Oil Is Out: Nissan Readies a Refreshed, Diesel-free Titan Line

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
oil is out nissan readies a refreshed diesel free titan line

Far from being the first choice among full-size truck buyers, the Nissan Titan and Titan XD are at least earning attention from their builders — and the latest alteration will earn a chorus of boos from those who worship at the altar of all things Cummins.

With a refreshed lineup on the way, Nissan has confirmed that the 5.0-liter diesel V8 available in the nearly-three-quarter-ton Titan XD will disappear by the end of the year.

The confirmation comes by way of The Drive, which learned that diesel Titans will cease production in Canton, Mississippi by December 2019. By that time, we’ll already be well-acquainted with the refreshed Titan/Titan XD duo launching for the 2020 model year.

“This will help better position Nissan in the long term as we prepare for the launch of the new, dramatically refreshed 2020 Titan and Titan XD Gas later this year,” said a Nissan spokesperson said of the diesel ditching.

No figures are available on just how unpopular the diesel option was. Certainly, after seeing a spike in sales following the second-generation Titan’s 2016MY debut — as well as the introduction of the tweener XD model — volume stagnated, then fell, despite Nissan offering a bevy of bodystyles and packages (not to mention a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty).

Through the end of July, combined Titan sales are down 25.7 percent over the same period last year; July saw a year-over-year drop of 43.6 percent. Compare that to the perpetually popular Ford F-150 or new Ram 1500, whose volume exponentially outstrips the Titan’s. The ancient midsize Frontier outsells its bigger brothers by nearly 2 to 1.

One problem Nissan faces is its engines. With no (comparatively) fuel-sipping V6 on offer, a customer’s only choice in the Titan is a 5.6-liter V8 and the dismal fuel economy that comes with it. Titan XD owners, at least up until December, have the option of a 5.6-liter gas V8 or the Cummins, rated at 310 horsepower and 555 lb-ft of torque.

It’s worth noting that more than three-quarters of F-150 buyers opt for the Blue Oval’s trio of six-cylinder offerings, including the recently added dual-injection 3.3-liter.

Whether or not Nissan bestows a V6 or a thriftier V8 on its “dramatically refreshed” pickups remains to be seen, but we won’t have to wait long to find out.

[Images: Nissan]

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  • Carrera Carrera on Aug 06, 2019

    There's a big used car store in Florida that specializes in off lease cars, cars that have been in some sort of an accident or some other sort of car that is a bit undesirable to certify and sell at a brand dealership. They always have 5-6 Nissan's XDs in stock with relatively low miles ( often under 10,000). This dealership is very open and never hides the fact that their cars have been in a wreck. They provide Carfax and autocheck and even if those are clean, they disclose upon their own inspection of there was an accident. Every time I saw a Nissan XD there, it was a manufacture buy back ( Lemon). Coincidece? I don't know. I've never seen other buy backs but VWs Tdi after the diesel scandal and factory refit.

  • IBx1 IBx1 on Aug 07, 2019

    The issue with the 5.0 Cummins is that it came out a decade and a half late, in the height of overzealous engine-killing emissions controls. If this were made before '08 it would likely have been comparable in durability to the 24V Cummins in the Ram.

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