NHTSA crash testing of a 2014 Toyota Prius.

NHTSA crash testing of a 2014 Toyota Prius.

The 2014 model-year Toyota Prius has drawn a Four-Star Overall Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as part of the agency’s New Car Assessment Program.

Though the car previously held a Five-Star Overall Rating from NHTSA, the new, lower score reflects a change in scoring criteria rather than a dip in crash test performance. On Dec. 4, 2013, a 2014 Prius liftback scored four stars in the frontal barrier test, which contributed to the lower overall score. The car’s previous NHTSA crash testing occurred in February 2011.

The Prius maintains a Five-Star Rating in the side crash category but has a Four-Star rating in both the frontal crash and rollover categories. 

Prius vehicles built after November 2013 and equipped with optional front crash prevention systems, however, did receive the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick+ award.

Here's some footage of last month's NHTSA crash testing.