The saga of the Nissan Titan will come to an end in Canada next year, with the recently refreshed full-size pickup and its tweener XD sibling leaving that market after 2021 as the automaker changes course on a global scale.
Nissan Canada confirmed the discontinuation to TTAC on Thursday, claiming the automaker, as part of its new four-year plan, will focus more closely on its core strengths. Refreshed for 2020, the Titan line has recently seen a decline in the number of build configurations offered, as well as vehicles sold, making the model’s vanishing act a seeming inevitability.
On a cold January morning during the 2015 North American International Auto Show, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn debuted the brand’s all-new pickup truck. It wasn’t a typical full-size, half-ton offering. Rather, it was a “tweener” that sits between the half-ton and three-quarter ton trucks currently on sale. Ghosn made the business case for the truck, stating that nearly 150,000 people every year switch from a half-ton to a three-quarter ton truck or vice versa because there’s no real truck out there to meet their needs. Additionally, the truck would have a 5.0-liter Cummins diesel V8 engine.
Fast forward to 2020 and things have changed. Sales of the first-generation Titan XD were lackluster at best, and the company has completely discontinued the diesel engine and regular cab options. Ghosn himself was smuggled out of Japan in an instrument case back to Lebanon to avoid the Japanese legal system. But there is a new version of the Titan XD, and Nissan claims things will be different this time.
Hot on the heels of Nissan’s refreshed Titan pickup reveal, the brand’s tweener three-quarter ton Titan XD has received a mid-cycle update of its own. Expect change, but less choice.
There’s good things to be had beyond the obvious changes to Nissan’s “Powerful Warrior” (!) styling and new “double boomerang” LED running lights. For one, there’s a wider-ranging nine-speed automatic in place of the previous model’s seven-speed unit. There’s more power on tap, more tech content, and nervous drivers can rest assured that Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite of electronic safeguards will help keep insurance adjusters at bay.
What 2020 Titan XD buyers won’t like is their lack of menu options.
Far from being the first choice among full-size truck buyers, the Nissan Titan and Titan XD are at least earning attention from their builders — and the latest alteration will earn a chorus of boos from those who worship at the altar of all things Cummins.
With a refreshed lineup on the way, Nissan has confirmed that the 5.0-liter diesel V8 available in the nearly-three-quarter-ton Titan XD will disappear by the end of the year.
Until now, every time a rolling wall of steel pulled up alongside you at a stoplight, blocking out nearly half of your peripheral vision, the culprit was almost always behind the wheel of a Detroit Three truck — one hoisted aloft by an aftermarket lift kit. Such kits allow pickups to mount the curb outside the 7-Eleven without endangering their fragile underbellies, while affording drivers a bird’s-eye view of surrounding environs (just not the vehicles immediately adjacent.)
Given the popularity of the Ford F-Series, General Motors’ Silverado and Sierra, and Ram’s brawny lineup, suspension lifts are generally the domain of American models. Well, Nissan wants to change this perception. In its bid to make the Titan and Titan XD pickups “one of the guys,” the Japanese automaker will offer a hands-off, bolt-on factory lift kit, ideally paired with the 5.0-liter Cummins diesel V8 for the purposes of rolling coal.*
*Neither Nissan nor TTAC endorses this obnoxious practice. Local laws may apply.
Earlier this week I was presented with a little advertising to enjoy, via Facebook and courtesy of Nissan. The ad is part of a new campaign launched on October 14th. In it, Nissan throws a couple of strangers together in a predicament involving the Nissan Titan XD and a previous-generation (debadged) Ford F-150.
I’m not impressed.
In 1977, Nissan released the revolutionary King Cab option for the Datsun 620 pickup, which opened up 10 extra inches of space behind the front row of seats for people or stuff.
Interestingly, the Titan and Titan XD King Cab is offered with a rear-seat delete option, giving extra cargo space behind the front row for the coveted work-truck market.
Nissan’s second-generation Titan arrives in crew cab, V8 form with a U.S. base price of $35,975, including $1,195 for destination and handling.
A terribly long run for Nissan’s first full-size pickup truck effort resulted in only 471,242 U.S. sales between 2002 and 2015, roughly the total number of Ford F-Series pickups sold every seven months. Nissan has forged a unique strategy for the Titan’s relaunch, with the heavier-duty — though not quite Heavy Duty — Titan XD already on the market with a 310-horsepower Cummins 5.0-liter V8 diesel powerplant.
Now the regular-duty 2017 Nissan Titan is arriving in concert with an upgraded full-size pickup truck warranty that matches Nissan’s commercial van coverage: bumper-to-bumper, five years/100,000 miles.
Japanese car companies have been trying to break into the American full-sized pickup market for decades. Despite Japanese trucks having a sterling reputation for dependability and reliability internationally, ‘Muricans are a different bunch. Not even Ford’s switch to “European-style” twin-turbo engines and aluminum bodies could stop the freight train that is the F-Series sales chart.
On the opposite end of that sales chart is the last-place Titan. Nissan sold just 12,140 Titans last year, 1/10th of Toyota’s own meager volume and 1/65th of Ford’s truck sales.
Rather than picking up its marbles and going home, Nissan thought outside the box and came up with a novel idea. Why not “right-size” a 3/4 ton truck and sell it for a little more than your average 1/2 ton? With the Detroit Three engaged in serious towing and payload wars, the heavy-duty pickup segment looks more like a Freightliner convention.
That’s where the diesel Titan XD comes in.
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.
After revealing the kinda, sorta heavy-duty, kinda, sorta light-duty Titan XD at the North American International Auto Show last year, Nissan is looking to continue its pickup truck momentum with a concept that builds upon the new XD’s strengths.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the light-duty Titan we thought would bow in Detroit. Instead, the Titan Warrior Concept is a modified Titan XD that takes the truck to its next logical conclusion — an off-road capable, well-appointed RAM Power Wagon competitor.
Nissan announced Tuesday that its 2016 Titan XD would start at $41,485 (including $1,195 destination) for the S Crew Cab 4×2 model. The top-of-the-line Platinum Reserve Crew Cab 4×4 will start at $61,715.
The pricing places the diesel-powered Titan XD firmly in the middle between the Big Three’s light-duty and heavy-duty trucks. For example, Ram’s 1500 Tradesman Crew Cab 4×2 with its 3-liter diesel engine costs $36,940, according to Ram. A heavy-duty 2500 Ram Limited 4×4 with a 6.7-liter diesel engine starts at $64,215.
The Nissan Titan XD is a heat-seeking missile aimed in between truckmakers’ light- and heavy-duty offerings, apparently.
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.
Update: Classification of Titan XD added along with light-duty comparison explanation.
Nissan has released official towing numbers for its soon-to-hit-dealer-lots Titan XD pickup tweener that splits the difference between the light-duty 1500s and heavy-duty 2500s of the world.
We’ve dug into the Titan XD’s numbers, and that of its light-duty competitors, to see just how much more capability you get with the Cummins-sourced 5-liter turbodiesel V-8.
Conclusion: the ratings are a lot closer than you’d think.
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- Bd2 Other way around.Giorgetto Giugiaro penned the Pony Coupe during the early 1970s and later used its wedge shape as the basis for the M1 and then the DMC-12.The 3G Supra was just one of many Japanese coupes to adopt the wedge shape (actually was one of the later ones).The Mitsubishi Starion, Nissan 300ZX, etc.
- Tassos I also want one of the idiots who support the ban to explain to me how it will work.Suppose sometime (2035 or later) you cannot buy a new ICE vehicle in the UK.Q1: Will this lead to a ICE fleet resembling that of CUBA, with 100 year old '56 Chevys eventually? (in that case, just calculate the horrible extra pollution due to keeping 100 year old cars on the road)Q2: Will people be able to buy PARTS for their old cars FOREVER?Q3: Will people be allowed to jump across the Channel and buy a nice ICE in France, Germany (who makes the best cars anyway), or any place else that still sells them, and then use it in the UK?
- Tassos Bans are ridiculous and undemocratic and smell of Middle Ages and the Inquisition. Even 2035 is hardly any better than 2030.The ALMIGHTY CONSUMER should decide, not... CARB, preferably WITHOUT the Government messing with the playing field.And if the usual clueless idiots read this and offer the tired "But Government subsidizes the oil industry too", will they EVER learn that those MINISCULE (compared to the TRILLIONS of $ size of this industry) subsidies were designed to help the SMALL Oil producers defend themselves against the "Big Oil" multinationals. Ask ANY major Oil co CEO and he will gladly tell you that you can take those tiny subsidies and shove them.
- Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
- AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.