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Nissan Titan XD refresh inbound, but Cummins diesel dies this year

Nissan made a lot of noise about offering a diesel from the legendary engine manufacturer, but it doesn't appear to have panned out.

Nissan Titan XD
Nissan's neither-heavy-duty-nor-light-duty Titan XD will get an update later this year.

Nissan's Titan XD bowed for the 2016 model year, intending to split the difference between heavy-duty pickup capabilities and a light-duty classification. The Japanese automaker also plopped a 5.0-liter Cummins V8 turbodiesel engine under the hood as optional firepower.

Alas, three model years is all the Cummins turbodiesel engine will see. As first reported by The Drive on Tuesday and later confirmed to Roadshow by Nissan spokesperson Wendy Orthman, the Cummins engine option will soon be put out to pasture. The brand plans to build the pickup with the Cummins V-8 until December 2019. After that, it's lights out for the turbodiesel.

"This will help better position Nissan in the long term as we prepare for the launch of the new, refreshed 2020 Titan and Titan XD Gas later this year," Orthman said in a statement.

So, there's a silver lining for Nissan truck fans: despite the end of the diesel option, Nissan is readying an updated Titan XD. The automaker is not yet prepared to share specific details about what the updates may bring, however. Right now, the model's sole gasoline engine is a 5.6-liter V8 that makes 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque.

The soon-to-depart 5.0-liter V8 turbodiesel is a Nissan-specific powerplant built by Cummins that makes 310 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque. The brand rates the diesel to tow up to 11,960 pounds in crew-cab configuration, while the gasoline engine will tow 1,010 fewer pounds.

"Cummins Soon" was a marketing message in 2016. Gone soon, too, apparently...


As for whether the diesel engine has been a market success in Nissan's eyes, we don't know. Nissan declined to share any estimates of how many Titan XD diesel pickups it's sold over the years, as the brand does not disclose sales figures for particular powertrains or build configurations. The fact that the Cummins is leaving the market after such a short period of time is perhaps the best indicator of how buyers received the engine option.

The latest sales report from Nissan shows the company has sold just 20,268 Titan models total so far through July of this year. That's down 25.7 percent year-to-date compared to this time last year, when the brand moved 27,271 Titan models.