I bought my '99 with 36,000 miles. Have someone check with a VAG-Com for codes. Did they change the oil every 5,000? Have the brake fluid changed? Can't think of much more. You get it that early you can treat it right - switch to synthetic, change the Tip trans fluid, catch up with a brake fluid change, cabin filter. Good to go.
I have a 2001 with 43k and here is what went out on mine by around that mileage more or less:
Control arms might be starting to go bad also
Rear brakes are probably gettting pretty thin, plus you will need to do all of the usual 40k mile maintenance items...try to get these thrown in before you buy it cause it can be pretty expensive if you don't do any of it yourself.
Control arms (don't believe the new bushing BS two of mine went on my 01)
sway bar links
make sure all the window regulators work (no odd window behavior)
driver side door sensor or all of them but the driver one goes quickest usually (easy way to tell: make sure inside lights go on when u open it)
if its a manual make sure the clutch isn't going... when the owner isn't around drop the clutch aroudn 2500-3000 rpm and see if it catches. Mine didn't, so i had to get a new one when I bought it (at 50,000 miles)
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