Passat turbo wagon, nice design. You know its history and that means a lot, bad maintenance is a reason to avoid used cars. This would be more fun to drive and still a functional design. I'd say go for it, you should get some good use out of it and then sell it a few years out, when it doesn't owe you anything and before major problems develop. Pretty expensive for major repairs but if you get 50K miles and 3 or 4 years on a decent car for $7.%K (+resale) sounds OK to me.
Too bad its not the diesel.
Old men ought to be explorers