Skip to main content

Long ago, all trucks offered a manual transmission. In fact, most vehicles had a manual as the standard transmission choice, with the automatic being a $1,000 option. Today, the reverse is what we find. Very few vehicles, including pickup trucks, offer a manual transmission, and this feature is typically only offered on some trims.

Which two pickup trucks still offer a manual transmission?

The only two pickups with this feature sold in the United States are the Toyota Tacoma and Jeep Gladiator. Sure, you can find a stick shift if you drive in other markets, but when we focus on the US, this is what we find.

Both pickups that offer a third pedal and stick are in the midsize truck class, and both can be found on the trails. Some off-road enthusiasts still love to use a stick shift when away from lined and paved roads.

Let’s see what each of these manual transmission midsize trucks offers.

A stick shifter only enhances the fun of the 2022 Toyota Tacoma

An orange 2023 Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup truck is parked off-road.
The 2023 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

The Tacoma lineup has two engines and transmissions. If you want the six-speed manual transmission, you’ll also enjoy the benefits of the 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 278 horsepower. None of the trims with this powertrain have 2WD. You won’t mind that if you’re looking at this midsize truck for some fun on the trails.

MotorTrend tells us the three trims with the stick shift coming up out of the floor are TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, and TRD Pro. Do you see a theme here? The TRD Sport runs a little shy on the off-road goodies, other than 4WD, but the other two are hardcore trail riders. The TRD Off-Road brings:

  • Multi-Terrain Select system
  • Crawl Control
  • Electronic locking rear differential
  • Off-road suspension

As expected, the TRD Pro takes things further with:

  • Multi-Terrain Monitor
  • Locking rear differential
  • Fox-branded shocks
  • TRD cat-back exhaust
  • Added ground clearance

A manual transmission is expected in the Jeep Gladiator

2022 Jeep Gladiator relability ranking
2022 Jeep Gladiator | Jeep

The Jeep Gladiator is the truck version of the Wrangler. When you think of it this way, you might slap your forehead like actors in the V-8 commercials used to do. With that in mind, the Gladiator uses the venerable Pentastar V6 engine with a six-speed manual transmission. This powertrain delivers 285 horsepower.

Unlike the Tacoma, the Jeep Gladiator starts with a manual transmission and V6 engine. Other powertrains are optional. That makes it easy for you to choose the base model of the Gladiator, which is the Sport trim. No matter which version of this midsize pickup truck you choose, you’ll have the benefits of standard 4WD and some cool off-road features to take you in the wilderness.

The standard version of the Gladiator Sport includes a limited-slip rear differential and a cold air intake system. Add the Max Tow Package to this model, and you’ll have:

  • Heavy-duty brakes
  • Heavy-duty Dana 44 wide front and rear axles
  • Trailer Hitch Zoom
  • Heavy-duty engine cooling

Will the manual transmission eventually be gone from all trucks?

2022 ford F-150 Lightning winter range tips
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning | Ford

We can speculate that this is certainly the case. The automotive market is moving toward electric powertrains, which don’t require a multi-gear transmission. Currently, the manual transmission is a bit of a novelty, and soon that novelty will be gone for good.

Next, check out some muscle cars with stick shifts, or watch these two trucks with manual transmissions in the wilderness in this video below:

This article was updated on 2/20/2023.