What Pickup Trucks Come In Manual Transmission?

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It was common to shop for pickup trucks that were equipped with a manual transmission not too long ago. However, these days it seems like manual transmissions are nonexistent. Are there any pickup trucks made with a manual transmission in today’s market? We did some deep digging to find what trucks still come with a manual transmission.

As of 2021, there are only two pickup trucks that can be purchased with a manual transmission. Here are the pickups:

  • 2021 Jeep Gladiator
  • 2021 Toyota Tacoma

That is a very short list compared to what it was 20 years ago! What made manufacturers go away from manual transmissions? Are there still advantages of having a pickup truck equipped with it? Keep reading as we elaborate on these questions and the trucks that still come with a manual transmission.

Gear change lever and a control knob. What Pickup Trucks Come In Manual Transmission

Pickup Trucks That Come With A Manual Transmission

It seems like as the years pass, there are fewer and fewer pickup trucks that have a manual transmission as an option. So, if you are in the market for a pickup truck that comes with a gear stick and a clutch, you might be picking from a small list. Let’s take a look at the two pickup trucks that still come equipped with a manual transmission.

2021 Jeep Gladiator

Jeep Gladiator 4x4 vehicle lifted with oversized wheels and off road tires

Making its debut in 2018, the 2021 Jeep Gladiator is one of two pickup trucks that come in a manual transmission. The Gladiator is equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission and puts out 285 horsepower V6. To get the Gladiator equipped with the 6-speed transmission, consumers will need to look at the Sport and Sport S models.

Jeep has been know to be crafted for adventure, and the Gladiator is no different. Not only is the Gladiator a warrior when off-roading, but it has a stronger truck frame making it capable of hauling heavier loads. It may not be as big or powerful as full-size trucks on the market, but it is still has a max towing capacity of 7,650 lbs.

 2021 Toyota Tacoma

Toyota Tacoma riding on the 4x4 Offroad Trails in the mountains

Toyota has offered a manual transmission in Tacoma since its introduction in 1995. Consumers looking for a manual transmission truck will be glad to know that the 2021 Tacoma Tacoma has the available option in three different packages: TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, and TRD Pro. Tacoma’s manual transmission doesn’t tow as much as the Jeep Gladiator coming in at a max towing capacity of 6,500 lbs.

Consumers considering a manual transmission will be happy to hear that they will be saving $1,600 vs. the automatic transmission option. However, it may be less expensive, but there are some drawbacks to getting the manual transmission in the Tacoma.

First off, when equipped with a manual transmission, Tacoma loses the crawl mode. Crawl mode is a multi-terrain system that automatically controls the acceleration and braking of the vehicle so the driver can focus on steering. Additionally, the manual transmission option gets less gas mileage. Drivers can expect to lose one mpg in the city and two mpg on the highway when choosing this option.

Types Of Transmissions

Currently, there are three types of transmissions that consumers will find in various kinds of vehicles.

Automatic Transmission

The most common transmission is an automatic transmission. An automatic transmission will switch gears as needed without the input of the driver. Nonetheless, most vehicles can switch out of automatic and put into a manual shift enabling the driver to change gears independently.

Continuously Variable Transmission

Like an automatic transmission, a continuously variable transmission, or CVT for short, doesn’t run off gears. Instead, a CVT transmission runs off of two pulleys. One pully is connected to the engine, and one is connected to the wheels. The pulleys get larger or smaller depending on how much power the vehicle needs. The CVT transmission is common in SUVs and sedans, so you will not be asking your salesman about one if you are pickup truck shopping.

Manual Transmission

Lastly, manual transmission or standard transmission, as it’s called in Canada, requires the driver to make gear changes using the gear stick and clutch manually. A manual transmission gives the driver more control over the gears making it more responsive. Nowadays, this transmission is hard to find, but there was a time when all pickup trucks came with a manual transmission.

Why did RAM Stop Making Manual Transmission?

The Jeep Gladiator and Toyota Tacoma weren’t the only pickup trucks in recent years with manual transmission. Ram offered their trucks with the old-school transmission up until 2019.

What killed the manual transmission for Ram?

Low sales finally made it unjustifiable for Ram to continue offering the manual transmissions in their pickups. Nonetheless, if you enjoyed what the manual transmissions had to offer in the Ram, search for models made before 2019.

What year did Ford stop putting manual transmissions in their trucks?

Ford is a family truck name that has been around for 117 years! It was common for Ford to offer a manual transmission in their pickup trucks up until 2011 when they discontinued the option. Like other vehicle brands, Ford couldn’t justify spending the money to make pickup trucks with manual transmissions.

Why are manual transmissions going away?

Manual transmissions are something that was popular years ago, but now they are seen as outdated technology. One reason is because of the convenience of driving an automatic transmission. If driving in stop-and-go city traffic is a daily task, driving a manual transmission can be a part-time job. Not to mention it can give you quite the leg workout pumping the clutch every few minutes.

Another reason for the end of the manual transmission era is due to performance. Adrenaline junkies looking to increase their 0-60 times have found that automatic is the way to go. Racecar drivers can focus more on the road and less on the shifting gears increasing their 0-60 times. It may not seem like a lot, but having to shift may be the difference between winning and losing a race.

Lastly, manual transmissions are going away because their primary consumers were older generations. As manual vehicles slowly dwindle out, fewer people in the younger generations know how to drive a stick. Ask the person to your left and right; more than likely, one or both of them don’t know how to drive a manual transmission. It comes to supply and demand at the end of the day, and there isn’t the demand for the stick-shift transmissions anymore.

man's hand on his gearstick while driving

Are Manual Trucks Cheaper?

There may not be many new trucks on the market available with a manual transmission, but you may have more luck if you aren’t looking for a brand new rig. One advantage of shopping for a pickup truck with a manual transmission is that they are usually cheaper. Comparing apples to apples, you may be able to save $1,000 or more on a manual transmission vs. the same truck with an automatic transmission.

But why?

One of the main reasons is because of market demand. People enjoy the convenience of an automatic transmission, and to be frank, driving a manual transmission isn’t that convenient for daily driving. A simple slip of the clutch can kill the engine, causing you to hold up city traffic and possibly getting a few honks from behind. Automatic transmission makes it simple, you push the gas, and it goes.

Does Manual Transmission Lower Resale Value?

On average, vehicles with a manual transmission will have a resale value of $2,000 less than one with an automatic transmission. This is again due to the low demand making it very difficult for dealers to sell. Another significant factor that weighs on the resale value of manual transmission vehicles is the introduction of new technology.

When the CVT was introduced, it showed promise for convenience, smooth-riding, and better gas mileage. In return, it makes it harder and harder for a manual transmission to compete within today’s vehicle market.

Do Manuals Last Longer Than Automatics?

If you want to save a little money and have a transmission with longevity, a manual transmission might surprise you. When comparing the two transmission boxes, the manuals last longer. People may ask, but what about the clutch if it goes out?

While yes, clutches on manuals go out around 100,000 miles, they are easier to fix. A manual transmission has one large clutch that can be repaired without replacing the transmission itself. An automatic transmission has a clutch for each gear, so when one clutch breaks, the whole transmission needs to be replaced or completely rebuilt, making for a costly repair.

What’s Better In The Snow, Manual or Automatic?

If you live in an area where snowfall is common, you may be wondering if the transmission does better in the snow. This is one area that the manual transmission has an edge. The nice thing about a manual transmission can have more control over the gears.

When descending an icy road, put the vehicle in a lower gear keeping your foot light on the brakes. Shifting to a low gear will slow down the transmission and tire rotation, helping you slow down without touching the brake pedal. If your automatic transmission has a manual shift option, repeat the step and shift down to a low gear because hitting the brakes on icy roads can be a recipe for disaster.

A manual transmission can also be beneficial when trying to accelerate at a complete on icy roads. Try accelerating in second gear to get you going. By doing this, there is less force to the tires, helping the vehicle gain traction.

Start Of A New Era

Overall, a manual transmission may be a part of many people’s good memories. Riding with grandpa in a Ford Ranger up a mountain road or racing the Ford Mustang down a quarter-mile will bring a smile when thinking about when the manual transmission thrived.

Unfortunately, the manual transmission doesn’t make sense anymore for dealerships and consumers because of the low market demand for a manual transmission and the advanced technology in automatic transmission. It’s sad but the truth.  

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