The Nissan Titan XD is Nissan’s first reach past the ½ ton class, but not all the way up to ¾ heavy-duty status. With a longer wheel-base and a thicker frame than their own half ton model to be introduced soon, the Titan XD currently comes only in a crew cab with a 6.5-foot bed.
Our SL trim grade tester has four-wheel drive and comes with 20-inch alloy wheels. It has chrome bumpers and grille, fog lights, HID headlamps and you can see the radar sensors for its parking assist feature as well.
The XD differs from the standard Titan in that it has a steeper front end, slightly taller and longer to accommodate the cooling apparatus of the Cummins diesel V8. There’s also tell-tale emblems up front bragging on what’s under the hood.
At the rear is a soft open tail gate with integrated backup camera. Tail lights feature a handy trailer light checking program operated by the key-fob so you can run it though a brake light and turn signal sequence to check your connections without having a buddy to help.
The bed has a standard spray-on bed liner to go along with a standard aluminum rail cleat system that’s pretty darn comprehensive on the sides, front and floor. There’s also LED bed lighting and built-in goose-neck and fifth-wheel trailer hitch mounts.
The interior of the SL is well outfitted with heated leather seats up front with memory for the driver. Trims are black with tan stitching accents along the dash and center console too. Also here is the top-end Rockford Fosgate audio system with touch-screen navigation.
The console has adjustable cup holder block that can be moved and a deep well storage bin below it. Infotainment connections are above it as are the trailer brake controller, start button, seat heating switches and HVAC controls
The rear seat can fold in a 60/40 split, but in any number of ways. The backs can fold down for a flat carpeted deck. But you also get the choice to fold the bottoms upward for a tall storage area. Here you can fold out a lower panel that gives you a perfectly flat floor.
And if that wasn’t enough, underneath are two lockable storage compartments, all of which makes this one of the most versatile rear seats in the full-size truck class.
Front seats and seating position are very well laid out, offering ease of adjustment and just enough support such that long days behind the wheel are a snap. The steering wheel tilts and telescopes of course and has all the controls you need for the instrument cluster and infotainment system.
The infotainment touchscreen here offers straight forward menus and usage, and more important features hard buttons and knobs for the most used features. There’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto yet, but audio quality from the Rockford Fosgate back end is exceptional. All in, the technologies score comes in at 4 of 5 stars.
Under the hood is what has been getting the new Nissan Titan XD all the attention. It will be available with a new 390 horsepower 5.6 liter gas V8 soon, but here is the all-new 5.0 liter Cummins turbo-diesel V8.
It offers up 310 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque and comes mated to an Aisin 6-speed automatic transmission. Here it drives the wheels through a part time two-wheel and four-wheel drive transfer case.
I averaged 15 mpg this week in my driving which was roughly a 50/50 mix of city and highway, no towing or hauling. Because of the weight class this truck falls in, there are no EPA estimates to compare that to.
I can tell you by anecdotal comparison we achieved 15 mpg recently in our test of a Ford F-350 SuperDuty with the 6.7 liter PowerStroke diesel and 17 mpg with a GMC Sierra 2500 with a Duramax, both crew cab trucks. So seat of the pants tells us mpg is not necessarily higher than the larger trucks.
Still, I like this engine’s medium size and power range which allows for a diesel option in a truck not so heavy-duty and expensive as a full-blown ¾ ton or 1 ton option. It’s smooth, refined and powerful, earning it 4 of 5 stars.
Even though RAM 1500 pickups with their full coil spring suspensions are top of the light truck game in ride, the Nissan Titan XD comes across just right up there in terms of refinement – stopping just short of the heavy-duty harshness some ¾ ton trucks have. It earns 5 of 5 stars in the chassis department.
When it comes to quality feel, the Nissan Titan XD really flies in the same stratosphere as the Toyota Tundra which exhibits a tight level of fit inside and out, good paint work, and higher quality interior materials than most. Overall, quality score comes in at 5 of 5 stars.
Value comes in at 5 of 5 stars with its well equipped MSRP of $56,645 given you’d spend significantly more on an HD series truck with Ford, GM or RAM with similar levels of equipment. All in, this brings our test drive score to 4.5 of 5 stars. Topping it off, the 2016 Nissan Titan XD once again makes it to our TestDrivenTV “Id Buy It” list.