2016 Nissan Titan XD Crew Cab Pro-4X Diesel 4x4 Review
Gasoline-powered engines are an option—a V8 is already available and a V6 is on the way for 2017—plus other body styles including a just-announced regular “Single Cab” can be had, but filling a niche that isn’t openly addressed by its competitors was a great way for Nissan to get noticed.
So how is this all-new second-generation Titan selling? Being that no entry-level models are yet available it’s doing quite well, with 7,242 units sold over the first seven months of the year. But remember that we’re talking about a very well equipped truck that starts at $40,290 plus freight and dealer fees for the diesel-powered version and $35,290 for the gasoline-powered V8. (That’s $8,750 more than the base Ford F-150.) This particular Titan—the mid-line XD Crew Cab Pro-4X Diesel 4×4—starts at $45,970. With the Cummins diesel engine upgrade and part-time four-wheel drive that comes standard in this trim, the window sticker hits a cool $50,970.
The base DOHC, 32-valve, 5.6-liter Endurance V8 churns out 390 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 401 lb-ft of torque from 4,000 rpm, an improvement of 73 horsepower and 16 lb-ft of torque. And it needs it; the lightest base 4×2 model weighs in at 6,005 lbs.—900-plus pounds more than the truck it replaces. A segment-first seven-speed automatic helps with fuel economy and performance, though, by adding two forward gears. If you opt for the Cummins DOHC 32-valve 5.0-liter turbo-diesel V8, the Titan’s good for 310 horsepower and a robust 555 lb-ft. of torque from just 1,600 rpm. Mated to a rugged Aisin six-speed automatic, this Titan delivers a maximum towing capacity of 11,784 lbs. as tested or 12,300 lbs. in the 4×2 version.
The Pro-4X is the sportiest looking and most capable Titan off road. Along with a number of features pulled up from lesser trims, the Pro-4X includes dark-finish 18-inch alloys on 275/65R18 General Tire Grabber APT all-terrain rubber, plus an electronic locking rear differential, Bilstein off-road performance shocks, transfer case and lower radiator skid plates, a factory-applied spray-on bedliner, auto on/off headlamps, fog lamps, LED running lamps, powered heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals and puddle lamps, proximity access with pushbutton ignition, rain-sensing wipers, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, dual-zone auto HVAC, rear A/C vents, a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with a rearview camera, navigation, voice recognition, mobile apps, and Siri Eyes Free. There’s also a center console-mounted 110-volt power outlet, an eight-way powered driver’s seat, “PRO-4X” embroidered seatbacks, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and more.
Pro-4X trim can also be had with a $1,100 Utility and Audio package that adds 12-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio, a Utili-track bed channel system with four tie-down cleats, LED under-rail bed and tailgate area lights, a power-sliding rear window with a defroster, a bed-mounted 110-volt household-style AC power outlet, plus front and rear parking sensors. A $3,310 Convenience package adds remote start with “Intelligent” climate control, auto-dimming rearview and driver’s side mirrors, a power tilt and telescopic steering column, driver-side memory, a four-way powered front passenger seat, leather upholstery with contrast stitching, heated front and rear outboard seats, a heated steering wheel, NissanConnect Services, and a garage door opener. Throw in the Luxury package for an additional $1,510 and you’ll get memory for the upgraded reverse tilt-down side mirrors, a 360-degree parking monitor with moving object detection, ventilated front seats, and two storage boxes in the bed. Side rails are also an option (for another $420) as is a flip-down rear bumper step ($245).
Once inside the cab it’s easy to see the countless improvements. Etched metallic inlays adorn the instrument panel, plus there’s a generous helping of satin-silver accent trim throughout the cabin. A rich looking padded and contrast-stitched leather dash top closely matches the leather-wrapped steering wheel, side and center armrests and seat upholstery, and perforated seat inserts allow three-way forced ventilation on hot days.
The primary gauges are a combination of stylish chrome and satin-silver metallic dials with a large color display at center. Titan’s matte-finish center-console touchscreen was filled with uninspired graphics and comes off a bit tired and dated, but the system works well enough, with easy phone setup, loads of functions, accurate navigation and a truly helpful 360-degree parking monitor. The Rockford Fosgate audio system loses no marks at all, however, with great sound all-round.
Interior spaciousness goes without question, especially in back where the oft overused term “limousine-like” best describes legroom, while those comfortable rear seats lift upwards to reveal a handy plastic cab-wide lidded storage cubby that can be flipped forward to expose a flat, carpeted load floor.
Back in the driver’s seat, there’s something about the sound of a Cummins turbo-diesel that reminds you that this new Titan is no poseur. Thanks to strong acceleration, it feels like a slightly lighter and nimbler three-quarter-ton, with good handling and impressive ride quality. (When loaded up with 1,733 lbs of maximum payload, the Titan feels even better.)
All said the new Titan is a win-win proposition for Nissan and “light-duty” pickup truck buyers everywhere, delivering excellent build quality, impressive capability and a unique heavy-half option. If you just can’t seem to find the right pickup truck that fits your lifestyle, then you really need to try on the Titan for size. You won’t be disappointed.
*Story by Trevor Hofmann, American Auto Press; Photo by Karen Tuggay, American Auto Press; Copyright American Auto Press *