Class: Large Pickup Trucks
Dates tested: 3/7/2016 – 3/14/2016
Miles Driven: 349
Fuel Used: 22.7 gallons
|CG Report Card|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Room and Comfort||A|
|Power and Performance||B+|
|Fit and Finish||A-|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
Real-world fuel economy: 15.4 mpg
Driving mix: 70% city, 30% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: Not Rated
Base price: $60,520 (not including $1195 destination charge)
Options on test car: Step rails ($370), box liner w/built-in storage ($985), floor mats ($200)
Price as tested: $63,270
The Great: Responsive powertrain, easy-to-use infotainment system, passenger room
The Good: Interior materials
The Not So Good: Ride and handling
Everything about the new Nissan full-size pickup seems huge, from its passenger space to its projected towing capacity.
Well, duh! They call it “Titan,” don’t they?
Even the full name of the one that Consumer Guide® editors tested was outsized: Titan XD Platinum Reserve. With four-wheel drive, as the job that CG sampled was equipped, it’s the top of the line at a starting price of $60,250.
The only redesigned Titans available at the start of the 2016 model year are heavy-duty XD crew cabs powered by a new Cummins-built 5.0-liter turbodiesel V8. This powerplant sits behind new flat-front styling and rests in a beefier new frame that Nissan contends puts the XD in a unique space somewhere between ½- and ¾-ton trucks. As such, the manufacturer claims that the Titan XD has a maximum towing capacity of more than 12,000 pounds. (A full lineup of Titan models with refreshed styling and V6 and V8 gasoline engines will follow.)
The Cummins V8 does a fine job of motivating a truck with a curb weight of almost 7500 pounds. It develops 310 horsepower at 3200 rpm and a stout 555 lb-ft of torque at a low 1600 rpm that gets the Titan XD ready to pull its weight in a hurry. On the highway, putting the right foot down triggers a steady flow of increasing power. The engine employs a two-stage turbocharger that very effectively reduces lag. After being out overnight with temperatures in the 40s Fahrenheit, the “wait” for warm-up before ignition took just a few seconds.
Backing up the turbo mill is a six-speed column-shifted automatic transmission with a tow/haul mode. As of this writing EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 4×4 Titan XD weren’t released, but after 135 miles with the test truck, two-thirds of that in city-style operation and all of it in rear-drive mode, this driver averaged 14.58 mpg.
Four-wheel-drive XDs employ a dial-controlled shift-on-the-fly system that permits going between two- and four-wheel operation at speeds up to 60 mph. A four-wheel low range is included for use in off-road situations that call for more low-speed traction. (At the Platinum Reserve level, 4×4 drive adds $3,050 to the base price.)
Front suspension consists of double wishbones with a stabilizer bar, while the rear is held up by a good, old solid axle kept in place by parallel leaf springs. In expressway and surface-street commuting without a load, ride in the ’16 Titan is a little jittery, and you can get some hop out of the back when hitting a good road bump. Steering is a little slow, but it’s hard to imagine someone wanting to fling a Titan XD around anyway. Large 14-plus-inch vented disc brakes do a pretty good job of stopping the big truck without drama.
The Platinum Reserve is identified on the outside by a two-tone color scheme with the lower body and bumpers painted in a titanium-gray color (though two monotone selections are available). Other exterior highlights are a chrome tailpipe tip, and “dark chrome” on the 20-inch alloy wheels, grille surround, tailgate trim, mirrors, and door handles. Inside, supple leather seats in black and brown have a waffle pattern on the cushions and backrests. The heated steering wheel is covered in leather with a wood-tone insert. Among the truck’s luxuries are dual-zone automatic climate control, heated and cooled front seats, and heated rear seats.
The easy-to-use 12-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system features a seven-inch color display and MP3/WMA CD playback capability. Also included are satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity for phones and streaming audio. Navigation and a 360-degree “Around View” monitor are just a few in a long list of tech features included in the Platinum Reserve mix. The hardware complement includes skid plates, front tow hooks, a trailer-brake controller, and integrated gooseneck hitch under the cargo bed. The high-line model’s bed also sports a spray-on bedliner (applied at the factory), dual tracks with tie-down cleats, under-rail lighting, and “Titan Box” storage bins—though this last item was not in the preproduction vehicle that CG editors drove.
Head, leg, and shoulder room are all exceedingly generous in either row. The second row easily has room for three adults, and they don’t necessarily have to be paragons of dietary virtue. Getting into a 4×4 Titan is a challenge best met by taking advantage of the Platinum Reserve’s standard running boards. (Reaching the cargo bed is no easier, but dealer-installed retracting bumper steps are available.) The high stance and great overall length make it hard to judge how close objects are to the front or rear of the truck, but standard parking assist and moving-object detection are helpful there. The large exterior mirrors incorporate wide-angle views at the bottom that are indispensable for lane changes—otherwise considerable blind spots present themselves.
Abundant interior storage is found in the glove box, wide and deep covered console box, and a big open bay in the console that has room for a fixture that holds a pair of cupholders. All four doors have long pockets, each with two slots for bottles. Rear-seat occupants can make use of a pair of cupholders in the back of the center console, or two more cut into the pull-down center armrest. There are double pouches on the backs of each of the front seats.
Nissan has routinely run at the tail end of the full-size pickup market in the U.S. With the Titan XD, it is trying to change that in a big way.