By on March 10, 2016

2016 Nissan Titan XD (9 of 37)

Ask people in the know which full-size pickup is arguably the worst new purchase you can make today and you’ll receive a resounding answer: the Titan.

Nissan’s foray into full-size pickups was a breath of fresh air when it debuted for the 2004 model year. But like all merchandise that sits stagnant on retail shelves, it quickly went out of style, became unrefined in comparison to ever-improving competitors, and could only be had with a thirsty V8 during the doldrums of the Great Recession.

It’s this languishing at the low end of the totem pole that must have cajoled Nissan engineers to seriously analyze its truck strategy going forward. Surely, if Nissan was to compete in the pickup game, it would need to update its model at the same pace as everyone else — or, the very least, at the same pace as Toyota. That’s an expensive undertaking considering an all-new model’s development is now priced well into the billions of dollars. And it’s a risky bet to invest that much cash in a segment known for ownership loyalty and domestic domination.

So, Nissan had an idea: hit ’em where they ain’t, and steal a seasoned truck guy to push the new-“class” pickup.

(Disclosure: Nissan flew me from Halifax, Nova Scotia, all the way to Arizona to drive their newest darling for a day. I stayed in a stereotypically Arizonan resort that could easily double as public housing in a live action version of “The Flintstones.” There were also drinks, food, and a children’s book gifted to us during our stay. The reading level of the book probably exceeded the comprehension level of some of those in attendance.)

2016 Nissan Titan XD (18 of 37)

After a plan to slather Titan badges upon Ram pickups was taken out to the back forty and shot, something had to be done. This — the Titan XD — is that something: a supposed tweener truck that splits the difference between the traditional 1/2-ton Detroit pickups and the 3/4-ton Detroit pickups. Though, make no mistake, the Titan XD (not to be confused with the new 1/2-ton Titan that’s coming later) is a 3/4-ton truck placed firmly in Class 2b territory (GVWR over 8,500 pounds).

2016 Nissan Titan XD Cummins 5.0-liter Diesel Engine and Frame, Image: © 2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

“Triple nickel” torque has a weighty adversary
The biggest newsmaking part of Nissan’s Titan XD equation is the Cummins-sourced 5.0-liter turbodiesel V8 tucked inside the truck’s ginormous front end.

Nissan’s diesel isn’t entirely unique, as approximately 70 percent of its parts are shared with the Cummins ISV5.0 medium-duty diesel used in school buses and commercial applications. However, it’s different in that it’s purpose engineered and tuned for the 3/4-ton class. Nissan claims 310 horsepower and 555 lbs-ft of torque are produced by the new compression-ignition engine. (A gasoline V8 will arrive later, as well as a V6 for the 1/2-ton Titan.) And since the Titan lives in Class 2b, Nissan is well within its right to give fuel economy labels the middle finger just like every other 3/4-ton truck manufacturer. If you’re looking to compare thirst, the EPA got nuthin’ for you, son.

That 555 lbs-ft torque number — the basis for the engine’s “triple nickel” nickname — isn’t an earth-shattering figure versus other trucks in the class that are now reaching ever-so-close to 1,000 lbs-ft. But, those brawnier engines exist to haul massive, commercial-grade loads. The Cummins mill in the Titan XD, while not offering a class-leading torque figure, is a smooth operator that gives the weekend boating enthusiast the capability to tow a Bayliner to Lake Travis in comfort.

2016 Nissan Titan XD Towing Test with Trailer, Image: © 2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

Even with all that muscly torque, the Titan doesn’t feel powerful on the butt dyno — and there’s a reason for that: mass. The Titan XD is an elephant. Really powerful. Really heavy. Not that quick. Curb weights start at 6,709 pounds in S trim 4×2 Crew Cab guise.

The thought behind Nissan’s heavyweight scheme, which flies in the face of fuel economy, is that a heavier truck is more stable. That claim proved true, at least during a (fairly canned) towing test, as the Titan refused to waver while dragging a 9,000 pound trailer load behind it. An engineer riding along with us claimed the truck is so stable that he’s never seen it trigger its standard trailer sway control during normal driving. That’s fairly impressive if true.

2016 Nissan Titan XD Payload Test, Image: © 2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

The backbone of this weight and stability is a frame derived from Nissan’s NV-series vans. The fully-boxed ladder frame is almost a complete carbon copy of the NV frame fore of the A-pillars, with heavy modifications made aft of the engine mounts to make it more befitting to pickup use. The Titan XD can carry nearly 2,100 pounds of heavy-duty widgets in its bed (when properly equipped), and a payload test with a 700 pound load was shrugged off by the tweener. During the majority of the payload test, I forgot I was doing a payload test, and only reminded of our load’s existence when a glance at the rearview mirror produced an image of a black crate instead of a tailgate.

Breaking new ground, just like everyone else
As much as the Titan XD carves out a pseudo-segment for itself, the truck’s design attempts to blend what came before it (the old Titan) with what’s happening now (everyone else). There’s nothing earth shattering about this Nissan pickup’s new sheetmetal.

A Brobdingnagian grille sits between two equally mighty headlights featuring LED daytime running lights and available LED projectors. More lighting is recessed in the Titan XD’s sculpted bumper. The size of the grille dwarfs the presence of the Nissan badge sitting front and center, but the grille’s upper bezel provides an excellent locale for the massive, embossed letters spelling T I T A N.

2016 Nissan Titan XD (17 of 37)

The Titan’s profile could be confused for a F-150 or Ram to those not fluent in pickup. Plus, it’s a truck, so not much is happening about the Titan’s side other than some fancy badging and wheels — dependent on trim, of course. However, should you choose to go for the PRO4X trim, say goodbye to those step rails.

Wheels measure in at 17-inches for base-model painted steelies and go up to 20-inch aluminum circles on SL and Platinum Reverse models. Power heated, manually extendable tow mirrors available on SV and above models round out the features of importance.

More badges adorn the Titan XD’s rear, and it’s here again where Nissan designers show restraint by not turning the entire tailgate into a rolling billboard. (Lookin’ at you, R     A     M.) LED taillights also make the rear of the Titan twinkle as much as the front, and a rear spoiler — which is molded into a dampened assist locking tailgate — helps deliver an extra nth of fuel economy. Nissan’s Utili-track system makes an appearance in some models, allowing for adjustable tie-down locations for your toys.

2016 Nissan Titan XD (34 of 37)

Jump inside, stay awhile
Much like the Titan’s exterior, the interior sets no benchmark in the segment, but matches some of the best and provides a comfy place for one towing his or her boat to the cottage.

The optional Zero Gravity thrones, combined with the soft leathers in upper trims, are an excellent way to spend time behind the wheel. There’s a wide range of motion, and it easy to find a neutral position with a combination of seat and steering wheel adjustments.

Buttons are large for the glove-wearing among you. Steering wheel and dash controls are easy to find and manipulate. As with all Nissans, some of the buttons, knobs, and trim pieces in the Titan XD look and feel a tad chintzy — though, to be fair, so do those in competing trucks. If you’re a buyer with real work on your mind, a vinyl floor welcomes you in base trim S models.

2016 Nissan Titan XD (19 of 37)

Innovation wrapped in an old package
Throughout the Titan XD’s trim range, you aren’t going to find an infotainment system that’s as good as competitors from Ford, GM and Ram.

Audio begins with an AM/FM/CD unit with a 5-inch display. It’s not much, but it makes up for its spartan looks with Bluetooth audio streaming capability available as standard. And, let’s face it, at least it isn’t a basic radio with a Casio calculator display. A 7-inch touchscreen is available in SV models and comes standard in PRO-4X and above trims. However, this version of NissanConnect is in dire need of an update, and can’t hold candle to the visuals offered by competitors.

It’s within this old wrapper that Nissan has implemented some truly innovative solutions to common problems. In addition to the available Around View monitor and other features that Nissan has been touting for years, the screen provides a center line for aiming your truck up perfectly with your trailer. Once you’re hooked up, you can use Nissan’s Trailer Light Check by clicking and holding the lock button on the key fob, which will cycle through illuminating the exterior lights while you’re outside the truck. It’s a great feature for checking a trailer-hookup job without a spotter at 4 a.m. before a fishing trip — but not so good for your neighbors who will hear your truck honking away in the twilight.

2016 Nissan Titan XD (1 of 37)

The word of the moment: whitespace
This cat is looking at the kings, and eyeballing some leftover grapes. By carving out a niche for itself, Nissan hopes to be the big truck in the small pond. But how much of a niche really exists for the Titan XD?

truck_towing_class2_clip

As you can see above, the Titan XD does overlap some Ram 3/4-ton pickups, both in GVWR and towing capability, and some 1/2-ton trucks from Ford and GM in the towing department. As Nissan introduces new cab configurations to market, expect some more of the empty space to be filled, and possibly even higher towing numbers.

However, looking at the graph above, one can only wonder why Nissan didn’t build a heavy 1/2-ton pickup instead.

So we asked.

“The final segmentation of Titan XD is really central to what we see as the ‘white space’ in the full-size truck market,” explained Phil Lienert, communications specialist responsible for Nissan’s trucks, SUVs, and crossovers. “The bottom line for us is that Titan XD is not just tuned for pulling power, but for optimal stability, strength and an overall secure feeling while towing loads up to 12,314 pounds. Curb weight and max towing both impact the final GVWR we selected for XD. We’re exactly where we intended to be in terms of the capability and size of the truck. As opposed to class distinctions, our focus was always on the unmet needs of the full-size pickup customers.”

In a nutshell: You can’t have stability without weight, and you can’t build a heavy, capable truck (to this degree) within the confines of Class 2a. Increased stability (weight) and capability (towing) means an increased GVWR, and it also means membership to the same club as all those Super Duty and 3500-series pickups of the world.

2016 Nissan Titan XD PRO-4X on Offroad Trail, Image: © 2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

Blue-collar sophistication
The Titan impresses on- and off-road. Beating a yellow PRO-4X truck along a trail covered in aggressive, sizable aggregate showed the solidity provided by the truck’s big, beefy frame. It wasn’t a smooth ride, but it was reasonably quiet and accomplished without a single trim rattle.

However, I’m not an off-road guy. Our brothers at Off-road.com can probably give you a better idea of the Titan XD’s capabilities in the bush.

Instead, I’ll say this: the Titan XD is better than any other 3/4-ton truck on pavement if this level of capability you need. It’s smooth, takes on imperfections as good or better than any other truck, and it’s infinitely comfortable. It’s not full-size sedan smooth, and anyone who says that is either completely stunned or leveraging hyperbole. But, when it comes to its nearest competitors, the Titan XD is more sophisticated than them all.

The Titan XD isn’t about to dethrone any of the Detroit Three, but that other cat in Plano should choose its next move wisely.

[Images: © 2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars]

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135 Comments on “2016 Nissan Titan XD First Drive – A Cat Looks at The Kings...”


  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Too big.
    Too heavy.
    Too thirsty.

    Sounds like it fits very well with its Big Four full-sized cousins.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      And also too expensive compared to the more capable true 3/4 ton you can get from the Big 3 for the same price. This is why I can’t see what Nissan is hoping to accomplish here, because there is no value, size, or FE advantage over the big 3 3/4 tons. Just a slightly better ride than a 3/4 ton. Whoopie.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        they know they’re not going to make a dent in Detroit’s stranglehold on the full size pickup market (if Toyota couldn’t even do that…) so they’re trying to wedge the Titan XD in there as an “in-betweener” offering in hopes they can carve out a profitable niche. Normally I’d write it off as a waste of effort, but the Cummins engine gives them a pretty strong “why-buy.”

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Not everybody needs a “Supertruck”, you know. All told, it’s not all that different from the RAM trucks, even if they aren’t actually related.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Vulpine – not everyone needs a “supertruck” but that is where Titan XD has set their sights.
            If I was in the market for this kind of truck I’d look at it exactly the same way as davefromcalgary.

            Why spend $75k on this when I can buy a truck with Waaayyyy more power and capability for the same price.

            If I was price conscious and only needed occasional towing both Ford and GM offer 1/2 tons that can tow the same but haul much more for less price.

            Day to day a HD 1/2 ton would be a much more liveable choice.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        davefromcalgary – agree.

        People do buy pickups to tow but what is more important is load ratings. You put 4 occupants in a crew cab truck and that eats 600-800lbs.
        The full bling Titan XD had 1500lbs of cargo. A stripped model is around 2,000.

        I’d buy a 3/4 ton before this truck any day. Ford even offers a GVW downgrade package.

        This will sell to people who want a Cummins diesel but aren’t happy with FCA durability.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        “Slightly better ride” translates to 62 vs 55 at equal comfort and feeling of safety with a trailer inn tow. Or could, I’ve not driven the XD. That is the difference I have noticed between the GM IFS HDs, and Ram’s and Ford’s live axles. And the Chevy 2500, while noticeably “better” on pavement than those other two, is still crude and tracks poorly compared to the halftons. IFS or not, it’s still a suspension with components simple and weighty enough to be built to carry 1000lb snowplows across bumpy frostheaves for years on end. Even if all you (I) need is to tow a 12K trailer, park it and use toe tow vehicle unhitched. Even the Tundra, which is the truckiest of the halftons, feels more connected.

        If the Nissan delivers on the promise of half ton ride with 5/8 ton towing capacity, I’m pretty sure it will be worth it, IF your intended trailer(s) are within it’s ability.

        Biggest immediate failings I can see, is a, come on, 26 gallon tank on a 20K Combined weight truck! With a name like Titan, you’d think they’d at least coordinate with Titan the tankmaker to have options available soon. As in, before RV season.

        Another issue, is the Class 4 hitch. Nowadays, bumper tow trailers are getting into the 12K range. With tongue weights to 1300-1500. THAT would be this truck’s sweet spot. No matter what Ford says about building trucks out of helium to save Gaia and allow more payload pr GVWR; all else being equal, a heavier tow vehicle controls a heavy trailer better. For 5th wheel/gooseneck towing, ideal tongue weights are higher, and the trailers tend to be heavier to begin with. So, the XD runs out of payload at ideal trailer weight distribution. That’s when the bigger domestic HDs starts making sense. Along with snowplow and, for Ram and Ford in particular, rougher surface usage like oilfields, forestry and agricultural.

        But at the upper end of the bumper tow range, the Nissan would be a shoe-in. They’re only a 1500lb vertical load rated hitch and another 30 gallons of fuel away…. Come on Nissan: Just bolting on a heavier aftermarket hitch is a bit iffy on a truck that is less obviously engineered for it, than the bigger HDs. But a factory Class 5, or even class 4.5 for a class 2b truck….

        (My trailer is a bumper tow 12000lb one, with recommended 1350-1400 tongue weight. I’m not an impartial observer….)

    • 0 avatar
      mason

      “Too big.
      Too heavy.
      Too thirsty.”

      Exactly why Chrysler scrapped the 5.0 CTD many years ago. Too unpractical for a LD truck.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Diesels should be reserved for 1-ton pickups and higher. I had a ’96 3500 Cummins and it was a great hauler, but the front suspension, ball joints, and steering gear fell apart on me.

        The Cummins is still pumping water on an Idaho farm, but the rest of the truck was parted out or crushed.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          The V8 shortstrokes (as diesels go), like this 5.0 and the Duramax, are a bit closer to gassers in more “normal” usage. For sustained towing, like dealer to dealer car delivery, Cummins always recommend the 6.7 I6. But for, as the article stated, usage more akin to a stop and go, accelerate and decelerate, school bus, the 5.0 is less trucky. Wider sweet spot, more overrev… Most recreationally driven pickups probably see duty closer to that of a schoolbus, than to a miniature long haul big rig.

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            Yep, too much engine to be efficient in a half ton truck. Nissan essentially built a truck around this engine.

            To the comment above about diesels being short stroked, I have not seen the specs on this 5.0 engine but in general diesels are longer stroked than say a gasser of the same displacement. The longer the stroke, the more offset the crankshaft pin has from the centerline of the crankshaft. This gives the connecting rod more leverage to turn the crank on the power stroke. Diesels can get away with this because of their high cylinder pressures.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        I’d think it’s more like it would just be too much capability for a Ram 1500. They’d rather you step up to a 2500 and pay the *enormous* premium for the Cummins 6.7.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      I agree, in testing the reviewers are seeing 15mpg from the Titan XD, which is very low when compared to the big 3. I would think the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel with its mid-20’s MPG would be a much better choice if a smaller diesel truck is in order… The day-to-day difference between 15mpg and 25mpg is significant.

      The Titan XD is also only 0.9″ smaller than the longest F150 crew cab long bed, which would prevent it from fitting in many garages – either due to height or length.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        reviewers are idiots. I can average 20 mpg from a 6.7 liter F-350. If you’re only getting 15 mpg from a diesel XD, then you are actively *trying* to get poor fuel economy.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    I’ll be curious to see how Nissan does with these. When the Tundra first came out a decade ago, all the car mags gushed about it, calling it so much better than the F150, Silverado and Ram. Toyota did well the first year or two, but sales have really fallen since.

    I am guessing that with fewer sales, Toyota has lacked the resources to invest to keep the Tundra fresh, the way that Ford, GM and FCA do.

    • 0 avatar

      Or Toyota knows they’re only going to make so much of a dent in the market. Why bother dumping in a ton of cash to keep up with the big boys? There is a certain type of customer that will buy a Tundra, and that’s someone who already has another Toyota.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I would be that buyer. Tundras have been ranked the most reliable 1/2 tons, last I checked. Make mine a crewmax in deep forest green! With Prii taking up the CAFE slack and fewer truck sales in general, Toyota seems to be able to afford to not encumber their trucks with low hanging air dams (see my comment below Re: Titan). The 5.7L was a monster when it came out in 2007, and is still a competitive motor today. The downside is fuel economy, where only the Titan seems to do worse. Interior quality is another place where they take a significant hit, we’ll see if Toyota sees fit to upgrade them to match the improvements they’ve been striving to make in the rest of the lineup.

        • 0 avatar

          Tundra fuel economy is the pits though.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Agreed, and with the rest of their car/hybrid fleet selling so many units (especially relative to the Tundra) they have much less incentive than the likes of Ford/GM/FCA to do something about it. I personally like the uncompromised nature of them. That and the rear seat in the crewmax is just absurdly comfortable and huge. You don’t slide into the seat so much as walk up to it and sit down.

          • 0 avatar
            SSJeep

            Yep, my 5.7 CC Tundra managed to get around 14mpg combined. The 5.7 was a stellar engine though!

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          gtemnykh – Toyota Tundra has had good durability ratings but they don’t offer the same range of choices as the Big 3. I won’t look at one unless they offer a crewcab with 6.5ft box. In BC where I live they also don’t budge from MSRP and rebates are skinny.

          • 0 avatar

            You can get a decent deal on them here in New England where Toyota dealers live on RAV4 and Highlander sales. I have spent a fair amount of time in the double cab and it seems larger then the Dodge quad cab and a lot bigger then the super cab Ford. Unless I used the back seat alot The crewmax is over kill as it’s really quite a bit bigger then a super crew or crew cab silverado.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Saw a Tundra today, freakin 5 lug. So GM goes 6 lug for all half tons (not just 4wd) in the late 90s, Ford does the same thing in 2004 I believe.

          Tundra was 6 lug, but the bigger, uglier (albeit less Ford derivitive) truck thats supposed to FINALLY go toe to toe with the big boys, yep! And were going with a smaller lug pattern to prove how seriously we take our Tundra.

          The Tundra is a posers truck. A pretty but manly toy to show off how YOU do weekends at Lowes. A loaded F-150 might do the same, but Monday-Friday, there will be an XL cranking up bright and early to go to work, as in BE-worked. The Tundra is lucky if it sees more than the paved parking lot of its owner’s office. The F-150 will be lucky to see pavement today, period.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Damn straight. Nobody who buys a Toyota has calloused hands or gaps in their teeth!

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            The Tundra switched to 14mm studs in a 5-bolt pattern with larger 22mm lugs, following the Land Cruiser that it shares some drivetrain/powertrain components with, and the rest of the Toyota truck line (4Runners as of ’03, Tacomas as of ’05). If Toyota engineers want to use 5 beefy lugs instead of 6 somewhat smaller ones, I will not be one to doubt them. They obviously have a track record of sturdy trucks. Again, the reliability statistics seem to favor the Tundra, 5 lugs or not.

            “The Tundra is a posers truck.”

            I will counter with an old Taurus being a welfare case’s vehicle.

    • 0 avatar

      If you can’t get a Ford guy into a Chevy pickup and vice versa you’re not going to sell either of them a Toyota. Pickup drivers have a lot of brand loyalty, but those buyers don’t make up 100% of the market. When they introduced the full sized Tundra Toyota aimed it at the 6% of the pickup truck market that shifts to the company that’s got the most recent all-new truck. Those are obviously not Ford, Chevy or Mopar fans but rather businesses making business decisions. When I did a review of the Tundra not long ago, it’s market share was right around 6%.

      Toyota may not be running their truck plant in Texas with three shifts, but it’s a lot busier than FCA’s plant making Chrysler 200s.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        if Akio Toyoda stood up and s**t all over the Tundra and told the world it was doomed, I think you’d see production numbers drop.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Ronnie Schreiber – loyalty does carry weight in the pickup segment. Getting stung by owning domestic junk seems to be one common denominator among Tundra buyers. If you can get 6% of domestic pickup buyers into a Tundra that also helps with getting 6% of those buyers into other Toyota vehicles. Every household I know with a pickup also has another vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      VoGo – I suspect that they have realized that they just won’t make much of a dent in the traditional full sized market. No sense spending a billion every 5-7 years to keep current but only sell 100,000 per year.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    If one can make peace with the poor fuel economy and outdated interior, now is the time to scoop up a left over fire-sale Titan Pro-4X. I find their outdated-ness to be charming. More rational styling, and somewhat less massive looking than the latest breed of trucks, and oodles of ground clearance without an air dam in sight. I bet you could get a Crew cab Pro4x for about $30k brand new right now if you were willing to travel and haggle.

    • 0 avatar
      Feds

      I was window shopping these a few months ago. If there was an auto/awd mode in the transfer case, I would have bit on it.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Eh I personally find the auto setting on pickup trucks to be a gimmick. The reactive nature of getting a traditional part time case to engage strikes me as borderline dangerous and potentially damaging to the hardware. I actually prefer the plain old “on or off” 2h->4H->4L options. Hummer will be here shortly to have an aneurism in support, Rams now have what is basically an AWD setup connecting the front end. Better for allowing slip on pavement, but questionable for heavy duty use.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          gtem, sorry to thread jack, I asked this in the Tsuru thread, but I’ve followed your comments with interest for some time now. Where abouts in Russia do your relatives live, and how often do you visit them?

          Or, as typed with my language pack swapped keyboard, very poor knowledge of the language and NO GOOGLE TRANSLATE,
          где они живут? я говорю только немного русский

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Dave I have family in Novosibirsk (Akademgorodok, a college town suburb) and a few small rural villages near Biysk, which is sort of a gateway to the Altai mountain region. My dad’s side of the family is originally from the Russian Far East, near Khabarovsk, but all relocated to Novosibirsk by the 1980s. I used to visit almost every other summer when I was growing up, then there was a long hiatus during my college years, and I went back for the first time in a decade last summer. The plan now is to go back as often as financially possible. In fact I’m working on getting my fiancé a visa so she can come meet my extended family.

            From a car-guy perspective, Russia is a fascinating place for several reasons. It is basically one big never ending durability test. Brutal cold, awful roads in many places, questionable fuel quality sometimes. Add to this the vast variety in the vehicle fleet there: the two sides (European/Asian) of the country have massive amounts of second hand imports so the variety of vehicles is insane. In a typical Novosibirsk parking lot one will see some Ladas, UAZ, A Renault Logan and/or Puegeot of some sort, a well worn (or new) Mercedes, decked out 80 series Land Cruiser, a Toyota Probox or some other funky JDM import, and a shiny black 200 Series Land Cruiser. Land Cruisers in particular are beloved in Siberia. US second hand imports are mostly of the newer Japanese variety (Siennas, GX470s, and Highlanders especially), but some oddball Tahoes, Hummers, Explorers and such make it across.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          “Eh I personally find the auto setting on pickup trucks to be a gimmick. The reactive nature of getting a traditional part time case to engage strikes me as borderline dangerous and potentially damaging to the hardware. ”

          My ’07 Tahoe still has a real 2 speed transfer case and on snowy, icy roads the “Auto” mode is the cats meow because it lets the vehicle actually turn in a corner instead of pushing through it. The switch between 2WD & 4WD is absolutely seamless. Maybe your talking about something different. I know the newer 4WD Tahoe’s lost the 2 speed transfer case.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I’ll echo what Carlson Fan says: back in the pre-AUTO setting days magazines like “Four Wheel and Off Road” would have reader questions from guys asking what to do in the winter when the roads were wet-dry-icy in patches that could change multiple times over a single mile.

            Usually the old timers advice was to leave the manual hubs locked and row the transfer case in and out of gear if it allowed shift on the fly.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            The Tahoe auto is 100x better than what we’re talking about as an option on the Ram trucks.
            The setup in the GM trucks is a good system.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            The Tahoe also allows the driver to lock it into 4WD, doesn’t it? The current 1/2-ton Rams don’t give you that option, despite the deceptive and redundant “4WD LOCK” position. They’re on-demand AWD only, and the reaction is slow and clunky once the clutches in the transfer case start to have significant wear after a year of aggressive driving.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Carlson that’s exactly the system I’m talking about. Doing some more reading, it seems that Auto-4wd engages the front axles to the front differential, but there is a clutch pack between the front driveshaft and the transfer case that is not engaged more than 5% until slip is detected, lessening any binding issues and saving a bit of rotational/friction losses. I guess it is a better system than I thought. However there seems to be a pattern of people who leave “auto-4wd” on all the time on dry pavement, and this ultimately leading to hardware failure.

            I much prefer either a true center differential (like a Torsen in mid-00s 4Runners) providing the ‘full-time’ functionality with an option to lock it, or barring that, maybe a viscous coupling, although those have sometimes proven to be less than perfectly reliable as well.

        • 0 avatar
          Acubra

          The perfect solution that somehow nobody wanted to see, was called NV244 and it was offered on 1500 Rams for all of two years, 2004-05.
          I have one and love it. It is like a huge Audi-Allroad. Never need load in the back to stay stable in winter, no spinning rears. one flip of the knob and you have your 4H with locked center.
          Since the rear is still much lighter, the overall handling balance is rear-drive-like and is very easy to control.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      With the NV vans sharing so much with the Titan, I think it’ll be more likely Nissan will spend money on the Titan to keep it current this time around. It’s not restrained by being on a platform with only the Armada, since that and the QX are now Patrol.

  • avatar
    whynot

    “In a nutshell: You can’t have stability without weight, and you can’t build a heavy, capable truck (to this degree) within the confines of Class 2a.”

    Or more accurately, if they built a heavier than typical duty Class 2a truck then they have to worry about such pesky details as fuel economy, stricter emissions, and what not. Most buyers don’t need anywhere close to pickup’s full capabilities, so its tough to sell a vehicle that would get far worse fuel economy than the other 1/2 tons when the other trucks would be perfectly fine for 90% of the buyers.

    By going for the lighter end of the 3/4’s market you don’t have to worry about the above, and don’t have to engineer a tougher truck so can share more with the non-XD Titan…

  • avatar
    Rday

    I am sure that Toyota has the resources to do whatever it wants to. It is not like a Murican company. I have heard that the big T is waiting on their own diesel engines from Hino before they jump into the heavy duty diesel market. Makes sense to me.
    I don’t think that Toyota relishes using some other brand of diesel since they can’t control outside sourced products that well. And why should they promote a future competitor’s product.

    • 0 avatar
      360joules

      So wishing I could drop the reliable & fuel sipping Toyo 3.0 liter in our 1998 4Runner.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        A diesel option would be interesting, but quite frankly the old 3.4L V6 is a gem. Underpowered by modern V6 standards, but it is stupendously reliable, and is well tuned to deliver nice low end and mid range torque in a very smooth and refined matter, all while returning very acceptable (IMO) fuel economy. 300,400, 500, even 600k miles is not unheard of on a stock, un-rebuilt motor. Hino’s (Toyota’s commercial truck arm) involvement in the development of the motor is evident.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    ” other trucks in the class that are now reaching ever-so-close to 1,000 lbs-ft. But, those brawnier engines exist to haul massive, commercial-grade loads. ”

    the funny thing is those engines don’t make near as much power and torque in bigger trucks as they do in pickups. The Cummins ISB6.7 in commercial/medium duty truck trim doesn’t have a rating anywhere near the 385 hp/900 lb-ft that it does in the Ram. Similarly, the 6.7 Powerstroke in the F-650/750 is de-rated to 250-330 hp.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Isn’t that because on Chassis cabs they use dyno numbers? I know Ford does.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        JimZ – as bball has pointed out, they dyno differently. Commercial engines are also tuned “down” for durability.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        No, because Cummins doesn’t sell trucks or chassis, so they can only rate their engines. The ISB6.7 is offered in 9 ratings, starting as low as 200 hp/520 lb-ft and going up to 325/750. Only RAM pushes it up to 385/900 in production. The 6.7 Powerstroke has three available ratings, starting at 270/675 and going up to 330/725.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          JimZ – when I say they “dyno differently”(IIRC)I’m referring to the fact that standards are different in how they dyno.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            well then tell me what the differences in those standards are. because if they “dyno differently” enough where the variance is 125 horsepower and 230 ft-lbs, then the ratings are worthless.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      All engine ratings are done in the context of some duty cycle, intending to approximate usage in the application at hand. In a pickup, that cycle is more intermittent, less constant, than on a class 4 or 5 or bigger truck. Then those trucks are more intermittent than most marine usage of the “same” engine. Which is, again, often more intermittent than stationary machine/pump/generator usage ratings.

      If you tow a very heavy weight up an infinitely long hill, eventually the pickup will start approximating the lower output of the more constant cycle rated versions of the engine.

      But, in general, the idea is that most pickup buyers don’t put on paddles and tow a barge across the pacific. But would rather prefer a burst of acceleration in order to, for example, merge onto a freeway while towing something a good bit less than absolute max. So, the tune allows for this. Of course, this can be “abused”, so for commercial applications, where the average load over the truck’s life is higher, the engine gets down rated.

      I do suspect Ram and Ford in particular, are competitively driving each other towards ratings that have less and less practical utility, even in a pickup. The limiting spec for most recreational HD pickup usage, towing heavy uphill in hot weather (Grapevine in August), is cooling capacity. Not intermittent power. Which is why the GM trucks seem to “keep up” reasonably well in practice, despite falling further behind in the headline spec wars every year.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      Commercial engines are detuned for longevity, especially in commercial box trucks and the like.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    ” I stayed in a stereotypically Arizonan resort that could easily double as public housing in a live action version of “The Flintstones.””

    Is this a good or a bad? What does that mean?

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      He stayed on the Desert Cat’s couch.

    • 0 avatar

      Look up: Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North

    • 0 avatar

      http://media4.trover.com/T/5423c1bbd809d812a900059a/fixedw.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Ah, looks lovely. Much nicer than the place I stayed at in Tempe (the poorer part of Phoenix) last year. Though that place was built into a rock formation which was pretty cool.

        Evening in October was lovely out there. And no bugs.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Not all of Tempe is poor. Downtown Tempe, ASU, and the immediate area has been booming recently. But yes, there are still some less than desirable parts of Tempe (and especially Phoenix).

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Guadelupe seems to have gone down hill, especially around the school zone.

            Maybe that’s the contrast with the Arizona Mills Mall area that makes it look like Guadelupe has gone down hill.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Last time I was in the Phoenix Area, I was in a hotel at N Scottsdale and McDonald for a couple weeks. I was working down in Tempe. Driving down Scottsdale road to work went like this: Good area, great area, good area, bad area, good area, great area, bad area. The Valley of the Sun is a strange place.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Yeah, I agree. Exactly like that. My brother lives in Scottsdale.

            When my in-laws still lived in the US, they loved to stay at the Holiday Inn Express at Arizona Mills.

            Several years we all gathered there to attend MLB Spring Training games at Salt River Stadium et al.

            I noticed over the past seven years how things have deteriorated around the same areas we visited each year. And I was sorry to see it go down hill.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I didn’t see much of it since my visit was so quick, but I liked it! The absence of humidity and insects means a lot to me. I don’t like feeling sticky, and mosquitoes love me lots.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        OUCH.

        T-A-C-K-Y

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        Wow, that place is screaming for some post-press-event psychedelics!

  • avatar
    CincyDavid

    So the frame is NV-based…are those vans even selling? I see one every now and then, but I see a lot more Sprinters and ProMasters…the Ford big vans tend to be passenger vans around here, used as airport shuttles and whatnot, although my drycleaner added a new Transit to his delivery fleet.

    Saw one of these new Titans at a dealership recently…crew cab long bed, Cummins, cloth seats. Sticker close to $60k. Big SOB. I just can’t help but think I’d play it safe and buy a Ford or GM…why take the chance on unknown resale value, among other things.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I wish that Nissan made a 4wd variant of their truck-based NV vans. All the hardware is there, why not? I would love a V6 one of those. Heck make a Pro-4X package with a bit of a lift and some skid plates, and a rear locker!

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      No the Nissan Panel truck is not selling all that well lagging behind all of the full size vans and often behind their compact van. It’s reason for existence is to limit the losses from the plant that produces it so that the Titan can live. The smart thing to do would have been to exit the full size truck market, never enter the panel truck market and focus on the NV200 and Frontier, or make a Frontier Panel truck and leave the NV200 at home.

      You really have to be a long time Nissan fan to roll the dice with any of their truck offerings.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Scoutdude – I see more NV vans around than I see FCA PornMaster vans or what evert hose ugly things are called.

        • 0 avatar

          It must be regional here in CT NV and promaster still outnumber Transit’s but that’s changing rapidly. The NV seems oddly popular here in New England can’t say i have ever seen one traveling in other parts of the country.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Well the NV has been around longer and hasn’t changed so there are probably more of them on the road. However the goodcarbadcar numbers say that the PukeMaster is selling better and jumped ahead of the NV once they were readily available.

          The Transit is the king of sales and they are popping up all over around here. Just last week I saw the first school bus based built on a Transit Cutaway. Uhaul versions are all over the place around here. It seems like almost overnight they replaced all the Econolines and most of the Expresses.

          Fact is a panel truck does not offer the same level of space efficiency that a van does. Nissan trucks don’t have a reputation for being very fuel efficient either. Kind of a double whammy against the NV.

          As far as the New England thing I was surprised a few years ago on a business trip to NH when I drove by a Nissan Dealer that had tons of them on the lot, even a bunch at one end of the front line.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Uhaul versions are all over the place around here. It seems like almost overnight they replaced all the Econolines and most of the Expresses.”

            I’d rather drive a Transit for 10 years straight then have to drive an Econoline for 10 minutes. Plus the 3.7 base engine is probably more than capable enough for what most buyers need. Further, the E-series has lacked a diesel for several years now and Transit brings that back into the fold.

      • 0 avatar

        Why no love for Nissan trucks? Their cars all over the map but their trucks tend to be slightly worse discounted Toyotas. I know several people with Titans and Frontiers who seem very happy (several have owned multiples) Quick searches online seem to point to fairly good reliability records right with all the big 3 and Tundra.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Hopefully I didn’t comment too quickly this time, so as not to disturb Apagtatggh.

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    I expect that this new Titan will likely fail, regardless of the merits of the product, for the same reason as the Chrysler 200: lack of mindshare among prospective customers, combined with a poor reputation for it’s predecessor.

  • avatar
    James2

    Instead of building another Titan which no one will buy, why not redesign the Frontier –because it desperately needs a redo– AND upsize it to Colorado-esque proportions. I would think that truck would attract tons more buyers than this Titan, which seems to be a lot more truck (literally and figuratively) than 99-percent of the buyers need.

  • avatar

    The Detroit 3 circled the wagons around the full size pick up market several years ago, with Toyota making a minor ding, and Nissan getting bounced out by the circled wagons.

    Guess Nissan could not crack the 1/2 ton segment, and elected to offer a 3/4 ton with a diesel same as the Detroit 3 hoping to crack that segment that has a dramatically lower sales potential.

    A well styled mid size pick up similar to a Tacoma-Colorado-Canyon would have been more productive than a 3/4 ton with a Cummins diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      who knows? in the 1980s, Dodge *was* the same also-ran that Toyota and Nissan are now in this segment. That changed rapidly, first with the introduction of the Cummins 6BT in 1989, and then the BR Ram 1500 in 1994. As I recall the BR pretty much let them triple their market share practically overnight.

      If you build it, they will come. The tricky part is figuring out what “it” is.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        JimZ – I suspect that is what Nissan is hoping for. The Big “C” working its magic once again. Fred Diaz used to be Ram’s head honcho so this is no coincidence.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I am looking at it, and I see FORD

  • avatar
    seth1065

    And the cost of it is ???? No where did I see a price or what the MPG would be, Kind of important Mark.

    And in the spirit of disclosure what was the title of the book?

    Looks like all the other Pickup trucks out there.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      MPG is not stated because it is an over 8500lb GVW vehicle, so it is exempt from CAFE laws and thus is not tested. It sounds like they got the typical here, take this for a lap around our loop and be back in x minutes so the next person can take their lap. So no way to gauge the fuel economy other than the always suspect on board read out (if it has one) even more suspect on a drive day vehicle that will be subject to the typical auto journalist abuse and sitting out in the lot idling waiting for the next drive.

      The as tested price would be nice though.

      • 0 avatar

        Thanks for sticking up for poor old moi ;) But, we did stay with one truck for the morning and another in the afternoon. It’s still hard to gauge fuel economy on these trips though. You do a lot of stopping for photos, etc.

        We should have a Titan XD on a normal, week-long test soon.

      • 0 avatar
        seth1065

        Scoutdude,
        Thanks for the info, I am not a pickup truck guy so I did not know this.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “And the cost of it is ???? No where did I see a price or what the MPG would be, Kind of important Mark.”

      RTFA:

      “And since the Titan lives in Class 2b, Nissan is well within its right to give fuel economy labels the middle finger just like every other 3/4-ton truck manufacturer. If you’re looking to compare thirst, the EPA got nuthin’ for you, son.”

    • 0 avatar

      S 4×2 trim starts at $41,485 w/ destination. We were in a few different trucks throughout the day, so pricing varies greatly. The top-spec Platinum Reserve 4×4 is $61,715 with destination.

      Once they get more cab configurations on dealer lots, the price will go down.

      I think the book was Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    I personally find the new GM twins with the baby dirtymax a lot more compelling of a truck than the Nissan XD. I don’t think they’ll be able to keep those on the lots. I’ll be surprised if Nissan has the same problem with this truck. I suspect the fuel economy will be the same as a 3/4 ton diesel so what’s the point? I think a standard 1/2 ton truck with a more appropriately sized diesel engine would have made much more sense and been a lot more appealing.

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      “I think a standard 1/2 ton truck with a more appropriately sized diesel engine would have made much more sense and been a lot more appealing.”

      People who want that are likely to just go for a RAM Ecoboost.

      I think what Nissan is aiming to do here is find a niche to enter a crowded market rather than attempting to compete head on with the established players.

      I have my doubts that they will be successful with this as the domestic pickups are generally pretty good and don’t give their customers any reason to look elsewhere, and unlike Toyota, Nissan doesn’t exactly have a stellar reputation for quality. But they probably have a better chance trying to exploit a new niche than they do competing with the mainstream brands head on…

  • avatar
    Scottie

    Heavy half tons are not new, light 3/4 tons are not new. It seems gm or ford would have kept making them if there was a market.

    It still annoys me that the nv have 8 lugs and the Titan xd has 6, and the hummer and Silverado 1500hd had 8 lugs

    • 0 avatar
      Scottie

      Never mind you can still get a 6.2l 1500 Silverado with towing capacity of around 12k lb. sure it’s gas and not diesel.

      • 0 avatar

        I’d trust the Titan XD to pull gracefully right up to the 12,000 pound mark though. I’m not sure about the light-duty trucks. Sure, they can do it, but they wouldn’t have the stability.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Stability is about more than just weight of the tow vehicle. In fact that is low on the list of what makes a good tow vehicle. I’m betting based on the rated capacity of the Nissan that it will not be that stable with a 12K trailer on back. The tongue weight needed to make the trailer track properly will overload the rear suspension and unload the front causing the steering geometry to get very poor.

          So yeah I’d take a properly equipped F150 or GM 1500 over this if I was towing that big of a load and there was some compelling reason I couldn’t use a 250/2500 or better.

          • 0 avatar

            The GM and Ford max payload numbers always give me cause for concern, Ford in particular because they always seem so high there must be a reason no one else will match them in their game. Here is an excerpt from a pickuptrucks.com test

            “We’ll start out positive and say that when carrying a heavy load, the Nissan crushed its competition. While the F-150 and Ram had difficulty running our drive routes and other tests in a confident, controlled manner with 1,750 pounds in the bed, the Nissan felt composed and stable. Several of our drivers noted that if they hadn’t seen the factory numbers, they’d guess the XD could carry another 1,000 pounds without a problem.”

            http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/02/2016-nissan-titan-xd-tackles-the-texas-truck-showdown-max-towing-tests.html

            The test is about what I suspect based on the trucks design and mission but it’s curious why Nissan chose not to offer a max payload tow option to at least beat most of the upper limit half tons.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            mopar4wd – the F150 in that test may have had max tow but it did not have the heavy payload option. A crew 4×4 6.5 box F150 can be rated for 2,600 lbs of cargo. It sits close to the limit for 2a.
            If one plans to tow heavy one should get the HD payload package as well as max tow.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The 1500HD Silverado was identical to the 2500 non-HD: 6.0 gas, semi-float rear axle, etc.

      Ford still makes an F-150 Heavy Duty, though it’s not advertised heavily. It’s really a niche product.

      From 1984-96, it was the F-250 non-HD, with the 300, 302, or 351 and semi-float rear, GVWR no more than 7700.

      1997-99, it was the F-250 light duty, 4.6 or 5.4, unique 7-lug wheels, 139″ WB only (RCLB or SCSB), other goodies too numerous to mention, GVWR 7700#. From 2000-03, this was rebadged the F-150 7700 with the only distinguishing mark being the tailgate emblem.

      2004-onward, it became the F-150 Heavy Duty Payload Package, 5.4 only and only RC/8′ or SC/8′. GVWR was 8200# from 2004-14. The wheels were still 7-lugs, but on 2004-08s and 2009-10s they were plain steel wheels that were indistinguishable from the base model steel 6-lugs unless you took the hubcaps off. With the new engines in ’11, the HDPP got handsome aluminum wheels and was available with either the 3.5 EB or the 5.0. An option for a CC/6.5′ model was added in 2013.

      The 2015 model only made two major changes to the HDPP: The 7-lugs were replaced with less-unique “heavy-duty 6-lugs” for unknown reasons, and GVWR was actually decreased slightly (though still exceeds all other Class 2a trucks, AFAIK).

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Sorry, but it’s just impossible for me to take any vehicle calling itself “XD” seriously. “Titan XD” on the screen just about captures my reaction to this truck.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      0h [email protected]!

      /l337

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      Better than the Titan :Q I guess…

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    Definitely gives me a vibe from the F-150 of two generations past — 2005-ish to 2009 or 2010, maybe, especially the side profile.

    (The generation before the current al-you-minium body was when Ford really went for the Tonka look, IMHO.)

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      2004 to 2008. It was a very slab-sided look, accentuated in the early years by bright primary colors (Blazing Yellow was the “inaugural” color for 2004 only). Notice that the 2009-14 palette was more subdued, possibly reflecting a nationwide feeling of austerity brought on by the recession.

  • avatar
    SomeGuy

    I saw one of these the other night on the street. My god are they huge in person. The pictures really don’t do it justice. The truck is just gargantuan. Not a bad thing, just not my cup of tea.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      So what you’re saying is that Nissan played right up to the most vocal full-sizer crowd by making the BIGGEST full-sizer and made it more comfortable. Perfect for those who feel ‘size is everything.’

  • avatar
    zip89105

    I think these will sell fine. Some F150 owners are already complaining of sway with their lighter aluminum trucks. Trailers are getting bigger & heavier and Nissan can fill the gap with the XD. The real question is: who’s going to be the guinea pig?

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      They kind of ought to sell. If you look at the size of most of the larger trailers that are common on the road, a 5.0 sized diesel should be pretty Goldilocks, without extracting the unloaded ride penalty that heavier trucks do. The diesel drive trains in the domestic HDs, have honestly gotten to the point where they make the most sense in duallies.

  • avatar

    “Ask people in the know which full-size pickup is arguably the worst new purchase you can make today and you’ll receive a resounding answer: the Titan.”

    Funny my answer to this question has been and is F150 for the last 20 years or so (since the 1997 redesign) I still like the Titan as long as you get it at a price that reflects the age.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      F150 is the king for companies just buying whatever, as a personal vehicle it is hands down the worst pickup one can buy. I have extensive time behind a 05 and here recently a 16 with the 2.7L ecoboost. 11 years of work and they both still ride worse than my old 96 K1500 rode, the GM 3/4 truck literally ride smoother than the F150s. The 2.7L is a loud buzzy unrefined engine that is as bad to drive as it sounds. There’s no way the buyers cross shop, The competition left Ford behind long ago.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Another place Ford cheats out is the cab, the amount of plastic used rather than the aluminum sheet metal is ridiculous. Basically half of the painted area you see that isn’t the doors, is plastic.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    I could see a market for this: Horsey people, who are disproportionately of the female persuasion. A little more tractable than a super duty maybe?

    To a lesser degree boat people? Mom heads out a couple of days early to the lake without Dad.

  • avatar
    balreadysaid

    I’m really loving the look. It looks like my 2013 f150 I had last year.

    Worst truck to buy if you can’t use it. You need to have a good reason like towing daily to own it. But it will do just as the others. You can also put a cummins sticker on your rear window…

    If this was available months ago I would have tried to buy. I ended up with a silverado. Tows 10800lbs gets incredible fuel economy when compared to my eco boost I drove in the same routes. Has tons of usable v8 power. And the 8 speed works great for me. Its rough shifting up or down sometimes. I like it like that. Feels like a truck should. Drives like a truck should. I’m happy with the Chevy. I feel like I might have been disappointed by this titan if purchased. It is too slow. People drive Fast. Nys is a country within a city. Hardcore stop and go. With the Adirondack mountains and some of the best rolling highways in the country. This titan might drive in this area where I live very poorly. Most diesels do great here. if you get on The thruway a few times a week. The steep hills and short trips would make the truck run in regen all the time. I like the truck but I wish it was better in a few ways that might actually matter to more than one person.
    The lighter duty titan is the gem! The 7 speed transmission is best of the best. Drive an infinity g37 it’s 7 speed works very good in city and country areas. Its also about the size of a colorado. Maybe slightly wider. This Nissan is also a tweener. Its smaller than the 1500’$ but bigger than a midsize. And only truck that size available with drum roll……a v frikken 8

  • avatar
    klossfam

    If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, RAM should be flattered with the near exact copying of the RAM center stack…This tweener is probably the answer to the question no one asked…Ugly as sin also…

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Mark- with respect, please do your homework before writing an uncritical review such as this. There are any number of Ford and GM half tons with payloads equal to or greater than this truck and with tow ratings above 10,000 lbs. I’m driving one now, which I’ve used to pull a 27 foot travel trailer all over the country. Both Fords Ecoboost 3.5 and GMs 6.2 liter V-8 have torque ratings of 460 lb-ft. And they have maintenance costs lower than diesels. The Nissan “story” supporting this truck is just that–a story. This truck is just an overweight pig that Nissan is now trying to justify with the road-hugging weight argument last used by Buick in the 1960s.
    Unless you have serious hauling needs, the argument for diesels becomes very tenuous given the low rpm torque of turbocharged engines or large, variable displacement DI gasoline engines like GM’s 6.2 engine. The “legendary” longevity of diesels has been hugely compromised by the complicated and delicate add-ons required to clean up diesel’s inherently dirty exhaust. Just ask the owners of Ford’s 6.2 and 6.4 liter “powerstroke” diesels. In many parts of the country, diesel fuel is priced the same as 91 octane gasoline and the “clean diesels” do not achieve the fuel economy of their “dirty” predecessors, largely because fuel is used in the particulate filter to burn off the trapped particulates.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      the 6.0 and 6.4 Powerstrokes weren’t evidence of modern diesels being “delicate.” They both had significant design flaws which led to them being short-lived.

      – The VT365 (6.0 liter) was an inherently weak design which was rushed into production. the outgoing 7.3 had 6 head bolts around each cylinder, while the 6.0 cut that down to 4 torque-to-yield bolts. It didn’t help that Ford was asking for about 60 more horsepower than Navistar used in any of their rated applications.

      – the Maxxforce 7 (6.4 liter) had a big problem with cavitation in the water pump, which would eventually erode the front cover and dump coolant into the engine. It was also rife with turbocharger failures.

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        But his point still stands – most of the problems of modern-day diesels stem from the emissions systems or other modifications made to meet emissions – EGR coolers that plug up and/or corrode and leak. Particulate filters that plug up. Regen cycles that either blow fire out the tailpipe, or cause cylinder wall washdown because they are cost-cutting by not using a separate regen cycle fuel injector. And the list goes on . . .

        And in order to meet stringent emissions, the fuel systems are extremely high-pressure now, which leads to 1) expensive parts, 2) sensitivity to fuel quality, and 3) expensive repairs. Look at how bulletproof the injection system is on a 1994-98.5 Cummins compared to what is offered today. How much does it cost to replace eight diesel injectors these days (hello Duramax)?

        I’ve owned three diesels (1996 is the newest which I still drive), and I won’t buy a new diesel. It’s just not worth it.

        And if you are shopping for a 1990s “bulletproof” diesel such as a Cummins or a Ford 7.3l, call your credit union for a loan – prices on those have simply skyrocketed in the past few years – trucks that used to sell for under $10K are now going for $15-20K. Why? Because so many people have gotten burned by the post-2000 problem-laden diesels. Even Cummins had their issues, with the fracking brilliant idea of running fuel piping inside the valve covers, such that a fuel leak leads to oil dilution and engine ruination w/o so much as a single whimper from the engine or dash warning light.

    • 0 avatar

      I think this is more aimed at Tundra buyers looking for more pulling then at the heavy half’s from Ford and GM. Too be fair to Mark he was quoting GVWR vs Payload. In Fords case the payload is being boosted by light weight aluminum (and possibly some questionable weighing methodology)vs heavier duty components you will find under the Titan XD. That said I’m surprised the payload isn’t 400 lbs higher across the board, that would make it a much better proposition.
      I do agree in modern times Diesel has become a pain in the rear if you only use the available power occasionally.
      For me personally I would be Ram 3500 6.4 for less money. But for people like my in laws who were burned by the big 3 and the past and are now loyal big Japan 3 buyers, the titan offers a choice over max towing their Tundra they would prefer to have a Toyota 3/4 ton but this might do nicely in it’s place. Really I think that’s the market Tundra buyers who want a little more towing power.
      We will have to wait and see how it shakes out.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        mopar4wd – Ford’s payload ratings increased across the board (roughly 400 lbs) with the aluminum F150 but not in the HD payload package. That dropped slightly.


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