how expensive it is to fix small fender bender problems ( bumper test - cost analysis ).

The had some very high end vehicle in this test ( Cadillac, volvo, infiniti, Acura, and others ) that all were deemed pretty much unexceptable in the eyes of the testers. There cost to fix small problems were too much and the damage was too great for these small 5 mph crashes. All except for the Honda Element. The element got a rating of acceptable,, the second highest rating on the testers list. Not any of the other cars they showed on the program came this close or did as well as the element..
Way to go Honda.
 

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I have done a personal test of the front and rear bumpers of a fairly expensive car, the 1998 Volvo XC70 at low speed (less than 5 mph) and learned quite a bit...Even with a safe, expensive, model it is easy to suffer major damage. My car (the one in the rear) had no damage at all and the twin car (the one I hit) had major frame damage and crumple zone colapse. The Element has better test ratings than many of expensive cars and should do as well or better. I had to make a decision between the XC90 and the Element. Element won.
 
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