• Prius adds upscale trim for 2013.
  • Trim dubbed Persona Series Special Edition.
  • Features include upscale interior and exterior trim.

The Toyota Prius is adding an all-new, design-oriented trim level for the 2013 model year. The automaker recently announced its popular hybrid would gain a new trim that's dubbed the Persona Series Special Edition, which adds several luxurious touches to the hatchback's interior and exterior.

While Toyota has not yet released any images of the Prius Persona Series, exterior differences between the new model and the traditional Prius are, reportedly, subtle. One major change separating the models is a new color that's unique to the Prius Persona Series: a metallic black dubbed Black Cherry Pearl. The upscale special edition also will be offered in Blizzard White and a standard, nonmetallic black, though the automaker says no other colors will be available. Other upgrades include a unique finish to the hatchback's 17-inch alloy wheels and dark chrome pieces throughout the exterior.

The Prius Persona Series also includes several unique upscale touches inside the cabin. According to Toyota, the special-edition hatchback uses leather-like upholstery dubbed SofTex finished in a charcoal hue with black accents and red stitching. The Persona Series also includes a standard SofTex-wrapped steering wheel in place of the traditional wheel, which is normally finished in plastic. A chrome shift knob ring and chrome door grips round out the interior changes to the Prius Persona Series.

According to Toyota, the Prius Persona Series arrives in dealers shortly with a starting price of $27,890 including destination. This prices the special edition model between the mid-level Prius Three and the upscale Prius Four in Toyota's lineup, and likely means the new trim offers a similar level of equipment. As a result, we expect the Persona Series to include a navigation system, satellite radio and Toyota's Entune infotainment system, each of which is standard on the Prius Three.

In addition to announcing the new Prius Persona Series, Toyota also released pricing for the entire 2013 Prius lineup. According to the automaker, the new model year brings a $200 price increase to the Prius, leaving the base-level, fleet-only Prius One at $23,975 including destination. The entry-level customer model, dubbed the Prius Two, rises to $24,960, while the Prius Three, Four and Five start at $26,525, $29,195 and $30,765, respectively.

Toyota also announced pricing for the larger Prius v, which increases to a base figure of $27,410 for 2013--a boost of just $100 over last year. Updates to the Prius v include a newly available Seaglass Pearl exterior color and an available SofTex-trimmed steering wheel for the upscale Prius v.

What it means to you
: Shoppers interested in an upscale Toyota Prius will appreciate the design-oriented Persona Series Special Edition model.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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