Good choice of car!
You should look/listen out for :
Clonks from the front suspension as the bushes are feeble and wear quite quickly
Check cambelt and balancer belt have been replaced WITH their pulleys within the last 3 years, and if not, allow £400 or so for a proper job.
Listen for a diesel like clattery noise from the top of the engine on start up. It could be the variator that's broken. It should be replaced when the cambelt is changed.
Check the engine idles OK without too much "hunting".
Check the oil is up to the level and clean.
Check the footwells are dry and there are no leaks from bodywork or heater.
Check under chassis for any corrosion or bad jacking.
Check the CD changer is still in the boot and the headunit has it's removable front still on it.
They all have red ignition keys! What you need to check is that you also have a Brown master key. You need this in case you lose the everday red keys. Without it, the car is near enough worthless!
Blue cloverleaves mean nothing other than the factory stuck the wrong badges on the UK cars. Don't be told it's a special edition!!
The early cars had a very silly design of wiper blade yes.
There was a facelift in 1999 with round front fog lights. There is little to choose between the two versions in terms of driving or performance. You would be better with a good early car than a bad late one!