The Last Full-Size Pickup Truck With a Manual Transmission Has Come and Gone, and You Missed It

The Ram 2500 represents many things to the truck world. For many, it may represent the most luxurious, hard-working pickup truck. However, for a few car nerds, the 2017 Ram 2500, in particular, represents something both far cooler and sadder. The Cummins diesel-powered heavy-duty Ram was the U.S.’s final full-size truck with a manual transmission that may or may not have struggled with some reliability issues, but we aren’t here to talk about that.

Ram 2500 Cummins diesel in a parking lot
2017 Ram 2500 Cummins diesel | Wikimedia Commons

Are there any full-size pickup trucks that come in manual? 

Not in America. In 2018 we lost the last of that breed. The Ram 2500 ditched the Daimler-sourced G56 six-speed manual transmission for the 2018 model year. The F-150, GMC Sierra, and Chevy Silverado ditched the manual transmission years before. While some manuals are still found in some smaller work trucks, a three-pedal HD Diesel truck is no longer offered in this country. 

Is the 2017 Ram 2500 with a Cummins diesel a good truck? 

A Jalopnik reporter recently got to drive one of these rare and last-of-a-kind trucks. As Jalopnik says, in many ways, this 2017 Ram 2500 Laramie Sport Mega Cab with the 6.7-liter Cummins diesel inline-six rated at 350 horsepower and 660 lb-ft of torque paired with a six-speed manual is the Holy Grail of pickups. 

For one, it’s a Ram. This means it has one of the finest interiors on the market. For two, it has a Cummins diesel that can pull the world halfway around without trying. Lastly, it comes in manual. 

The writer describes the truck as having a “decently high-quality, reasonably quiet cabin with absurd amounts of space in every direction.” 

One of the first things he realized was that the first gear was a true granny gear meaning that while towing a serious load, this could be really helpful. However, this gear was useless for everyday driving, and he opted to start in second gear for the rest of his test drive. This isn’t really a critique, though, because this truck was built to pull heavy loads. 

What was the driving experience like? 

After the reviewer gushed about the excitement of driving this Cummins diesel truck, he got down to a more objective headspace. 

He comments on the ride calling it a “nicely boosted hydraulic power steering feel as well as a decent ride.” This is surprising because this is such a monstrous and heavy pickup truck. Although the Ram 2500 has solid axles and a massive cab, the solid axles are coil sprung. The suspension continues on with the front end incorporating a three-link setup with two radius arms and a track bar, while the rear is a five-link with a pair of both upper and lower control arms and a track bar. This would explain the surprisingly good ride. 

As much as he clearly loves this monster manual pickup truck, he noted that there is no getting past the fact that this truck is huge, maybe even a bit too huge. Even still, he mentions not being able to shake the truck from his head on the way, mourning the ended era of the full-size manual pickup truck. And, although I don’t think about them often, now, I too am mourning the loss of the three-pedal giants like this Ram 2500 Cummins diesel. 

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