Nissan Frontier Diesel Runner Hits the Road

GCR Frontier Cummins 2

Nissan just held its full-line preview for the auto media in Nashville, Tenn., and in attendance — thanks to Cummins engineers who drove it from Columbus, Ind. — was the same concept Frontier Diesel Runner we saw at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. Even while filming our video of the concept, we saw people wandering to the display stand and drooling.

Since we didn't make it to Nashville we weren't able to take it on the short loop Nissan had setup for those interested in driving the Frontier. Thankfully, our friends at Green Car Reports did attend, and they had a few things to say about how it drove. They may not be truck people, but they enjoyed the little Frontier for its rugged torque and fuel efficiency.

They noted that Cummins still has more testing to do and possibly a few integration bugs to sort out, but overall the diesel Frontier offered a pretty good ride. Of course, much will be dependent on price for an engine option like this, and with a new Cummins coming in the next-gen Titan (set to debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in January), much will be riding on the acceptance of the 5.0-liter turbo-diesel V-8 before the little 2.8-liter inline-four-cylinder Cummins gets the green light for the next Frontier.

We hope to get a ride in the Nissan/Cummins concept soon, as well as the coming Titan and its new turbo-diesel V-8.

Manufacturer images

 

Comments

I hope that Nissan moves forward with a diesel Frontier. Nissan has a lot of potential with the Frontier. Lets face it, the Titan, hardly has any presence in the full-size market, but the Frontier has a much bigger following for the compact/midsized market.

For whatever reason, it seems like a lot of the Frontiers I see are actually having their capabilities fully utilized. I have seen a number being used to tow decent sized travel trailer, one guy near me even tows a light weight 5th wheel with on.

Couldn't make it??????
I suppose you had more important things to do.

(set to debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in January)

Don't you think that this news deserves more than a bracketed comment in a story about a diesel test drive you couldn't attend?

TTAC mentioned the Titan reveal 3 days ago on July 10 (and they aren't a truck news site).

Lou,That's not news. We already knew it would be revealed at the Detroit Auto Show. People need to stop getting their "news" from TTAC - THEY DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT TRUCKS and just make up "breaking" truck news half the time.

From Jan 16th, 2014:
"Nissan will unveil an all-new version of its Titan pickup truck at next year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the automaker's chief planning officer has revealed."

Read more: http://www.leftlanenews.com/next-nissan-titan-to-bow-at-2015-detroit-show.html#ixzz37NCmvrpt

I don't have time to look it up from PUTC but they also said this.

The reason they were not at the Nissan preivew is there is nothing new for pickup trucks non-concept. And they were doing a week long, 4 location drive of the new Power Wagon on 4 different trails.

https://twitter.com/pickuptrucks

nlp, I'd rather them drive the new Power Wagon across 4 states on 4 different trails. The other sites did drive the Nissan concept diesel engine down a street that you cannot buy and probably won't be able to buy for a handful of years if ever. Nissan wouldn't even let them check the mpg. So what was the point?

I agree. It looks like PUTC had better things to do: 2015 Super Duty testing and an extensive Ram Power Wagon test. Concepts are cool but they don't let you do much with them and there is nothing new going on at Nissan until the Titan in 2015, and Frontier nothing new to 2017. If you were a car site it may have been worth going to the Nissan dog and pony show.

A short loop is not worth it for a prototype you cannot buy and they made sure you wouldn't know the fuel economy. I'm glad PUTC did not go.

Months ago PUTC stated the Titan debut: "will debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit."

As did other sites. Nothing new on that front.

I don't care if they missed driving a prototype engine in the same old truck on a short loop Nissan had set up. The problem is that diesel fuel us 10-15% higher than gasoline, and here in Arizona, it is nearly 20% higher. Then add the 10-15% premium in vehicle purchase price over the gas engines and that great fuel mileage will never recoup the cost no matter how long you drive them. I love diesel power, I am a heavy diesel mechanic. But outside the commercial vehicles and heavy equipment operators, it makes no financial sense in a mid-size.

The Nissan Frontier Cummins is supposed to be up to 35% more fuel efficient than the 4.0L gas so that put's it at 29 mpg.

You'll never make up the cost of the diesel.

Plug the numbers with the cost of fuel into a side by side calculator and you'd save only 98 cents per year versus a 27 mpg gas F-150. Not including extra maintence or def.

So you wouldn't save anything. Drop the F-150 down to 25 mpg and you only save $100.

@DeverMike/Paul/Tom Lemon/Greg Baird/TRX4Tom/Dave/Hemi V8/Tom Terrific/sandman 4x4/lautenslager/zveria/Bob/US Truck Driver/Glenn/Jason/Hemi Rampage/smartest truck guy/Maxx/SuperDuty37/Ken/Ron/johnny doe/jim/ALL1/Frank/Idahoe Joe/The Guy/AD/Casey/papa jim/Young Guy/BeeBe/Steve/Chris/The truck guy/Alex/Mr Chow/Yessir/All Americans/Scott/Buy American or say Bye to America/Ram Big Horn 1500/Hemi Monster/Tom Wilkinson at Chevy/mark49/Tom#3/Truck Crazy or whoever you want to call yourself.

Quit the crap, really.

It's getting long in the tooth.

You want to debate, but it has to be on your terms.

Learn to debate with good information, then we might be able to have a decent debate.

Opinions are good, but if they are only your view to support the UAW, then how good are they. Look at what you guys have done to Detroit.

Terror tactics (union tactics) don't work on me.

If PUTC wants the UAW or whatever to control this site I suppose it's their decision.

It's not kids like I've been told by PUTC.

It wouldn't be hard for Nissan to release this vehicle rather quickly.

It already has the knowledge, hardware and even drivetrain in the Navara.

To bad about the chicken tax, Spain could have put some together. But..........that's another story.

I really like this little Cummins.

I think I stated that Nissan will give us a glimpse of the new Frontier/Navara at Chicago with the 2.8 Cummins.

I still want to see the new Navara and Titan. Nissan has to do something a little more than this to maintain interest or potential pickup owners will just say, 'I'll look elsewhere'.

I think when the next Navara and Hilux come out they will supersede the Ranger, BT50, Amarok, Colorado, Dmax, etc.

I told you guys a while ago about these diesels heading your way.

cmon Nick, where you buying your diesel. Last time i checked diesel is only 6% higher and if you dont pay sticker and get the usual 25% off the crazy sticker price, the diesel driving 15K per year will pay for itself in less than 3 years. sharpen your pencil and put some new batteries in your old TI calculator

@ Ken what F150 gets 25mpg ???

@Big Al, diesels have been rumored as coming here since I started visiting www.pickuptruck.com back in 1999 when the F150 was going to get the 4.5L V6 Power Stroke. Then a few years later the Chevy 1500 was going to get a 4.5L V8, and the F150 would get a 4.4L V8. It's a shame none of the previous attempts panned out, and I really hope the market supports these ones that are coming out.

2015 F-150 will be 25 mpg at least, and should be somewhere near 27-30 mpg.

Prices here,last week.
Reg gas-$3.85.9@
Diesel-$3.75.9@
That's in southern Oregon.

@BAFO - This is a project truck, not a production vehicle. Do you not understand the difference? Stick to what you know!

Look at all the defenders of PUTC...... Trolls and morons run rampant.

TTAC is a better site.

@ Ken. what the mfg says and real world are Completely Different figures regarding the F150. i know people that have the TT V-6 and the only way to get the stated mpg is to drive 50 or less and get to that speed without putting your foot in it. turbos suck fuel in gassers. I call BS on your mpg claims fer F150

Lou, I will defend PUTC when they are right. Stop trolling. TTAC is better if your're easily duped. Check your facts first.

The problem with trolls has nothing to do with the validity of information that PUTC presets. To say otherwise is the typical ad hominem fallacy.

I'm sure most of us have wished for better information from time to time, but I don't think at the lack of such information is anyone's fault in particular.

PUTC is well respected in auto journalism, and the trolling in the comments section is an anomaly.

Many people on other sites read the articles here and go not further, in other words they don't read the comments or post comments. Sometimes I feel the same way, but I stay here for the occasional good discussion/debate that comes along.

I consider TTAC to be tabloid trash and full of noise. I give you a few examples of TTAC noise...

1) Sources say Super Duty stays with steel - wrong. Nice wild guess or perhaps a attempt to slander the F-150 for not being tough enough, but spy photos and videos show an aluminum body on the Super Duty, and this was in fact set up in advance by Ford with the photographers.

2) F-150 delayed bc of problems with aluminum - wrong again. Everything on schedule and going as planned.

3) F-150's 'code name Lion' stuff - PUTc says welcome to 2006 and they want their scoop back. Wikipedia already explains what the "Lion" diesel is, and where it's used, and how it's been in production for like 8 years now.... And they're talking about how this engine is going to launch in 2018? That pretty much tells you all you need to know about TTAC's "scoop."

4) Nissan to use decades old platform for next Frontier - makes no sense and was directly refuted by Nissan and & C&D.

4) Titan debut in Detroit - Yes, it will but that's old news.

Now back to a real truck site at PUTC…

"The problem with trolls, it has nothing to do with the validity of information that PUTC presets. To say otherwise is the typical ad hominem fallacy."

I agree with Hemi Monster. I'll also say I'd rather have trolls in the comments section than border-line trolls writing the reports or coming up with "stories" like happens on other sites.

If we put this up for a vote....

1) 5 minute drive of a Nissan project truck on their course - no mpg info, and it's a truck that is not going to be released.

2) HD Shootout, 2015 Super Duty Tow Test, and 4 day 4 state new Power Wagon test on 4 different trails.

Which would you pick?

#1 is wonderful and dandy, but I'd pick #2 and say that PUTC is doing their job better than any other truck site. Their job is to test trucks.... Nobody does it better.

Good job PUTC. The Frontier is getting long in the tooth. A 10 minute test drive of a prototype engine in a 10 year old platform isn't worth it, and they won't answer any questions. I'd rather you test drive the next gen Colorado! Thanks.

@DeverMike/Paul/Tom Lemon/Greg Baird/TRX4Tom/Dave/Hemi V8/Tom Terrific/sandman 4x4/lautenslager/zveria/Bob/US Truck Driver/Glenn/Jason/Hemi Rampage/smartest truck guy/Maxx/SuperDuty37/Ken/Ron/johnny doe/jim/ALL1/Frank/Idahoe Joe/The Guy/AD/Casey/papa jim/Young Guy/BeeBe/Steve/Chris/The truck guy/Alex/Mr Chow/Yessir/All Americans/Scott/Buy American or say Bye to America/Ram Big Horn 1500/Hemi Monster/Tom Wilkinson at Chevy/mark49/Tom#3/Truck Crazy or whoever you want to call yourself.

Quit the crap, really.

It's getting long in the tooth.

You want to debate, but it has to be on your terms.

Learn to debate with good information, then we might be able to have a decent debate.

Opinions are good, but if they are only your view to support the UAW, then how good are they. Look at what you guys have done to Detroit.

Terror tactics (union tactics) don't work on me.

If PUTC wants the UAW or whatever to control this site I suppose it's their decision.

It's not kids like I've been told by PUTC.

From some of the comments above I sense the fear again.

Don't be scared of diesels, they are actually used right now on most every highway in the US.

It appears diesels are indeed heading your way for pickups and light commercials. The 2.8 Cummins is a good start for a US manufacturer to learn how to make and develop a global competitive diesel.

Maybe one day the US can export light diesel tech and engines around the world.

From some of the comments above I sense the fear again.

Don't be scared of diesels, they are actually used right now on most every highway in the US.

It appears diesels are indeed heading your way for pickups and light commercials. The 2.8 Cummins is a good start for a US manufacturer to learn how to make and develop a global competitive diesel.

Maybe one day the US can export light diesel tech and engines around the world.

I know a guy who goes around to the fast food joints and collects the oils and processes it to run in his diesel. It an older diesel but its costing him next nothing to run.

He has the setup in his shed and it isn't large. Quite interesting. He spends a day or so a month doing it, I think its like a hobby for him.

In the tropics around here people are using straight coconut oil to run older landcruisers on, you should be able to find out about that on the net. In colder areas the coconut oil solidifies.

Another guy at work wanted to buy quite a few acres to grow canola have his airstrip and live in a hangar/home/workshop.

He was going to make the canola into bio diesel to run his farm on. Some interesting people around.

I haven't heard of old grease from fast food joints being stolen here yet.

I would really like to point out it is fantastic that a US based company is doing this, rather than a Asian/Euro company.

It's amazing what happens when forced to do:)

You Ford boys are dreaming about the F150 MPGs you are posting! Wake up and smell the roses!

@cmon: "@ Ken. what the mfg says and real world are Completely Different figures regarding the F150. i know people that have the TT V-6 and the only way to get the stated mpg is to drive 50 or less and get to that speed without putting your foot in it. turbos suck fuel in gassers. I call BS on your mpg claims fer F150"

You know, personally I hate Ford; but I'm calling BS on your argument. I offer a challenge. YOU or PUTC arrange for me to drive an F-150 with the EcoBoost engine for one week and I'll even go so far as to let them or PUTC put a GPS recorder on it. Let me drive it for seven days and let's see if I can meet or beat the stated FE. My typical driving is a mix of highway/town which should qualify for the "mixed" ratings and I'll be happy to put a 300-mile run on it for highway miles for comparison's sake. Let's see who's really Blowing Smoke around here, hmmmm?

@RoadWhale
No need to get too worked up about people's FE claims. I learned this lesson long ago. FE trolls are everywhere.

I remember awhile back some guy claiming he could nurse 18mpgs out of his GM 8.1 and I almost wanted to argue with him about it, but I realized it would just be a waste of time.

MPG is affected by a huge array of variables.

I've averaged 20.4 and 20.5 mpg US with my 5.4 Powered F150 with family on board and around 500 lb of stuff in the box on a couple of 500 plus mile trips in mountainous country.
Last week I went on 2 exploring trips in the backcountry. The first day I averaged 16.5 mpg US with 500 lb of gear. It was roughly 60% dirt roads and 40% highway.
The next day I went on a trip where it took me 3 1/2 hrs. to cover the first 75 miles. That was into some very mountainous terrain. Overall it was 290 miles and I averaged 15 mpg US.

I'm sure that I'll never see 20.5 mpg again since I changed over to 10 ply tires.

18mpg from an 8.1! That's classic! More like 8-11mpg. People like to report the best number they see on their instant readout. They will never tell you about the 1mpg it gets when they accelerate

By Ford’s calculations, the 2015 truck, equipped with a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 and a 6-speed automatic transmission, will be capable of achieving “close to” 30 miles a gallon in the Environmental Protection Agency’s highway test when it goes on sale this year, according to engineers who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the ratings have not been formally announced.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/12/automobiles/autoshow/the-f-150s-aluminum-diet.html?smid=tw-share&_r=1

We have pickups that already get 40mpg on the highway

The current F-150 4x4 Eco-Boost averages 17 MPG.
I back those numbers up by www.fuelly.com and www.consumerreports.org.
Ford lied about the gas mileage the Eco-Boost gets
So I guess you guys believe Ford now the new 2015 will get 28 MPG.
Back in 2010-2011 Ford was really promoting the Eco-Boost claiming as much as 25 MPG, but in only a few months before the new 2015 will be at dealers Ford is strangely quiet,,,,,,,,hummmm ?
Is Ford being quiet cause they learned their lesson from sticking their foot in their mouth or are those lawsuits they are paying out cause they lied about MPG on their other vehicles have them scared, or maybe they are in a panic cause the 2015 has last min problems?
stay tuned

Nissan has the common sense knowing they couldn't make a better diesel engine than the Cummings.
Ford had failure after failure making their own diesel.
Ford chose a different road with the gas eco-boost instead of the diesel.
Ford placed their old engineers out to pasture cause of the past diesel failures they had.
They gave up on the diesel and placed their confidence on new engineers where they totally transformed the F-150 from a real man work truck to a mommy SUV.
Now the 2015 F-150 will be more sissified

@ Chris

Will this end up being another case of Ford having to come back and lower the fuel economy rating like they have had to do an multiple cars the make.

Seems Ford loves to make the big MPG claims when they release the model then they end up having to lower their claims a few MPG when the real world use proves they get no where near the MPG Ford claims.

Diesel was only 3.65 vs. 3.95 at the gas station I filled up at in southwest Missouri. Wow, less then 9% higher. It's even closer up around Springfield Missouri.

Now if they actually built this with a 6 foot plus bed and double cab configuration, that would be worth looking at. I had a quad cab 2007 Dakota with a 5'3" bed, too small to put much in.

The typical full size crew cab 4x4 5'6" bed isn't much longer, atleast it makes up for it by being wider.

Same with the new Colorado, no 6 foot bed with double cab, no sense in me thinking about it.

Lol, Ken's talking about extra maintenance vs a 2015 Ford (that will cost a lot with higher insurance.) the gas turbos don't do so great if you drive somewhere not flat or haul a trailer. The current crop of Eco boosts aren't exactly low maintenance, when you consider time spent at the dealer.

What is the extra maintenance you folks speak of on a diesel?

TRX-4 Tom
The Colorado does come with a crew cab long bed.

"Trubodiesel" LOL

GUTS
GLORY
BEST LIGHT DUTY DIESEL ON THE MARKET
BEST OVERALL TRUCK
SELLING OUT NATION WIDE
THE ENVY OF ALL TRUCK MAKERS
RAM ECO DIESEL

I calculate 31 mpg hwy or better with the 2.8 in the frontier
and 27 hwy for the 5.0 v8 titan

most people can't afford the titan at 51k$ the new one will sell for more unless you like really dowdy interiors in the lesser models
frontier sales should tick up for the frontier
I read they are bringing a new 6cyl too
well with Colorado looming they had better
Toyota seems to be in a coma

Hey, it seems PUTC have a great system for vetting comments.

@MARK WILLIAMS; Can you delete the above comments with my name against them. You are quick to remove other comments. I haven't been on the net since last Wednesday.

Alex, you are responding to a troll ;)

It's good to see the Frontier move a little closer in the direction of a production diesel for the NA market.

I don't think the D40 diesel will hit the US/NA market. The next gen Navara/Frontier will be out soon.



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