I have only had 3 daily drivers in my life, all were/are 5-sp manuals:
'88 Mustang (90hp 4cyl
) (1987 - 1995)
'89 Probe GT (190 ft-lb turbo
) (1995 - 2005)
'04 Mazda3 (160hp 4-cyl = not bad) (2005-current)
I love driving a sporty car with a stick every day to work and running errands. That said, I'm not interested in a manual for a tow vehicle, especially if it doubles as the family vehicle.
Why manual tow vehicles are rare?
a. Most people don't want to drive a stick.
b. Most that DO like to drive a stick (like me) only want that in a sporty car, not a utility vehicle.
c. Automatics have come a long way, and the torque convertor greatly increases their durability under high loads. More heavy rigs are now getting automatics.
d. Manuals that are strong enough to tow significant loads need a very strong clutch, which is not fun to drive.