2016 Nissan Model Changes – Xterra Gone, Armada Fate Unknown
Titan Will Be Offered With Three Engines, Five Trims
It’s that time of the year again when auto manufacturers get the assembly lines ready to start cranking out next year’s models. We’ve seen the new 2016 Nissan Titan XD up-close, and the Cummins-powered pickup has certainly generated a lot of interest among both our staff and readers. However, there are other changes going on at Nissan for the 2016 model year, some of which the company is ready to talk about and some that it’s not. Nissan has announced that the Cummins-powered XD is but one of multiple configurations that the new Titan will be offered. Two other engines are in the works for the lighter-duty Titan (and gas-powered) XD. Our money is on some variant of the VQ-series V-6 engine, either a 3.5L or 4.0L, possibly with direct injection, and the big gas V-8 being the VK56DE direct-injection 5.6L used in the Infiniti QX80 fullsize SUV. As installed in the QX, the engine makes 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. We expect it to produce similar numbers in the Titan.
The Xterra midsize 4x4 SUV comes to the end of the line in 2015. There will be no 2016 model. We saw this development coming when the Pathfinder went to a unibody platform for 2013. However, the Frontier midsize pickup soldiers along for another year with minor changes, including new exterior colors and expanded availability of the moonroof option. The Frontier will face all-new competitors with the 2016 Tacoma and GM’s Colorado/Canyon twins. With most of Nissan’s truck resources focused on the Titan for 2016, we’re not expecting an all-new Frontier until the 2018 model year. However, the wait could be worth it, with a Cummins I-4 reportedly being strongly considered as a powertrain option.
The future fate of the Armada fullsize SUV is unknown, with Nissan simply saying, details would be available “at a later date.” This could mean either a new Armada based on the redesigned Titan could be coming or it’s being discontinued altogether. We put it at about 50/50 odds currently, with the Armada selling a miniscule 12,593 units for all of 2014. That’s slightly better than 11,806 Toyota Sequoias sold in 2014 but is dwarfed by the domestic fullsize SUVs. Combined sales of the short-wheelbase Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon totaled 139,295 for 2014, with the Ford Expedition coming in at 44,632.