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2010 Corolla XLE vs Focus SE
I'm looking for some advice on which may be the better vehicle for me to purchase. I'm planning on keeping this car for a number of years, and am used to driving my 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage so anything newer feels like I'm being spoiled and any car will do.
I'm a school teacher, so definitely budget conscious, and have qualified for 0% 60 months financing. I also am a recent grad so qualify for a $500 discount with Ford and a $1000 discount with Toyota (both to be verified with the dealer, of course). My trade-in value will be $600 (began at $400).
A friend of a friend has worked at a local Ford for years and is offering the focus SE at invoice price. So after all taxes etc. are added, and the $500 student discount and trade-in downpayment, the monthly payment is $292 for 60 months. I'm okay with that.
Toyota, after the previously mentioned trade-in and student discounts, would be $276 for the LE, and I think I could get the XLE for about $287/month.
My question is: there are obvious differences between the two cars - brand, engine (focus 2.0L vs corolla 1.8L), various features, interior/exterior looks...but to me - someone who has driven the same car for the past 10 years (my only car I've owned, I'm 30) - they both seem so similar that for such a similar overall monthly payment (and I know the discounts hide the base price a bit - they are both close to invoice if not invoice) I'm not sure which to choose. I like them both for different reasons, and the 2-years free toyota maint. is incentive for sure. The Toyota guy said their LE was similar to the focus SE - but with the discount I could get the XLE for similar cost to the original LE quote, which may put Totoya over the top.
So I would like to decide by Thursday, but ideally tonight! How ever the steering is, the braking, etc., I'll adjust - so I'm not terribly concerned about the basic differences of how the cars handle. They seem similar to me in reliability and safety, though not so similar in holding value (but 10 years from now, that $1000 is not as important as the 10 years I spent driving it everyday). Are there certain features that, being an older car owner, I would only learn that I really appreciated after I purchased and drove the car for a while...or certain features that I'd learn I wish I had only after purchase?
Any tips please???!
I'm not sure if this link works, but it is a side by side comparison of a few focus and toyota models. Even looking at this they seem so similar to me.