2016 Nissan Titan XD: Is It the “Goldilocks” of Trucks? [w/ Off-Road Video]

2016 nissan titan xd
2016 Nissan Titan XD

The 2016 Nissan Titan XD is finally here. Nissan invested over four years and significant resources to develop, design, and produce the second generation Titan. How does Nissan combat against Ford, GM, Ram, and Toyota for a slice of the light duty and heavy duty pickup truck markets? The company launches its own class of pickup truck and they call it the XD. Is this truck heavy duty enough to separate itself from the light duty crowd? Can it satisfy the consumer who is looking for a more durable work truck, but does not want to go for a 3/4 or a 1-ton HD? Can it strike the “Goldilocks” balance between light duty and heavy duty?

First, lets take a look at the downsides of owning a light duty pickup. If you start using a 1500 series truck for heavier daily jobs or more demanding weekend adventures, the truck starts to wear out quicker and driver confidence begins to drop as you load the chassis and suspension to the max. The light duty suspension is traditionally biased towards better on-road comfort and confident handling when running empty. A heavy duty truck can handle much heavier loads with better stability, but comes with a stiffer and less comfortable empty ride and a higher entry price and maintenance costs.

Nissan’s research says that nearly 150,000 truck buyers every year find a light duty truck not enough, and a 3/4 ton heavy duty truck too much. Can the 2016 Titan XD be just right?

2016 nissan titan xd cummins turbo diesel
2016 Nissan Titan XD

I got a chance to put almost 200 miles on the PRO-4X version of the XD while commuting via highway 87 north of Scottsdale Arizona between testing venues. One thing was clear. Nissan did a great job dialing in the suspension and steering systems. The empty PRO-4X drove as comfortably as any truck I recently sampled, including the outgoing Raptor. The suspension soaks up the bumps and imperfections nicely. The steering feel may not be the best in the truck industry, but the effort and transitions are excellent. The Titan feels very confident on a twisty highway and makes you feel that you are driving a smaller and lighter truck.

Speaking of heft, the Titan XD crew cab 4×2 starts at a curb weight of 6,709 lbs. The PRO-4X version weighs in at 7,257 lbs. The fully optioned Platinum Reserve truck hits the scales at 7,480 lbs. This is a beefy truck that weighs in at a heavy duty level. Nissan worked hard to design and tune a solid frame, axles, and other components as the foundation for the XD.


The 5.0-liter V8 Cummins turbo-diesel produces 310 hp and 555 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600 rpm. Acceleration is respectable, but this is not a hot rod truck. There is still a lot of weight to move around. The motor sounds similar to a Duramax V8 at full throttle. Although, the engine and exhaust sound is always well controlled and on the quiet side. The cabin is downright silent while cruising at speeds near 65 mph. Wind, tire, and engine noise are all very well isolated. The seating position is just right for my 6’2” frame, so long towing hauls should be just a piece of cake.

Check out a 5.0L V8 Cummins turbo-diesel deep dive with chief engineer from Cummins, Tim Brit.

How much can the Titan XD tow? Here is a quick data table of maximum towing ratings.

S: 12,314 lbs (4×2), 12,038 lbs (4×4)
SV: 12,164 lbs (4×2), 11,888 lbs (4×4)
PPO-4X: 11,784 lbs (4×4)
SL: 11,915 lbs (4×2), 11,638 lbs (4×4)
Platinum Reserve: 11,836 lbs (4×2) 10,608 lbs (4×4)


The F-150 crew cab 4×2 is rated at 11,900 lbs of max towing when configured with the 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost. The F-250 crew cab 4×2 is rated at 16,100 lbs of towing with the 6.7-liter V8 Power Stroke diesel.

The story is similar, when comparing to the GM trucks. The Silverado 1500 crew cab 4×2 is rated at 12,000 lbs with the 6.2-liter gas V8. The Silverado 2500 4×2 crew is rated at 15,800 lbs with the 6.6-liter V8 Duramax diesel.

The gap is a bit wider, when comparing against the Rams. The Ram 1500 crew cab 4×2 is rated at 10,360 lbs with the 5.7-liter HEMI V8. The Ram 2500 4×2 crew is rated at 17,510 lbs with the 6.7-liter I6 Cummins diesel.

The maximum towing numbers of the XD are much closer to the 1500 light duty segment, then the heavy duties. The story is similar when it comes to the payload. The XD crew cab 4×2 is rated at 2,093 lbs of payload.


The Titan XD comes with many accessories off the bat. One noteworthy item is the Titan Boxes system for the bed. Nissan studied consumer feedback and came up with the lockable and removable Titan Boxes that are installed on the sides of the bed.


Pricing for the 2016 XD will start at around $40,000 for the S model and go to around $60,000 for the Platinum Reserve that includes all options besides the DVD entertainment system. The Titan XD will go on sale in the middle of December 2015.

Get the 2016 Titan XD design deep dive with Nissan design leader, Randy Rodriguez.

Stay tuned for even more coverage of the 2016 Titan from TFLtruck.

Watch this first drive off-road review of the Titan XD PRO-4X!