What a difference 120 pounds make.
That's the weight difference between a standard Toyota Prius hatchback and its newer, slightly heavier plug-in hybrid version, and that's the reason why the plug-in didn't match the standard's five-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), according to Green Car Reports.
The Prius Plug-In got a four-star rating because it fell slightly short in frontal-crash and rollover ratings, according to the website. The plug-in performed the same in side-impact testing. Toyota, responding to Green Car Reports' inquiry, said the extra 120 pounds on the plug-in changed how the car was damaged when propelled into barriers used by NHTSA. Still, Toyota said, the occupant-seating positions were the same as with the regular Prius. You can watch two Prius Plug-In crash test videos below.
About three percent of the more than 126,000 Prius vehicles Toyota has sold in the U.S. this year were plug-in versions.
Toyota Prius Plug-In gets four stars in NHTSA crash test [w/video]