New manual trucks are becoming rarer than Lamborghinis on the road these days, so Jeep’s decision to offer the Gladiator with a good old-fashioned six-speed manual transmission is something that might catch your attention.
In fact, every derivative of the new Gladiator in the U.S, comes with a stick-shift as standard, with the eight-speed auto being a $2,000 option. The differences between the two involve some important figures for truck buyers, including a smaller towing capacity for the three-pedal version – 4,500lbs vs 7,000lbs in the Gladiator Rubicon.
Jeep currently offers its pickup truck with just one powertrain option, the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 that produces 285hp and 260lb-ft (352Nm) of torque, although next year it will add a 3.0-liter diesel V6 with 260hp and 442lb-ft.
Redline Reviews found the manual Gladiator to be more sluggish in acceleration compared to the automatic version, something that could be attributed in the longer ratios of the transmission, but the shift quality was deemed very good and not at all “truck-like”. For anyone who’s driven an old manual truck, that’s a very welcome surprise.
Another point of criticism in the stick-shift version is the lack of a dead pedal, which means that the driver’s left foot is left sitting uncomfortably on the floor when it’s off clutch-duty.
So ,the automatic version of the Gladiator feels snappier, keeps the driver more comfortable and offers similar fuel economy. Does this mean that the three-pedal Gladiator is the loser of the range? Let’s see what the reviewer has to say about that…