Congratulations are in order for Buick after its new Verano earned top scores in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests. This now means that every new Buick model is on the Institute's Top Safety Pick list.
The Verano's safety credentials weren't really in question though, since the Chevy Cruze with which it shares a platform also made the Top Safety Pick list.
"When we started the vehicle development of Buick Verano, we had a comprehensive safety strategy that enabled us to achieve the highest safety rating and to be among the best safety performers in the segment," said Sigit Santosa, General Motors' Engineering Group Manager of Vehicle Safety Performance Integration.
Scroll down to read GM's official press releas on the Verano's ratings. There's a video of the new Buick compact being smashed up, as well.
Family Affair: All Buicks Are IIHS Top Safety Picks
New Verano overcomes peer pressure with insurance industry recognition
DETROIT – Being the smallest Buick, the Verano faced significant peer pressure to match its larger siblings in safety systems. But the luxury sedan was up to the task, and, as a result, every Buick is a 2012 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
"Buick is building state-of-the-art crash protection into every model from the ground up," said IIHS President Adrian Lund. "This means the best overall protection in the most common kinds of crashes, along with standard electronic stability control for helping drivers to stay out of many crashes to begin with."
The IIHS tests vehicles to determine occupant protection in front, side, and rollover crashes, and specifically tests seats and head restraints for neck protection in rear impact crashes. To earn a 2012 Top Safety Pick designation, a vehicle must be rated "good" in all four tests.
Verano engineers were challenged to make industry-leading safety features a key element for the new vehicle.
"When we started the vehicle development of Buick Verano, we had a comprehensive safety strategy that enabled us to achieve the highest safety rating and to be among the best safety performers in the segment," said General Motors Engineering Group Manager of Vehicle Safety Performance Integration Sigit Santosa. To achieve this goal, we implemented several advanced safety technologies in the Buick Verano."
The Verano has 10 standard air bags and the security of OnStar, a combination unmatched by any competitor. In the event of a rollover crash, sensors in the vehicle deploy standard head curtain air bags prior to impact and leave them inflated for an extended period.
Verano's advanced body structure is comprised of more than 60 percent high-strength steel that provides a protective safety cage around occupants. Other safety measures include standard four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, panic brake override, StabiliTrak electronic stability control, and a collapsible pedal system that reduces the risk of leg injury.
"Buick buyers want to make certain that any vehicle they buy has state-of-the-art safety features," said Jack R. Nerad, executive market analyst and editorial director for Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com. "With this in mind, Buick engineers have incorporated an unprecedented combination of safety systems to more than address that need." Kbb.com recently named the Verano among its "10 Best Sedans Under $25,000."
For the Regal uxury sport sedan, the approach is equally holistic with an advanced, high-strength body structure and also features collapsible pedals. According to Car and Driver magazine, the Regal's powerful Brembo front brakes mean "the GS stops from 70 mph in a scant 160 feet."
Both the LaCrosse luxury sedan and the Enclave luxury midsize crossover feature six air bags, with available rear side thorax bags bringing the total to eight for LaCrosse. Both models are offered with high-intensity discharge headlamps that articulate around corners to provide improved lighting on winding roads and LaCrosse also offers a heads-up display, which allows the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road.
Every 2012 Buick features four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, StabiliTrak, front safety belt pretensioners, and six months of standard OnStar's Advanced Crash Response System. Buick also offers optional active safety features including rear view cameras, ultra-sonic front and rear park assist, and a blind spot warning system on some models.
Buick's safety story continues later this year with the 2013 Enclave, which will include the industry's first front center air bag standard. It deploys from the inboard side of the driver's seat and positions itself between the driver and front passenger during a crash.
In early 2013, Buick's safety story moves to the luxury small crossover segment with Encore. The new vehicle offers smart safety features and a body structure consisting of 60 percent high-strength steel.
"Safety is a top priority in Buick's product renaissance, as evidenced by receiving these accolades from IIHS on every model," said Gay Kent, GM executive director of Vehicle Safety. "Our customers can have confidence in the safety performance of every Buick for sale today."