What Pickup Trucks Offer Manual Transmission?

Do you prefer a manual transmission in your pickup truck? The 2024 lineup for such trucks showcases only two models holding on to this gear-shifting tradition.

As automatics become more common, only the Jeep Gladiator and Toyota Tacoma still offer manual transmissions.

Despite the trend towards automatics, a small segment of drivers is fueling a modest resurgence in manual transmissions. A Wall Street Journal article by Rachel Wolfe noted a rise in manual transmission sales in 2023.

Acura reported that 25% of Integras sold in 2023 have manual transmissions. This interest in manuals extends beyond the Integra, as more drivers value them across vehicle types.

Now, let’s look at the manual options in the 2024 lineup of pickup trucks.

2024 Jeep Gladiator Manual Transmission Options

The Jeep Gladiator still has a manual gearbox in 2024. The Sport and Sport S have a 6-speed manual and a strong 3.6L V6, making 285 hp.

Image of the interior of a Jeep Gladiator including the steering wheel, dash, and manual transmission.

The 2024 Gladiator was made for adventure. It can tow up to 7,700 lbs. Jeep has updated the Gladiator with a new rounded grille, standard 12.3-inch touchscreen, fresh wheel designs, and windshield antenna for 2024.

Though the diesel engine has been dropped, the V6 provides ample power. With the manual transmission, Gladiator's fuel economy is 16 mpg city and 23 highway.

The inside has storage and removable panels for off-road use. The large touchscreen modernizes the rugged cabin.

The Gladiator flexes for adventure with towing up to 7,700 lbs and a payload capacity ranging from 1,105 to 1,725 lbs, depending on the configuration.

2024 Toyota Tacoma Manual Transmission Options

Since its debut in 1995, Tacoma has had a manual transmission option, and they maintain that option in 2024.

A 2024 Toyota Tacoma on display at the Miami International Auto Show

Those who prefer manual transmission have three Tacoma trims to choose from, each with a 6-speed manual gearbox: the SR Double Cab, TRD Sport Double Cab, and TRD Off-Road Double Cab.

The SR Double Cab is the base model with essential features like twin tube shocks and 17" wheels, making it the most affordable manual Tacoma.

For a sporty feel, the TRD Sport Double Cab offers upgrades like a hood scoop, TRD wheels, and a larger display, enhancing the manual range's sportiness.

The TRD Off-Road Double Cab is designed for adventurers and is equipped with specialized shocks, a rear locker, and skid plates for off-road terrains.

All three models come with Toyota's 2.4L turbo I-4 engine, delivering a strong 270 hp when paired with the manual transmission.

Although other 2024 Tacoma trims like the TRD Pro and Trailhunter now come with an automatic-only hybrid powertrain, the manual transmission remains a vital part of the Tacoma lineup, albeit limited to the three Double Cab models.

Even with this limitation, the manual option in these trims upholds the Tacoma's long-standing manual driving tradition.

Buyers looking for the feel of a manual gearbox will appreciate the SR, TRD Sport, and TRD Off-Road Double Cab trims, all with the mid-grade turbo I-4 engine.

Advantages of Manual Transmission

Male hand holding manual gearbox in car, test drive of new automobile, closeup

Opting for a manual transmission in your pickup can offer a blend of economic, engaging, and practical benefits. Here's a breakdown:

Fuel Efficiency:

Manual transmissions have always been known for better fuel efficiency compared to automatics.

They allow a more direct flow of energy from the engine to the wheels, improving fuel use. Manuals don't have a torque converter, a part of automatics that can waste energy, making manuals more fuel-efficient.

Driver Control and Engagement:

Driving purists often cherish the thrill and engagement of maneuvering a manual gearbox. Manual transmissions provide a hands-on driving experience, letting you choose the right gear for every situation.

Whether overtaking on a freeway or navigating steep terrain, you have full control. This manual gear engagement creates a stronger connection between the driver and the vehicle, making every drive interactive.

Lower Maintenance Cost, Longevity, and Durability:

Due to their simpler mechanics, manual transmissions are more cost-effective to maintain and tend to last longer. Manuals have fewer parts that can fail, unlike automatics with their complex electronics and hydraulics.

A key difference is that manuals lack a torque converter, a component in automatics that often needs replacement, reducing repair costs. Manual clutches may need servicing around 100,000 miles, yet they are budget-friendly and easy to fix.

If an automatic transmission's clutch fails, it may need a complete replacement or costly rebuild, showcasing manuals as a more economical, durable choice.

The simple design of manual transmissions leads to lower maintenance costs, better longevity, and a more reliable, affordable vehicle over time.

The Decline of Manual Transmissions in Other Brands

Once supporters of manual transmissions in their pickup trucks, Ram and Ford have now discontinued these transmissions.

Low sales after 2018 (2019 model year) made it financially hard for Ram to keep offering manual transmissions. Following a broader industry trend driven by cost, Ford also stopped offering manual transmissions in their trucks after 2011.

A mix of factors plays into the gradual decline of manual transmissions. The factors include a rising preference for automatic transmissions in stop-and-go traffic, the easier driving and better performance they offer, and a generational shift with fewer young people learning manual driving.

The drop in demand has caused many vehicle models to phase out manual transmissions. The trend toward fewer manual transmissions reflects changes in both consumer preferences and manufacturer offerings in the car industry.

man's hand on his gearstick while driving

Consumer Considerations

When picking between a manual and an automatic car, think about your driving style. Do you like full control? Go for a manual. Want an easy ride? Choose an automatic.

Target Demographic for Manual Transmission Trucks

Manual trucks appeal to drivers who want control and enjoy the driving process. They're also a hit with those who drive in varied conditions, like off-road or in heavy traffic, where gear control is key.

Questions to Consider

  1. What's your driving style? Do you like to be in control or prefer convenience?
  2. How often do you drive in heavy traffic or on hilly roads?
  3. Manuals are rare in the United States. Is that a deal-breaker for you?

Pick based on your needs and how you drive.

The Last Options for Manual Pickups

We've seen that only the Jeep Gladiator and Toyota Tacoma offer manual transmissions in 2024. These models stand out in a market full of automatics, even if fewer people want manuals.

Recap of Key Points

  • Only the Jeep Gladiator and Toyota Tacoma have manuals in 2024.
  • Manuals give better fuel use, more control, and cost less to fix.
  • Ram and Ford stopped making manual trucks because of low sales and new trends.

Shifting Preferences: The Narrowing Selection of Manual Trucks

Some drivers still like manual trucks for the control they offer. But the trend is clear: automatics are now more popular. If you want a manual, you don't have many choices. Now is the time to pick what kind of driving you like.

Automatics are now the top choice, making manuals old-fashioned. Some still love them, but most people don't. Choose carefully, as few manual options are left.

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


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