Sound absorption materials can be key elements for mass-efficient vehicle noise control. They are utilized at multiple locations in the interior and one of the most important areas is the roof. At this location, the acoustic treatment typically comprises a headliner and an air gap up to the body sheet metal. The acoustic performance requirement for such a vehicle subsystem is normally a sound absorption curve. Based on headliner geometry and construction, the sound absorption curve shape can be adjusted to increase absorption in certain frequency ranges. In this paper an overall acoustic metric is developed to relate design parameters to an absorption curve shape which results in improved in-vehicle performance. This metric is based on sound absorption coefficient and articulation index. Johnson-Champoux-Allard equivalent fluid model and diffuse field equations are used. The results are validated using impedance tube measurements. It is shown the specific airflow resistance of the headliner is a primary governing factor to improve in-vehicle acoustic performance. The relationship between airflow resistance, air gap and headliner thickness is also explored.