A First for Nissan

January 2, 2016 02:09 AM

By Kent Sundling

The Titan XD ups the ante to take a slice out of the heavier truck market 

The first Titan truck hit the market in 2004, catering to the cream of truck buyers with only one engine, one transmission and a couple of cab and bed options. After 12 years of sluggish sales, Nissan has figured out it needs to up its game to entice truck buyers to take a second look and increase sales numbers. Introducing a first for Nissan—the diesel Titan XD. 

Somewhere between a half- and 3⁄4-ton pickup, the Titan XD has a Cummins 5.0-liter V-8 diesel engine, with 310 hpand 555 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s decked out with standard towing equipment, integrated trailer brake controller, factory gooseneck ball hitch, rear anti-sway bar, recirculating ball steering, towing mirrors and 10-ply tires. 

The Cummins diesel engine doesn’t have an exhaust brake. It has a waste gate, though, between the low- and high-pressure compressor wheels in the turbo that could become an exhaust brake, says Steve Sanders, marketing communications manager, Cummins. 

With a maximum gooseneck rating of 12,314 lb., the Nissan XD tows more than a standard half-ton but less than the 16,000-lb. gooseneck rating for a 3⁄4-ton. When you drive the XD, it feels like a heavy duty with a nicer ride. 

I towed a 9,000-lb. trailer for a few miles up a 6% grade. In tow mode, the Aisin 6-speed transmission did a good job of slowing down the truck and shifting on the descent. The anti-lock braking system on the front wheels also helped handle the drive down.

The rear of the crew cab has hydraulic mounts, similar to Ram and General Motors heavy duties, to improve the ride. The XD has big disc brakes, 14" on the front and 14.4" on the rear.

With a gross vehicle-weight rating of more than 8,500 lb. you won’t see a fuel-mileage rating on the Titan XD. The fuel tank tops off at 26 gal., and the DEF tank at 4.5 gal.

From inside the cab you wouldn’t know the Titan XD is a diesel. Laminated glass helps, too. The interior is usable with a large center console that’s adjustable. 

The XD heavy-duty boxed frame came from the Nissan full-sized van, as did the larger crew cab and 6.5' bed. Out with the Dana 44 axles and in with American Axle. 

The XD bed is deeper by a couple inches (213⁄8"). The Titan Box option, which is inside the bed along the fender wheel on both sides, includes a drain for ice and beverages. The box is below the bed rail so it doesn’t interfere with camper shells and still has 4' of room between the fender wells for plywood and ATVs. On the crew cab, under the seat is a fold-out floor for a flat surface and storage. The new seats are comfy, and the optional running boards go all the way back to the rear fender wheel, which is helpful.

Also new for this year is a key fob that allows you to test the trailer lights. Walk to the rear of the trailer and push the right button and the trailer brakes, blinkers and running lights will all cycle through to ensure they work. 

The Titan XD diesel hit dealer lots in December. The V-8 and V-6 gas models will debut later this year. 

To learn more about the 2016 Nissan Titan XD truck and watch a video from the Denver Auto Show, visit www.FarmJournal.com/Titan2016 


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