Here’s the Cheapest Pickup Truck With a Manual Transmission Available in 2023
Standard. Stick shift. Gear rower. Three pedal. Cog swapper. Hand shaker. Gen Z anti-theft device. Whatever you call a manual transmission, it’s an endangered species. Once upon a time, every pickup truck came with a stickshift. And for decades, the automatic was a luxury option. But in 2023, only the Toyota Tacoma and Jeep Gladiator offer a three-pedal option. The Taco is a much cheaper truck, but Toyota makes you upgrade to the V6 TRD Sport to buy a six-speed. The manual Jeep Gladiator is still one grand more expensive, but you might prefer it anyway. Read on to find out why.
How much is the 2023 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck with a manual transmission?
To get into a manual transmission 2023 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, you’ll have to upgrade to the TRD Sport trim so you can order a V6 engine and have the six-speed option. The configuration’s MSRP is $36,935. This is before destination charge and dealer fees.
The 2023 Toyota Tacoma SR5’s name is very misleading. You see, Toyota has long offered a standard transmission Tacoma for three-pedal fans. But while the manual was once the cheaper option, it has become an upsell for devoted gearheads. Toyota only bothers engineering a manual for its premium V6 engine, not its entry-level I4. Thus you can’t get a stickshift version of the Tacoma SR or SR5, which only come this way. Ironic because the SR5 is named after a manual transmission.
Way back when this automaker’s midsize pickup was just called “The Toyota Truck,” the special edition was the “Sport Rally” (SR for short). If you upgraded from a four-speed manual to a swanky five-speed, Toyota even bumped your badge up to “SR5.” But trim inflation happens, and now the SR and SR5 are the entry-level Tacomas, without a gear rower in site.
If you do spring for the 2023 Toyota Tacoma Limited with a manual transmission, you get the premium drivetrain. This naturally-aspirated 3.5-liter V6 makes 278 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 265 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 rpm. You get to choose your own adventure with a proper six-speed manual. This drivetrain only comes with part-time 4WD.
While the manual Tacoma offers a lot under the hood, your backseat passengers may prefer the Jeep Gladiator.
How much is a manual transmission Jeep Gladiator pickup truck in 2023?
In true Jeep fashion, the Gladiator’s base transmission is a six-speed manual. The Jeep truck has a high MSRP–$37,785–but that’s for a pickup truck with three pedals, four proper doors, and a V6.
The stick shift pickup truck is going the way of the dodo. The final full-size pickup truck to let you row your own was the 2018 Cummins-powered heavy-duty Ram. Then after 2019, General Motors deleted the option from its Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon. The Toyota Tacoma would still be the last manual transmission pickup truck standing in 2023 if it weren’t for Jeep.
Much like Toyota Tacoma fans, many gearheads who love the Jeep Wrangler opt for a stick shift. When Jeep stretched the Wrangler Unlimited’s chassis into the 2020 Gladiator, it opted for the SUV’s 3.6-liter naturally-aspirated V6 and six-speed as the truck’s base drivetrain.
The Jeep Gladiator beats the entry-level Tacoma in one area
The $37,785 Jeep Gladiator Sport has 4WD and two solid axles. Its 3.6-liter V6 makes 285 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 260 lb-ft of twist at 4,400 rpm. Though Stellantis uses this “Pentastar” V6 in everything from Chargers to Rams, Jeep engineered a heavy-duty cooling system to bump the Gladiator’s towing capacity to 7,650 with the proper configuration and axle ratios. That trounces the Tacoma’s maximum of 6,700 pounds. But without the tow package upgrade, the Gladiator’s capacity comes in at 4,000 pounds.
The cheapest manual transmission Tacoma pickup truck available in 2023 is the “Access Cab,” which only affords your backseat passengers 24.6 inches of backseat legroom. Every Jeep Gladiator cab has 38.3 inches of backseat legroom. Upgrading your Tacoma from an “Access Cab” with a six-foot bed to a “Double Cab” with a 5-foot bed will cost you $1,195.
So is there any downside to the entry-level Gladiator? That might depend on where you live. Upgrading its convertible top to a removable hard top will cost $1,895.
Next, find out where to buy the only full-size pickup truck with a stick shift, or watch MotorBiscuit’s review of the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro in the video below: