Let's face it, the manual transmission is a dying breed and is getting harder to find at dealers. Sadly, the manual gearboxes in North America are already on their way out. As the nation grows, so does traffic and the ability to multitask -- using both feet while sitting in traffic is way more work for the average 9-to-5 commuter to deal with nowadays. The joy of driving doesn't excite people like it did years ago when learning how to use a clutch symbolized a rite of passage for teens growing into adults and gaining their freedom.
I remember my mom taking me to the nearest empty street to teach me how to drive. She told me if I wanted to learn how to drive, I would have to learn how to drive stick and the only vehicle I could drive was her compact Toyota pickup. We spent a good couple of hours stalling and laughing our way through the lessons. But it's one of those moments in time that made me appreciate the advances in manual transmissions, and why it's so sad that there are few left in today's vehicles.
In 2009, 6.2% of all passenger cars sold in the U.S. came equipped with a 5-speed and 2.4% had a 6-speed manual. Those numbers don't reflect the grim numbers in the light-truck segment with just 1.0% of '09 models fitted with a 5-speed and 0.8% with a 6-speed, according to Ward's data.
If you're in the market for a new truck and find it hard to find a manual in stock, it's because it's a dying breed. Most manufacturers deleted their manual trannys from their full-size truck lineups -- leaving a few compacts and heavy duties available.
With the ever-changing auto climate, some of these manuals may disappear soon. Here is a list of 2010-2011 trucks you can get with a clutch to give your left leg something to do while driving.
Source: Ford, General Motors, Suzuki, Toyota, Ram, Nissan, Volkswagen, Wards