Our 1997 Volkswagen Jetta has been great for us. It is very fun to drive as it's the 5-speed. We replaced the front brakes and timing belt at around 90,000 miles and recently had a power window regulator go out that I couldn't fix myself. It is kind of hard to get to all the plugs during a home tune-up, but this is still a good basic engine that's relatively easy to do general maintenance on. This car may have been built in Mexico (or maybe not), but you can feel the good quality German engineering that's gone into it. It's my favourite car of the ten cars that I've owned in my lifetime!
The comfy seats, tight, smooth suspension, nice placement of gear shift and pedals for driver, and nicely done dash.
I'd love to drive the 1.8 Turbo and see some real pick up and slightly better fuel economy, but at 30+ mpg for general driving, it ain't bad.