Here's a totally non biased post.
If you want to see different models and specs, I would suggest doing an
search for Renault Megane or Renault Scenic.
Add in the maximum price you would want to pay, engine sizes, and maybe colours which will narrow things down a little.
You'll find loads of useful info doing this.
While you're searching, look at the cheap spares repairs models to see what reasons they give for getting rid of them. You will get an idea of the common faults.
Some things to think about.
Do you want to get in your car with the full expectation it will start. Is it very important that it is reliable.
Do you want to spend much time and money on doing repairs.
Would you like to carry out your own repairs rather than paying someone else.
Do I really want to have to buy a new set of special tools to do my repairs.
Is your knowledge of vehicle electrical systems and your testing abilities reasonably good.
If your answers are as I would expect, and you only want to spend £1,000, do yourself a favour and buy a newer and maybe nicer version of your car.
Stick with a MK1 phase2.
Petrol or diesel.?
I don't do diesels but from what I read on the forum every day, I'm happy with the decision.