The 2018 Ram 2500 Was the End of an Era
In certain circles, a pickup truck with a manual transmission is a sought-after vehicle. But in 2023, only two trucks offer three pedals: the Toyota Tacoma and Jeep Gladiator. And here in the States, you won’t find another new pickup that allows you to row your own gears. After the 2018 model year, the heavy-duty Ram marked the end of an era. It was the last year you could get a Ram 2500 with a manual transmission.
Does the Ram 2500 have a manual transmission?
Unfortunately, for Ram trucks, the 2018 Ram 2500 is one of the last new heavy-duty pickups you can get with a manual. Although a standard gearbox used to be common fare on American-made trucks, the feature has been dying out at a fairly rapid pace.
In 2018, going to a Ram dealership and getting a heavy-duty truck with a manual transmission was possible. Not only that, but the Daimler-sourced G56 manual transmission is mated to the 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel inline-six engine. That engine makes 350 horsepower and 660 pound-foot of torque.
As one of the last heavy-duty trucks to allow hand-made shifts, the 2018 Ram 2500 with a manual transmission has become somewhat of a grail. You get a good mix of modern features with a distinctively old-school feel.
There’s something special about a truck with a manual transmission
Growing up in rural Kansas, one of my first experiences with a standard transmission was behind the wheel of a Ford Super Duty with a manual. I’m forever grateful for the gearing ratio and level of torque that made that pickup nearly unstallable.
In 2023, trucks like the Ram 2500 with a standard transmission can actually command a premium over their automatic counterparts. And that shows that for certain folks, three pedals is a required feature when searching for a pickup truck.
Yet, only two new trucks offer a manual transmission. And as we await the arrival of the redesigned Toyota Tacoma, that midsize truck could very well lose the option. Which would make the Jeep Gladiator the last new pickup you can get with that feature.
Is the 2018 Ram 2500 reliable?
In terms of reliability, the heavy-duty Ram truck from 2018 appears to do well. According to RepairPal, the 2018 Ram 2500 might not be the most reliable truck, but it does look like repairs and other issues happen infrequently. It’s just that when they do, they tend to be fairly pricey.
At the end of the day, if you want a modern heavy-duty truck with a manual transmission, your options are limited. The 2018 Ram 2500 is probably the newest model you can find with a standard gearbox.
To sweeten the deal, you will also be getting a pickup with a diesel engine. And that is likely ideal for folks who intend to tow heavy items with their vehicle. Just know finding this Ram truck might take some legitimate legwork.