Could The 2016 Nissan Titan XD PRO-4X Be A Ram Power Wagon Competitor?
The Next Factory Rock Crawler
When it comes to off-roading of the extreme-deep-ravine-over-the-rocky-dry-riverbed variety, the Ram Power Wagon is tough to beat with its brawn and gear. However, the Nissan Titan XD PRO-4X has the capability of doing much of the same thing with a few modifications and a change in Nissan’s thinking. Here is how it can do that.
Ram Power Wagon Sets the Standard
The world of off-road trucks is filled these days with aftermarket shock- and skidplate-equipped trucks with larger tires and fancy graphics, yet they really don’t compare to the complete package that is the Ram Power Wagon. Combining a heavy-duty frame with a 6.4L V-8 Hemi and a slew of off-road goodies like a front disconnecting sway bar, front and rear electronic lockers, 33-inch Goodyear off-road tires and an electric winch, the Power Wagon is aptly named.
Traveling through wide-open, rocky terrain, the Power Wagon simply goes where it wants without a concern of getting stuck. If you get stuck, the Power Wagon has you covered with a 12,000-pound Warn winch. Once unstuck, you can disconnect the front sway bar to help climb over whatever terrain got you stuck in the first place.
Simply put, the Power Wagon is a beast. It is an iconic truck for Ram and is surprisingly affordable, starting at $50,715 for a crew cab 4WD 2500 truck.
A New Competitor Could Arise
What is one of the most important things when off-roading over rocks and up deep ravines? Power is the most important thing and specifically you need torque and plenty of it. When it comes to torque, diesel engines are the way to go and the Nissan Titan XD PRO-4X has loads of it putting out 555 lb-ft of torque (compare to the 429 lb-ft for the 6.4L Hemi).
Like the Power Wagon, the Titan XD also is equipped with a heavier-duty frame than a 1/2-ton and has similar Bilstein shocks to what the Power Wagon employs. It also comes with a locking rear differential, as well as skidplates, for rocky terrain.
Plus, it has a similar starting MSRP of $50,970 in the 4WD crew cab setup.
Nissan Could “Power Wagon” The Titan XD PRO-4X
With a similar price, some of the same off-road equipment and all of that diesel torque, Nissan could alter the Titan to be their iconic off-road truck with just a few changes.
For starters, the Titan XD PRO-4X needs a new frontend with a locking differential, disconnecting sway bar, and a new bumper. The front locking differential and disconnecting sway bar are easy third-party add-ons, and Nissan may already have relationships with parts suppliers that have these products in stock. The price of these items can vary, but it is likely these parts would add minimally to the overall price.
Next, and Nissan’s big issue, is getting a Warn winch to fit into the PRO-4X. The issue is two-fold for them with the Cummins diesel requiring a large and very tall radiator to cool it, along with the current bumper being flush with the grille. This isn’t saying it can’t be done. Check out any truck at the SEMA Show and you will see how aftermarket companies integrate their products into trucks. The Nissan Titan XD’s front bumper would need to be extended to create space for the winch, as well as to pass safety testing. This would also help it match up better to the Power Wagon’s styling with its extended chrome bumper.
Adding all of these changes together, along with bigger tires for a taller stance, we could see an increase of a few thousand dollars for the starting MSRP. However, Nissan could remove content like the trailer brake controller, eight-way powered driver seat, and various LED lights from the base truck and add those into a package to keep the starting price competitive with the Power Wagon. However, offering a diesel over the gas Hemi could justify any significant price difference to consumers.
Finally, Nissan would need to change its thinking around marketing such a truck. Currently, Nissan lists the PRO-4X as just another trim level of its XD truck. However, none of the other iconic stock-truck makers do this. For example, Ford, Toyota, and Ram all have different marketing brochures and websites distinguishing their off-road trucks from the base models. This approach distinguishes them and helps them to be more iconic. It also fuels the fire among enthusiasts who compare the Raptor to the Rebel or the Tundra TRD PRO to the Raptor. These trucks have specific names that consumers love and drives people into dealerships.
Plus, considering the amount of work Nissan’s marketing team has ahead of them explaining to consumers why they need an XD and how it is different than a 1/2-ton, but not quite a 3/4-ton, offering a Power Wagon competitor makes it much easier to explain. Sure, it isn’t quite apples to apples, but it is a lot closer than other comparisons and comparisons really help consumers when making a large purchase like this.