The 2016 Nissan Titan is an American-built truck with an American-built turbodiesel Cummins 5.0-liter V8, giving consumers a chance to own a V8 diesel in a light-duty truck. It'll tow 12,000 pounds and do it while saving 20% of fuel relative to other V8s they said.
Nissan has managed the impressive task of smartly weaseling its way into nearly very niche in the market by delivering reasonably nice cars at an Abenomically-depressed price. They still haven't cracked full-sized trucks.
When the Nissan Titan first was unveiled in 2004 they entered a competitive market and, rather than thrive as they have in the past in other areas, they never managed to grab so much as a foothold (last year the Nissan Titan made up 0.005% of the total truck market). Complicating matters, a redesign of the truck was supposed to see it share a platform with the then-Dodge Ram in a deal that would have Nissan sharing small cars with a Cerberus-owned Chrysler.
The bankruptcy halted those plans and Fiat's merger with Chrysler effectively killed it. Curiously, the Fiat move also meant that Dodge had a new source of diesel motors that wasn't its longtime supplier Cummins. Thus, we end up with a newly redesigned Nissan Titan that carries a Cummins diesel engine.
What Nissan has to offer is any viable reason why you should buy this truck over Ram, F-150, and Silverado. Hell, they need to give people a reason to buy the truck over the Tundra.
It's called "whitespace" in the market and the Nissan Titan fills that space with a turbodiesel V8, giving it the power of an HD truck in something (slightly) smaller. Nissan's CEO telegraphed that they'd offer better power than the V6 in the Ram EcoDiesel.
Aesthetically, the truck maintains the Titan's original greenhouse in profile, but adds a strong nose that's slightly F-150esque but somewhat recognizable as a Nissan. From the rear it might as well be a Tundra. It's attractive if not slightly derivative.
Does it fill your whitespace?