By Allyson Harwood
The Nissan Titan XD, which is different from the Titan, neatly straddles the line between pickup trucks like the full-size Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado, and the three-quarter-ton F-250 and Ram Heavy Duty 2500. The XD offers a much more comfortable ride than that of a three-quarter-ton truck, while still providing comparable towing and payload capacity. Truck buyers who need to tow more than 12,300 pounds or carry more than 2,100 pounds of payload should look to a true heavy-duty, but those who are near the limits of a full-size truck's capacity should consider stepping up to the Titan XD. It has a more robust frame than a half-ton and offers a V8 Cummins turbodiesel engine, which makes towing and hauling feel nearly effortless.
While there are half-ton trucks with similar towing capacity to the Titan XD, towing with the Titan is much more relaxed, thanks to its more robust frame and excellent Cummins V8 turbodiesel. The XD's comfortable ride and upscale interior are similar to what you'd find in a full-size truck.
The Titan XD doesn’t have the fuel economy, agility or smaller size of a half-ton, nor the maximum towing or payload capacity of a three-quarter-ton. Those who tow less frequently may be happier with a half-ton, and those who tow heavier trailers should look at a three-quarter- or one-ton.
Nissan started fresh with the Titan XD -- everything is new. This isn't a beefed-up half-ton; it's on a robust, unique frame, and comes with a gas or diesel V8 engine, and a choice of cabs, bed lengths and upscale options to appeal to a wide range of truck buyers.
Forget any preconceived notions you may have of a large diesel truck. The Nissan Titan XD is neither noisy nor uncomfortable. The XD does feel big at first, but you...
... quickly get used to it. While you can't really hear the Cummins turbodiesel unless you lower a window, you can certainly feel it. The Cummins' 310 horsepower and 555 lb-ft of torque make acceleration decisive and linear, feeling more like a steady burn than a lightning-fast racer. The Titan XD is much faster off the line than you would expect, however, and the Cummins V8 is plenty of engine for this 7,000-pound beast. Towing 9,500 pounds and hauling significant payload were easy tasks for the Titan XD, and sitting in a quiet cabin with heated quilted leather seats while enjoying the truck's smooth ride characteristics make the task even nicer.
CUMMINS TURBODIESEL V8
Torque is what makes diesel-engine magic, and the 555 lb-ft of torque in this Cummins go to good use. Not only does it provide rocket-like thrust, but the efficient powertrain is also said to provide 20-percent-better fuel economy than the gas equivalent when towing.
AROUND VIEW MONITOR
This feature can do more than just help when parking a Titan XD. When out on the trail, it can be used as you drive to see low obstacles around the truck. When you’re hooking up a trailer, that camera system can help if you're working without a spotter.
Nissan’s new Titan XD brings together a tough, rugged design with available features that would please even the most genteel truck buyer. The Platinum Reserve will get you the best of the best, with debossed heated and cooled leather seats, open-pore wood accents and aluminum doorsill plates. The most attractive layout uses wood as an accent in a cabin with a black-and-cocoa-brown color scheme, complete with matching 2-tone seats. Features like hands-free text messaging, navigation, NissanConnect with mobile apps, Bluetooth, and a 110-volt power outlet enhance everything from the daily drive to a cross-country road trip.
The 2016 Titan XD's styling is a huge departure from the previous Titan, and the new truck has gotten more useful to truck buyers in the process. Some of the exterior design was defined by necessity: For example, the front overhang was extended to accommodate the Cummins turbodiesel grille, charged air cooler and two batteries, and Nissan's engineers paid close attention to aerodynamics when designing this truck. All models but the base S come standard with an integrated gooseneck hitch. There's a useful Utili-track bed-channel system, and adding to the bed functionality are new watertight Titan Box storage boxes.
Hill-start assist comes standard in the Titan XD, as do aluminum step rails, 17-inch steel wheels and a removable, lockable tailgate. Six-passenger seating is offered only in the base model S; all others seat five. A hands-free, text-messaging assistant, 6-speaker stereo, and USB ports come with all Titan XDs, as do steering-wheel controls, cruise control, Bluetooth, rear reading lights and NissanConnect with mobile apps. While power windows and air conditioning are standard, the power-sliding rear-cab window is optional. (It manually slides in the S.) Skidplates are standard in every trim except S.
The Titan XD comes as S, SV, PRO-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve, with three cabs, three bed lengths and 2- or 4-wheel drive (2WD, 4WD). The V8 turbodiesel is the most significant option. Other options include 20-inch wheels, spray-in bedliner, integrated gooseneck hitch and trailer-sway control (both standard on all but the S), a 110-volt outlet in the truck bed and trailer-brake controller. Extendable, heated auto-dimming tow mirrors are also offered. Inside, Titan XD buyers can opt for heated/cooled leather power seats, 7-inch color touch screen, 12-speaker audio, satellite radio, navigation, Siri Eyes Free and a DVD entertainment system.
There will be two engines offered in the Titan XD, but when the truck initially went on sale, only the big-dog Cummins was available. It is backed by a robust 6-speed automatic that can handle tremendous amounts of torque. When the 5.6-liter engine becomes available, it will use a 7-speed automatic. Since the Titan XD is a larger, heavier truck than pickups such as the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 or Ram 1500 (the XD's Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, or the maximum the truck can weigh, including payload, people and fluids, is more than 8,500 pounds), its fuel economy is not rated by the EPA.
390 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
401 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: Not rated
5.0-liter turbodiesel V8
310 horsepower @ 3,200 rpm
555 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: Not rated
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the 2WD S Crew Cab starts at $36,485 ($41,485 for the diesel version). The top-of-the-line 4WD Platinum Reserve Crew Cab starts at $56,715 when powered by the gasoline V8 and $61,715 with the diesel. You can expect gasoline-powered Regular and King Cab models to cost less. For comparison, the least expensive Ford F-150 SuperCrew with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine and 12,100 pounds of towing capacity is $44,000. To tow 12,000 pounds with a Chevy Silverado 1500 Crew Cab costs at least $47,000. On the other end of the spectrum, an F-250 Crew Cab with the turbodiesel V8 and 14,000 pounds of towing capacity starts just under $46,000, the Chevy Silverado 2500 HD turbodiesel with 13,000 pounds of towing capacity just over $46,000 and the turbodiesel Ram Heavy Duty 2500 with 17,510 pounds of towing capacity about $45,000.