Booooo Nissan. BOOO! Despite working with Cummins to develop a small-displacement, four-cylinder diesel engine for the 2014 Nissan Titan, the Japanese automaker has instead decided to offer a 5.0 liter, V8 turbodiesel that will do nothing to improve sales. I’m calling it here and now; you just can’t compete with American trucks at their own game.
I had hoped that Nissan would offer a four-cylinder, 2.8 liter Cummins turbodiesel in the Titan instead. While it would make less power than the 5.0 V8, which could churn out as much as 550 ft-lbs of torque, all Nissan has done is left its new engine open for comparison against the larger, more powerful, and better-established turbodiesel American trucks.
That will get it nowhere in the long run; with nothing to set it apart, the Titan, which barely crested 21,000 units sold last year, merely becomes an option for those seeking something “different” and I doubt the new turbodiesel V8 will attract many serious truck buyers.
I rather like what Chrysler has done instead, offering the 3.0 liter EcoDiesel V6 engine for a $2,850 premium over the standard HEMI V8. While not as powerful as Nissan’s big turbodiesel, it is likely far more efficient and gives full-size truck buyers a diesel engine option that doesn’t break the bank.
Instead of offering something genuinely different in the full-size truck market though, Nissan is trying to compete with trucks that have perhaps the most rabid fanbase of any vehicle ever. Mark my words, the Nissan Titan diesel will do nothing to save this faltering truck pretender.