The Jimny Wave

The Jimny Wave

Posted by Brendon Carpenter and Chelsy Pinto on 7 Jun 2022

Lime Green and White Suzuki JimnyThe Suzuki Jimny Wave has become a universal greeting amongst Jimny drivers across the globe. Whether you’re a new Jimny driver or just curious about what the Jimny Wave is, you’ll find the answers to all of your questions below.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 41 seconds.


From Australia to Ireland and South Africa, the Suzuki Jimny is loved far and wide. The Suzuki Jimny first launched in 1970 and was one of the first compact 4x4 cars. It was a formidable little powerhouse that rivalled its bigger competitors. The Jimny truly is a marvel of engineering and spirit. So it’s no surprise that Jimny drivers have developed their own insider greeting to express their shared joy–the Jimny Wave.

What is the Jimny Wave?

The Jimny Wave first came into existence when the first Suzuki Jimnys were introduced in South Africa in the early 1980s. Since then, the Jimny Wave has become a tradition that is passed down from generation to generation and is still practised by vintage 2nd generation, 3rd generation, and 4th generation drivers alike.

How did the Jimny Wave start?

The Jimny Wave was a carryover from larger 4x4 traditional greetings. Historically the 4x4 greeting was a way for 4x4 cars to alert other 4x4s of their presence if they needed any assistance or ran into any trouble. Larger 4x4s soon began greeting the smaller Jimnys in the same way. The Jimnys adopted this greeting and began returning the gesture to their larger predecessors, other compact 4x4s, and of course, other Jimnys. This soon evolved into an insider knowledge kind of greeting. As Darren Leishman said, “[it’s] more of a you know what I know acknowledgement.”

How do Jimny drivers do the Wave?

The wave is done in many ways. Some Jimny drivers literally wave or raise a finger—or two—off the steering wheel in a salute. The only problem with this is that many Jimnys are fitted with anti smash-and-grab protection which includes window tinting that makes it difficult to see driver hand gestures. Of course, Jimny drivers, being the creative and resourceful bunch they are, found a way around this. Some drivers flash their lights or even give a short hoot.

Do all Jimny drivers do the Wave?

The Jimny drivers we spoke to all said that they definitely still do the Jimny Wave. Jurie van Leeuwen told us that he recently drove through the Harties area and was greeted by every Jimny he saw. We’ve noticed that some of the new 4th generation Jimny drivers haven't quite gotten used to this greeting yet and either don't wave or don't return the greeting. Hopefully, after reading this, all of our Jimny drivers will be joining in!

What does the Jimny Wave symbolise?

When we asked our Jimny drivers what the Jimny Wave means to them, some told us that the Wave is a symbol of strength and shared admiration of the Jimmy's incredible versatility. Others told us that it’s one of the lovable quirky characteristics of the car and that it adds an extra element of fun to owning a Jimny. Neil Robertson told us that to him the Jimny Wave symbolises shared joy in what the Suzuki Jimny offers its owner. 

The Suzuki Jimny is versatile, daring, and adventurous–perfect for the dreamers, leaders, believers, and adventure seekers everywhere. We’re hoping to let all of our Jimny drivers out there know that they are definitely part of the exclusive Suzuki Jimny squad and we hope that they continue the Jimny Wave tradition for many generations to come!

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