2016 Nissan Titan XD: Who Is It For?


By Aaron Bragman

It's taken a decade, but finally an all-new Nissan Titan is here — but it's not just one model that's been revealed, Nissan intends to produce two new pickup trucks for the market. The base model is the traditional light-duty pickup we expected, just called the NP 1500 Titan. The other one is more unusual, called the Titan XD. It's billed by Nissan as a light-duty truck (also called the NP 1500, but equipped with a heavier-duty frame and chassis) that features a powerful 5.0-liter V-8 Cummins engine that will enable a customer to tow over 12,000 pounds and offer over 2,000 pounds of payload.

Nissan says that there are a lot of truck customers who want a little more capability than a typical light-duty pickup can provide, but don't necessarily need the huge abilities (and huge price tags) that come with most heavy-duty diesel trucks. Nissan maintains that this results in nearly 150,000 potential truck buyers who either buy a bigger, more capable, more expensive truck than they need, or settle for a smaller, less-expensive, less-capable truck and just basically cope with its occasional inadequacy.

Enter the new Nissan Titan XD. Nissan bills it as something of a "light-duty plus" pickup, with a more powerful Cummins turbo-diesel V-8 engine than the turbo-diesel V-6 Ram offers in its light-duty 1500, but not nearly as powerful (or expensive, presumably — we don't have pricing yet) as the Cummins, Power Stroke or Duramax offered in the Ram heavy duty, the Ford Super Duty or GM HD trucks. Yet regardless of what Nissan wants to call the Titan XD, we were told some Titan XDs will have a gross vehicle weight rating weight more than 8,500 pounds, putting it in the eyes of the U.S. government into the heavy-duty category. Maybe this is more of a "heavy-duty light" than a "light-duty plus" truck. In fact, given current EPA ratings, Nissan would not have to publish fuel economy ratings for any vehicles with GVWRs of more than 8,500 pounds, which could include all or several versions of the Titan XD. Our hope is that Nissan chooses the high road and publishes fuel economy ratings for all its Titan XD pickups, but that has not been officially announced.

All this leads us to wonder: Who are these underserved truck buyers that Nissan says it's discovered? The ones who have a trailer that's just a little bit too heavy for your typical light-duty pick-up, but that's much lighter than would necessitate a full-on heavy-duty truck? Are people searching for a Goldilocks truck — the light-duty is too light, the heavy-duty is too heavy, but something like a Titan XD is just right?




So we've decided to ask our loyal readers: Does this describe you? Would you be interested in a truck that slots somewhere between the top end of a light-duty's capability and the entry level of today's heavy-dutys? Do you still want the ease and comfort of a light-duty with heavy-duty capabilities? Got a good-sized trailer (maybe between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds) and you just don't think your Detroit Three light-duty truck will cut it? Do you like the capabilities of a diesel heavy-duty, but don't see the need to spend that much on a truck that can tow far more than you will ever need? Forget any bias you might have against a Japanese brand or your loyalty for your favorite pickup — this is a larger question that could impact our truck choices down the road if the Titan XD does well.

Let us know what you think and be as specific about your needs and requirements as possible.

Poll Question:

Which of these statements best describes you, as a pickup shopper/buyer/owner?

  • Yes, I'd love a truck more capable than the toughest light-duty, but don't want to spend big bucks to step up to a heavy-duty for capabilities I won't fully use.
  • No, I'm good with the pickup choices available to me today.

Manufacturer image; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears


IMG_3092a II



@HemiV8 - Ram 1500 does not have a dog in this fight. Both Ford and GM have 1/2 tons that overlap with 3/4 ton trucks. This truck targets that overlap.

Posted by: Lou_BC | Jan 12, 2015 3:59:37 PM

Didn't G.M. have a 1500H.D.?

Didn't Ram have a 1500 H.D.?

How did that work out?

Might be better as an H.D. light or simply an H.D.

Interior shots look decent as does the bed with small wheel well intrusion.

Good luck Nissan, its obvious you guys don't have the money to compete with GM, Ford or Ram in this sphere and frankly why would you spend a ton when its not going to bring in more sales, since you didn't develop the engine, you sort of phoned this one in, the exterior styling, esp front and rear is really have baked and mega copycat, I'm sure the collective readers of Pickuptruck.com

The Ram 1500 Ecodiesel is aimed at the SUV buyer wanting great mpg and be able to carry a small amount of stuff without stinking up the passenger cabin.

Posted by: Lou_BC | Jan 12, 2015 3:59:37 PM

Or they could tow 9,200 lb trailer. That's a lot of stuff with awesome MPG.

It's funny the Ford camp cry's about the performance when towing grades with Ram Eco diesel yet their 150 with V6 and V8 or next to dead last when towing up grades compared to G.M and Ram. Go figure.

Inside looks great.. but exterior is beyond hideous. ..uglier than the new ford... with all these new trucks (platforms) new raptor, titan with a cummins... the ram ecodiesel... kind of makes you wonder what the GM engineers are doing..beside falling behind... bad thing is they could have been soooo far ahead of the game if they would have listened to everyone and came.out with that 4.5l duramax they scrapped several years back... was unheard of then, now everyones doing it and I bet GM wishes they would have went a different direction. .. one day Chevy truck guys can say hah! Beat ya.. but doesnt look like any time soon

I see this as a Nice option With Cummins , Aisin and AAM Components which are Proven in a Few other Trucks like Ram and Silverado

More Diesel Options are good but is nissan Going too Catch the eyes of GM and Ford?

Hope its priced under 50,000 since yeah i like the HD trucks TQ rates but they are not heavy enough to make use of 700-900 FT lbs

Have our Trailer Loads and needs increased that much????

Overall for me my Needs have not Increased enough from 2004 Duramax to 2014 that has required 300 more FT lbs

No, Good with what's available.

Congrats to Nissan on making the Titan even uglier than it already was. That thing is an embarrassment to pickup trucks, even if it will come with a sweet Cummins engine. I guess it fits in nicely with all the other ugly automobiles Nissan builds. Hands down they have the market on ugly step- sister vehicles.

I like the thinking here. Go for a niche market at a better price point. 10k is really more than even there best equiped f150 is really comfortable with. especially if you live where I do west of denver. I might be looking at one of these in 2 years.

There's definitely a market for a truck that falls between a half ton and a top-engineered or near-top-engineered 3/4 ton, if you're Nissan, or any other truck company that doesn't have a 3/4 ton already, that is. It would hurt Ford, Chevy and Ram's bottom lines to produce one. This has potential to pull some buyers away from the money-making 3/4 tons and force the big three to lower prices a bit, or find something game-changing to offer the market in 3/4 tons.
There's a big problem, though. 12,000 pounds? That's less than the new F-150. It might have a stronger frame so maybe it's more suitable for a few situations like snow plows, but seriously? 12,000 towing for an 8,000-8,500lb truck? 14,000 would be game-changing. Even 13,000 could make people think hard. Offer something the big guys can't for people who tow semi-heavy trailers regularly...
The marketing story for this could end up being that Nissan needed another 3,000lbs of steel to get close to the F-150's towing and match the Silverado's. Doesn't sound impressive.

Not for me. Too little too late. Gas is very cheap. There are more effective options.

GM built the 1500 hd and sales sucked why would this be different and 2000lbs for payload is not much

gm built the 1500hd and sales sucked. why would this be different and 2000lbs pay load is not allot.

@HemiV8 - the Chevy HD1500 was a detuned 2500. My friend had one. It had rear disc brakes that were always f^ched and with the 6.0 cost him 400-800 month in fuel. (He lived out of town and used it to tow his motocross trailer).

The Ram 1500 HD was also a detuned 2500. Guess what - a friend of mine had one with the megacab. A pig on gas as well.

@HemiV8 - "Or they could tow 9,200 lb trailer."

I looked at the Ram site - These are the very best tow/haul ratings for the Egodiesel:

Ram 1500
3.0-Liter V6 EcoDiesel
quad | 6'4" | auto | 4x2
axle ratio 3.92

Max Payload 1,501lbs

Max Towing 9,050lbs

Ram 1500
3.0-Liter V6 EcoDiesel
crew | 5'7" | auto | 4x2
axle ratio 3.92

Max Payload 1,442lbs

Max Towing 9,000lbs


Ram 1500
3.0-Liter V6 EcoDiesel
crew | 5'7" | auto | 4x4
axle ratio 3.92

Max Payload 1,160lbs

Max Towing 8,550lbs

Ram 1500
3.0-Liter V6 EcoDiesel
crew | 6'4" | auto | 4x4
axle ratio 3.92

Max Payload 1,150lbs

Max Towing 8,700lbs

The best configurations for the Egodiesel are with the base truck in 4x2 with the smallest cab and shortest box.

If one looks at Ford you get 2,300 lb cargo and 11,000 (2014) in the crewcab long box supercrew 4x4 with minimal penalty for getting a Lariat.
Gm also has 2,000 lb cargo and 12,000 tow with minimal penalty for higher trim levels.

Do the math - a 4x2 Ram Ecodiesel quad shortbox is 800lb short of the Ford and 500 lb sort of the GM with cargo.
The same Ram 4x2 is 2,000 off of the Ford and 3,000lb off of the GM.

What happens if we ditch the Egodiesel and go Ram 5.7?

10,500 tow and 1,719 is max for Ram.

Like I said elsewhere - Ram does not have a dog in this fight.

Nissan is claiming a market that doesn't exists. Half-ton's can tow 12,000, and the least capable HD 2500's tow about 12,500. There's no middle ground that's not covered.

BTW The side's of the grille on the new Titan are clearly copied from the previous gen Ford trucks, you may say it's based off the old NV, but Ford had it first. They also ripped off the etched in name on the top of the grille from the Ford Super Duty. 'TITAN" instead of "SUPER DUTY" They also ripped off the Ford hood (notice how it raises up on edges like the 2011 Super Duty), and the window line slopes up which is an undisputed copy of Ford trucks.

Great truck! However my current titan is sufficient for my needs.

I agree that the payload is not very high. 2,000 lb would be ok but the keywords are "MAX properly equipped.*"

If we look at the Ram ecodiesel in the most popular crewcab short bed, it has a max payload of 1,190 lb.

Nissan with a Max of 2000, the payload on a crewcab 4x4 may be 1,500 at best.

This is not HD capability or even a light HD. This is just LD. Period.

@Dave - everything says or implies over 2,000 lb. They have the XD and a "standard" truck. That is no different than a max cargo or max tow F150.
The only limiter to max cargo is based on the tare weight of this truck. Class 2 is divided into Class 2A and Class 2B. If they target class 2A then they can't exceed a GVW of 8,500. Class 2B limits GVW to 10K.
The XD most likely will be 2B and the "normal" Titan will be 2A.

Here is the XD press release:

Quote: "and maximum payload capacity of 2,000 pounds* (when properly equipped)" - Nissan on the XD

I want to know what properly equipped means. If that means stripped regular cab 2wd then 2,000 is not good. Even on a crewcab, 2000 is not anything new or good.

Here are some 2015 max payloads for comparison
F-150 regular cab HD 3,300
F-150 SuperCrew HD 2,910
F-250 regular cab 3,890
F-250 CrewCab 3,490

The Nissan payload is a little light. If the payload was higher the towing 14,000 then it would be a true in between.

The truck I'm personally looking at is a 4x4 supercab with a payload of 2,030 without HD payload. With HD payload it is 2,770.

If I went with a crewcab 4x4 F-150 the max would be 2,010 lbs or 2,650 with HD Payload.

So 2,000 lb max on the Nissan XD 2wd regular cab does nothing for me or anyone looking for a true in between LD and HD.

If the towing is 12K and payload is only 2K....you pretty much can't really tow a heavy GN trailer...as the pin weight would be too high. With 25% pin weight you are looking at a 8K trailer or less after extra cargo, fuel, etc.

I hope the payload rating is closer to 3K...

I just read down further into the PR and it says payload is more than 2,000 lbs properly equipped in a different paragraph. Sorry about that.

If they're saying more than 2,000 properly equipped the max is probably around 2,100. Still doesn't stand up to what some of the competition is offering.

I'm also not a fan of paying a $1 a gallon extra for diesel. That will eat up all of the fuel economy savings.

I'm also not a fan of paying a $1 a gallon extra for diesel. That will eat up all of the fuel economy savings.


It's not about fuel economy, it's about the extra grunt that diesel engines deliver. This 5.0 Cummins will be the working MF pickup in the half ton space, and still have a reasonably comfortable ride, solid reliability and a flexible package. The HD trucks are a pain to drive as basic transportation when empty. The new Titan XD should be smoother and more enjoyable to drive than the HDs from Ram, Ford and GM


Like I said elsewhere - Ram does not have a dog in this fight.

Posted by: Lou_BC | Jan 13, 2015 11:11:06 AM

Didn't say they did. Ram also has the best ride in the segment.

P.S Rams 3/4 2500 has more capacity than G.M. and Ford and has a better ride. ;-)

1/2 ton = Homeowner

3/4 H.D= R.Vers work truck.

1/2 ton = Homeowner

3/4 H.D= R.Vers work truck.

Posted by: HEMI V8

Keep drinking that Italian Hecho en Mexico Koolaid.

@Dave - if this truck is just 2k cargo for a regular cab then there is absolutely no point to it.
2k for a loaded full bling crewcab is the minimum they should target.

Yes this truck is for me, See i currently own a 2004 F-150 which has been great to me, on occasion i need to tow north of 10,000lbs, and once a week i tow 7,500lbs. However i don't tow heavy often enough to justify a HD truck. i like the new Titian on a capability stand point. it gets me a half ton with a diesel that can do real work if i need it to on demand, and it don't look half bad

I like it so far. I could care less about gasoline's price vs diesel because that is a short term outlook in a truck decision. I use the box way more than towing so payload is a big factor. I put on a lot of miles too so even with decent fuel economy I need a 36 gallon tank minimum. Still will wait to see what the newer f150s deliver but I'm hoping this titan xd meets this two criteria of mine to make my decision more difficult between ford and ?....and so far the question mark is a place holder only for this titan. I don't think I'll even consider the rest.

This truck is flat out confusing. Everything about it is confusing…the body design is confusing, most of the media coverage is confusing, the creation of some odd new XD group that isn’t quite an HD truck but bigger/heavier than a LD truck is confusing. Even the rear axle is confusing where some outlets are talking of a 13” rear ring gear while others are saying 10.5”. What is XD stand for anyway? Like a spin-off of “XM” was to “FM”? Now we have an “XD” opposed to an “HD”? Their powertrain and truck model launch mix strategy also seems very odd with pumping out all “XD” diesels first. Heck, they might as well grab as many initial so called ½ ton truck diesel sales as they can so all of the guys that have been foolishly screaming for a ½ ton diesel get theirs. It will definitely be interesting to see how many of those ½ ton truck diesel wishers put their money where their mouth is given the fact the cost spread between gas and diesel is growing further apart each day (currently almost $2 difference gallon here). Obviously, fuel cost is always a moving target and it is very unlikely gasoline will remain this cheap and the gas vs. diesel fuel cost gap will be this big for very long, but one thing that won’t change…… Diesels will always cost more to purchase, maintain, and repair. And by repair, be prepared to repair often as that is the way the modern diesels roll, even by the beloved Cummins. I foresee this truck entering the market later this year at a very bad time to be launching a ½ ton diesel truck, just like how hybrids are taking a beating in sales. The Nissan execs must to be nervous as hell right now to be placing all of their eggs in a diesel basket. I also predict the sales of this all-new unique truck will be propelled by heavy incentives right out of the shoot….If not out of the shoot, I predict heavy incentives will definitely arrive within the first year it’s on the market. The Titan and Tundra just seem like they are carrying on the legacy of the two old bastard trucks of yesteryear that never quite caught on either….Jeep J-Series and International pickups. Both Nissan and Toyota should do what they do best and focus on great smaller trucks and leave the big stuff to the 3 that know what they are doing.

This truck looks alright though it's not as handsome as say a Cadillac or a Ram. It'll be interesting to see how the Tundra and Titan will battle it out with their Cummins engines.

As for the poll, I like the current selections available, but at the same time I don't mind having more options.

I can definitely see the tension by most of the domestic owners by their posts. Why worry if it does well or not. It's not like you're going to buy one anyways. Or do you need reassurance by convincing other to have what you have so you can feel that you made the right purchase decision. Most comments are stupid anyways. Like the way a truck looks seems to get attacked the most. Last time I check, looks is irrelevant to a trucks capability.

Ford sells nearly 75,000 F series trucks per month.
Toyota sells more than 14,000 Tacoma trucks per month.

To put the Titan in perspective consider the fact that Nissan has no more than 7,000 per month capacity to build the Titan. If Nissan can sell 1/10th the number of F series sold per month or 1/2 the number of Tacoma sold per month they will max out capacity at Canton and would have to build another assembly plant in North America if they want to sell more.

And then consider that Nissan sold less than 15K Titan in all of 2014.

It looks beefy! I am going to try this out. I will tow its max capacity Plus! It should come with snow plow prep package. I like that its shorter than the Ford by half foot too! That is a big plus for towing goose neck. I really think that Toyota could blitz this truck, if they make a 2500 series that has this engine and toes close to 15k with 2500lbs pay load or better. That is a true extra duty.

I like this truck! I want to try it, and I will. I think Nissan can build quality. That's key! Quality, durability, high tow ratings, and plow package.

Awesome idea, but the execution is crappy it's ugly i don't see much appeal factor (and its from the wrong guys), i love the cummins though. it it looked good and was made by a proven American company consider me all in..

@ poll
yes i would like a truck like this...
but i really have a hard time swallowing the Nissan part...
lets GM, Dodge and Ford lets see you do the same...

Has to be one of the ugliest trucks I've seen. Tailgate style is directly off of 2015 f-150. The shape of the fenders unbalanced and the overall design on the exterior makes the truck look ungainly. That being said, I like the interior a lot. To be fair, I've not seen one in person, maybe Ill change my mind.

"The Ram 1500 HD was also a detuned 2500. Guess what - a friend of mine had one with the megacab. A pig on gas as well.

Posted by: Lou_BC | Jan 13, 2015 10:58:13 AM"

Not only is your 5.4 Triton a pig on gas it's a gutless pig on gas.

They raised the hood line to beef up the looks, but they left the front wheels in the same location in relation to the firewall as the original "sloped nose" Titan. They also extended the front sheet metal forward about 6-7" (probably to share the same under structure as the full-sized NV van) making the wheel location look even worse. Move that front wheel/wheel well forward a few inches and it would look a lot better.

The sculpted body side slash line feature that goes from the front fenders into the front doors along with the "Cummins" fender vent badge is very awkward looking. Eliminate the fender vent badge and I think it would look better.

I wish they had retained the same clean squared off fender bulges as the first gen Titan though, albeit beefed up slightly for this generation. This would have kept the Titan heritage intact much more than this new fender slash design they decided to use on this one.

The tailgate is a huge disappointment. I was hoping Nissan would have returned to a variation of the "bib" style tailgate design that was used from '04-'12. The '13 and up tailgates are way too derivative and I can't even tell it's a Titan unless I see the Nissan burger emblem. The old tailgate was very unique and you can spot a '04-'12 Titan a mile away.

The dip in the front doors doesn't look bad. It doesn't dip down as deep as the new F-150 or the current F-250. Unfortunately, that styling feature does remind me a lot of those trucks. Nothing about the original Titan reminded me of a Ford truck.

I guess Nissan was forced to do something to increase front visibility since they raised the belt line so much to give the body a much more massive look.

Overall, it's not as clean and original as the first gen Titan. However, it does certainly meet the heavily over styled and slightly tacky design elements that most current full-sized trucks have today including headlight LED's.

I think the hoods are eventually going to be perfectly level in the next few years. Actually, it kind of looks like the hood on this new Titan XD model actually slopes "upward" toward the front in some side profile shots. Has anyone noticed this?

I believe Nissan is making a mistake by not offering the 1/2 ton light duty model right out of the gate. People keep saying the diesel Titan has a huge 'pent up" demand in the market place, but I think they are forgetting that a Titan XD with the 5.0L Cummins option is going to be priced thousands higher than the average 1/2 ton gas model.

With the standard 5.6L Endurance powertrain, the first gen Titan was priced thousands below an equivalent domestic model which attracted a lot of buyers, including me, before it grew stale from lack of significant updates. That's what attracted me to the Titan back in '05.

With only 310hp and 555tq, I don't think this truck is going to be all that fast to be honest. Since the curb weight on the HD will most likely push 6K+lbs, even with the diesel torque to push it around, it won't be enough to propel this truck much faster than about 8-secs 0-60 and 16-sec 1/4 mile times. Sure, a programmer (if/when available) will improve performance, the QX70 derived VK56VD will be faster and completely obliterate it in the regular lighter 1/2 ton model.

At some point I just have to say it's too ugly to own even if it fits my needs!

thats an ugly truck it gots ford,nissan and dodge put together its just ugly truck i would spend $2 on this truck sorry im s ram guy and it look better as the old titan

I really enjoy reading these articles and the comments from my fellow truck enthusiasts. Yes I would like a truck like the Nissan HD soonest. I have owned Ford, Chevy and Dodge HDs or half tons and I liked all of them very much. However, I welcome the re-introduction of light duty 3/4 trucks that were available in the past (7800 -8600 GVW range without full floating axles).

My payload and towing needs consist of a fairly light slide in truck camper in the 1100 lb range with gear and fluids along with 600 lbs of people and 220 pounds tongue weight from a compact aluminum V hull boat (2200 lb total boat package).

My hope was to procure a Ram ecodiesel which I loved to drive during the demo but the meager payload capacity made me walk away from the sale sadly. It is one sweet truck. I love new chevy 1500s also but payload is not sufficient in the crew cab. The F150 is a great heavy duty half ton candidate but my friends with ecoboost engines are honestly not seeing the fuel economy promised, especially under load and recommended that given my roughly 2000 lb payload and 2000 lb towing needs tell me to wait till Ford offers a diesel in that great and very desirable platform.
So given the desire for a long lasting power plant this Nisan entry with the Cummins promises to push the Big Five back into focus for those of us guys and gals who responded to your poll as needing a light duty 3/4 ton truck that is less costly and more fuel efficient than current HD offerings.
One additional requirement is that the vehicle be built by fellow Americans and since it is I am saving for my payment on that truck now.
Thanks for the opportunity to provide input.

IM glad that nissan built a diesel truck. to shut dodge, chevy and ford these dealears take advantage (still money) from people due to expensive prices.

Finally a 1/2 ton with a real engine
that triple nickle engine is going to to shock a lot of people
but to be fair each manufacturer has strong and weak points
and the only way for Nissan to gain a foot hold is to come up smelling like roses in more areas than the others do
IMHO they are going to field one hell of a truck
they have no choice but to swing for the fences here
It is also my opinion that Nissan suffers the same disease GM has which is they field a top of the line product and then which each model year there after they build it up until the third model year and then they allow the bean counters to take charge and sadly they destroy good thing

I have owned several pickups and a just right pickup is what the market needs. I currently own a 2011 Sierra 2500HD Vortec that has a towing capacity of 13k LBS wonderful truck but too big for my needs. Hopefully Ford and GM will do the same which from the likes of it seems like GM is headed in that direction with the Canyon and Colorado with small duramax engines. We'll see time will tell.

for me it would have to have a payload of at least 3000 pounds. i can get an f150 with that but would prefer a diesel.

I've driven the Titan XD. It's smooth and seems fairly refined and the diesel is stronger and more responsive than I expected. It doesn't look any worse than anything else out there...they're all trying to look the same anyway.

I currently own a 2006 Tundra with 250,000 miles. The truck still runs perfectly and tows almost anything I put behind it. However, I have a car trailer (7000 lb capacity) and I can easily exceed the GCW of the Tundra. The Titan XD would allow me to haul anything I can possibly envision myself ever needing to haul. I like the diesel but I want SOLID fuel economy numbers. Since this is also my daily driver the Titan diesel would have to get at least 20% better than a 4.7L Tundra to offset the extra cost of fuel. This would mean about 19-20 mpg city/highway combined.

I definitely like the truck but without real, useful, honest EPA numbers, I'll be keeping my Tundra.

The comments to this entry are closed.