Will the death of the manual never cease?
The death of the manual transmission in the United States is well documented. In the past year alone, we've waved goodbye to the manual option in sports cars like the Jaguar F-Type, economy cars like the Kia Rio, and luxury cars like the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series. Now it is time for us to bid a sad farewell to two more manual transmissions in the mid-size General Motors trucks, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. A Chevy spokesperson confirmed to CarBuzz that "we dropped the manual transmission from the Colorado and Canyon for 2019 model year. Unfortunately, the demand was so low for the manual transmission that it did not justify continuing to offer it."
A six-speed manual transmission has always been offered on the base and work truck trim levels of the Colorado and Canyon since the current generation of both trucks were revealed back in 2015. The manual was mated exclusively to a 2.5-liter four-cylinder sending 200 horsepower to the rear wheels only (four-wheel-drive wasn't available with the manual).
The 3.6-liter 308-hp V6 was never offered with a manual, nor was the 2.8-liter 181-hp four-cylinder diesel engine, both of which can be found in high trim levels like the Colorado ZR2 Bison. Those two engines were only offered with an eight-speed or six-speed transmission respectively and the base 2.5-liter engine will now be offered with a six-speed automatic only.
Chevy explained that the demand for the manual simply wasn't high enough to justify producing it. This leaves the Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tacoma, and upcoming Jeep Gladiator as the only mid-size trucks to still offer the option to row your own gears. The latest Ford Ranger is only offered with a 10-speed automatic despite pleas from truck enthusiasts to offer a manual. Even though we were never particularly excited by the prospect of a base Colorado or Canyon with a stick shift, we are still sad to see another manual option leave the market.