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

2010 Chevrolet Colorado

Transmission: 5-speed manual
Engine: Vortec 2.9L I-4 and Vortec 3.7L I-5 (^^Not available with 5.3L V-8)
Availability: Standard on the 2WD Regular Cab, 2WD Extended Cab, 4WD Regular Cab, 4WD Extended Cab. Not available on Crew Cab

Like most entries in the compact and mid-size truck segments, the Colorado has been around for a while. For the 2010 model year, a five-speed manual transmission is still available with the base 2.9-liter four-cylinder and 3.7-liter inline-five. Those hoping for a manual transmission to pair with the Colorado's 300-horsepower V-8, however, are out of luck.

2010 Ford Ranger

Transmission: 5-speed manual
Engine: 2.3L DOHC I-4 or 4.0L SOHC V-6
Availability: Optional on Regular Cab, SuperCab 2-door, and SuperCab 4-door; XL, XLT, Sport trims

From the base XL to the high-end Sport trim level, a five-speed manual transmission is available across the Ranger lineup. If you're looking for a two-wheel drive Ranger or a truck with four-wheel drive, a manual transmissionis still a possibility.

2010 GMC Canyon

Transmission: 5-speed manual
Engine: Vortec 2.9L I-4 or Vortec 3.7L I-5 (Not available with 5.3L V-8)
Availability: Standard on the 2WD Regular Cab, 2WD Extended Cab, 4WD Regular Cab, 4WD Extended Cab. Not available on Crew Cab

Like the GMC Canyon's more popular twin, the Chevrolet Colorado, this truck can be had with a manual transmission when the five-speed is mated to a four- or five-cylinder engine, but not the 5.3-liter V-8.

2010 Nissan Frontier

Transmission: 5-speed manual
Engine: 2.5L DOHC I4
Availability: 4x2 XE or SE King Cab only

Transmission: 6-speed manual
Engine: 4.0L DOHC V-6
Availability: Crew Cabs: 4x2 and 4x4 SE only; King Cab: 4x4 V6 SE and PRO-4X only

Your budget will determine which manual transmission to buy on the Nissan Frontier. Models with the 152-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder get a five-speed manual standard while the 261-horsepower 4.0-liter V-6 gets a six-speed manual.

2010 RAM 2500 HD and 3500 HD

Transmission: G56 -- Manual Six-Speed Overdrive
Engine: 6.7-Liter High Output Cummins Turbodiesel I-6
Availability: Optional on 2500 Series; Standard on 3500 Series -- ST, SLT, TRX, Laramie Diesel; Regular, Crew, and Mega Cab

2011 RAM 3500 HD, 4500 HD AND 5500 HD Chassis Cabs

Transmission: G56-Manual Six-Speed Overdrive
Engine: 6.7-Liter High Output Cummins Turbodiesel I-6
Availability: Standard - all Diesel 3500, Standard 4500 and 5500 Trim levels Diesel: ST 3500, SLT 3500, Laramie 3500; Quad Cab and Regular Cab Trim levels Non Diesel: ST 45/5500, SLT 45/5500, Laramie 45/5500; Quad Cab and Regular Cab

Heavy duty versions of Ram trucks - from the 2500 to the 5500 HD models - are offered with a six-speed manual Transmission. On diesel and non-diesel powertrains, the six-speed is available.

2010 Suzuki Equator

Transmission: 5-speed manual
Engine: 2.5-liter DOHC I-4
Availability: Standard on Base Extended Cab I-4 Two-wheel drive only

Unlike the Nissan Frontier on which this rebadged truck is based, the Suzuki Equator offers a five-speed manual transmission only with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.

2010 Toyota Tacoma

Transmission: 5-speed manual
Engine: 2.7-liter 4-cylinder
Availability: Standard on 4x2 Regular Cab & Access Cab, PreRunner Regular Cab & Access Cab, 4x4 Regular Cab & Access Cab

Transmission: 6-speed manual
Engine: 4.0-liter V-6
Availability: Standard on 4x2 X-Runner, Standard on 4x4 Double Cab, Optional on PreRunner Access Cab, Optional on 4x4 Access Cab

As the best-selling compact or midsize truck offered in the U.S. today, the Toyota Tacoma can be purchased with a manual transmission with the four- and six-cylinder engines. In two- and four-wheel drive, you can pick a five-speed with the 159-horsepower 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine or a six-speed with the 236-horsepower 4.0-liter V-6.

Honorable mention:
2010 Hummer H3T

Transmission: 5-speed man (MA5)
Availability:
Engine: 3.7L I-5

If you can still find a 2010 Hummer H3T on a General Motors lot, it isn't likely to be a manual transmission model. A five-speed manual is available, however, when mated to the 3.7-liter five-cylinder engine you'll find on the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks.

And The Truck We wish was sold in the U.S.:
2011 Volkswagen Amarok

Transmission: 6-speed manual
Engine: 2.0L, 161-hp, 295-lb-ft, twin-turbodiesel I-4

The Amarok may not head to U.S. shores, but we can still dream about one with the 161-horsepower 2.0-liter twin-turbo diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. With 295 lb-ft of torque, this is one midsize truck combination - diesel and manual transmission - we wish was available in the U.S.

  • «
  • |
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
  • |
  • 5
  • |
  • 6
  • |
  • 7
  • |
  • 8
  • |
  • 9
  • |
  • 10
  • |
  • View Full Article