Jeep Manual Transmission

Jeep Manual Transmission – Which Models Have A Manual?

Are you in the market for a Jeep and do you want to get a Jeep manual transmission? If that is the case, then you are at the right place because we are going to cover everything you need to know when it comes to Jeep manual transmission.

Performing proper research to find out which of the Jeep models are included with a manual transmission is key if you want to get the best for yourself. There are those that don’t enjoy driving automatics and some of us are still relying on good old manual transmissions because it is arguably one of the best types of transmissions out there.

Also, a manual transmission is simply a better performer when it comes to off-road duties. You probably don’t want to get stuck at some trail with an automatic transmission in your hand. Because with automatics, there is not much that you could do, to be honest. So, going for a manual is probably a no-brainer for you.

That’s why in this article, we are going to learn what is a manual transmission and how does it work. This will be quite useful for people who are quite keen to try a manual. Then we will learn the Jeep manual transmission models that are offered on the market. After we are going to see what types of transmission they are using and the possible problems with this transmission. So, let’s start discussing.

What Is A Manual Transmission?

In the world of transmissions, there are two types of transmission. A manual and an automatic transmission. An automatic transmission has several subtypes. As the robotized manual, torque converter automatic, DCT, CVT, and other types. But the manual has stayed pretty much the same throughout history.

Back in the day when the cars first started rolling out of the production line, there were only manual transmission cars. But as the times changed and the technology has evolved, people started getting automatic transmission vehicles.

So, over the long history, the transmission of choice in the US has become the automatic transmission. People love it because it allows them to shift the gears unnoticeably and without any trouble.

Jeep Manual Transmission

Unlike manual transmissions where manual labor is required from the driver to go through the gears and shift manually. Manual transmissions also require some mastery because you cannot become an experienced driver with 100 miles driven with a manual. Being good at shifting with a manual transmission requires time and also patience to perfect it.

That’s why people are loving it, especially the off-road enthusiasts that are looking for a Jeep manual transmission. There is no better feeling when you can go off-road with your friends who don’t know what a manual really is and you explain them and present yourself as a true manual transmission guy who knows everything. You will earn their respect, that’s for sure.

And maybe, who knows. They also might want to get a Jeep manual transmission for themselves. But have you asked yourself how does a manual transmission works under the hood? Well, that’s what we are going to cover up next. So, follow along.

How Does Manual Transmission Work?

In simple words, a manual transmission works by engaging and disengaging the clutch.

In automatic transmission cars, there are only two pedals. A brake pedal and a gas pedal, while in the manual transmission cars there are three pedals. Gas pedal, brake pedal, and a clutch.

The clutch as you know is the pedal that is located on the left side and it sits right next to the brake pedal which is in the middle. Overall, not too complicated, since there is only one more pedal to work with.

But to work properly with the pedal, you should know how the whole system works. When you press the clutch pedal, you basically are disengaging the clutch from the flex plate. This allows you to go a gear up or down.

If you don’t press the clutch, you will not be able to move the gear lever into a different gear. If you do this, you will experience a metallic sound that is not quite pleasant.

Nevertheless, you press the clutch pedal and you go a gear up let’s say. Then when you release the clutch, you should not release it too fast. If you do, the car will stall and you will have to start it again. This is also not that good for clutch life. Because with every stalling you are risking damage to the clutch plate. And they are expensive to replace.

You need to learn the point where the clutch grips with the flex plate and this is the sweet spot when it comes to good gear changes in a Jeep manual transmission. Also, working with the gas pedal is key because you have to add enough gas for the car to be happy to not stall it.

Which Jeep Models Have The Manual Transmission?

The Jeep lineup is long but only two of the models are including manual transmissions. Why is this the case? This is the case because manuals have been left out of favor by the more convenient automatic transmissions that greatly improved in the past decade.

From clunkers the automatics finally got the shifting done right and they are shifting gears quicker than the speed of light. So, people opted to get an automatic instead of a manual transmission. Even in a Jeep, which is kinda strange to drive an off-roader with an automatic but that’s how things are now.

As we mentioned, there are only two Jeep manual transmission models. These are the Wrangler and the Gladiator. These two Jeeps are the only true off-roaders out there.

Since other Jeeps belong more in the group of crossover SUVs. And as we all know, SUVs are not that intended to go uphill and tackle some dirt roads. So, there was no reason for installing a manual in these models.

Also, a lot of off-road enthusiasts are into manual transmissions. So, it was an easy decision for Jeep to add manual transmissions into these two models which as we said are the Wrangler and the Gladiator. But what are these models in detail?

That’s what we are going to learn in the following two chapters where we will discuss the Wrangler and the Jeep Gladiator and learn more about their characteristics. So, follow along.

What Is The Jeep Wrangler?

The Wrangler is Jeep’s longest-selling product. The Wrangler is a true off-roader intended for proper off-road use and abuse. At the moment the Wrangler is in its fourth generation and this tells a lot about its longevity and the regard to be the true heir of the Willys Jeep that won the WW2.

What its interesting about the Wrangler is that the styling that it is using takes its roots from the WW2 era Willys Jeep that we mentioned. This styling is pretty much timeless and used by quite a lot of brands and manufacturers. But the Wrangler is the product that is most associated with this styling.

The present generation of the Wrangler was introduced in 2018 and it is codenamed the JL. This is the time when the Jeep Wrangler is under the FCA and we can see a lot of their technology used in this product like the engines and transmission and other suspension components.

What is different about this Jeep from other Jeeps that wore the Wrangler badge is the level of engineering that went into this product. This generation is probably the most perfected generation from all of the previous generations.

Focusing quite a lot on the driver’s comfort, unlike previous models that were pretty basic in the build quality. Not to forget the improved engines and transmissions including the Jeep manual transmission.

This Jeep belongs in the mid-size class which means that it is quite smaller than the bigger full-size SUVs and trucks. Making it the perfect vehicle for driving off-road and having a lot of fun on the weekends, while using it as a commuter during the workdays.

What Is The Jeep Gladiator?

The Jeep Gladiator is a pickup truck that was unveiled in 2019. Jeep saw the demand for a pickup truck in this segment and they have decided to use this to their advantage and they have created the Jeep Gladiator.

The Gladiator is using a ton of the componentry of the Jeep Wrangler. They share the same body style and looks from the front.

But what is different in the rear. Namely, the Gladiator is quite long when compared to the Wrangler. This allows the Gladiator to have a good size bed that can be used to haul stuff across the country and get some work done with it. Something that the Wrangler will not allow since it is an SUV.

The Gladiator can be used for both hauling and towing tasks. It easily matches the Ford Ranger, Nissan Frontier, and the Toyota Tacoma in performance.

It also gives you the ability to remove everything from it like the roof, doors, and windshield. If you want to have that classic Jeep feel when you go off-roading.

There are a ton of special editions of the Gladiator similar to the Wrangler. These include the Rubicon which is the best seller, then there is the Mojave, Altitude, Willys, and Texas Trail Edition.

Sharing the same componentry means that the Gladiator shares a lot with the Wrangler. Namely, the engines and also the Jeep manual transmission. But what type of manual transmission is the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator are using? That’s what we are going to cover in the following chapters. After that, we are going to discuss the problems with this manual transmission and also how much it’s going to cost you to get a Jeep manual transmission.

What Type Of Manual Transmission The Wrangler Is Using?

Now let’s discuss the elephant in the room and discuss the Jeep manual transmission used in the Wrangler and the Gladiator.

Both of these models are using an Aisin D478 transmission. This transmission is a 6-speed with overdrive.

Aisin is a company that is located in Japan. Which means that they are a Japanese manufacturer of transmissions. So, why this transmission in this application?

This is because Jeep instead of focusing on developing transmissions has simply found a supplier for their products. It is a much better solution to find a company like Getrag, Aisin, Allison, or others to sell you a transmission instead of building it in-house.

Jeep Manual Transmission

It is far cheaper for their parent company, Fiat Chrysler (now Stellantis). That’s how they manage to sell the product for a lot less. Like in this example, you can get the Wrangler as low as $30,000. But if they build it in-house, it is going to cost you a lot more money to purchase a Wrangler.

Not to forget the quality of these transmissions which is unmatched when it comes to performance and also endurance. They can easily tackle anything on the road and not break. And that’s something for an off-roader is a key thing.

The reliability overall is quite good with this transmission. But more on that later after we cover the cost to purchase a Jeep manual transmission. Overall, this is a win-win situation for both the buyer and manufacturer, that’s why you should not be scared when buying a Jeep manual transmission with a transmission that has been manufactured by Aisin (to find out more, check out our explainer on how much do Jeeps cost). Still, this transmission has some issues and we are going to cover them in the following chapters.

Jeep Manual Transmission Cost

When it comes to cost for the Jeep manual transmission. We can say that it ain’t cheap. If you go for a new Wrangler, it is going to cost you about $40,000 for the Rubicon with the 3.6L V6 engine. If you go for the base Unlimited Sport model, you can expect to pay about $35,600. Which is a good deal to be honest.

The cheapest model in which you can get a manual is the 2-door Sport model. It is a bit smaller than the 4-door, but some compromises have to be done. This model will set you back about $31,000.

The Gladiator on the other hand starts at $36,000. Which is an excellent deal, to be honest. So, if you are into the pickup look, this might be the right option for you since you will be able to get the most out of this truck.

When it comes to sales, the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator sell really well and a lot of people are interested in the Jeep manual transmission.

The Gladiator averagely sells about 80,000 units per year. While the Wrangler sells quite more and it reaches some incredible numbers when it comes to sales. With 200,000 units sold in 2020, it is one of the hottest options out there. And that are only US sales, if we go abroad, these sale numbers are even bigger and easily reach 300,000.

And that is for 2020 which was a bad year for car sales. In 2018 for example, is sold in more than 240,000 examples. This is crazy and tells you a lot about the popularity of the Jeep Wrangler and the Jeep manual transmission. But what about the Jeep manual transmission problems? More on that in a bit.

Jeep Manual Transmission Problems

The Aisin transmission is pretty much a bulletproof transmission with no problems whatsoever. But there are still some things that are worth taking noting and that is the problems with the clutch of this transmission.

As we know the clutch plate is that component that comes in contact with the flywheel and grips the flywheel tightly to connect the transmission with the engine for proper torque delivery.

What is the problem with these transmissions is that the clutch fails too soon. This is caused by an overheating issue that is developed when the transmission is used in situations that demand quite a lot of torque to be delivered to the wheels.

Jeep Manual Transmission

When the clutch on this transmission overheats it starts to fracture and problems arise pretty quickly. These small fractures can cause cracks to develop inside of the transmission case and damage the transmission. Causing the transmission to fail completely.

When you are in a situation like this, the first thing you will probably notice is the smell of something burning. If you have driven a manual transmission car, then you are pretty much familiar with it. Or if not, let me tell you that isn’t nice. It really stinks and will make you regret that you bought a manual transmission car.

Overall, there are no major problems with this transmission. This problem was reportedly patched by Jeep and in the following chapter, we are going to cover how they solved this issue with the Jeep manual transmission. Knowing this will be key if you don’t want to deal with this problem. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.

Jeep Manual Transmission Recalls

As we said, there is a problem with the overheating clutch on this transmission. This problem affects the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator manufactured after 2018 and causes the clutch to overheat and fail completely. Making the vehicle stationary and unable to move.

That’s why there was a recall issued on these vehicles. More precisely about 42,887 vehicles with this problem. The dealerships fixed this problem by installing new software that was designed to reduce the engine power when the temperatures inside of the clutch rise above normal.

This made sure that no permanent damage on the clutch happened. And fortunately, no injuries were caused by this problem.

If you are looking after a Wrangler, make sure that the vehicle that you want to purchase was recalled and the problem was solved. This will guarantee that you will avoid any future headaches.

Imagine that your clutch fails, this is not a simple job that can be done just like that. The clutch assembly costs a ton of money as well as labor. You cannot expect to get this job for less than $1,500 and this is if you are lucky because most of these repairs even cost about $2,000.

And also it will be a real pity to replace a new clutch and be without your Jeep manual transmission for a week or so at the shop. That’s why to be aware of these things and try to avoid them as much as you possibly can if you want to have a happy and fulfilled ownership.

But what about the Jeep Wrangler manual transmission alternatives? Are there any at all? Let’s find out in the following chapter.


When it comes to alternatives to the Jeep manual transmission it is worth noting that there are not many available out there. The Jeep manual transmission is a rare car. Nowadays not a lot of carmakers want to include manual transmission in their models because they do not sell very well. So, finding an alternative may be quite a difficult task to do.

The only worthy competitor of the Wrangler with a manual transmission is the Ford Bronco that was recently released. If you want a manual, this will be the only obvious choice for you.

Ford Bronco SUV 4x4 off-roader

Other options that are available include the Kia Soul, Subaru Crosstrek, and Hyundai Venue. But these models would probably not cut it if you want to seriously off-road your SUV.

Their capabilities going off-road are rather poor. That’s why the Bronco would probably be the only way out around this problem. And the Bronco is quite good and should definitely be one of your top choices when purchasing a new SUV with a manual transmission.

Jeep Manual Transmission Facts:

  • Jeep is one of the few manufacturers that still produce manual transmission SUVs, with the Wrangler and Gladiator offering this option.
  • Both the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator come standard with a manual transmission, with the option to upgrade to an automatic one for an additional cost.
  • The Wrangler comes in various trims that offer a manual transmission, except for the Rubicon 392 and High Altitude, which come standard with an automatic transmission.
  • The Gladiator also offers a manual transmission in several trims, including the Rubicon and Mojave.
  • The price of a manual transmission is generally cheaper than that of an automatic, but adding an automatic transmission to a manual Jeep will cost an extra $2,000-$3,000.
  • Learning to drive a manual transmission can be challenging, but only around 18% of Americans know how to drive one, which could make your car less likely to be stolen.
  • Manual transmissions used to have better fuel economy than automatic transmissions, but this is no longer the case.
  • Repair costs are generally lower for manual transmissions.
  • The disappearance of manual transmissions due to a lack of consumer interest means finding a car with a manual option can be challenging.
  • Jerry, a car insurance comparison app and licensed broker, can help you find the right Jeep manual transmission for you and even provide information on reducing your insurance costs.


In this article, we have covered a lot when it comes to the Jeep manual transmission. First, we learned what is manual transmission and how manual transmissions work in practice.

Then we learned about all the Jeep manual transmission models. And as we can recall, these models are the Wrangler and the Gladiator. Then we learned how much it is going to cost you to get a Jeep manual transmission.

Then we covered the problems with the Aisin transmission and the recalls in which this transmission took part. Lastly, we have covered the alternatives that are out there when it comes to getting an SUV with a manual transmission.

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