The Last Pickups You Can Still Buy with a Manual Transmission

While the shift from manual transmissions to automatic ones has been steadfast, several vehicles can still be had with a manual transmission. But unfortunately, when it comes to shopping for a pickup with a manual transmission, there aren’t that many choices left. In fact, at this point? There are only two pickup trucks you can buy with a manual transmission.

The Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road parked in the wilderness
Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road | Toyota

The difference between a manual transmission and an automatic transmission 

If you’re shopping for a new pickup, there are three different types of transmissions that you should know about. First is the manual transmission, or what you might call a stick shift. To put it simply, a manual transmission is basically a gearbox. It allows the driver to choose between different gear ratios, and according to some drivers, makes vehicles more engaging to drive. 

Automatic transmissions, on the other hand, can shift gears without any input from the driver. However, some automatic transmissions do give drivers the option to manually select the gears using either a shift lever or paddles that have been mounted behind the steering wheel. 

Lastly? The continuously variable transmission, otherwise known as a CVT. Digital Trends reports that this type of transmission forgoes gears and relies on a neverending belt and pulley system instead. Basically, when you have a CVT, the transmission never actually shifts. 

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Are there any new pickup trucks available with a manual transmission?

Unfortunately, manual transmissions aren’t all that popular anymore. While automatic transmissions used to be a luxury, it’s now manual transmissions that are tough to find. This, unfortunately, means that if you’re in the market for a new pickup truck with a manual transmission, you’re going to be dealing with some pretty slim pickings.

At this point, there are only two pickup trucks available with a manual transmission: the 2021 Toyota Tacoma and the 2021 Jeep Gladiator. While the Nissan Frontier used to be included on that list, it’s definitely not anymore. Based on the 2022 model’s specs, the Nissan Frontier wasn’t able to hold on to its manual transmission. 

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Can you get a Toyota Tacoma with a manual transmission?

Yes, you certainly can. In fact, Car and Driver reports that when it comes to the Toyota Tacoma, you’re going to want to steer clear of its automatic transmission and stick with its manual transmission instead.

The bad news is that the Tacoma’s manual transmission isn’t available on every trim. Instead, it’s only available with three trim levels, the TRD Sport, the TRD Off-Road, and the TRD Pro.

Opting for the stick shift also limits some of the features available. Not only does the pickup’s manual transmission limit you to a shorter 5.0-foot cargo box, but it also means you can’t get a Tacoma with push-button start. While that’s certainly not a bad thing, it’s definitely worth keeping in mind. 

The Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road climbing a rocky hill
Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road | Toyota

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The 2021 Jeep Gladiator is standard with a manual transmission 

Unlike the Toyota Tacoma, the 2021 Jeep Gladiator is actually standard with a six-speed manual transmission. Sticking with its manual transmission won’t restrict you from specific trim levels either. Instead, it’s standard across the board.

But there is some bad news. While the Jeep Gladiator is the only pickup that comes standard with a manual transmission, it was recalled for a faulty clutch pressure plate that could result in a fire. According to Car and Driver, Jeep recalled 42,887 vehicles, including 2018 to 2021 Wrangler models and 2020–2021 Gladiator models with manual transmissions. Fortunately, Jeep is remedying the issue. 

2021 Jeep Gladiator driving through the mountains
2021 Jeep® Gladiator Rubicon | Jeep

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You might have to make the switch to an automatic soon

If you aren’t quite ready to make the switch from a manual transmission to an automatic one, you’re pretty much stuck choosing between the Toyota Tacoma and the Jeep Gladiator. At least if you’re after a pickup with a manual transmission. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but, it is worth noting that at some point? You’re going to have to make the switch to an automatic transmission. Because odds are, manual transmissions won’t be around for much longer.