About me

Hey there, welcome. 

Believe it or not, this is the best photo I could find…

My name is Gavin. I’m a car nut, and I live in Slovakia (Central Europe). I’m originally from “Downunder”, and I moved here to the main city of Bratislava in 2011 with my Slovak wife.

I have always liked the Suzuki Swift, ever since I first saw one almost a decade ago. However for many months I planned to buy a Volkswagen Polo here because they’re so cheap (compared to New Zealand). However the closer I got to buying a Volkswagen, the more worried I became. Every time I went on the internet or talked to someone, I always came across a horror-story about how this broke, or that malfunctioned, and how every time it cost hundreds/thousands of euros and meant taking the bus for three weeks. No thanks!

After thinking long and hard about it, I changed my mind. I decided instead to go for a Japanese car. I decided to hunt down and buy a 2nd generation Suzuki Swift (ZC11S ) that I’ve liked since day one. It was a good decision I reckon. 

“So why do you want a Suzuki Swift?”

So why did I choose a Suzuki Swift over a German engineered, Slovak built Volkswagen? That’s easy. Reliability. This is very very important to me, and this is exactly where the VW Polo can’t compete in its wildest dreams. Who cares if you have “VW” on the front of your car if it’s broken down on the side of the road?

The Suzuki swift on the other hand, well, it’s very difficult to find tales of Swifts that have had major mechanical failures. They just go and go. This suits me well. Plus they look great, and are nice and safe for their size. 

“But they’re not as safe as a Volkswagen Polo”

I thought so too, but it’s not true. The 2004-2010 model of Suzuki Swift gets the exact same 4-star safety rating as the 2004-2009 model of Volkswagen Polo. Not only that, it gets extra points above the Polo for pedestrian safety too. In 64km/h offset frontal crash tests and side impact tests, it did excellently, as you can see below:

*The full test results are here for the Swift, and here for the Polo .

“Why don’t you buy a new Suzuki Swift? They look better!”

Because I’m a normal person with a normal income, and in Slovakia the incomes aren’t very impressive! Also, as I’ll be installing all manner of weird and wacky junk into the car I could ultimately ruin it – and I don’t want to ruin a new car. Also, I reckon the 2nd Generation is the best looking Swift.

“What’s your budget?”

I’m looking to spend around €5000 for a Suzuki Swift. This should get me a decent one. Sure, there are models selling for €3500 but they’re getting old. I want one that’s been looked after and serviced regularly so that I can drive on for years with minimal maintenance and (most importantly) no money wasted on repairs.

Whatever happens, it’ll be noted down here on this blog, so I hope you’ll join me on the adventure. Wish me luck.


My email address is kiwiev1@gmail.com – though I get lots of email so I may not be able to reply.