Pickup trucks with stick shifts? Only Toyota and Jeep models remain

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By James Raia
New cars and lightweight trucks available in the United States remain an ever-shrinking option. Thirty-eight car nameplates offer manual transmissions for their 2020 models – Aston Martin to Volkswagen.

But truck enthusiasts who like to shift gears have far fewer choices.

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator odd-looking as convertible pickup truck.
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is odd-looking as a hardtop or convertible pickup truck. Image © Bruce Aldrich/2020.

Only two manufacturers, Toyota and Jeep, offer a manual transmission in their fleets.

Toyota has remained stalwart in offering manual transmissions in its trucks since its debut. For 2020, only the Tacoma has a six-speed manual transmission option on selected trims: the premium 3.5L V-6 engine and only on four-wheel-drive TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro models.

Selecting a manual transmission saves about $1,600. Toyota rates Tacoma with a 3,500-pound towing capacity without the V-6 towing prep package and 6,500 pounds with it.

Th 2020 Jeep Gladiator is currently only available with one engine – a 3.6L V-6. But it included the choice of an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission.

A manual transmission is available across the entire Jeep Gladiator lineup. It’s available on Sport, Sport S, Overland, Mojave and Rubicon. The manual transmission option saves $2,000 over selecting the eight-speed automatic.

Manual transmission Gladiators are rated to tow 4,500 pounds, while automatics are rated between 6,000 and 7,650 pounds.

Here’s the full list of cars with manual transmissions, either as standard or optional equipment, for the 2020 model year:

Aston Martin Vantage, BMW M2, BMW M4 (all body styles), Chevrolet Camaro (all body styles), Chevrolet Spark, Dodge Challenger, Fiat 124 Spider, Ford Mustang (all body styles), Shelby GT350, Genesis G70, Honda Accord, Honda Civic (all body styles), Civic Si (all body styles), Civic Type R;

Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent, Hyundai Elantra (GT hatchback only), Hyundai Veloster, Veloster N, Hyundai Venue, Jeep Compass, Jeep Wrangler (all body styles), Kia Forte, Kia Soul, Lotus Evora GT, Mazda3 (hatchback only), Mazda MX-5 Miata, Mitsubishi Mirage (all body styles), Nissan 370Z, Nissan Versa;

Porsche 718 (all body styles), Subaru BRZ, Subaru Crosstrek, Subaru Impreza (all bodystyles), Subaru WRX, WRX STI, Toyota 86, Toyota Corolla (all body styles), Toyota Yaris (sedan only), Volkswagen Golf, Golf GTI, Volkswagen Jetta.

James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: james@jamesraia.com.

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Max
2 months ago

Doesn’t the Nissan Frontier have a stick option?

Tom
2 months ago

Stick shift, would-be thieves Pass you by

Thomas
2 months ago

I ‘m so glad i don’t have to shift. My first car was a vw bug 32 hp and 4speed. Underpowered and a stop sign at every corner. Than a Fiat X19. One time I counted the shifts. 94 in 3 blocks. I LIKE auto. And why doesn’t Toyota or Nissan offer a full size pickup in a 2500 or 3500? I’d take a look at one.

Sherry
2 months ago

We have always owned cars & trucks with manual transmissions and they are getting harder to find. Our daughters drive cars with manual transmissions. My husband is a mechanic and insisted when our kids learned to drive they had manual transmissions. His theory is the driver has to pay more attention to the road and driving. You really need a third hand to text and drive and put on your make up and drive when you have to shift gears. Almost impossible. Plus in our family we keep our vehicle forever and it is far less expensive to replace a manual transmission than a automatic.

Tom
2 months ago

Using the time machine of human memory, when the Hummer was projected for the military, automatic was specified because so many incoming troops could not drive standard transmissions. Training was tough on vehicles.

Bob p
2 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Manual transmission is one of the best anti theft devices ever made because most thieves can’t drive a “stick shift” transmission. It’s a shame what our young people have lowered themselves to. Back in 1959 when I got my license if you took your test on an automatic a notation restriction was put on your license “Automatic Only”.