The Nissan Titan XD is a good, viable alternative to the local brands and even though originals are Japanese, the trucks are made in Mississippi. A gasoline-powered single cab 4x2 starts at $31,590 and will be the affordable fleet workhorse but the best spec, feature and price combo looks to be the sporty looking crew cab PRO-4X at just over $60,000 depending on your options. Load capacity is good, on par with rivals, but the towing load is less, so make sure if that’s a necessity then makes sure your needs fall within its limits.
The Nissan Titan certainly lives up to its name, it’s a large truck that comes in the usual guises of single cab, king cab and crew cab, and can be had in 2x4 or 4x4 and with a gasoline or diesel engine – and when you add 15-inches to the chassis it extends to become the XD range. Pricing starts at just over $31,000 for the lower end of the spectrum and that can rise to almost double when you hit the range-topper. Is the Japanese option worth a look over the US trucks? On paper that’s an affirmative, it will all come down to personal taste.
The Nissan Titan XD has a good interior with what Nissan calls a Smart Layout with room to stretch and also placing things you want in easy reach. The center stack features an intuitive design and is headed up by an optional 7-inch full-color display to head up the infotainment. Softer materials are in play and, but they’re still durable because most trucks will end up doing some tough work at some point and need to have a level of ruggedness. Seating is good and spacious and gets bigger as you go up through the models you’ll cram more people in; the black / brown leather combo is the pick of the bunch. When you look at the range-topping Platinum Reserve model, the insides are quite upmarket. Storage is good too, lots of places for daily carry stuff, and you can even fit a small laptop in the center console.
When you’re talking about the drive in large trucks like the Nissan Titan XD, there’s not much to be said when it comes to the handling and feedback expect that there’s little to feel from the steering and the whole affair feels wallowy. Things will feel slightly different over different models, the smaller cabs and 2x4 will feel more “nimble” than the 4x4 crew cab, but the motors, both gas and diesel, have the power to lug these monsters around sufficiently. They’re actually pretty good off the line too when you punch it. Parking isn’t easy but there is available tech that helps the job without bumping things, the 360-degree camera is a must-have option. The drive is much the same as with local trucks though, you’re never going to feel like you’re in a sportscar no matter what you do.
Large trucks get large engines and the Nissan Titan XD has a few options for buyers to choose from. A popular choice is the 310 hp 5.0-liter turbo diesel V8 that has 555 lb-ft of torque available from just 1600 rpm. Oddly, it’s a Cummins unit, nit a Nissan one. The gasoline option is the Endurance V8, a 5.6-liter that makes 390 hp and 401 lb-ft. It’s smooth in operation but needs to get the revs up to get into the torque band, around 4000 rpm. That’s not exactly wringing its neck though so not a bad point unless you want to tow big loads. A 6-speed auto is standard across the range while a 7-speed auto is standard in the S Gas model but an option in the rest.
The higher up you go in the model range, the more you get for your money, but things look good across the board. Depending on which of the numerous trim levels you choose, you can have a great 12-speaker Fockford Fosgate audio system and a 7-inch color display, there’s USB and iPod connectivity, Nissan Connect, remote engine start with climate control and a host of usual conveniences. The same goes for safety, all you expect is there along with the likes of rear cross traffic alert, moving object detection, vehicle dynamic control and a traction control.
For an alternative to the US trucks, the Titan XD is not a bad option. It’s a little thirstier than some in the market and it many competitor trucks in this class can pull a bigger load, but 11,270 lb. for the gasoline setup and 12,314 lb. for the diesel is still acceptable. There’s a model for everyone though, even those who want a good helping of luxury, but that Platinum Reserve setup will set you back just on $70,000.