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TL;DR : Get the '13 LS model (22k miles) for $10.5k after tax or wait/look for the 2013+ LT model or higher which most likely has higher miles / is more expensive?

Details: I'm in the market for a newer car and I've stumbled across what I think is a good deal. I have the chance to get a 2013 Chevy Cruze LS with 22k miles (6 speed manual) for $10.4k after tax, somewhere around $9.5k before tax. I test drove it and thought it handled well and drove smoothly, however I would love a little more power, which the LT model and up seem to offer. I have been wanting something a little more "sporty" than the 1.8L '03 Pontiac Vibe I have currently, and not that the Cruze is considerably more powerful, but from what I've gathered everyone praises the 1.4L turbo over the 1.8 any day. Unfortunately if I'm going this route I want a manual transmission (really prefer one either way.), and there is only one LT or higher model for sale with a manual transmission within 150 miles of me. And that one has 44k miles on it and is $11.6k before taxes, so I'm guessing closer to $13k total, and it is white with tan interior - which isn't bad but I would prefer black, silver, or gray and would prefer the dark interior (I can deal with this though if it's worth it.)...

Even more info: The car is coming from a Chevy dealership, they are currently making sure all recalls are up to date as well as everything else, etc. Will come with a 1 year 12k mile warranty (would be good to 34k miles basically) and they said they can likely double that warranty for me. It is silver, which I like, but would still almost prefer black or dark gray more, and it has dark interior. So appearance-wise I don't mind it at all. Although the LT trim does look better.

So, what do you suggest? Is the LS Cruze a decent deal that I should jump out and take or should I go give the LT a test drive, or just wait for one that is a better deal and is more appealing to me?

Is the cruze for me? I honestly used to not like the body style, but once this option became available I started looking into some people who have customized theirs a little bit, and now I actually really like them and what you can do appearance-wise. If I go with the LS I imagine I will do anything cosmetic that I can to make the car look nicer, while if I have the 1.4L I could upgrade performance more and appearance, right?
I do like the idea of something economical though, especially with lower miles, as I drive long distance (Have put 70k miles on my Vibe in less than 4 years, cross state lines at least once a week). But I also like something with some "get up & go" to it. Any input, opinions, or help is greatly appreciated.
 

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Only you can rate the trade-off in what you're getting for the money. If you can, test drive the LT and see how it goes. Even if you pass on that deal, you'll know the difference between the 1.8 and the 1.4T for yourself and how much it's worth to you.
 
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I compared the two as well. The LS made a lot of sense on paper, and wasn't badly equipped for a base model.

Then I drove it. No ones home below like 3500 rpm. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the 1.4T has a very torquey low end and runs out of steam up top. If you're into modding the car, and want more power, a tune will definitely open up the 1.4 a lot more than the 1.8.

Anyway, long story short, drove a 1LT and bought it the next day. They are hard to find. An Eco might be up your alley too if you do a lot of highway driving.
 

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Just hold out for the LT...I know from experience. I should have bought the LTZ I looked at but the monthly payment on the LT was already making me worry that I couldn't afford it. Now I've put LTZ parts on my LT and probably spent more than it would have cost to just get the **** LTZ! I still regret that move.
 

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Just hold out for the LT...I know from experience. I should have bought the LTZ I looked at but the monthly payment on the LT was already making me worry that I couldn't afford it. Now I've put LTZ parts on my LT and probably spent more than it would have cost to just get the **** LTZ! I still regret that move.
Yeah i'm gonna be there too if I swap the bumpers and add leather.
 

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I know after I bought my LS in 2011, I wished I had bought the LT instead. Even though I never drove the LT, the MPG missing Cruise Control and power made me say why didn't I ..........but that is just me.
 

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The 1.4L turbo is a real gem of an engine. I'd highly recommend going with the LT.
 
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