I was actually looking for a new car, but found that this used VW Passat 1.8 Turbo was a better deal (half the price of what I was going to pay for a Focus or Megane).
Even if it was from 1999, the exterior and especially the interior looked almost like new. They still do to this day. Comparing it to some friends' equivalent cars (a Mondeo and a Vectra, both from 2001), the Passat has resisted time better.
Nothing has gone wrong so far, not even the typical failures of this car (which are two: the engine MAF sensor and a couple of joints in the front suspension).
Performance from the 1.8 liter turbo is very, very good. I had never driven a turbo before and I love it because it pulls strong from 1800 rpm and that allows you to choose higher gearing and save fuel. You don't even need to drop a gear for passing a slower car, not even when loaded with passengers and cargo.
Fuel economy is good out on the road, not so much in the city. The good thing is that quick driving doesn't really affect fuel mileage that much.
The interior is its other strong point: roomy, well made and well isolated from engine and road noise.
Suspension is comfortable, but it could use slightly stronger damping to better control body roll. I'm still driving on the original shocks so maybe that's the problem. Even with the excessive body rolling on turns, it's surprisingly stable, even at high speed turns with expansion joints on the motorway.
I was a bit sceptical about all the Volkswagen hype these days, but after owning this car I can understand some of it.
Overall, I'm extremely satisfied with my Passat and recommend it to anyone considering buying one.