2016 Nissan Titan XD Crew Cab Cummins Long Term Report 1 of 4
Nissan’s tweener checks in for an extended stay
We were pretty excited when we touched down in Nashville, Tennessee, to take delivery of our ’16 Nissan Titan XD. Waiting for us was a new Deep Pearl Blue crew cab XD we would be piloting back to our Southern California headquarters. Over the course of the next 2,000 miles, we’d get a pretty good idea about comfort, ride, range, and a host of other intangibles that would give us some insight into what our year with the Titan XD might be like.
As delivered, our fully loaded Titan XD penciled out to a very reasonable $62,665, which included the impressive 5.0L Cummins V-8, Aisin six-speed automatic transmission, and the all-inclusive Platinum Reserve package. Our only options were splash guards ($235), running board lighting ($370), and an electronic tailgate lock ($345). Compared to the true 3/4-ton class, and even some 1/2-tons, the XD offers a lot of truck for the money, and with an industry-best 5-year/100,000-mile warranty, the pot is even sweeter.
However, undercutting the competition on price only works if the truck is the same quality or better, and here, especially in the interior, the XD overachieves, as it’s full of high-quality materials, expensive-feeling switchgear, and straightforward ergonomics. We appreciated the column shifter, which opens up the center console for storage. The spacious rear seat incorporates some flexible elements, which include a seatback can fold forward to reveal storage space behind it or a bottom cushion can fold up to reveal lockable storage bins and a fold-out shelf that creates a flat load floor.
The smooth-running 5.0L Cummins V-8 fires up with the press of a dash-mounted button and settles in to subdued diesel idle, not unlike that of a Duramax or Power Stroke. Heading to the highway for our 40-hour drive home, we were immediately struck by the whisper quiet cabin at highway speeds, a fantastic ride, and great outward visibility. Knowing how long we’d be at the helm of the Titan, seat comfort was a major concern at the beginning of our trip, but it turned out to be an unwarranted. Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats are some of the most comfortable chairs you can get in a truck, and we found them supportive for more than 12 hours at a time in the saddle. In fact, the Titan was the perfect travel companion out on the highway with a solid, substantial road feel and an independent coilover front suspension that confidently and smartly handles the 7,400-pound truck.
When it comes to the Titan’s design, there seems to be two camps: those who think it “looks like an F-150” and those who think it is a beautiful truck in person. We happen to be part of the latter and feel that the black chrome 20-inch wheels on the Platinum Reserve balance out the size of the truck better than the 18s that are available on the Pro-4X and other models. To lessen any “softness” of the design, we’d like to see a little more brawn to the fender creases, and we think the application of Nissan’s “V-Motion” grille would go a long way to eliminating the perception from some that it is a derivative design. Interestingly enough, the Titan XD has garnered more highway thumbs up and fuel station conversations than any pickup we’ve tested in recent memory.
On the flip side, doing a cross-country trip in a matter of days also gave us a good idea of where the truck can be improved, such in the fuel tank capacity. With just a 26-gallon fuel reservoir and no extended tank option currently available, the Titan XD is limited to about 450 miles of real-world, unladen highway range, when the competition is up around 600. Obviously it is even less when towing. Another surprise was the need to refill DEF about every 2,500 miles, due to the miniscule 4 1/2-gallon DEF tank. Most manufacturers size their DEF capacity to match maintenance intervals, and this is a missed opportunity on the Titan XD. We were also annoyed to find the fuel filler neck has a nozzle restrictor welded in it, which means that the larger and faster truck stop diesel nozzles can’t be used to refuel the Titan, frustrating for anyone traveling cross country.
Overall, our first 5,000 miles have been good ones, especially as the Aisin transmission’s aggressive shifting has mellowed and the 5.0L Cummins has started to break in. In this report, the XD delivered an average fuel economy of 15.3 mpg in mixed driving and a best tank of 20.24 mpg. We expect those numbers to improve as the truck breaks in, and we’ll talk more about the powertrain of this truck in our next report.
Until then, we are mightily impressed with Nissan’s biggest truck and think the XD is a solid contender in the truck space that so far has us impressed.
Long-Term NumbersReport 1 of 4
Previous report(s): None
Base price: $60,520
Price as tested: $62,665
Miles to date: 5,074
Miles since last report: First Report
Average mpg (this report): 15.30
Test best tank (mpg): 20.24
Test worst tank (mpg): 12.02
Test Maintenance: Added DEF
Test Problem Areas: None
Logbook Quotes:“It is amusing how confused people are with a big Nissan that has a Cummins badge on the fender. We are getting really good at explaining it.”
“Why would you have a truck like this and neuter it with a 26-gallon tank? Give me 35 gallons!”
“I just saw the sticker price and can’t believe how much truck you get for the money.”
“More than 20 mpg on the highway and the engine isn’t even broken in yet.”
“Love, love, love the interior and fit-and-finish, but I wish real wood would have been used.”