Maybe you need to step back a bit. You identified your budget which is good but your a bit vague on the need. Do you want 4 or 2 door, RWD or AWD, various packages, transmission type etc. Are you the only driver ? Reason I ask is because if someone else drives it Power memory seats is a good idea. If your planning to drive in the winter in Toronto then RWD versus AWD maybe a factor for you and the fact that if you buy RWD, you will likely need snowtires to protect your investment.
Going from a corolla to a BMW is a very big step. Forget about decent gas mileage, low octane fuel costs and as everyone here is mentioning, the cost of BMW OEM parts and cost of BMW labour to repair.
CPO is a good choice as it gives you a piece of mind somewhat since your saying you not a car enthusiast.
With respects to the purchase, try doing this:
1. Once you figure out the model you want, find 3 vehicles (CPO) that fit the bill
2. Spend a day and see if you can visit the dealership and go for a test drive. Make sure you let them know your checking several cars out and have NOT committed to anyone. Do the usual stuff like ask for car report, physically inspect the vehicle for touchup, rust, unpainted bolts on the doors, trunk etc. As you maybe aware, just because Carproof reports don't indicate any accidents does not mean it wasn't in one. BTW, be real careful of any US cars that had ownership in NY area recently.
3. Give them a purchase timeline/date you plan to make the decision. If you married, just mention there are 2 decision makers (be sure to emphasize this point). Whatever budget you set, drop it by 15%(before tax) and tell them that's your purchasing budget. Time is always on your side if your saving up for a big ticket item where there is plenty of demand (especially since new F30 models are in the 2nd production year).
4. To hopefully drive a better deal, be sure to:
- Ask when the car hit their lot. Document this.
- Visually look at the brake rotors, are they rusty ? If the Salesperson says it just came in yesterday, they are full of it. This may indicate it's been sitting there for a while (inventory is getting old and taking up valuable space on their lot).
-Keep track of how long they post the car on Autotrader (best used car website in my opinion), Autocatch etc.. The longer the car sits there, the better chance you have of getting a better deal.
- Ask how their month end or quarter end sales are working out
5. Make sure you get to meet and shake the Salesman manager's hand. Let the salesman and Sales manager know your interested but again, advise your looking at 3 or 4 similar vehicles. Tell them if they can meet the price your willing to pay, it's a good possibility you will make the deal go through. Don't be afraid to walk out the door and wait for a call, remember it's a buyers market. Since it's a BMW CPO, you don't need a BMW inspection. But you may want to pay a Indy to inspect and determine if any fluids (besides oil) needs changing and ask the dealer to do that before you sign.
At the end of the day, you have to be willingly to walk away from a deal if the prices is too high according to your budget.