I recently purchased a new 2012 Corolla S AT in Tropical Sea Metallic. I am ecstatic for this new car, because my very first car was a Corolla as well (a 1993 DX AT). I have regretted selling that car since the day I did. Since then I have owned a 1991 Cressida and a 1997 4Runner SR5 4x4.
While I absolutely hated trading in the 4Runner (it was absolutely solid, and so much fun to drive!), I just couldn't justify driving a 17 mpg suv 44 miles each day for my commute. Along with that, it is a 15 year old vehicle with 200k miles. It made more sense to get a new car with better mpgs, but a higher payment, that I wouldn't have to worry about maintenance for a while. Overall the cost of the new Corolla is costing me $10/month more than owning the 4Runner. I feel like I made a good decision.
I ended up with a base price of $17400 for the Corolla S model after dealer discounts. Then, $1000 college grad rebate, $750 down payment, $750 down payment match, ($1100) negative equity in the 4Runner trade, ($700) for LoJack (which lowered my insurance payment by more than the increase in car payment), ($1400) in taxes and fees. I am very happy, because over all, my final cost came out well below invoice.
So far I have really enjoyed my experience with this car. My only complaint is that the steering is almost too sensitive! I hardly touch the wheel and I'm off going sideways. I went from a vehicle with very good road feel to this with electronic everything, which makes me feel very disconnected with the road.
I am overall very happy to be back into a Corolla!