Nissan Titan XD — Great capability

By David Finkelstein

The award-winning 2016 Nissan Titan XD heavy-duty pickup truck is a very interesting vehicle. How so? Well for starters, it's powered by either an all-new 5.0-liter Cummins diesel V-8 engine or an 8-cylinder gasoline engine.

When equipped with the powerful diesel engine, it generates 310-horsepower and 555 lb-ft of torque. With this diesel power setup, the Titan XD is tow-rated up to 12,300 pounds. The 5.6-liter gas version is rated at 390-horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque output.

Depending on your engine choice, either a six or seven speed automatic transmission is offered.

The Titan is manufactured on a revolutionary new heavy-duty underside chassis. It's developed to smooth out uneven road surfaces, resulting in a car-like driving experience giving the driver an elevated feel of confidence and a quiet passenger cabin.

This “high tow” capability may be somewhat misunderstood. Some may feel that perhaps its been over engineered for the size of the vehicle, however, in this instance, “more” is “better” because at times, you may not know precisely how much you're actually towing. This frequently occurs within the construction industry and with farming activities as well as with recreational activities.

Towing equipment includes a nicely integrated trailer brake controller plus a trailer sway control system. Tow/haul mode with downhill speed controller is also included as well as a trailer light check system plus a rearview camera with trailer guides and additional body cameras for assisting in launching a boat or backing out of a tight parking spot.

Even at highway speeds, the Titan had notable steering control during its road test. It's functional and stylish large 20-inch wheels and off-road all weather tires add to the vehicle's footprint.

When it comes to stopping, again, it might be somewhat over engineered but with safety being paramount, who would complain that the XD brakes translate to a very positive feel.

The truck's interior is well thought out with very roomy premium appointed seating and has easy-to-interrupt controls, gauges and switches. It's offered with either seating for five or six with the four door high-end vehicle.

The oversized center storage compartment is a nice touch, however if it had a key lock on it I would feel more comfortable with its design.

Overall, Titan has a high level of intelligent rolling technology. The large/rear cargo box compartment has unique storage cubbies and a well engineered tailgate open/close damping system. Also available is a rear bumper fold away foot step.

This very stylish truck is positioned in the class of the heavy-duty Chevy Silverado 2500 pick-up as well as the Ram 2500 and the Ford F-250 Super Duty. As expected of course, this Nissan XD has more capabilities than those of the half-ton rated Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ram 1500, and the Ford F-150 pickup's.

The heavy-duty XD model is offered up on a fully boxed, complete-length ladder type steel frame. It has quite a bit more strength to it when compared to the standard half-ton Nissan Titan truck. The beefier setup was engineered to help with higher load capacities, the weight of the large Cummins engine, and it helps in the vehicle's overall high-tow capacity.

The Titan XD was designed at Nissan's studios in Southern California and engineered in the United States. The pickup is built in Mississippi and its diesel V8 engine is assembled in central Indiana, just outside of Indianapolis.

The base model starts out at $35,290 and if you elect to choose the diesel top-of-the=line model, it stickers out just under $60,000. The 2016 Nissan Titan H-D XD is also available with an all-wheel-drive set-up. If you do choose the AWD option, it's easy to control with a dash mounted rotary select switch, mounted just forward of the center console.

Various trim and equipment levels are also made available, thus allowing it to be a major contender in its field.