I am driving a new corola now. I really regret I wouldn't have bought a used taurus with the same price. As my opinion, choosing a car should use the following priority: safe, driving feeling, reliability and resale price, so the used taurus 2000 or 2001is much better the new corolla.
By the way, the insurance monthly payment of used taurus 2001 is $40 less than corolla 2002 based on my condition. It's bigger than their gas fee difference.