Diaz May Be Ready for Turbo-Diesel, But Consumers May Not


The buzz over the announcement of the partnership between Cummins and Nissan for the next-generation Titan, likely due out as a 2015 model, is strong among truck enthusiasts. This kind of news is exactly what diesel fans have been waiting for: Nissan took the lead and announced a new turbo-diesel powertrain option for a half-ton pickup. No doubt they're hoping other truck makers like Toyota, GM and even Honda rise to the occasion (Ram already has one coming and Ford looks to be on a similar track). But there may be a few more details to consider.

This particular Cummins 5.0-liter V-8 has been around for a while. As you might expect, engines like this don't just pop up out of the ground every day. This has been a long time coming. In fact, we noted an engine sticker that made reference to the 5.0-liter Cummins in 2008 when we saw Ram's 2009 model design. At the time, Ram denied everything. Of course, it was looking at the feasibility of the engine then but that was two previous owners ago (if you don't count the U.S. government).

From what we're told, Ram decided not to use the bigger and more heavy-duty-appropriate 5.0-liter for the half-ton customer. Instead it opted for a smaller engine in the 400-pounds-feet-of-torque range like the 3.0-liter VM Motori that will power the Ram 1500 starting next month. Don't misunderstand — we think it's great Nissan is jumping into the deep end, but it seems like it would make more sense if it were offering a Titan 2500 three-quarter-ton truck, rather than completely gutting the half-ton truck to put in stronger transmission shaft links, driveshafts, axle shafts, new front and rear axles, ring and pinion gears, and all the other stuff necessary to handle the most torque of any powertrain ever put into a half-ton pickup truck. We may be wrong, but something doesn't quite seem to be adding up here.

According to Automotive News, Fred Diaz, Nissan's divisional vice president of sales and marketing, said there was a point when he had to see the truck himself back in July, so he dropped in on the Southern California design studio and was impressed with its looks and stance. That's a good thing, because Diaz knows his trucks, but he also knows Nissan has absolutely nothing to lose (last year Nissan sold as many Titans all year as Ford sells F-150s in three weeks), so the company is making this the huge bang it needs to be. We tend to agree.

In the half-ton segment, 300 horsepower (plus or minus) and 400 pounds-feet of torque seems to be the sweet spot for powertrains. That's right where Ford's popular EcoBoost sits. That's where the new Ram V-6 EcoDiesel sits. And that's where most of the V-8 gas options sit. Within that context, the Cummins V-8 seems a little like overkill. That's why the Titan 2500 makes sense to us, especially with a powerful diesel. After all, Nissan already has a modified Titan 2500 and 3500 frame sitting underneath its NV full-size vans. This could get interesting.


Good luck Nissan. Instead of selling 21K a year, they will sell 23K a year. Yeah, why even bother?

Diaz May Be Ready for Turbo-Diesel, But Consumers May Not?

Question is am i ready for a Nissan full size? ................NOT!!!!!!!!

The title of this article is such BS. Consumers have been waiting for the last 10 years for a fuel efficient torque rich diesel. Just no one will give it to us. Just like the same ol mfg bs nobody buys a manual transmission vehicle anymore. Its really hard to buy one when there are never any at the dealerships !!!

Well, that'll leave more Cummins diesel engines for the HD Tundra:


It has to be cost effective even if it gets 30mpg the oil changes and maintenance will cost a lot. Plus I hope Nissan is seriously upgrading their truck. The current truck is way to lite and a diesel won't make it a better truck just a better power plant.

I will be taking a serious look at the Ram 1500 with the 3.OL Diesel when that comes out for sure. I'm real tired of 15 mpgs in my Tundra dbl cab 4x4. I can get 16 if i drive very conservative, wow. My 1970 gmc avg 13. Tell me, where is the progress in 43 Years ??? Plus with a diesel there is so much head room to improve mpgs and or power, the best of both worlds.

To many people out there who still believe buying a diesel is going to save them money...

Keep the Tundra. Payoff on the Ram will be north of 20 years.

I think customers definitely want diesel light trucks. I think the upcoming Ram hits the sweet spot for the powertrain though. About the only way Nissan will sell any relevant amount of trucks is to offer something the Big 3 doesn't have. This prob have best hp, torque, and towing, and if it comes in with descent mpg and price it may sell.

@Gregory J.
Why even bother? You are a real nutter, you have to start somewhere.

Choice to the consumer is the reason, we have a Kia K2900 truck here in Australia and less than 1 000 are imported every year.

The US needs more selection of brands, not models from existing manufacturers. You need more choice as a nation and not to be told by the government/UAW/Big 3 what you can and can't drive.

I think a 5 litre V8 Cummins is fantastic, and I hope they sell enough to maintain them in Nissan's lineup.

@cmon & James Moore
The VM powered Ram will be the best option if you aren't towing very heavy loads. I would think that the Titan with the 5 litre Cummins will come as a HD half ton.

What hasn't been mentioned is the work that has gone into the ISF 2.8 Cummins. This engine was to be for the Titan as well.

If Nissan can come out with a small and larger diesel for their half ton trucks they will increase sales significantly.

Nissan I think will be making the other manufacturers look un-innovative.

I really don't think it is feasible for Toyota to drop a V8 Cummins in the Tundra. Not when they have a 4.5 litre V8 diesel of their own. The 4.5 Toyota V8 diesel has only been around for 5 years or so.

half-ton, three-quarter-ton, one-ton: these adjectives for US pickup trucks are irrelevant these days. An F150 can carry a lot more than half a ton. The Titan just needs to be competitive. If it gets 25-26 mpg highway, tows at least 12,000 lbs, can carry 1.5 tonnes, rides smooth, has a tough frame and drivetrain components, it will sell. I think the 5.0 Cummins should put out 330 HP/600 lb-ft.

@ Sandman_73
It isn't just about FE savings. It's also about the experience in driving diesels.

Own a small diesel and then talk about your 'experiences'. I own a modern small diesel pickup. I think it is better than any gas powered vehicle.

Why are V8s selling and the Eco Boost pickups? Wouldn't a non-turbo V6 pickup be better for all then with your logic.

Or even better why isn't everyone driving a 2.7/2.5 litre Taco/Frontier? Your logic isn't sound.

@ Big Al from Oz
Did you read the article on Edmunds? Toyota may have a 4.5 of their, but will it pass emissions in the US?

I was one of the people who said "show me a diesel truck, I'll write the check". I still want a diesel and will seriously look ... 2015 to 2016 time frame. Why? This option took too long and the wifes car crapped out after 175K. I won't consider a payment (new or used) until all of my other debt is paid off.
Sweet spot for me is still the mid-size crew with a small diesel ... let's see what GM brings with the Colorado twins. Heck, the new mid-sizers were considered full size 5 to 10 yrs ago!

EcoBoost makes better sense. Diesel-like torque with lower engine acquisition price, cheaper fuel and no DEF or DPF.

Only a person who is ignorant would think that paying 8% more in fuel is better then getting 30% better fuel economy.

At the current fuel prices the ecodiesel will pay for itself in 6 years by mpg benefits alone. But at that time the truck will be worth 4K more.

So what is better at trade-in/sale: A gas engine truck worth 10k or a diesel engine truck worth 14k.

Only a person who is ignorant would think that paying 8% LESS FOR fuel is better then getting 30% better fuel economy.

Edit to my above post.

@Turdra, I think you meant to say "Only a person who is ignorant would think that paying 8% LESS in fuel is better then getting 30% better fuel economy." But yes, I agree with you.

This 5.0 cummins might just do. what the 5.9 cummins did to the 2500 and 3500 ram trucks in the 90s.

That 4.5 Diesel is only sold in Australia at the moment. Toyota already has its diesels being used in the US, so do the other Japanese truckmakers. The European SUV's sold in the US are all diesels. Freightliner and Mack uses variants of European HDT truck diesels. Fords 3.2 Diesel in the up coming Transit is a European diesel, that cannot be upgraded to Euro 6 but meets US regulations.
Going by that the 4.5 Toyota V8 Diesel should be fine.

I don't think most people buy a diesel to save money, they buy because they like diesels and thier superior low end grunt for towing heavy loads. I applaud Nissan for taking a chance on this, and they are not planning on selling a ton of them. They are predicting 17% of Titans sold will be diesel and with a predication of 100,000 total Titans produced per yer that only about 17,000 units. It will all come down to the added cost to weather or not people will buy it, yea they are willing to pay a bit more but not 10K more to get a diesel.

I'm surprised Nissan hasn't been selling a diesel Frontier in the US. They offer a 2.5L 4-cylinder & 3.0L V6 turbodiesels in Australia & the UK. I'm sure that emissions rules are either met by these engines or very close. Nissan could be building a customer base by offering the only TD non-fullsize truck in North America.

Speaking only for myself,I have owned diesels in the past and I will be buying a new one next year.I'm going to give the GM midsize twins a good look as they will offer a 2.8L 4 cyl diesel right away.If I don't for any reason like them,I will opt for the Ram 1500 diesel.I've owned a 2.8L vm diesel before and it was a great powerplant in my 4x4 Liberty.30+ mpg right off the bat and maint wasn't all that more then a gasser.For those that don't believe the available diesels aren't selling good here in the USA,you couldn't be more wrong if you tried.Diesel 1/2 ton pickups will sell here,and sell alot.For those that in truth,no little to nothing about modern clean diesels,by all means,buy a gasser instead.

Show us the calculation. Write it out.

Show us the" ignorant people" how this is going to save money.

"In the half-ton segment, 300 horsepower (plus or minus) and 400 pounds-feet of torque seems to be the sweet spot for powertrains. That's right where Ford's popular EcoBoost sits. That's where the new Ram V-6 EcoDiesel sits."

The RAM V6 Ecodiesel is nowhere near 300 hp. It only has 240hp. Come to think of it neither is the Ecoboost at 365hp, but at least it is on the plus side of things. Both do have 420 lb-ft of torque though.

At this stage, we can only make educated guesses on fuel economy and purchase price premium.
So here's my educated guess
price premium: $4,000
5.0 D 20/26 - 23 combined (18 towing an average sized travel trailer)
5.6 V8 12/17 - 15 combined (10 towing an average sized travel trailer).

(8 mpg better for the diesel on average)

fuel price unleaded 3.77 / diesel 3.95
(I know it's different wherever you go, but I am using the calculations from here).

28 gallon tank: gas: $105.56 / diesel: $110.60
average miles per tank: gas: 420 / diesel: 644
average $ per mile: gas: 0.25c / diesel: 0.17c

savings per mile on diesel: 8c
miles till break-even: 50,000

Less depreciation difference: 0-25,000 miles?

Plus you get a more capable truck with way more torque and fewer stops at the pump.

Alex good annalogy, but I don't think the new V8 gasser will be 12/17 probably more like 15/22 as Nissan has stated the are making a fuel economy a big factor and I'm guess they will be at least were the competition is at with the new V8 gasser.


Sorry to burst your bubble but the difference between regular unleaded and diesel is way more than .18 cents. It's is is more like twice that around the nation. Also, gas engine are becoming way more efficient. My 4-door 4x4 3.73 Ecoboost gets 17 mpg highway on a bad day, and is more along the lines of 19 mpg with some hills traveling 75 mph. If the roads are flat then my mpg stays around 20 mpg if I keep the cruise set between 70-75 mph. Just think of what it would do with an 8-speed transmission.

All of it depends on a number of variables for each person. Where I live, diesel is typically at least 20-25% more expensive than gas.

I love how Alex boots the diesel combined mpg to 23 mpg. Then uses 15 mpg for the gas truck. We are not just comparing Nissan to Nissan. We are rated at 18 mpg now on EB and the next gen is supposed to be 20% better. He also didn't add in for DEF. This is why I don't trust anyone who advocates for diesels and does calculations. They just twist the numbers to make it look better than it really is. If you do the true calculations apples to apples you don't break even.

What an epic disaster this is going to be for nissan.

The people who want a big, noisy, stinky diesel engines in their trucks (e.g. rednecks and people who haul cargo for a living) do not now, nor will they ever be caught dead behind the wheel of a nissan.

Just read the comments here!

Nobody wants one! Not even I want one and I was planning on buying a titan for my next truck!

Not selling many Titans, nissan? You should appeal more to your core buyer. People looking for economy, low cost of ownership and reliability. The current titan falls short of meeting those needs and from the sounds of it, the future titans will too.

If this big diesel comes to fruition, I'm going to scratch nissan off my list and I'll buy something else. This says loud and clear to me, "We've listened to your concerns and have decided you and your concerns can go piss up a rope"

Why is diesel all of a sudden a cost issue. Like I stated before, most who blog on this site talk V8s. Why not support V6 pickups and talk down the cost of owning a V8.

Diesel is cheaper to operate in many instances compared to a V8. You guys really are plucking crap straight out of your sphincters with no experience or real 'hand on' knowledge.

Diesel here in Australia is more expensive than gas and diesel has taken hold big time with utes/pickups. The US will be no different.

The V8 gas crowd are worried by the comments I'm seeing.

A 4 cylinder diesel half ton would be the ideal for a person looking for great FE and resale.

You guys will have them soon as well.

National Average Fuel Prices
Diesel: $3.93
Gas: $3.59

I'll use Alex's unofficial combined 23 mpg for the siel.

Next gen trucks are supposed to be 15-20% more fuel efficient which will be in the combined 21-22 mpg. I'll go with 21 mpg.

15,000 miles driven per year

15k miles / 23 mpg diesel = 652 gallons
652 gallons x $3.93 = $2,562.36 per year

15k miles / 21 mpg gas = 714 gallons
714 gallons x $3.59 = $2,563.26 per year

You save $1.10 per year with the diesel. That's right. A lousy dollar!

But that doesn't include DEF fluid so you will LOSE hundreds per year with the diesel.

Break even point? Never.

@ Jason

Multiple posters have replied to you on the other diesel threads showing a cost break down. That you have never chosen to reply to any of them speaks volumes. You routinely make the same claims and/or ask the same rhetorical questions. It is getting old.

It is *very* likely that the diesel in the Ram will pay for itself in fuel savings relatively quickly. The calculations have been done for you numerous times in other threads, using the Grand Cherokee numbers as a baseline. Nobody has any clue what sort of numbers are going to come out for this cummins, or any possible 4 cylinder diesel in other vehicles.

If you ask the same questions or make the same claims in every diesel thread, while ignoring the data and calculations of those that have proven you wrong *routinely* you are an obvious troll.

I don't know what Toyota is going to do but I do agree with most others I think a V6 diesel would be better than a 5.0L V8 Cummins in a 1/2 ton. I think the 4.2L V6 Cummins would be better in a 1/2 ton and that may be what Toyota would eye as they want brand recognition as well http://www.edmunds.com/car-news/toyota-eyes-cummins-diesel-engine-for-tundra.html?SID=1377ie7olby9o&kw=flexibletexttool&PID=3193613&AID=10364102&mktid=cj260233&mktcat=affiliates.

@The Real Lou,

Don't let the A$$hole get to you. If you do then they have the upper hand and have won.

@Jeff S

@Robert Ryan
Posting less than usual.

Correct assumption and observation. I do remember Jason (DenverMike) being corrected. But you have to realise DenverMike role.

Cummins also have a ISF 3.8 litre diesel that would work in a half ton pickup.

"It is *very* likely that the diesel in the Ram will pay for itself in fuel savings relatively quickly."


@ Mark Williams
You can cry as loud as you can, bud EB has no future.

I have reviewed Dave's detailed numbers and they appear to accurate and consistent with my own calculations. If you go through the math, your payback is much longer or nonexistent with a diesel half ton and consumers are smart enough to know that.

Diesel is great the price of diesel is not, I bought my VW tdi hoping diesel would solve my mpg, it did but suddenly diesel was more than gas. Had I bought the gas VW which still gets in the high 30's mpg I would have been better. torque is great for a truck but hey who can afford a Cummins diesel and pay diesel high prices in fuel. Makes sense if your going to pull trailers all around town for your business, but everyday diesel is pricey even in my VW tdi.

@ Dave, you are either mathematically challenged, a troll, or both. The ecodiesel is the only diesel we can speculate on, since it is already in the Grand Cherokee and a direct comparison can be made between the Grand Cherokee and the Ram 1500.

Jeep Grand Cherokee EPA Mileage with Hemi V8 = 14 city 20 highway 16 combined We will round this this up to 17 combined just to bias the argument against the diesel.

Jeep Grand Cherokee EPA Mileage with 3.0 V6 Ecodiesel = 21city 28highway for 24 combined.

Checking gasbuddy for my local zip code 19103 results in the following fuel prices $3.83 for diesel and $3.53 for regular unleaded.

Now then, let’s do some real math.

10k miles / year (fairly low) would mean

10K miles / 17 mpg = 588.2 gallons regular unleaded
10K miles / 24 mpg = 416.67 gallons diesel

588.2 gallons * $3.53 dollars/gallon = $2076.35 in fuel costs
416.67 gallons * $3.83 dollars/gallon = $1595.85 in fuel costs

The Difference? $2076.35-$1595.85 = $480.50

It has an 8 gallon tank of DEF, which is supposed to last 10K miles. DEF @ Walmart runs $5.60 / gallon.

8 gallons * $5.60/gallon = ~$45

$480.50 - $45 = $435.5 savings over 10K miles

This of course is biasing the mileage away from the diesel and towards the V8. It also uses 87 octane unleaded in the comparison, even though the V8 recommends 89 octane fuel. This comparison also ignores the fact that diesels typically perform better than their gasoline counterparts when transposed over their EPA ratings. To wrap up our comparison we of course need the price of the diesel upgrade. Going to truecar to get pricing for grand cherokees in zip code 19103, upgrading an overland summit 4x4 from hemi to ecodiesel $1805.

So, with the biases I introduced into the above, and with driving 10K miles per year, it will take $1805/$435.5 = 4.14 years, so if we again bias the numbers away from the diesel it will be paid for in 5 years.

There you have it, you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own math. The same goes for Jason.

And by the way, your post above was one of the more ridiculous pieces of trash posted on this site. You managed to “guess” the combined mileage of the diesel that is lower than it currently gets, and managed to “guess” the combined mileage of a gasser that is HIGHER THAN THE CURRENT HIGHWAY MILEAGE. You are a joke.

@ Unbiased Truck Buyer. I recommend you change your tag to “gullible truck buyer” if you bought into those numbers Dave put up.


Doesn't the diesel option cost more than the 5.7L Hemi? If so did you factor that in? I have always been told diesel has more expensive oil changes so you might have to factor that in. Now in favor of the diesel you probably get better mpg towing and hauling so you might have to factor that in. guess you could also factor in higher resale as some people keep the same truck only for a few years. I guess it might work for some but not work for others.

My only issue with this is that it's too far out in the future. They need it now.

A big chunk of market share will come from 3/4 ton buyers that didnt need a 3/4 ton truck but preferred a diesel.

All the naysayers need to keep in mind that the premium paid for a diesel engine is recovered at resale.

Did MaXx really call this engine noisy, stinky and unreliable? A modern diesel? And a Cummins to boot???

Regardless, diesel is coming. CAFE has sealed the fate of gas engines. You can't get the numbers with a gas engine. It's physics y'all.

And that's just fine with me. Diesel engines are far superior.

Do people read posts?
Probably not due to all of the trolls or are people so fixated on their own opinions that they cannot open their minds to a different opinion?

Statistics from a study done by the University of Michigan show that virtually across the board, diesels have return on investment superior to comparable gas powered vehicles.


Saving based on Total cost of ownership.

Total cost of ownership:
3 yrs - $67.00
5 yrs - $587.00
3 yrs - 1,395.00
5 yrs - 763.00
3 yrs - 3,673.00
5 yrs - 1,720.00
3 yrs - 2,720
5 yrs - 2,613

This study was released March of 2013.

I've just posted diesel pickups which have purchase costs well above the diesels planned for 1/2 tons and small trucks.

For those saying that commercial trucking has been hit by emissions is true in the recent past but talk to truckers NOW. MPG has improved and operational costs are dropping.

We will see diesel engines if for no other reason than the fact that diesel has roughly 15% more energy than gasoline. Diesels also "burn" fuel more efficiently. They tend to have at least a 15% efficiency advantage over a gas engine.

Diesel is more expensive at the pump........WHY?

The main reasons why diesel fuel prices have been higher than gasoline prices in recent years are:

•High worldwide demand for diesel fuel and other distillate fuel oils, especially in Europe, China, India, and the United States, and a tight global refining capacity available to meet demand during the period of high economic growth from 2002 to mid-2008.
•The transition to less polluting, lower-sulfur diesel fuels in the United States affected diesel fuel production and distribution costs.
•The Federal excise tax for on-highway diesel fuel of 24.4 cents/gallon is 6 cents per gallon higher the gasoline tax.


@Big Al from Oz - "No Troll control" is killing this site by driving away anyone with a valid opinion.

Also... The price of these fuels will have to change soon. There is real money and exposure behind diesel now. That money is also likely being spent in Washington as we speak. It wouldn't matter what the fuel was, if the money is behind it, the government will be too, right or wrong, efficient or not, intelligent or not, climate change, Bald Eagles and water quality be damned. Follow the money and you'll see where the federal policy goes. If the trend keeps on like this, Obummer will soon be on TV telling all us chilluns about how great diesel fuel is, and how great a president he is for inventing it.


It is in the calculation. If you use truecar to build your car from Jeep (and everyone should, if you *ever* pay more than truecar pricing you are overpaying) the upgrade from the Hemi to the ecodiesel is $1805. Since the ecodiesel saves over $400/ year even when biasing the numbers against it and only driving 10K miles per year, it pays for itself relatively quickly.

I also ignored retained value in my calculation, since nobody can be sure how well the diesel option will retain value. If it works well it will likely do a great job of it. If it turns out that it is another poorly built Chrysler product it may not retain value so well.

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