I didnt see this earlier... I would have just made the bend with the tubing. The thick tubing that it looks like you have is made to make some severe bends without kinking. I would think using the hose bend would be better than a elbow fitting. With an elbow you adjust flow 90 degrees in a very sharp way, in the space of an inch or two. It looks like the space you have there you could make a 3" (about, Im guessing) bend in the tubing that at least makes it more gradual. However, if you cant bend the tubing to fit your needs then an elbow would be the next option.
Bottom line, if it was me I would have bent the tubing before using an elbow, but you're there and can try it out, so use your best judgment.
edit: is the fitting coming down right on top of the radiator? I couldnt tell if it was offset, or set right on top so there isnt much room. If it is right on top of the radiator, then it looks like 3" was an overestimate, and you would need to use an elbow.