2016 Nissan Titan XD: Monthly Update for March 2017
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Our long-term 2016 Nissan Titan XD was made to tow, yet up until March we hadn't lashed anything behind it. So it was that the Titan was tasked for duty in transporting a particularly crappy Miata to a race for a certain citrus-themed endurance racing series at Sonoma Raceway. The Titan towed this craptacular roadster for a hair more than 1,000 miles. Earlier in the month it did some off-roading.
Certainly, a lightweight car on a lightweight formula-car trailer poses little burden for such a burly truck. I won't dispute that. If anyone wants to donate their significantly heavier enclosed trailer with, say, loaded Lista tool cabinets and a race-prepped 911, I'll be happy to facilitate a stouter challenge for our truck to tow. No guarantees you'll get it back.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
While towing, the Titan returned 16.1 mpg. Compare this result to its running average and you might be surprised. Still, this showing wasn't enough to propel the Titan's monthly average fuel economy above its lifetime running average. Its off-roading voyage doubtlessly didn't do it any favors in the fuel economy department.
Average lifetime mpg: 15.5
EPA mpg rating: N/A
Best fill mpg: 18.7
Best range: 434.3 miles
Current odometer: 20,375 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
The Titan was brought to the dealer for its 20,000-mile service and to address a check engine light. Two codes were returned; one for low diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) and the other that was apparently the result of mud on DEF lines. The technician topped up the DEF, removed "3 inches of mud" caked on the lines and cleared the codes. Its engine oil and filter were changed, and the fuel-water separator drained.
"This thing doesn't even know I'm towing a Miata with it. My light load is way overmatched. In fact, it might be too much truck for this job; I could do the same job more comfortably in a half-ton pickup." — Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor
"The Titan bounces and undulates more than almost anything I've ever driven. The 60 psi rating for the tires notwithstanding (I lowered the pressure for off-roading), this thing is stiff and big, making for large movements during off-roading. It is also incredibly long, which makes it feel even bigger than the large footprint already does. Even on fire roads, I feel wary of beaching this big, yellow whale." — Travis Langness, Automotive Editor
"This truck lacks some of the user-friendly features that other trucks have. It's crazy-tall, and would really benefit from something like the 'corner step' rear bumper found on the GM trucks. Also, take a look at the bed storage bins. These are simply poorly designed. Being in the bed, they are awkward to access (unlike the RamBox system) and since the bins' doors open inward, they interfere with anything in the bed. Arrggh!" — Jason Kavanagh
"The fuel economy average for my towing trip of 1,000 miles worked out to 16.1 mpg. This is slightly higher than the Titan's lifetime average of 15.5 mpg. Considering that the vast majority of this truck's miles have been spent without a trailer behind it, that's an unexpected result!" — Jason Kavanagh
"Our Nissan Titan's check engine light came on and using our OBD II scanner we pulled a code P1C54. According to the dealer, the code is related to the diesel exhaust fluid lines. The service adviser, Chris, asked that we give him two hours to figure out what was going on. He estimated the time almost exactly. I dropped the truck off at 9 a.m., and he was calling me at 10:59 a.m. saying they solved the problem. According to Chris and our technician Fernando, the 'DEF lines were covered in 3 inches of mud.' Chris and I speculated that if this solves the problem, it signals that there is a possible design issue with the DEF lines. It's a truck, and trucks get muddy. How much mud is allowed in a Pro-4X before you have this issue? An interesting visit to Valencia Nissan to say the least, albeit courteous and helpful." — Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant