Even compared to modern Toyotas and Hondas they just don't compare to the driving experience of my 2002 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T. I bought it used back in 2005 with 30k miles on it 11 years later and the car still holds it own. Sure I've had to do some maintenance on it but it was the usual stuff: Timing belt/Water pump at 60k, brakes at 90k, clutch at 100k. Parts of the interior has somewhat fallen apart due to my negligence but it still very practical. Cargo space is plentiful with the folding rear seats I can haul stuff in this little hatch: groceries, trees, furniture, you name it. All in all a great fun car that still holds its own despite it's age. I will be driving this car to the ground.
Some of the build quality is questionable: for example my door handle inexplicably broke off one day, the door panel cloths came undone. Little things like this.