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You may have forgotten, but for a time, Nissan actually offered a half-ton truck with a diesel engine. And not only was the Nissan Titan XD available with a diesel engine, but the powertrain was also courtesy of none other than Cummins. The company whose engines have long been found in pickup trucks from Ram. 

Why did Nissan drop the Titan diesel?

Although you might think that a full-size truck with a turbodiesel would be popular, Nissan killed off the diesel Titan fairly quickly. The 5.0-liter diesel engine came about in 2015, but by 2019, it was headed to the chopping block. That means you can no longer get a new Titan with the power and torque of a diesel. 

Simply put, sales of diesel Titan trucks were fairly stagnant when the brand made the decision. And for a truck that is already not all that popular, you can see why Nissan might be hesitant to invest heavily in engine options. 

Sure, according to Automotive News, about half of Titan XD trucks sell with the 5.0-liter turbocharged V8 engine. But with the Titan at the bottom of the barrel in terms of full-size pickups, there really are not all that many Nissan Titan buyers to begin with. 

Diesel trucks have slowly been dying off

Unless you are a consumer who wants to get a heavy-duty truck, you’ve likely noticed a trend. A lot of pickup trucks on sale today lack a diesel engine. In fact, only one midsize truck, the Jeep Gladiator, is available with a diesel at this point. 

A diesel Nissan Titan XD is featured at an auto show. It comes with a Cummins turbodiesel engine.
2018 Nissan Titan XD | Raymond Boyd via Getty Images

Trucks like the Ram 1500, Ford F-150, and Chevy Colorado have all killed off the diesel engine option in recent years. Although diesel trucks often come with more torque and can even add to fuel economy, it seems like most folks shy away from them. 

Maybe it’s because diesel engines can occasionally be more expensive to operate or because truck drivers in this segment prefer gasoline. Clearly, Nissan does not see the point or the profit in offering a diesel Titan at this point in time. 

Is the diesel Nissan Titan a good truck?

According to Car and Driver, the Nissan Titan with the Cummins turbodiesel is not a good truck. Mechanical issues, overall utility, and some other issues led this full-size pickup to be one of the worst new (at the time) vehicles the publication has driven. 

A diesel Titan, a version of the Nissan Titan XD sits at a construction site.
2016 Nissan Titan XD | Jim Mahoney via Getty Images

At the same time, I’ve heard from folks that they love their Titan with this powertrain. In fact, while they can understand why the Titan is not as popular as some other trucks on the market, the hate does seem unjustified. 

But ultimately, the Cummins turbodiesel Titan is viewed by most of the industry as a flop. Even if it does boast a Cummins badge and that unique sound that is a diesel engine. And for now, it does look like Nissan has plans to kill off its full-size truck. While the Frontier did get a major update for 2022, the Titan is dying a slow death.

Related Lawsuit Alert: Nissan Titan Diesel Engines Have 1 Fatal Flaw

Lawsuit Alert: Nissan Titan Diesel Engines Have 1 Fatal Flaw