The latter, which measures the maximum force sustained when a metal plate is pressed against a specified corner of the roof at a constant speed, is rated according to the vehicle's weight in a strength-to-weight ratio that indicates how well the roof might protect front occupants in a rollover. The current federal standard is just 1.5 times the vehicle weight, though a new federal standard will in upcoming model years, raise that minimum to about double that.
The insurance-funded IIHS noted that the 2011 Regal is the seventh General Motors vehicle to achieve Top Safety Pick status since the organization made the roof-crush test mandatory.
Although the Regal achieved top overall ratings, it hadn't achieved top scores in quite all of the IIHS's specific injury measures (based on force measurements). "Measures taken from the dummy indicate that rib fractures would be possible in a crash of this severity," the organization noted of the Driver Torso area. "The risk of significant injuries to other body regions is low."
The 2011 Buick Regal, which was originally to be the next-generation Saturn Aura, has received strong ratings from a wide range of sources—including here at The Car Connection, where you'll also find images, specs, and related news.