What Is It?
2016 Nissan Titan
What's New About This Model?
The 2016 Nissan Titan is the company's redesigned full-size pickup truck. It will be sold in two frame sizes, the larger of which is called XD. Later an updated, non-XD version of the light-duty Titan will be released. In total, the Titan range will comprise the aforementioned two frame sizes, three cab configurations, five trim levels and three bed lengths.
When Does It Go on Sale?
Nissan said it expects to have the first version of Titan, the Titan XD, in dealerships late 2015. The XD will be available in normal and commercial dealerships. The non-XD Titan will trail the XD by a few months.
What Is the Chassis Like?
Launching with a choice of either a new turbodiesel V8 or an updated gasoline V8, the XD's mission is to offer more capability than any traditional half-ton pickup with less cost and better comfort than heavy-duty pickups. The Titan XD essentially claims the no-man's-land of towing capacity, fuel economy and comfort that currently exists between most current half-tons and heavy-duty pickups.
The XD is the heavier-duty of the two Titan frame offerings, employing a beefed-up, fully boxed frame that is derived from the existing Titan. It borrows its front end hardware from Nissan's commercial van and truck offerings, such as the double-wishbone front suspension and recirculating ball steering, while the solid axle out back is supported by leaf springs and staggered rear dampers. Its differentials measure 13.5 inches in the rear and 9.5 inches up front.
A gooseneck "fifth-wheel" trailer hitch will be available on XD models, and it is expected to have a high take rate.
Details are thin on the ground regarding non-XD Titans. Beyond the new sheet metal and cabin, we expect light revisions to the existing frame and chassis, with more significant updates coming to its V8 and transfer case. A V6 will be available, too.
What Is the New Engine?
The new turbodiesel engine will be available only in the Titan XD. It's a 5.0-liter DOHC V8 developed by Cummins, armed with a compacted graphite iron block, aluminum heads, central piezo injectors and four valves per cylinder.
It's a new engine through and through, worked up alongside the company's commercial-duty version of this engine. The two engine variants share about 70 percent of their componentry, the main differences being in the turbocharging systems. Twin series-sequential turbos have been fitted to the Titan's version in an attempt to achieve a favorable balance between responsiveness and high output. Backing up the new diesel is an Aisin six-speed automatic transmission.
In the Titan XD the Cummins V8 generates 310 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque, or about what you'd expect if you wanted to secure the middle ground between Ram's EcoDiesel V6 and heavy-duty diesel offerings.
The XD Crew Cab is said to have a payload capacity greater than 2,000 pounds and will tow more than 12,000 pounds, according to Nissan's estimates.
What Is the Diesel's Fuel Economy?
While it is expected to deliver superior fuel economy when compared to heavy-duty diesels, the XD will surpass 8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), which renders it exempt from EPA fuel economy testing. Thus, no fuel economy numbers will ever show up on the window sticker of the Titan XD.
Nevertheless, Nissan is confident that the XD will surpass the fuel economy of the gasoline V8s of its competition even when unloaded. The difference when loaded will be even more heavily in the XD's favor.
What Else Is New?
Beyond the obviously new exterior sheet metal, the Titan's cabin appointments are all-new. Nissan apparently spent a lot of time benchmarking the Ram's interior, such is the Titan's higher-end feel and layout. The steering wheel adjusts for reach and rake, and there's more storage space inside than in the outgoing Titan, thanks in part to the migration of the shifter from the console to its new home on the steering column.
How Much Does It Cost?
No official pricing has been released yet, but we expect the price for the Titan XD to roughly split the difference between that of the existing Titan and heavy-duty variants of trucks like the GM Silverado/Sierra twins and Ford F-Series.
What Models Will It Compete Against?
Chevrolet Silverado: A strong contender that balances capability with comfort. Diesel is available only on heavy-duty variants.
Ford F-150: Redesigned with an aluminum-intensive body, cab and bed, the Ford also offers turbocharged gasoline engines.
Ram 1500: Great cabin, ride quality and it offers the only other diesel engine you can find in a half-ton pickup.
Should You Wait for It?
If your towing needs strain the capabilities of existing half-ton pickups but you don't want to make the stretch to an expensive, stiff-riding heavy-duty pickup, the Titan XD might be in the sweet spot.