We drive the Nissan Titan XD

Nissan Titan XD
Nissan Titan XD

If I asked you what your favorite pickup truck is today, I bet that most people will not list the Nissan Titan XD as their top choice but they should. After spending a lot of time with the XD and using it for hauling stuff and driving long distances, the Nissan has to be the one I would select.

The XD is totally different than the standard Titan and the 2016 Nissan XD shakes up the highly competitive full-size pickup segment with a bold design and capabilities that stake out a unique position in the segment between traditional heavy-duty and light-duty entries. It offers the effortless towing and hauling of the larger, more expensive heavy-duty trucks yet has the fuel-efficiency and affordability closer to a half-ton pickup.

The XD comes with a choice of the 5.6 liter gas V8 that puts out 390 hp and 401 lb ft of torque or our favorite engine, the Cummins diesel. The new engine is a 5.0 liter V8 turbo diesel that puts out 310 hp and 555 lb ft of torque.

Those numbers may seem low compared to today’s heavy duty pickup trucks but they are comparable to what the same heavy duty trucks offered 10 years ago. The Cummins motor is a huge part of what makes the Titan so sweet.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]It is amazingly strong and can tow almost anything up the steepest hill without complaining. The engine never even broke a sweat but the best part is that the engine is so quiet. You can tell that it is a diesel but you only hear the good diesel sounds not the bad ones.

On the freeway, you will notice several things. While the engine is quiet and is impressive, so is the rest of the truck. It is very solid and there are no rattles or squeaks. There is not much wind noise or road noise either so it feels more like a luxury car than a truck.

It also rides much more like a luxury car with a very soft ride that is very not truck like. The downside of the great ride is that if your trailer has a lot of tongue weight, you may want to consider air bags for the rear leaf springs.

Cummins 'dirty' diesel engine
Cummins 'dirty' diesel engine

The other benefit of the Cummins engine is of course fuel economy and our truck did not disappoint with highway readings close to 23 mpg empty and around 14 mpg towing a trailer. The Cummins diesel is the first commercial application of the new Cummins M2 two-stage turbo system, which helps reduce traditional turbo-lag through precision balancing between high-pressure and low-pressure turbos.

The patented Rotary Turbine Control provides solid performance across the powerband and manages exhaust gas temperatures. Helping handle the power and torque of the engine is a heavy-duty 6-speed Aisin A466ND automatic transmission developed and tuned exclusively for the Titan XD.

Our four wheel drive Titan featured a new transfer case designed to ensure maximum power distribution in every gear. It distributes torque to both ends and provides four-wheel drive when added traction is needed on snow, ice, sand, mud, muck, dirt, water, gravel – whatever the job site presents.

Durable off-road performance has also been emphasized, with features such as Hill Descent Control, Hill Start Assist and Brake Limited-Slip Differential . A new off-road gauge uses accelerometer data to calculate the vehicle's pitch and roll angles which can come in handy.

Nissan also gives you many features to make your life easier such as an Integrated trailer brake controller, Trailer Sway Control , tow/haul mode with Downhill Speed Control and a trailer light check system that allows one-person to hook-up operation, including checking turn signals, brake lights and running/clearance lights.

Spacious interior
Spacious interior

Also assisting trailer hook-ups is the Titan's RearView Monitor with trailer guides, while the available Around View Monitor provides a unique "bird's eye" view of the surrounding area from front, rear and side cameras to help with parking and pulling in and out of tight spaces.

The system also includes Moving Object Detection , which helps the driver detect moving objects such as vehicles, shopping carts or other large objects when backing out via an on-screen notification and warning chime.

Nissan knows that many owners will be towing heavy loads so they also included an integrated gooseneck hitch into the frame. Conventional towing is easy with the class IV hitch that can tow over 12,000 pounds.

As stated earlier, the interior is very comfortable and our SL grade had almost every feature that you could desire with very comfortable leather seats and a thorough list of standard features including navigation, heated seats and steering wheel and a very nice Rockford Fosgate sound system.

You would think that all these features would make the Titan very expensive but compared to the competition it is actually very inexpensive. The problem is that there really is not much competition to the Titan since it is in between the traditional half ton and the heavy duty trucks.

Mighty towing capacity
Mighty towing capacity

Today’s heavy duty trucks are very nice and are very powerful but most of us don’t have trailers that are over 12,000 pounds and the Titan handles 10,000 pounds with ease so why spend around $80,000 or more on a heavy duty.

Titan XD prices start out at $40,290 with the diesel engine. Go for the gas engine and you can save even more but the diesel is the way to go.

For $40,290 you not only get the diesel engine but also get the crew cab body. Our fully loaded SL with leather, navigation and a ton of other features was $53,000. Before buying another truck, run to your Nissan dealer to test drive a Titan.

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