Family Vacation Member
Join Date: Jul 2015
1st Week & 1st Trip w/the 2016 Nissan Titan XD
I have had my Nissan Titan XD Diesel for 8 days now, and we towed with it on our first trip this past weekend, so I thought I would share my initial thoughts on this truck.
I got the SV trim level with both the comfort and convenience package, and the utility package. This combination got me a pretty well appointed truck, with a diesel, for under $50K. The other reason I went with the SV over the Pro-4X, SL or Platinum trim levels is weight. The additional standard features found in those trim levels are nice, but they add a LOT of weight to the truck. The higher trim levels are adding 400 – 500 extra pounds with no additional payload capacity. According to the scale at my local Flying J, my XD has a curb weight of 7,068 giving me a payload capacity of 1,922 pounds. My XD is rated to tow 12,300 lbs.
The Cummins factor – the engineers at Cummins deserve high praise for this engine. First thing you notice when you start the truck is how quiet the engine is. No diesel knock, no clatter, no noxious fumes, just smooth, quiet idling. I have been around gas fired V-8’s that made more noise. The motor does not have very high horsepower numbers, but the torque is ridiculous. The power band comes in strong around 1500 RPM and stays through 3,000, if you can even get to 3,000 (more on that later).
Ride comfort – this truck is big and heavy, and you feel it. The ride is much smoother and much more comfortable than any ¾ ton I have ever driven or rode in, but it is a little harsher than a standard ½ ton. The seats are very comfortable with 8 way adjustability, plus lumbar support adjustments. All dash mounted audio and A/C controls are an easy reach and they are easy to see and find. Some of the audio control buttons seem a little small. They are fine right now, but I will be interested to see how easy they are to operate in the winter when I am wearing gloves. The large standard tow mirrors and lots of glass make visibility good. The blindspot warning indicator is nice to have too.
Daily driving – This truck is not a grocery getter. Short, quick trips around town where the speed limit is 35 and below just aren’t what this truck is built for. On these little trips the Aisin transmission seems to shift prematurely, up-shifting at around 1800 RPM, and when you are slowing down it wants to down shift too often. It just feels kind of jerky. The last couple of days I am adjusting the way I am driving and this seems to be helping, so we will see. This truck IS a hauler. My daily commute for work is 46 miles each way, and 44 of those miles is interstate highway. I am doing 70 miles an hour and the tach is barely reaching 1300 RPM. The highway ride is quiet all the way around, i.e. no engine noise, no wind noise, and sadly, almost no turbo noise. Because I am traveling so many wide open interstate miles, my gas mileage is going to be a little skewed, but I am averaging nearly 24 MPG.
Our first tow – This is what the Titan XD was built for. Nissan put a lot of thought and effort into designing and building a truck that specializes in pulling big trailers, and that is evidenced from the minute you start to hook up, until you park the trailer again. The back-up camera is one of the best I have ever had on a truck. The predictive course feature, the blue centerline guideline, and the clarity of the camera make hitching up alone (which I often do when I am picking the trailer up from the storage yard) an absolute breeze. Once you are hitched up, take your key fob around to the back of the trailer, push and hold the lock button for 3-5 seconds, and the truck automatically starts a light check sequence. The running lights turn on, left turn signal, right turn signal, brake lights and then off. The integrated brake controller is mounted in the dash just below the A/C controls and adjusting the controller is a breeze. This is the first truck I have owned with a factory installed controller and I was a little leary, but it worked great. Towing was an absolute pleasure. We had tons of available power and torque to make passes when needed, the truck's built in sway control kicked in a couple times around big rigs that were kicking up turbulence and kept the trailer planted directly behind us, when it was necessary to brake, the huge 14+” disc brakes kept everything well in control, the visibility was fantastic, but the absolute best part was the fuel mileage. We went from St. Charles, MO to Rend Lake in Illinois (approximately 144 miles each way). This trip is a fairly flat drive, all interstate, with posted speed limits varying from 55 to 70 miles per hour. We drove the posted speed limits the entire trip. Our trailer, fully loaded, weighs in at 8,846 lbs, so we are well below the max tow capacity of the XD. We averaged 12.6 miles to the gallon on this trip, and I think we can improve on that by not stomping on the gas to make some of the passes we made.
Final thoughts – so, did Nissan hit a grand slam and build the perfect truck? No. They are trying to create an entirely new market segment that may not even need to be made. There are several folks on this site that subscribe to the adage “just because you can, doesn’t necessarily mean you should.” Should you haul a 9,000 pound trailer with a vehicle that has a GVWR of 7,000 lbs even though it is rated to tow 12,000? I don't know. I know I hauled this same trailer with a standard duty Nissan Titan that had a GVWR of 7200 lbs, and tow capacity of 9,300, and I got pissy when people would tell me I had too much trailer for that truck. Now that I have towed the same trailer with a heavier truck, I understand what they were saying. It definitely felt much more stable and was much more comfortable to drive. I would like to see Nissan try to shave a few hundred pounds out of the curb weight to give the truck a larger payload capacity, but I am afraid where they might decide to try to cut the weight from.
There currently isn’t any other truck on the market you can really compare this one to. It is not built to compete with the super duty’s, so any comparisons to them is unfair. The only truck that comes close to it in towing, and beats it in payload, is the F-150 with ecoboost and max tow package, but when I shopped those, in order to get the same comfort and convenience items, the sales price was well over $50K. With the Titan I got a diesel, with better gas mileage and all of the other benefits associated with it, in an extremely comfortable, accessory laden truck for less than $50K.
So far, I really like it, and I guess in the grand scheme of things, all any of us want is a truck that makes us happy and for me, this truck does just that.
2016 Sunset Trail 33BD
Tow Vehicle 2016 Nissan Titan XD 4x4, Crew Cab, SV with Cummins V-8