2016 Nissan Titan: Performance Tested
by Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant on September 14, 2016
Our 2016 Nissan Titan XD has a Cummins diesel 5.0-liter V8 engine, carries up to one ton of payload and has a 12,000-pound towing capacity. A beast like this is naturally out of its element at our test track, but it can still be useful to compare performance numbers between similar trucks.
Let's see how the Titan XD measures up.
Driver: Jonathan Elfalan
Drive Type: Four-Wheel Drive (low range)
Transmission Type: Six-speed automatic
Engine Type: Turbocharged V8 Diesel
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 5,000/305
Redline (rpm): 4,000 indicated/4,250 actual
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 310 @ 3,200
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 555 @ 1,600
Brake Type (front): One-piece ventilated discs with two-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): One-piece ventilated discs with two-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): Double-wishbone with 36 mm stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Multi-leaf with solid axle, 18 mm stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): LT275/65R18 123/120R
Tire Size (rear): LT275/65R18 123/120R
Tire Brand: General
Tire Model: Grabber APT
Tire Type: Standard regular all-season
0-30 (sec): 3.4 (w/TC on: 4.5)
0-45 (sec): 6.1 (w/TC on: 7.0)
0-60 (sec): 9.6 (w/TC on: 10.6)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 9.3 (w/TC on: 10.1)
0-75 (sec): 14.8 (w/TC on: 15.8)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 17.1 @ 80.9 (w/TC on: 17.8 @ 80.8)
30-0 mph (ft): 34.6
60-0 mph (ft): 133.7
Skidpad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.69 (0.60 w/ESC on)
RPM @ 70 mph: 1,900
On the key-up run, the Titan takes a second or two to get going as the turbos spool up and start to motivate this 7000+ pound truck down the runway. Power braking to 1750 RPM with traction control off on the second run yields no wheelspin. And with a little less power braking, or lingering at 1750 rpm, we saw our quickest run, which was still quite a bit slower than other heavy duty trucks. Typical diesel truck engine, lots of good low torque, but slow to rev, and it needs to shift twice before 60 mph. The manual shift mode operated as expected, and is more appropriate for use on grades than trying to extract the quickest accel times. The shifts don't happen immediately when you initiate them. And because we aren't getting any wheelspin running in rear drive, we suspected four-wheel drive would only slow the truck down due to the increased mechanical friction in the drivetrain. And it did.
The long, soft brake pedal travels all the way down to the floor, which was unexpected on the very first run. The ABS pulses are relatively slow-paced and mild, mimicking how everything else about this truck moves. The sound is also pretty muffled and undramatic. The Titan feels pretty stable under full braking, but we feel that's a factor of its mass. It's akin to slowing down a cruise ship as you pull into the harbor. Nosedive is pretty mild for a truck this big and there is very little pedal fade and surprisingly no brake odor even after five runs. Now that's pretty amazing. For as heavy as this truck is, 134 ft is a little better than competitors and braking consistency is pretty decent.
The Titan handles as big as it looks. There's immense understeer going around the skid pad which transitions to oversteer if you have traction control off. The amount of torque that the diesel engine generates is incredible which accounts for the oversteer. With traction control on you can just floor the throttle and the system will limit the amount of engine torque that's produced so you never encounter much under- or oversteer. But this is also the slow way around, because it's overly conservative. In transitional turns the Titan is very slow to shift its weight, and that's expected. There's very little steering feel, if any at all, so you don't really feel when the front tires are scrubbing, but you'll definitely hear them. If you're aggressive with the throttle, it's easy for the rear end to step out, though the computer will shut down a slide after a second or two, because ESC is never fully off. Surprisingly there's no unpleasant chassis flex and oscillation like some other trucks driving around in circles. The chassis feels pretty stiff and rigid. Obviously the tires are not made for cornering and looked pretty worn after a few rounds around the skid pad.
Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 2,927 miles