Skip to main content

Toyota Prius Persona Series Special Edition: Is it really that special?

2013 Toyota Prius rear three-quarter viewToyota has been trying to expand the Prius “family” by adding new models like the Prius C and Prius V, as well as the MPGe master Prius plug-in. Each new Prius permutation was meant to make Toyota’s signature product do something different. The latest version, the Prius Persona Series Special Edition, is not a completely new car, but it’s trying to accomplish the same mission as the other Priuses (Prii? Priot?) by being a bit classier.

The key word here is a bit. Like most automotive special editions, the changes that make the Persona are not substantial. On the outside, Toyota added new 17-inch wheels and three unique paint colors: Black Cherry Pearl, Blizzard Pearl, and plain old Black. None of this makes the Prius Persona more efficient or luxurious.

The interior gets SofTex leather seats with red stitching and a SofTex-wrapped steering wheel. The shifter and door panels are trimmed in chrome. That should make this Prius’ interior a little more interesting but, again, the changes aren’t significant enough to make the Persona Special Edition that special.

Nothing in life is free, so the Persona costs $27,890, a noticeable hike from the base Prius Two’s $24,960 base price. However, it’s possible to spend more on a Prius. A fully loaded Prius Five starts at $30,765, and the Prius plug-in starts at $32,760 and a loaded Advanced model costs $40,285.

You know a car has truly arrived when its maker rolls out a special edition. The Prius Persona may just be new paint and leather seats, but Toyota knows that, because it’s a Prius, people will still buy it and at least feel like they got a little something extra. That’s because those buyers will be thinking more about how much they want a Prius than how much they want it to be special.

That should be good enough for Toyota, especially since the company has had trouble producing a truly upmarket purpose-built hybrid. Lexus’ HS 250h sedan (since discontinued) and CT 200h hatchback haven’t been that successful, and there may be a limit to how much people will pay for a regular Prius.

With four distinct models already on sale, the Prius already has plenty going on. Those models may not carry a “special edition” badge, but they should be everything most buyers need from a hybrid.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Tesla Model 3 vs. Hyundai Ioniq 6: Which electric sedan is best?
Front three quarter view of the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6.

There are finally some more electric sedan options. For years, the Tesla Model 3 was really the only good electric sedan that comes at a reasonable price -- until, Hyundai recently launched the Ioniq 6. The Ioniq 6 certainly takes some cues from the larger Ioniq 5, but is smaller and sleeker, with a design seemingly inspired by the Porsche 911.

But the Tesla Model 3 is still clearly an excellent option for those looking for an electric car, and who don't want a larger crossover. Which is better? Here's a look.
The exterior design of the Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Ioniq 6 is quite different. If you've seen a Tesla car before, then you'll immediately recognize the Model 3 -- it looks largely like a slightly different version of every other Tesla (except the Cybertruck).

Read more
Scout Motors Electric SUV: rumored price, release date, design, and more
Scout SUV Teaser

There's another electric SUV on the way, and this one comes with a familiar name. Volkswagen is reviving the classic Scout name for a new electric SUV that's billed as being an "RUV," or a rugged utility vehicle. And, it could well prove itself as the best electric SUV in its price range, when it does finally come out.

The new EV isn't due out for quite some time, but there's already a fair bit that we know about it. Curious to learn more? Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming Scout SUV.
There's very little we actually know about the Scout SUV so far, but we do know a little about the eventual design. A few teasers for the upcoming vehicle have been released, showing sketches of both the SUV and the accompanying pickup truck, along with what's presumably the front of the SUV -- though in a dark environment, with little detail.

Read more
Volkswagen ID.GTI concept is another icon reimagined as an EV
Front three quarter view of the Volkswagen ID.GTI concept.

Volkswagen reinvented one of its most iconic models with the ID.Buzz, a modern, all-electric homage to the classic Microbus. But that's not the only fan favorite vehicle currently in the automaker's catalog.

Debuting at the 2023 Munich Auto Show, the Volkswagen ID.GTI concept aims to do for the Golf GTI hot hatchback — VW's signature performance car — what the ID.Buzz did for the Microbus. VW claims a production version has already been given the green light, although it won't say when it will appear.

Read more