by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor on February 23, 2017
Originally, the 2016 Nissan Titan XD in this production was going to be our 2016 Tesla Model X. But having already crossed the country, twice, in our 2013 Tesla Model S, and also finding the looks, ride and paltry range of the X disagreeable, I buried an ax in the head of that idea as swiftly as I could.
I liked the road-trip part, though. Like Magrath, I'm a sucker for a good one. So once the Model X gave way to #kingbanana, I was eager to finish what Travis started. When you get a chance to see your country, take it.
by Mike Schmidt, Senior Manager, Vehicle Testing
Where Did We Drive It?
In January we lost our marbles. Somebody thought it was a good idea to drive our 2016 Nissan Titan XD from our offices in Santa Monica, California, to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. So we did. And then we drove it back. The 13-day road trip accounted for 6,083 of the 6,800 miles that the truck covered last month.
After miles of ice and snow, we put the Titan back to work in suburbia. We shuttled supplies for household projects. We hustled the kids to and from school. We commuted to and from the office. At the end of the month, we'd gotten to know our Nissan even better.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on January 26, 2017
Every year, we send a team to cover the Detroit Auto Show, but instead of sending everyone out on a plane, we've cultivated an annual tradition of sending at least one editor behind the wheel of a long-term test car. Driving from Los Angeles to Detroit is certainly less practical, it takes up quite a bit of time, and it requires navigating around weather for several days in both directions, but we absolutely love it (or at least I do).
The basic structure is that one editor drives to Detroit and then, after the show, flies home. Another editor flies there, picks up the car and drives it back to L.A. Routes and stops vary, but the idea is the same: Get the car out of California where the weather is good and the going is easy. Put it to the test with freezing temperatures and see what it's like on the open highway for a few weeks.
The first step to the trip was to find a couple volunteers. Photo Editor Kurt Niebuhr and I raised our hands first, so we got the nod. The second step was picking a long-term car from the fleet that could survive the journey. And this year we went with King Banana, our long-term 2016 Nissan Titan XD.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
We didn't add many miles to the odometer of our 2016 Nissan Titan XD in October. Its considerable dimensions (and associated parking difficulties) limit its daily appeal to many of our editors. But even though it's not very popular during the week, the Titan XD was signed out every weekend to do handy pickup things. Its biggest task this month was towing the 1931 Ford Model A Victoria owned by Mike Schmidt's family, which Mike transported from Temecula to the L.A. area.
Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on August 25, 2016
Nissan has already tried the full-size truck thing once. The original Nissan Titan debuted way back in 2004 to positive reviews, but it lacked the powertrain options, body configurations and feature flexibility that big-truck buyers expect. Not surprisingly, it remained a bit player in a segment where Detroit's Big Three remain the undisputed champs.
Now it's time for the second-generation 2016 Nissan Titan, which debuts in quasi-HD guise as the Titan XD (a regular half-ton Titan is coming for 2017). Completely redesigned and utilizing beefy components from Nissan's NV commercial vans, the Titan XD splits the difference between a traditional half-ton pickup and a true heavy-duty truck.