What it is: The Titan is Nissan’s full-sized pickup truck and the Titan XD is the heavy duty version built on top of a full-blown commercial truck frame. It was introduced as a 2016 model, and the key selling points is the availability of a Cummins turbo diesel engine. A 5.6-liter V8 gasoline engine is available (and rated at a hefty 390 horsepower and 394 lb.-ft. of torque) while the 5.0-liter Cummins V8 turbo diesel is rated at 310 horsepower and 555 torque.
My test model was the single cab version, which was an interesting driving experience as I think I’ve only driven a regular cab truck one other time in my life. It features an eight foot truck bed and plenty of visibility while driving. My test model did come with the Cummins engine, and while I didn’t test the towing abilities, it provided plenty of oomph for hauling items in the bed. I was underwhelmed with the transmission though, as the shifting was not smooth at all. I understand that a beefy transmission is needed with so much torque coming from the engine, but it made daily driving an annoyance. Nissan is also offering a King Cab and Crew Cab version of the Titan XD as well, which offer a varying amount of interior room and bed length.
The interior of the truck was great. My test model was the SV trim, which is a mid-level trim and carries a price of $4,410 over the base, S trim. The SV adds many features like carpet, vanity mirrors, stain-resistant cloth, and other options you’d find typically in a base level vehicle today. Think of the S trim as a bare bones work truck. The SV is where most consumers would start. My test model was also equipped with the comfort and convenience group, which adds keyless entry, keyless start, leather steering wheel, parking sensors, automatic headlights, 20-inch alloy wheels, running boards, fog lamps, and more for $1,360. Definitely a must purchase package.
MPG: Not rated by government due to being a heavy duty truck.
Price: $31,590 base price. $7,140 base price with Cummins diesel engine. $46,625 as-tested with destination.
Upsides: One of the cheapest ways to have a turbo diesel heavy duty pickup.
Downsides: Expensive. Other heavy duty trucks much more capability for not much more money.
Wrap-up: I’m still trying to wrap my head around why Nissan is going down this path. Utilizing a Cummins engine adds enormous credibility to their truck line, but the maximum tow rating is 12,640 pounds. If you choose the 5.6-liter gas engine, the towing capability is 12,500 pounds. Hrmm. Roughly $4,000 more gets you a Ram 2500 with the 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel and a towing capability of 17,980 pounds. That means Nissan is trying to find a buyer that is looking for the extreme longevity and power of a diesel engine, but isn’t willing to pay 10% more for 50% more towing capacity? I don’t see it. It’s admirable that Nissan is attempting to break into the segment, but the Titan XD with the Cummins engine likely doesn’t make sense for most buyers.
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