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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.