REVIEW: 2016 Nissan Titan XD Fills The Empty Space in the Middle

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2016 Nissan Titan XD Front Quarter

The 2016 Nissan Titan XD is not another trim level of the Titan. It is its own truck, completely separate from its little brother and Nissan hopes it will fill the “white space” between existing 1/2-ton and 3/4-ton trucks. That space has been empty until now and Nissan aims to appeal to truck buyers who need a little more than the average 1/2-ton truck, but don’t need the full 3/4-ton experience. Enter the Titan XD.

Our first opportunity to drive this truck came during the vehicle launch in early December out in Phoenix, Arizona. They set us up with a bunch of Titan XDs and very truck-worthy tasks. We towed a 9,600-pound load down the highway where the Titan XD proved easy to handle and very capable. We even managed to pass other cars going up a steep hill.

The next task was to load up the Titan XD with a 750-pound payload and carry it back to our hotel at the end of the day. Again, it proved worthy, with that payload making no difference at all to the Titan XD’s handling and acceleration.

2016 Nissan Titan XD

There was also the chance to compare the Titan XD to other similar trucks like the GMC Sierra 2500 for a drive on an off-road course with bumps and rocks and all sorts of obstacles designed to rattle your teeth. Our teeth did rattle in the Titan XD, but we still have all our fillings because the ride is noticeably smoother.

It hit the mark on towing, payload, and ride comfort. In particular, those Nissan Zero Gravity Seats inspired by NASA are darn comfortable. You’ll find these across the Nissan lineup and they never fail to impress.

Several weeks later, and we had the good fortune to try the Titan XD for a full two weeks thanks to the holidays. This time it was all about using the truck every day in the way most people will on a regular basis.

2016 Nissan Titan XD Rear Quarter

Unless you’re in construction or another line of work that requires a truck, most of the time you’re not utilizing all that capability. Instead, you’re driving it to the grocery store, the dump, and to the office. Using a truck this big everyday is not the same thing as using it to haul cargo on the weekends.

It is big. Pull up next to an F-150 and that truck looks small. Size can be a challenge in tight parking lots and narrow city streets. You’ll get used to it, but you’ll be parking a little further from the door to find a spot where this truck will easily fit. The plus side is you cannot miss this thing in the parking lot.

If you drive a 1/2-ton and are a cargo hauler, then the Titan XD’s numbers are tempting. It’s maximum towing capaciy is 12,314 pounds with a maximum payload of 2,091 pounds. It does offer that little bit more without going overboard.

2016 Nissan Titan XD Front Seats

There are also several features on the Titan XD that will save you from headaches when you’re loading it up. There are under-rail LED lights that make it much easier to see into the bed at night and provide light even if you add a topper.

Nissan also has an exclusive Trailer Light Check system that will save frustration when hooking up a trailer. It eliminates the need for someone to stand behind the truck to verify all the lights are working. Instead, using the key fob you can stand behind the truck yourself and verify that the left and right turn signals, brakes, and reverse lights are operable.

The Titan XD is powered by a a 5.0-liter Cummins V8 turbo diesel engine that has a nice diesel clatter that politely announces its presence. Diesel fans love this sound. It’s like a throaty exhaust on a sports car and the Cummins sounds good.

2015 Nissan Titan XD Rear Seats

That engine provides 310 horsepower and 555 lb-ft of torque, which are what made it such a towing champ during the first drive. There is no hesitation and despite driving a truck that is markedly bigger than a 1/2-ton, it never feels sluggish. It has power and then some to make driving in even heavy highway traffic a breeze.

Official EPA fuel economy numbers were not available at the time of this review, but our real world numbers were not impressive. During our first drive in Arizona, we averaged 11 mpg overall. That number is bearing out again during our two-week review period with the same 11 mpg proving tough to beat.

Our test model was the top-of-the-line Platinum Reserve which has the nicest interior of the lot. Although it is nice, this is the one area where Nissan could do better. There are beautiful leather surfaces, but too many plastic ones on the dash. It doesn’t match up to what you’ll find in the high-end trucks from other companies.

2016 Nissan Titan XD Dash

This is more easily forgiven when you look at the Titan XD’s price. The base model starts at $40,290 while the Platinum Reserve comes in at $60,520. There’s significant value to be had in the Titan XD.

Nissan thinks there are lots of truck buyers who are being left in the cold by the lack of trucks in between the 1/2-ton and 3/4-ton ranges. They’re taking a gamble that those buyers exist by offering the Titan XD and it looks like a gamble that could pay off.

If you want more than the average 1/2-ton but do not want or need all the capability of a 3/4-ton truck, then the Nissan Titan XD could be just the truck to fit your needs.

2016 Nissan Titan XD

Base Price: $60,520
Price As Tested: $60,520 (not including destination charge)


  • Competitive Pricing
  • Towing and Payload Capacity
  • Seating Comfort


  • Plastic Interior Trims
  • Fuel Economy