What it is: The Titan is Nissan’s full-size truck that is brand new for the 2016 model year. Let’s break down what the name actually means. First, Nissan sells two versions of the Titan, the Titan XD and the Titan. The big difference is the Titan XD is roughly a foot longer than the Titan. The Titan is rated as a half-ton pickup whereas the Titan XD is rated as a three-quarter-ton pickup. The starting MSRPs are only $510 apart, but the XD will allow you to choose the new Cummins V8 diesel engine, which is the engine that I tested. The Platinum Reserve signifies the trim of the truck and the top-of-the-line option.
The cheapest crew cab Titan XD with a diesel engine is the S trim, which starts at $41,340, whereas the Platinum Reserve will run you $58,880 – a full $17,500 in optional equipment. A few of the upgraded niceties are two-tone leather seats, wood trim with chrome accents, heated and cooled seats, heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, 20-inch chrome wheels, integrated gooseneck hitch, trailer brake controller, and much more. It is surely any cowboy’s dream truck.
The Cummins diesel engine is a 5.0-liter V8 that produces 310 horsepower and 555 lb.-ft. of torque. You’ll get to tow up to 12,310 pounds as a result. That’s actually a little underwhelming based on the available power, but that’s still likely much more than most users will need to tow. The six-speed automatic transmission is provided by Aisin and was very good. I had no issues handling the immense amount of torque the engine produces, although I didn’t get an opportunity to tow any heavy loads.
Ninety-five percent of the test driving I did was highway commuting, and the Titan XD handled it with ease. It was comfortable and refreshingly easy to see out of versus other heavy-duty pickups I’ve tested. Parallel parking was a snap with the 360-degree live video feed that you can see in the dash. Whenever you are in reverse, you get a live view of everything around you.
MPG: No EPA fuel ratings required for this vehicle and none were provided.
Price: $61,930 as-tested with destination charge.
Upsides: A good “lighter” heavy-duty option.
Downsides: Towing capacity underwhelming.
Wrap-up: You can save about 15-20 percent of the MSRP of a Ram 2500 diesel or F-250 diesel by going with the Titan XD Cummins if you are OK with the lower performance. It’s never comfortable to max out the capabilities of a truck when you are towing, but plenty of people out there are towing smaller boats or campers and want the convenience and power of a diesel but don’t want to spend $50,000 on an entry-level, three-quarter-ton truck. Nissan is providing a new option, and it’s a good enough choice for consumers to investigate, but the Titan XD may not be enough to break the brand loyalty of Texas truck drivers.