By on December 3, 2015

Brent Hagan Nissan USA Product Planning

You have questions. Brent Hagan has answers. Here is what you wanted to know about the next-generation Nissan Titan, now in XD flavor.

Hit the jump and keep refreshing until we’re done. We are going to pick off the questions one at a time, updating the post as we go.

Q: Will you report EPA fuel economy for Titan XD even though you don’t have to?

Our plan is not to publish any EPA-like number since there is no EPA standard for vehicles above 8,500 pounds. We don’t want there to be an opportunity for confusion on what we’re releasing and we believe the media will do an excellent job of reporting apples-to-apples fuel economy performance of our new truck.

Q: Is it really a 3/4-ton replacement when it only out tows the F150 and Silverado by 300-500 lbs?

We are not trying to replace 3/4-ton pickups with Titan XD. We have identified customers who’ve stated 3/4-ton pickups are too much for them but half-ton pickups are not quite enough. In speaking to customers, we found that towing performance is more than just a number and that those numbers can be misleading. We feel confident that any customer who puts 12,000 pounds behind Titan XD will see a significant difference in the towing experience compared to its half-ton competitors.

Q: Where is the non-XD version of Titan?

Thanks for noticing there will be another Titan! Hold tight. It’s coming soon. You’ll see it in 2016.

Q: What durability testing was done on the platform?

We have spent years and years testing the durability of Titan XD. Additionally, we’ve leveraged knowledge and components from our commercial vehicles. You can find out a lot more by visiting the Nissan YouTube page and watching our Truckumentary series.

Q: Is the platform the same as the NV cargo van?

The Titan XD platform is not a direct copy of the NV commercial van chassis. However, there are some shared components and we’ve leveraged our learnings with NV to build Titan XD.

Q: As an important industry insider, what’s your guess for the mystery panel-gap car the other day?

Are you sure that didn’t come from a collision repair shop?! Haha!

But seriously, new car designs today are more complex than they’ve ever been and more difficult to manufacture.

Q: What did Nissan do to add structural rigidity to the bed?

The Titan XD has an all new, unique fully-boxed ladder frame. As I stated earlier, the towing experience will be different for Titan XD and the frame is a significant contributor to that experience. When towing 12,000 pounds, you want a stiff and stable platform. The result is going to be a bed that’s tough, durable and secure on a very rigid backbone.

Q: Are there any plans to reduce XD’s weight in order to increase its towing and payload numbers?

For all of our vehicles, we continuously strive to reduce weight to improve efficiency and increase capability. For Titan XD, our priority was to engineer the toughest, strongest truck but also have excellent efficiency. That’s why we partnered with Cummins who has an excellent reputation for durability and efficiency.

Q: What does Titan XD offer that a RAM EcoDiesel doesn’t?

We feel that the customers for those two trucks are very different. The Titan XD customer is going to be a heavy-use customer who’s looking for very high capability and would frequently tow 9,000-plus pounds.

Q: Why would I buy Titan XD over the Ford F-150, aside from greater stability when towing heavy loads?

I wouldn’t brush off the stability aspect because, we think, it’s an important part of the XD concept. It’s not just about towing. It’s about being surefooted in all situations: heavy payload, towing, and everyday driving. Additionally, the Titan XD offers a ton of utility and thoughtful storage features, such as our Utiliti-Track system, our new Titan Box system and innovative trailer light check function. And, in case you haven’t heard, it’s available with a legendary Cummins turbo diesel, too!

Q: Why does Titan XD weigh as much as it does?

As I mentioned previously, one our highest priorities was tough and durable components. Additionally, when towing 12,000-plus pounds, the vehicle mass will actually help its stability.

Q: Will the 5-liter Cummins turbodiesel V-8 have a regeneration cycle similar to the Ram EcoDiesel? If so, does the truck provide indication when it is in a re-gen cycle so the driver knows not to shut it off?

We do have a diesel particulate filter system that will require a “regen” cycle and we do alert the customer with a notification on the meter of active regen. We do not prevent or discourage a customer from turning off the vehicle during that cycle.

We’ve run out of time to answer more questions, but we will do this again at other events — hopefully in a more live, interactive environment — at a later date. 

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41 Comments on “2016 Nissan Titan XD – Your Questions, Nissan’s Answers with Brent Hagan...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “Truckumentary series”

    Here comes breakfast! This “live*” idea’s not bad. Generates more refreshing and tasty clicks as well.

    *sorta

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Yes, the new Edge is built at a collision repair shop called Ford, in Canada.

  • avatar
    suburbanokie

    New Frontier, please.

  • avatar
    LuciferV8

    Hey, how much of the new Titan is going to carry over to the new Armada?
    Is there any chance of getting that sweet 5.0 Turbodiesel?

  • avatar
    SC5door

    Thoughts on a smaller diesel to the non XD Titan?

    Care to share on how adding Fred Diaz to the team has helped shape the new Titan?

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Aside from “unique fully boxed ladder frame” and “its heavy” I’m still not seeing what qualifies this truck to haul around 12k lbs on a regular basis more safely and reliably than a Ford or GM 1/2 ton.

    He says himself there is more to towing heavy loads than a powerful engine, a sentiment with which I agree. But what backs up his assertion that the Titan is more durable and surefooted?

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      The more weight you put on the tongue, or behind the truck, the more beneficial plain weight over the front axle becomes for stability. And diesels are heavy beasts.

      A 5 liter TD from a company with tow specific engines in their dna, is most likely going to be “better” at the specific task of towing heavy OFTEN or ALWAYS, than an engine less specifically optimized for that task. Regardless of whether the latter has a similar max rating.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        No doubt the 5.0 Cummins will be a towing beast.

        What I am asking tho is, what does the XD have in terms of heavier running gear to justify its higher class. I have some experience with heavy halfs of the early 00s which had all kinds of power, but the trans and diffs couldn’t hold up.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          If the Aisin behind the Cummins is the same, or similar, to the one in the Cummins Ram, it is one sturdy gearbox.

          Aside from that, I don’t know any specifics. I don’t much care for Nissan nor Infinity cars, but their truck guys comprise the most down to earth, pragmatic crew in the business. And the NV Cargo Van is the most impressively solid vehicle of that kind I am aware of. If the Taliban ever goes soft, and trade caves and open truck beds for the comforts of houses and enclosed vans, that’s the only one I could imagine replacing their famous Hiluxes.

  • avatar
    zip89105

    Well that’s a whole lot of nothing.

    • 0 avatar
      redliner

      Yup. The answers given come off as evasive and sometimes the answer given wasn’t even related to the question asked.

      “Question: How is your truck better than F-150?
      Answer: Uh, well it has different customers.”

      That’s not an answer.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Because I’m mean…

    “Our plan is not to publish any EPA-like number since there is no EPA standard for vehicles above 8,500 pounds. We don’t want there to be an opportunity for confusion on what we’re releasing and we believe the media will do an excellent job of reporting apples-to-apples fuel economy performance of our new truck.”

    Translation: We ran the truck through the standard EPA test cycle (even though we don’t have to put it on the Monroney) and in addition to the horrifying MPG numbers, the computer spontaneously displayed a picture of the Exxon Valdez. We are hoping by not putting the numbers on the spec-sheet or the door tag, this will be less obvious to potential customers, and we can hand-wave away any tests the automotive press runs.

    “Q: Are there any plans to reduce XD’s weight in order to increase its towing and payload numbers?

    For all of our vehicles, we continuously strive to reduce weight to improve efficiency and increase capability. For Titan XD, our priority was to engineer the toughest, strongest truck but also have excellent efficiency. That’s why we partnered with Cummins who has an excellent reputation for durability and efficiency.”

    Translation: Our engineers went a little wild with the steel, tried to cut back later, and failed. We are releasing with a diesel with undisclosed fuel economy first, so when we release the gasoline models later the press has lost interest in the new Titan and the even-worse gasoline economy numbers won’t get as much notice.

    “Q: What does Titan XD offer that a RAM EcoDiesel doesn’t?

    We feel that the customers for those two trucks are very different. The Titan XD customer is going to be a heavy-use customer who’s looking for very high capability and would frequently tow 9,000-plus pounds.”

    … and/or has a smaller penis.

    In all seriousness, I appreciate somebody from Nissan showing up to answer questions, but there’s enough press-flack weasel-wording in here, I just couldn’t resist.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “innovative trailer light check function.”

    Hey I like that!

    Although since converting all of my trailers to LED’s burnt out lights are a thing of the past. But still a neat feature as the trailer wiring and the plug form the tow vehicle to the trailer can still be problematic.
    Especially when you tow on wet, salty roads.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Unless something with the LED board fails. I’ve seen plenty of LED equipped cars as well as semi trailers with in-op LED marker lights—or portion of the “lamp” working.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        I agree that they can/will fail eventually. The reason I converted one of my boat trailers is I got so tired of continually dealing with burn’t out lights on it. That was 5 years ago and I haven’t had a single light issue since.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        The biggest failure point in trailer lights is poor grounding. My boat trailer was dunked weekly in saltwater for years without issue. This is because I ran multiple grounds and waterproofed every connector with sealant plus heat shrink.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          “This is because I ran multiple grounds and waterproofed every connector with sealant plus heat shrink.”

          None of that keeps a filament in a bulb from burning out. I’ve yet to have a LED marker or tail lamp fail on either of my 2 boat trailers or snowmobile trailer. I’ve experienced wiring/ground problems but the majority (95%) of my trailer lighting issues were burnt out bulbs.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The problem is vibration and shock from very hard suspension on trucks and trailers breaks the filament. LEDs are immune to that and can take very sharp impact too.

            The trucking industry had LED tail lights and markers 20 years before they hit mainstream on autos.

  • avatar
    ckb

    Did anyone catch how much this thing will tow?

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    ” In speaking to customers, we found that towing performance is more than just a number and that those numbers can be misleading.”

    Have to agree. Some of the new 1/2 tons are rated to tow more than my ’04 GMC 2500HD. I have no doubt though that none of them would handle 5 tons hooked to the back with the same level of confidence as the old Sierra.

  • avatar
    XD Fan

    For me, the effort and thought put into the answers was underwhelming.

  • avatar
    XD Fan

    I was hopeful Nissan would come through with the XD but so far they are consistently missing the mark. I’m about to go to sleep on any hope from the XD. It’s been a swing and a miss along with a lot of hot-air compensation.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It would’ve just been easier and less painful to just say,

    “OK to answer everyone’s questions, mostly it’s just heavy. Huge GVWR so its curb weight, soaking wet and 2 passengers, doesn’t have you exceeding its own capacity.”

    Then “Alright thanks everyone for coming, enjoy the free snacks.”

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      You sound like you need a midsizer;)

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Yep. The point is there’s not much “heavy duty” about it. The frame? OK.

        Otherwise it’s just a half ton that’s “heavy” in weight, plus a 3/4 ton frame.

        It’s interesting, but unclear how much need there is for that combination in the market.

        Nissan is down to selling less than 1,000 Titans a month now, and banking everything on the Cummins diesel bringing the Titan back to life, as the 5.9 Cummins saved Dodge trucks. Good idea but this isn’t 1989. The VW TDI thing can’t help.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I’m wondering if Nissan’s aware that “XD” is a pretty well-established emoticon for intense excitement, with the X representing tightly shut eyes and the D being an open smile (Existing commercial applications include the “Disney XD” channel).

  • avatar
    kkop

    As a former, two time, Titan owner I would have asked: “Does Nissan intend to ignore cracking exhaust manifolds on this version as it did for the full 10+ year model life span on the previous generation Titan”?

    I liked my Titans, but Nissan’s completely lack of concern on this (a very common Titan problem) turned me off the brand. Driving Ram now.

    • 0 avatar
      bigdaddyp

      Every one of our work Super Duty’s that we use to tow have cracked or warped manifolds. Ford will not fix.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Agreed kkop. Titan/Armada were full of problems. New to the market pickup should have gone the Toyota/Honda route and focused on building a reputation for reliability and customer care. Nissan screwed the pooch.

    • 0 avatar
      LeadHead

      Lack of concern over cracked exhaust manifolds turned you off the brand? What about Ford’s utter inability to design a manifold that doesn’t leak on the heavier vehicles with the Modular 4.6/5.4/6.8 engine? Almost every single SuperDuty and Expedition I see with a V8 has a leaking exhaust manifold.

      Likewise, what about Ram ignoring the constant balljoint and tierod problems their HD trucks have?

      All brands have their faults, but being completely turned off a brand for something as small as a cracked manifold?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      kkop,
      We have the Nissan VK V8s here in Australia and I have yet to hear of the problem you speak of.

      Are your Nissan V8 engines manufactured in the US or Japan?

      Do your Pathfinders, NV vans, Infiniti fitted with the engines have the same problems?

      I do see a lot of recalls on similar or same vehicles in the US and most of the time our vehicles are not plagued with the same recalls.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    That wasn’t much different than listening to a politician.

    My big concern was and still is GCWR. Low cargo ratings mean the truck has little legally left over for passengers and gear.

    If he says that this truck was designed to tow heavy a large portion of the time then one would be better served with a 3/4 ton or 1 ton truck. 3/4 ton diesel trucks have a 3k cargo rating and a 14-17k tow rating so there would be plenty of built in “overcapacity”.

    Brent Hagan’s answers just reaffirm my belief that this truck’s “tweener” mission is going to consign it to niche status. Someone had to appeal to those drivers of brown diesel manual transmission station wagons .

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I won’t say payload isn’t important, but it seems to be a less important figure than, say, 30 years ago, since most pickups (that are actually utilized) are used for towing long distances rather than hauling in the bed.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Drzhivago138,
        Your comment that the figures that constantly concern Lou regarding load and tow were more significant 30 years ago for several reasons.

        1. More pickups were used as working vehicles.

        2. Pickups of 30 years ago didn’t have the capability of todays pickups

        3. Because pickups are becoming more and more a daily driver, car, CUV/SUV I do believe that people will want a greater range of pickups to choose from, like cars and CUVs/SUVs.

        Just because the Titan doesn’t fit into what the Big Three produce doesn’t mean this pickup is of less capability or less refined.

        Why does a pickup have to fit into a certain bracket or classification has me wondering how well the Big Three have created this image of what a pickup is.

        The Titan is a huge 1/2 ton or a very light HD. It’s a XD Titan, not a F-250 or Ram or otherwise.

        Lou’s concern regarding load and tow is quite baseless. As the vehicle will tow the weight easily.

        Put 10 000lbs behind the vehicle and this still leaves you with 1 000lbs for the husband, wife and 1.8 kids. The all up weight would be 500lbs of humans. This leaves 500lbs for fuel and a packed lunch.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    You have to wonder if they’ll have some teething problems with adding the outsourced engine, looks like they still have at least one problem to figure out based on this picture. https://i0.wp.com/hooniverse.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/titan-engine-720×720.jpg?resize=720%2C720

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