In the past, the Nissan Titan has been an underdog in a fairly competitive segment. The Titan has been around since 2004, but even up to last year the truck only made up .005% of the total truck market. Some of this was due to the unimpressive look and the rest had to do with a lack of focus for the truck. The fullsize truck market has big shots like the Ram and the Silverado 1500 in it, making the so-so Titan fade to the background.
Thankfully, Nissan took notice and fully redesigned the truck for 2016, making it in the United States as well. Not only did Nissan update the look and feel of the truck for 2016, but they moved the XD into what they believe is a bit of white space in the segment. This opening for a breakout truck is somewhere between the current Titan and Silverado 1500, but not all the way up to a heavy duty 2500. It’s this middle ground that Nissan is hoping to strike it big with.
The Titan XD is slightly larger than the standard Titan, but the big deal is the new-for-Nissan Cummins diesel engine. The 5.0-liter V8 diesel produces 210 horsepower and 555 lb-ft of torque. This means the Titan XD can tow up to 23,000 pounds with a payload capacity of 2,000 pounds. There will be gasoline versions of the Titan obviously, but it’s the diesel they’re hoping to win with. 2016 will be the first year for Nissan to have access to the turbo diesel engine from Cummins, and they plan to make the most out of it.
Moving past the engine for a moment, the new look for the 2016 Titan is a massive improvement over previous generations. The front end is reminiscent of the F-150, but not enough to claim theft of design. Shown at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show in the crew cab layout, the truck has what Nissan calls a “bold presence” while keeping the high-visibility cab that Nissan is known for.
The Titan XD is built with a specialized frame and chassis to handle the turbo diesel engine and the increased towing/load capacity. The frame is fully boxed and full-length ladder construction. It’s extensively reinforced and strengthened for a substantial towing capacity. The Titan XD features a 151.6-inch wheelbase, which is about 20 inches longer than the standard Titan.
With a new engine, stronger design features, and an increased capacity for towing and hauling, the 2016 Nissan Titan XD is looking like just the truck the industry needs, now time will tell if consumers feel the same. The truck is beautiful and fits into a niche that is pretty much empty, but the truck market is a tough one with enormous competition. The update in looks alone from the previous models may be enough to get more Titans sold, especially the XD.
The Titan XD isn’t a trim level, but instead an entirely new version of the truck that’s larger, has a bigger engine, and better towing capacity. While we’re not sure what the next standard Titan will be like, the XD sure looks great.