2016 Nissan Titan XD: Styling & Design


By Aaron Bragman

It can't be easy to make a new pickup truck that doesn't look like every other pickup truck. You're limited to a three-box design with the big differentiation coming in the details of grilles, lights, bodyside moldings and wheels. Still, Nissan has managed to craft something distinctive for the new 2016 Titan XD pickup while still including some design details that can be traced to other automakers' big trucks. Nissan showed us the XD version of the new Titan, reserving a reveal of the light-duty model for later this year, so we can't comment on the styling of that one just yet — but the beefier Titan XD is sure to make its mark when it arrives in dealerships later this year.


As is the style with pickups these days, there's a big chrome grille up front. But it seems that Nissan couldn't quite decide what kind of grille to go for — slats or mesh? In the end, it ended up including both slats and mesh for the grille; chromed for most models and body color with black inserts on the off-road-ready Pro-4X trim. The big grille is flanked by enormous headlights, each featuring a signature LED slash that should prove to be pretty distinctive at night. The hood is tall and bulbous, while bodyside sculpting draws comments comparing it to the Ram 1500 thanks to the defined fenders and rounded wheel arches.

A new step rail now extends the entire length from wheel to wheel, enabling the rearward part to be used as a bed step. Puddle lamps in the mirrors are optional and are activated by a proximity key, automatically lighting up as the driver approaches the truck. The windshield looks very narrow, even more narrow than the bunkerlike gun slit of the Chevrolet Silverado, but the cab itself retains some of the arching swoop present in the current Titan. The back end is fairly traditional, with large LED taillights flanking a tailgate that features an easy-open-and-close feature. Overall, the look of the truck isn't as wild and swoopy as a Ram, but isn't as staid and traditional as a Ford.


TITAN Interior II



The interior draws even more comparisons with the Ram trucks in terms of shapes and forms. A wide, massive instrument panel dominates the forward cabin, with materials that look easily as nice as those in competitor trucks and that are a far cry from the decade-old plastics and designs of the outgoing model. The controls and buttons are high and easy to reach, and redesigned doors have relocated window switches to a more conventional location — no longer are the switches on the very top of the door panels. Like the Ford F-150, the windowsills dip down as they approach the mirrors, allowing for better side-view visibility but clearly delineating the huge difference between how low the doors are versus how high the dash top is. Combined with the narrow front window, forward visibility is surprisingly compromised, but visibility to the sides and rear is fine.

Overall, the new Titan is a big, bold machine that really doesn't break any new ground for styling inside or out, but should satisfy customers who want something suitably truckish and butch. The family resemblance to the Nissan NV van is obvious and may help the Titan find some customers who like that kind of brand continuity.

To read the full press release, click here.

Manufacturer images





Looks like they took the styling from Ford and Ram

Ok, so I really want to like this truck. I do not like when Japanese automakers try to Americanize with styling and trim colors. Leave the king ranch to ford, and offer a more contemporary design and color scheme that reflects the forward, futuristic theme Nissan is known for. I think this truck would look much better with a monochromatic paint scheme and body colored grill. Make those changes and I might head to the dealership.


Looks like Ram boinked an Escalade and the baby got all the worst aspects of mom and dad.

I wonder how much Fred Diaz took with him when he left Ram for Nissan. Plus, how much went to Nissan when the agreement with Ram dissolved in the bankruptcy. If I remember right Ram was going to help Nissan build this thing in the Cerberus days.

Look a whole lot like the Ram. Put your thumb over the grill and it's hard to tell it apart. Even the interior... Diaz is basically giving Ram a slap in the face.

The grille and headlights look horrible. The huge headlights and cummins badges make it look like it doesn't have front fenders.

Question: What happens when a car company tries to make a truck that resembles the competition?
Answer: This Titan.

It looks like they tried to copy aspects of Ford and Ram.

Call it a Rord or Fam.

Not sure about whether or not I like the looks. I'll reserve judgement until I see one out in the wild.

@ Lou

It doesn't make a shred of difference to me what they are or aren't targeting but it's the fact that they are brining themselves to the level of the current full size models and creating their own niche with the mid duty models.

A mid duty truck appeals to me no matter who builds it. A 400HP 5.6 will also be a great option for both the light and mid duty versions.

@magnum74 - I do agree that as a buyer " who cares" who they are targeting but for the sake of internet bench racing, it makes for interesting conversation.

I do believe that this truck will force the competition to look at expanding their diesel engine portfolio's or improving the gassers to compete.

At the end of the day this level of competition is great for any consumer.

I can live with the mesh, if you let me black out (or body color) the surround. Ford's looks far, far worse.

I will say, after driving one today, I was impressed. I'm a ford guy at heart and love trucks. This truck is meant to compete with 1/2 ton trucks but driving it gave the feeling of a 3/4 or 1 ton. The ride was a little stiffer but would give better confidence hooking up or loading it. You knew there was a diesel under the hood by the slight turbo lag and surge in power once spooled. The interior is very nice and comfortable especially with the heated seats and lumbar support. Being 6'3" I was quite comfortable getting in and out and didn't have my head mashed into the headliner. I could see this truck becoming a real contender for heavy pickups, unlike the Tundra. From a style standpoint though, totally a Ford (headlights, mirrors, grill).

I like it, I'd look at getting one if I bought new vehicles.

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