2016 Nissan Titan XD: Monthly Update for July 2017
by Calvin Kim, Road Test Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Repairs from a recent drive in Death Valley sidelined our 2016 Nissan Titan XD toward the end of last month. Then, to add insult to injury, our mirror got smacked, necessitating replacement. Thankfully, we got the #kingbanana all buttoned up for a few long highway drives, and enjoyed the rhythms of its turbodiesel engine along the way.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
Most of the miles in July were accrued on long highway trips, which resulted in a monthly high of 18.7 mpg. Then we towed a boat while packed with cargo and netted just 11.3 mpg, an all-new record low. Our monthly average came out to 14.7 mpg over slightly more than 1,300 miles, far better than last month.
Average lifetime mpg: 15.1
EPA mpg rating: N/A
Best fill mpg: 18.7
Best range: 434.3 miles
Current odometer: 23,759 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
Aside from the damage wrought by washboard roads, we also replaced a side-view mirror that was damaged by a fellow motorist. No other maintenance was needed in the month of July.
"With the Titan's departure date looming, the stars aligned for our only tow test (of sorts) as I drafted the big banana into toy-hauling mode for a long drive to Lake Powell, Utah. Laden with a ski boat, trailer, a bed stacked high with provisions to cover three families for a week of houseboating, and four passengers in the cab, the Titan was at or near its payload limit and at about half of its towing capacity.
"More detailed impressions will follow in dedicated posts about the long, loaded trip, but in a word the Titan XD was unflappable. My brother, a longshoreman who has pulled boats behind dozens of trucks, wagons, SUVs, old V8s — you name it — repeated over and over, like a mantra, 'This is a great truck.'" — Dan Frio, automotive editor
"The passenger side mirror got damaged during an incident in which the turn signal and the mirror cover got ripped off. While the mirror itself worked, we wanted to make sure the turn signal was replaced so we could get the Titan fixed and back into our fleet. The XD has the extended-length towing mirrors, so they stick out quite a bit. It makes me uncomfortable just looking at them — I always feel like they're going to clothesline a biker à la WWE wrestling.
"I reached out to a friend at Nissan of Duarte who put me in touch with service writer Bryan Hernandez. We quickly figured out the parts that were necessary and ordered them immediately. He indicated that no one had the actual mirror in stock, and it would take about five business days to deliver, but thankfully the mirror cover was available locally. Cost of the mirror cover: $31.64. Cost of the mirror itself: $744.55. Total cost: $847.99 (including tax). I told Mike Schmidt, senior manager of vehicle testing, that at some point I would like to take apart the old mirror to see why it costs so much. Keep your eyes open for that update.
"Once I got to the dealership, Bryan greeted me and took the keys to get the truck repairs started. About 30 minutes later, he came up to me apologetically to inform me that there was a 'one-time use adhesive part' that no one knew was needed until they took apart the mirror. He said that the part should be in stock and would only take a day to obtain.
"The following day, I called early to check to see if the part came in, and Bryan said it's already there and I could come by and get it taken care of. I drove down and then about an hour later, the new mirror and mirror cap were installed and repairs completed. The Titan looked good as new. The adhesive part cost $13.62 and the labor came out to $190. Total for repairs: $204.88 (including tax)." — Rex Tokeshi-Torres, vehicle testing technician
"I am not a truck guy, so it was with great trepidation that I signed up for a long weekend with the Titan. You see, I live near downtown Los Angeles and have a tiny apartment parking spot and street parking to contend with. The truck's camera system, while not in high-definition, is a lifesaver. I found the suspension to be stiff on the highway, but that's to be expected with an unladen heavy-duty truck. I was surprised, though, at how well it handled the pockmark-riddled roads of downtown. Interior accoutrements are outdated, especially compared to the state-of-the-art connectivity that domestic brands provide. It's easy to use, however. I was able to engage 4-Lo lock differentials and use the cool backseat cargo platform during an off-road trip to the Los Padres National Forest without cracking open a manual or searching the internet." — Calvin Kim, road test editor
"Seeing how atrocious some of the city mileage was, I wanted to see just what the Titan could do out on the open road. On my way out and back from the Los Padres National Forest, I drove as smoothly and deliberately as possible to be most efficient. From my off-the-cuff tests, I found the biggest diesel-suck to come from the sluggish shifts of the transmission. In order to keep average mileage in the high-teens arena (that is, above 15.5), I did my best to minimize downshifts and to get it into top gear as quickly as possible. With just a little throttle restraint, I achieved over 18 mpg through two tanks of gas." — Calvin Kim