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2017 Nissan Titan XD Standard Cab

Back to Basics

Mar 15, 2017
Photographers: Robert Guio
Over the last 25 years, we’ve singlehandedly witnessed the transformation of pickup trucks from predominantly utilitarian implements to transport cargo and trailers to leather-lined status symbols. While we at Truck Trend like comfort and convenience as much as anyone, this feature creep into pickups has also been reflected on the sticker prices of these rigs. Today, it’s not uncommon for a well-equipped 1/2-ton to top $60,000 and for a loaded HD model to approach or top $80,000. In many parts of the country, this is close to the price of a modest single-family house. For that reason, the fleet-white Nissan Titan XD regular cab in no-frills S trim that rolled into our lot for our 2017 Pickup Truck of the Year test was a breath of fresh air in a field that included four models priced north of $60,000.
The XD was a standout from the start with its regular-cab, long-bed configuration, basic cloth split front bench seat, vinyl floors, and flat black grille and trim. This is the first time that we’ve had a regular-cab truck included in the PTOTY test. Despite being one of the larger trucks of the test, with an impressive 2,910-pound payload and 11,590-pound towing capacity, the XD was the lowest-priced pickup of the bunch. Admittedly, the S-trim XD lacked many of the features in the other trucks, including power seats, power mirrors, satellite radio, navigation, rearview camera, automatic headlights, and heated and cooled seats. However, it included the basics of air conditioning, power windows, power remote door locks, and an AM/FM radio with CD player. Surprisingly, even in bare-bones S trim, the XD included pushbutton start. And an auxiliary and Bluetooth connection for the radio pre-empted the need for satellite radio, as long as our cell phones had signals.
Photo 2/10   |   2017 Pickup Truck Of The Year Nissan Titan Xd Gas Interior
Even with the cloth split bench, our Titan featured Nissan’s signature “zero gravity” seats, and none of the judges complained about the comfort or supportiveness of the seats on the longer freeway portions of the test. Storage behind the seats was sufficient for a duffel bag, backpack, or small suitcase. Noise, vibration, and harshness levels were not quite to the level of the whisper-quiet 1/2-ton Titan Platinum Reserve. However, we found the XD’s refinement surprising considering its basic trim. The ride quality is what you’d expect of a work-oriented truck—firm, but not punishing. With a payload or trailer, the XD’s slightly bouncy ride mellowed considerably.
Photo 3/10   |   2017 Pickup Truck Of The Year Nissan Titan Xd Gas Engine
Unlike last year’s more generously equipped Pro-4X XD crew cab with the Cummins turbodiesel V-8, our tester this year was equipped with Nissan’s tried-and-true 5.6L Endurance gas V-8—now with direct fuel injection—bringing horsepower to 390 and torque to 394 lb-ft. Paired with a seven-speed Jatco automatic transmission, the XD never lacked for power, although its delivery is decidedly different from the low-revving, grunty Cummins. The burly, muscle car engine and exhaust note gained a lot of fans over the course of the week. The one functional item lacking on our tester that we wished were included was an integrated trailer brake controller, a strange omission on a truck with a towing capacity as formidable as the XD. The feature is included on the SV trim.
Our tester was equipped with four-wheel-drive, but it lacked the rear locking differential included on the Pro-4X model. Consequently, the XD didn’t have quite the sure-footed confidence of last year’s tester or some of the other pickups in the test so equipped. Nonetheless, the XD handled the off-road trails with relative ease, if not the effortlessness of some of the other models tested.
Photo 4/10   |   2017 Pickup Truck Of The Year Nissan Titan Xd Gas Wheel
Some have questioned the rationale or positioning of the in-betweener XD, just below 3/4-ton and above 1/2-ton trucks. Arguably, the XD makes the most sense in a workhorse trim like the S regular-cab. Not laden down with the gingerbread and toys of a higher-trim model, our XD’s capacities approached those of full-fledged HD trucks, its payload capacity actually surpassing that of the Ford F-250 and Ram 2500 in this year’s test. The first-generation Titan had fans as a personal-use truck, but never caught on with the work truck crowd. The XD has the potential to find a place in fleets and with individuals looking for a high-capacity truck at a lower price point than traditional HDs. In the regular-cab and soon-to-come extended cab configuration, the XD comes into its own. We think it makes all the sense in the world as a back-to-basics workhorse, and Nissan’s class-leading 5-year/100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty strengthens its case for value-oriented buyers. Judged by the traditional pickup rubric of capacity and capability for dollar spent, the regular-cab XD wins this competition by a country mile.
WE LIKE: Honest, no frills trim covers the basics without loading up on frivolous bells and whistles. Burly V-8 engine note. Beefy payload capacity.
WE DON’T LIKE: Integrated trailer brake controller only included on SV and higher trims. Open differentials hamper off-road performance.

2017 Nissan Titan XD

Base Price: $34,120
Price As Tested: $36,115
Trim: S
EPA Fuel Econ (City/HWY/Comb): N/A
Engine: 5.6L Endurance V-8
Horsepower: 390 @ 5,800 rpm
Torque: 394 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Photo 5/10   |   2017 Pickup Truck Of The Year Nissan Titan Xd Gas Burn Out
Accel 0-60 MPH: 8.07 seconds
Quarter Mile: 16.24 seconds @ 89.47 mph
Braking 60-0 MPH: 146.55 ft
Accel 0-60 (Payload): 9.65 seconds
Quarter Mile (Payload): 17.33 seconds @ 82.40 mph
Braking 60-0 MPH (Payload): 144.45 ft
Accel 0-60 (Towing): 15.68 seconds
Quarter Mile (Towing): 20.95 seconds @ 69.65 mph
Weight: 5,730 lbs
Interior Decibel Level (at 60 MPH): 64.6
Tested Fuel Econ (Average/Best): 12.66/16.76
*2,900 pounds of payload **8,645-pound trailer weight

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