By on February 1, 2018

Nissan Titan Midnight Edition

(In the interest of providing readers with all the news they can use, we sometimes tap sister publications when an article attracts our interest. In this piece by Matthew Guy, published by Off-Road.com, our in-house truck lover tries to find out when Nissan’s promised six-cylinder Titan will finally make its appearance.

Nissan has been doing a good job getting back into the full-sized truck game, rolling out various cab and bed configurations for the Titan along with an array of trim levels. There’s still one thing missing, though – a V6 engine.

Right now, truck customers walking into a Nissan showroom are limited to a single engine in the half-ton Titan. The 5.6-liter Endurance V8 is a great motor, cranking out nearly 400 horsepower and an equal amount of torque and allowing drivers to tow nearly 10,000 lbs, but not everyone needs that hauling capability.

More importantly, not everyone wants to pay the price. Some, particularly construction crews and people in the trades, simply need the space of a full-sized truck for all their gear. A V6 engine, such as the base mills offered by the Detroit Three, allows them to schlep around their stuff without breaking the bank at the pumps.

“We did confirm that a V6 will be coming [in the Titan],” said Nissan spokesperson Kevin Raftery. “However, that’s all we are able to say as of now – no official timetable.”

2017 Nissan Titan King Cab vs Crew Cab - Image: Nissan

Nissan has busied itself with rolling out three different Titan body styles during its first two years on the market, starting with the Crew Cab, then adding the Single Cab and fabulously-named King Cab. Notably, they’re all exactly the same length: 228.1 inches.

It’s a smart play, one which allows Nissan to have an answer for just about every customer. The addition of a V6 would give the company another round in its chamber, providing an option for the shopper who is looking for space and not brute power. A smaller engine in the Single Cab and Crew Cab models would also allow for a lower starting price.

Currently, the cheapest Titan is a two-wheel drive long bed, checking in at $29,780. A comparable Silverado, but equipped with a V6, is about $1,000 cheaper before incentives. Customers will find a $27,910 F-150 at their Ford store, while Ram sells a $27,095 Ram 1500. Both of those machines are 4×2 longbox base models and are powered by V6 engines.

After all, Nissan has a raft of experience with V6 engines and while most folks will immediately call the company’s front-drive six-cylinder passenger cars to mind, it’s worth remembering that certain versions of the NV van are available with a 4.0-liter V6. A smaller 3.5-liter V6 is also available in other Nissan products like the Pathfinder, making 284 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque, just enough to motivate a base model pickup truck.

[Images: Nissan]

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11 Comments on “Nissan Hasn’t Forgotten About a V6 Titan – It Just Looks That Way...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Forget a V6 – how about more than 7 speeds in your transmission for the gas V8?

    The Titan is one of the heaviest drinkers among the full size fleet, even an 8 speed would have to be an improvement.

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      The Titan is also the heaviest (curb weight) of the full size trucks, easily by several hundred pounds from what I can find.

      The V6 probably would reduce price of entry but I would be surprised if it allowed much increase in fuel economy in such a heavy pig, especially if they screw the pooch and roll out a car-based V6 like Toyota did in the Tacos.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Reminds me of how Edmunds got nearly identical fuel economy out of an F150 with 2.7 Ecoboost and 5.0 Coyote (this was the old Coyote with 6 speed auto). Now that the Coyote in the F150 is finally getting the 10 speed auto, the real world reasons for the turbo 6 to exist are going away.

      • 0 avatar
        dont.fit.in.cars

        Cab configuration my ass. The problem with Titan and always will be, is payload. Having a 3/4 ton chassis with half ton suspension is the most idiotic dim wited engineering imaginable.

  • avatar
    Menar Fromarz

    V6 or V8, what I care about is if you can get the pie plate delete option from the front fenders. Sheesh.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    A small, simple V8, say a 4.6 and 16 valve, would be the best “poverty spec” option or for fleet, industry, and private cheapskates. That combined with actual choice of axle ratios, economy to heavy pull, would be far better than a V6 downgrade, right out of a minivan.

    Still that’s easy for us to say. The Big 3 make obscene profits off their fullsize pickups, thanks to tremendous volume, and can easily afford to offer almost limitless combinations, further increasing sales volume vs a one-size-fits-all approach.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    The VQ40 V6 also powers the Frontier. Problem is that even in the Frontier, it is a fairly thirsty motor. My 2015 F150 with the 2.7 does better withe respect to fuel economy than my 2013 Crew Cab Frontier did. A modern automatic transmission with more than 5 gears would likely help out on that front, but it is a motor that has been around the block. Still it should at least be durable. I think the timing chain guide and radiator transmission cooler issues have been worked out on it though.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Other than the base stripper midsize pickups, it’s clear they’ve outgrown their cheesy V6 engines. When you gotta mash the gas pedal just to keep up with traffic, fuel economy near or worse than fullsize pickups with V8s should surprise no one. It doesn’t have to be a big V8, nor a slammed special-edition, set drag racing.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        “When you gotta mash the gas pedal just to keep up with traffic, fuel economy near or worse than fullsize pickups with V8s should surprise no one.”

        Have you ever driven a 4.0L Frontier or Xterra? You hardly need to “mash the gas to keep up with traffic.” You mash the gas when you want to chirp third (if it’s a 6spd). They’re thirsty motors no doubt, but hardly lacking for power.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Art,
      A few years back Nissan, Cummins and the EPA sunk some money into a small 2.8 Cummins diesel in a Titan. It was claimed back then to be returning around 30mpg.

      It would be great for a little diesel Titan for the business person.


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