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.