2018 Nissan Titan XD

2018 Nissan Titan XD Crew Cab Review

The Titan XD is a good choice if you need to tow a little more than a standard pickup can manage.
7.7 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Cameron Rogers
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

In the world of full-size pickups, there's a defined split between the light-duty trucks omnipresent throughout the American heartland and heavy-duty pickups that could probably pull the moon if you could lasso it. However, there is one truck that effectively straddles the line between the two: the 2018 Nissan Titan XD.

The Titan XD is in a unique space, able to tow more and carry a heavier payload than a half-ton truck such as the Ford F-150 or the standard Titan, but not as much as a heavy-duty pickup. No matter how you view it, the Titan XD is a highly capable vehicle sold in a variety of trims, from the fairly basic S work truck to the deluxe Platinum Reserve. Those who enjoy traversing the wilderness would do well to consider the Pro-4X trim, the only off-road-oriented model in either truck class available with a diesel engine. Even though it doesn't boast the outlandish tow ratings of other heavy-duty trucks, we think the Titan XD is worth considering if you don't need to pull heavy equipment on a regular basis.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Nissan Titan XD as one of Edmunds' Best Pickup Trucks for this year.



What's new for 2018

A rearview camera is now standard across the board. A new Midnight Edition package is available for certain models (4x4, diesel, crew cab, SV and SL trims), adding body-colored bumpers and black exterior trim. Otherwise, the Titan XD carries over unchanged.

We recommend

Heavy-duty trucks prioritize raw towing ability over passenger comfort, and the Titan XD is no exception. Thankfully, the Bilstein shocks that make the Pro-4X so good off-road also give it a better ride on pavement. Aside from the mechanical upgrades, stepping up to the Pro-4X also adds a ton of luxury features. Even more upgrades are available through option packages. Unless you just need a basic work truck — in which case, the base S is more cost-effective — we think the Pro-4X is the way to go.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Nissan Titan is a full-size pickup that sits squarely between the light-duty and heavy-duty versions of its competitors. Five trims are available: S, SV, Pro-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve. The modestly priced S is basic but better equipped than entry-level competitors. The SV adds a few extra features for a modest price bump, while the SL is considerably more expensive with a ton of additional luxuries. The Platinum Reserve sits at the top of the trim ladder with a richly appointed cabin. The Pro-4X stands apart with tons of mechanical enhancements for off-road dominance.

All versions of the 2018 Nissan Titan XD are available with a crew cab matched with a 6.5-foot bed. The work-oriented S and SV trims are also available with a single cab and an 8-foot bed. The extended-cab variant (Nissan calls it King Cab) is offered with the 6.5-foot bed in S, SV and Pro-4X trims. In all cases, shoppers can choose between a 5.6-liter V8 gasoline engine (390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque) or a turbocharged 5.0-liter V8 diesel (310 hp and 555 lb-ft). Rear-wheel drive is standard, with four-wheel drive available as an option (it's standard on the Pro-4X model). The gasoline engine is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission, while the diesel uses a six-speed automatic.

Feature highlights for the entry-level S work truck include 17-inch steel wheels, a black grille and black bumpers, a lockable tailgate, remote locking and unlocking, power windows and locks, a rearview camera, air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth, a bench front seat, 60/40-split folding rear seats, cloth-and-vinyl upholstery, a four-speaker audio system, and a 5-inch central display screen with a USB port. King Cab and crew-cab models get a six-speaker audio system.

The SV trim adds chrome exterior trim, power-adjustable and heated mirrors, a receiver hitch with a 4/7-pin wiring harness connector, a trailer brake controller, an overhead console, upgraded instrumentation, carpeted floors, cloth upholstery and satellite radio. Four-wheel-drive models also add front tow hooks.

The off-road-focused Pro-4X model steps up with standard four-wheel drive, 18-inch alloy wheels with all-terrain tires, a two-speed transfer case, Bilstein shocks, a lockable rear differential, skid plates and hill descent control. It also comes with automatic headlights, foglights, a spray-in bedliner, automatic wipers, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air vents, unique cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual front captain's chairs with adjustable lumbar support, storage space under the rear seats, a 120-volt outlet, a 7-inch touchscreen, navigation, blind-spot monitoring, Siri Eyes Free and NissanConnect mobile app integration.

The SL trim does without the Pro-4X's off-road gear, building on the list of features with 20-inch alloy wheels, running boards, a cargo-management rail system and a 120-volt power outlet in the bed, LED bed lighting, a power-sliding rear window, auto-dimming mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, remote ignition, a power-adjustable steering wheel, heated front seats, leather upholstery, a 12-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system with expanded entertainment apps, and NissanConnect emergency telematics.

At the top of the Titan XD lineup is the Platinum Reserve trim that goes all in with an abundance of chrome trim, premium leather upholstery, wood trim, a heated steering wheel, cooled front seats, heated rear seats and a surround-view camera system.

Some features are available on supporting trims as options. The Platinum Reserve is eligible for a dual-screen rear entertainment system with two wireless headphones. The Chrome and Texas Titan packages add a variety of cosmetic enhancements to the SV and SL trims. The SV and SL are also available with the new Midnight Edition package, which adds black exterior and interior styling elements.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X Crew Cab (turbo 5.0L V8 diesel | 6-speed automatic | 4WD | 6-foot-7-inch bed). The Titan XD has received no substantive changes since it was last tested.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall7.7 / 10

Driving

7.5 / 10

Acceleration6.5 / 10
Braking8.0 / 10
Steering7.0 / 10
Handling8.0 / 10
Drivability7.5 / 10

Comfort

8.0 / 10

Seat comfort8.0 / 10
Ride comfort8.0 / 10
Noise & vibration7.5 / 10
Climate control8.5 / 10

Interior

7.5 / 10

Ease of use7.5 / 10
Getting in/getting out7.5 / 10
Driving position8.0 / 10
Roominess7.5 / 10
Visibility7.0 / 10
Quality8.5 / 10

Utility

7.5 / 10

Small-item storage8.0 / 10
Cargo space9.0 / 10

Technology

7.5 / 10

Audio & navigation7.0 / 10
Smartphone integration7.0 / 10
Driver aids7.5 / 10
Voice control8.5 / 10

Driving7.5

When equipped with the diesel V8, the Titan XD feels like a hearty draft horse. It's not particularly fast or nimble, but it can handle some serious heavy lifting. But it doesn't translate into a stiff ride. The Titan XD remains compliant enough to drive every day.

Acceleration6.5

The diesel V8 has plenty of torque for towing and hauling, but it's not very quick. We measured a 0-60 mph time of 9.6 seconds, which is slower than most gas-powered V8 trucks. Passing slower traffic requires patience and planning.

Braking8.0

The brakes are well up to the task of stopping this big, heavy truck. The pedal stroke is a little long, but that's typical for trucks. As powerful as the brakes are, they're easy to modulate. During panic stops at our test track, the Titan remained straight and controllable with minimal nosedive.

Steering7.0

Other than the wide turning radius, we like the steering for its solid overall feel. It can be heavy at times, but it's always responsive and predictable. When off-roading, vibrations and kickback are kept in check.

Handling8.0

For a truck with its level of towing and hauling capacity, the Titan XD has a very agreeable ride. Unlike many heavy-duty trucks that feel high-strung when empty, the XD remains compliant over bumpy roads and rarely transmits sharp impacts.

Drivability7.5

The throttle response is gradual and predictable, and the six-speed automatic transmission keeps power on tap with smooth shifts, which is especially helpful when towing and hauling up steep inclines.

Off-road8.5

The Pro-4X Titan is the only full-size off-road truck that offers a diesel option. The low-end torque makes it easy to crawl over boulders and up steep hills, two things the Pro-4X can do well thanks to its low-range gearing and all-terrain tires. Its physical size is its biggest limitation.

Comfort8.0

The Titan XD is quiet and has a smooth ride and comfortable seats, giving it an edge over true heavy-duty trucks. To maintain that ride quality, we recommend that shoppers stick with the 18-inch wheels rather than the optional 20-inch wheels and tires.

Seat comfort8.0

The seats are spacious and well-shaped, and they offer plenty of adjustment. The side bolstering is minimal, but that makes for easy entry and exit. Rear passengers get a surprising amount of room and a reasonably comfortable bench seat.

Ride comfort8.0

The ride is firm but not nearly as harsh as in other heavy-duty trucks. The Pro-4X model rides better than the high-end SL and Platinum Reserve trims because its 18-inch tires and shocks do a better job of filtering out the small stuff than the 20-inch wheel and tires.

Noise & vibration7.5

It has some of the typical diesel engine clatter, but the XD keeps the noise in check as well as or better than just about every other full-size diesel truck on the market. Even with the off-road tires found on the Pro-4X, the Titan is very civilized on the highway.

Climate control8.5

Operating the dual-zone climate control is easy thanks to large knobs and buttons. The system itself does a good job of maintaining the set temperature even when the driver and front passenger dial up very different temperatures. Rear vents are a plus for passengers in back.

Interior7.5

Rival trucks offer more interior space on paper, but the Nissan Titan XD doesn't feel any smaller. In addition to its roominess, the cabin is thoughtfully designed and features good materials for the class.

Ease of use7.5

The smooth-acting column shifter opens up space for a simple cabin layout with large cupholders and plenty of storage space. Some switches and buttons, as well as the outdated infotainment system, feel small in this large cabin.

Getting in/getting out7.5

The seats are rather high, which is no surprise considering the XD is among the tallest trucks in the class. And there's no difference between the 4x2 and 4x4 models. The front doors open wider than the rear ones, and all doors have chunky grab handles.

Driving position8.0

An abundance of seat adjustments and a telescoping steering column make it easy to find your preferred driving position. The Pro-4X has standard eight-way power seats, and the optional Convenience package adds power telescoping and a driver-position memory function.

Roominess7.5

Headroom is plentiful, and there's ample legroom up front. There's enough legroom for adults in the back seat, although some competitors offer a bit more room. On paper, the cabin is slightly narrower than the competition, but it doesn't feel that way when you're inside.

Visibility7.0

The well-defined hood shows where the front end stops, and the view to the sides and back is reasonable. The outside mirrors are a bit small, and the windshield header masks some overhead traffic signals.

Quality8.5

Fit and finish is top-notch, and Nissan has managed to make the Titan XD look strong without resorting to a cartoonishly overdone tough-truck theme. The exterior paint and trim are handsome on the Pro-4X and even better on the Platinum Reserve.

Utility7.5

As long as you don't need outlandish towing and hauling ratings, the Titan XD is capable of handling the utility needs of most average truck owners. Plenty of interior storage and innovative exterior bed-storage options give the Titan XD a unique position in the market.

Small-item storage8.0

Flip-up rear-seat cushions provide in-cab storage that is similar to that of Ram trucks. The huge center console bin with a big cubby up front also holds an adjustable cupholder insert. But the glovebox and door pockets are on the small side.

Cargo space9.0

The five-rail cargo tie-down system (optional on the SV and Pro-4X; standard on the SL and Platinum Reserve) is easily the best available, and it comes with a spray-in bedliner, a 400-watt in-bed power outlet, and LED under-rail bed lighting. Optional lockable bed boxes are also available.

Child safety seat accommodation6.0

The LATCH anchors for the outboard rear seats are easily accessed, as are the top tether anchors behind the rear seatbacks. But it's still tricky to secure a front-facing seat. A bigger issue is the height of the cab itself; it's a reach.

Towing7.0

The Titan XD can tow between 10,990 and 12,640 pounds, depending on trim level. By design, this is midway between light-duty trucks and heavy-duty trucks. A brake controller, extendable mirrors and a gooseneck hitch are available as factory options.

Hauling7.0

With a max payload of 2,240 pounds, the tweener XD lags behind a true heavy-duty truck. But the cargo tie-down system does make things convenient when it comes to securing items in the bed.

Technology7.5

The Titan XD uses a lot of carryover elements from the aging Nissan parts bin, making it feel older than it is. That's especially true of the infotainment system and its screen. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts are available, but more advanced safety features are not.

Audio & navigation7.0

The audio system sounds good and is fairly easy to operate. The touchscreen, however, is small and feels a generation behind due to its lower-resolution graphics and lack of detail in the navigation maps.

Smartphone integration7.0

There's only one USB port and it takes a while to initially index your music, but it's easy to search for tunes after that. NissanConnect supports some smartphone apps (Pandora, iHeartRadio, etc.), but it's not as plug-and-play as Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which aren't offered.

Driver aids7.5

The Titan XD doesn't offer some of the more advanced features such as adaptive cruise control with forward collision mitigation. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and a 360-parking camera are available, and all are welcome on such a big truck.

Voice control8.5

The response times are quick, with audible prompts and on-screen menus to guide you. But the system had some difficulty recognizing some street names. Holding down the voice button activates the Siri voice interface via a paired iPhone, a standard feature on higher trims.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.