With their smooth power delivery and improved efficiency, diesel engines have become an increasingly popular add-on to full-size trucks. Nissan vehicles are generally known for having outdated powertrains, tech, and interiors. Despite this, you could still get a diesel engine in the Nissan Titan and Titan XD pickup . . . until 2020.
Car and Driver reports that the old Cummins diesel is notably absent on the options list for these trucks for two years in a row. What engines are still available for these pickup trucks? More importantly, does the lack of diesel mean a decrease in power?
The 2021 Nissan Titan’s sole powertrain
Both the latest Nissan Titan and Nissan Titan XD can only be equipped with a 5.6-liter V8. It’s capable of 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. As Palm Springs Nissan points out, the Titan is the only full-size truck with a V8 on the base trim.
The standard Nissan Titan can tow up to 1,680 pounds with four-wheel drive and 9,260 pounds with optional towing enhancements. Gooseneck towing for the Titan XD taps out at 11,040 pounds and 10,880 pounds for conventional trailer towing. The Titan can carry up to 1,699 pounds in the cargo box, and the Titan XD can haul 2,240 pounds.
Why we’ll miss the Nissan Titan XD’s turbodiesel
Nissan’s old Cummins turbodiesel was only available for the Nissan Titan XD. It produces 310 hp and a whopping 555 lb-ft of torque, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Nissan boasted that this engine provided 45 percent more torque than a V8 while cruising and less downshift for easier towing.
With this engine, the 2019 Nissan Titan XD has a maximum towing capacity of 12,830 pounds. It’s also highly efficient for a heavy-duty truck, getting almost 19 mpg combined city/highway in PickupTrucks.com’s real-world testing. Despite its capability, the diesel engine was killed due to slow sales.
Which 2021 full-size trucks still have diesel engines?
Fortunately, plenty of full-size trucks on the current market can be outfitted with a diesel motor. Both the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups have an optional 3.0-liter Duramax engine. It makes 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, with a maximum towing capacity of 9,500 pounds.
The heavy-duty versions come with a 6.6-liter Duramax V8 capable of 445 hp and 910 lb-ft of torque. Both can gooseneck tow up to 36,000 pounds.
The latest Ram 1500 also has a diesel, a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel capable of 260 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. This motor allows it to tow up to 12,560 pounds. Its fuel economy is also excellent by full-size truck standards, rated for 22/32 mpg city/highway.
Ram 2500 and 3500 drivers can pick between two diesel engines. One is a 6.7-liter Cummins diesel that makes 370 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque, towing up to 22,670 pounds. The High-Output version makes 400 hp, 1,000 lb-ft of torque, and can tow up to 35,100 pounds.
The 2021 Ford F-150 has an optional 3.0-liter Powerstroke diesel capable of 250 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque. With the right equipment, F-150’s equipped with this motor can tow up to 12,100 pounds. The Super Duty line has access to a 6.7-liter Powerstroke that makes 475 hp and 1,050 lb-ft of torque. Gooseneck towing maxes out at a best-in-class 37,000 pounds.
Diesel engines aren’t just reserved for full-size pickups. The Jeep Gladiator, GMC Canyon, and Chevy Colorado can have them as well, albeit not as powerful. The Nissan Titan’s remaining powertrain is alright, but it’s a shame that a diesel option isn’t even on the table.