Spied: 2016 Nissan Titan XD Final Shakedown

Titan XD Spy GP II

It won't be long before we get our chance to drive the 2016 Nissan Titan XD, complete with the highly anticipated ISV 5.0-liter V-8 turbo-diesel Cummins engine. We saw its world debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and we've even had friends from the Phoenix area send us photos (see below) of some not-very-well disguised prototypes doing some hot-weather testing.

One photo they sent had a poorly camouflaged Titan XD Cummins right next to a current-gen Titan. We like the new one better. In the meantime, our spy shooters in California's Death Valley tell us they've also seen some test units towing trailers in the heat. Our guess is Nissan is doing some last-minute transmission and cooling calibrations. Here's the note our California spies sent.

"We caught an engineering group testing two Nissan XDs outfitted with the Cummins 5.0-liter V-8 diesel engine. It seems that the engineers are putting the new Titan through some final tests before its official launch near the end of this year. The venue for these tests was as extreme as it gets, in the 120-degree heat of Death Valley.

"While we've already seen the XD this past January at the [Detroit] auto show, curiously, we still see some pieces of camouflage remaining on these test trucks in the form of black tape covering the Nissan, Titan and Cummins badging. This is likely just a leftover from its earlier testing program, although we can't be 100 percent sure that the trucks under test aren't some previously unannounced configuration. Nissan has yet to release details on the non-XD version of the Titan that is reportedly to come four to six months after the XD debut. However, it seems clear that these pickups were still testing the Cummins diesel setup, given the taped-over badging on the front fender.

"The two test trucks included a stripped-down worktruck and the higher-end Platinum Reserve."

KGP Photography images


IMG_1746 II

IMG_1747 II

Titan XD spied GP 5 II

Titan XD spied 4 II

Titan XD spied GP 7 II

Titan XD spied 3 II



Not too excited about the truck but anxious to see the new Cummins in action.

A face only a mother could love.

I'm looking forward to trying it out when it arrives at dealers. Im buying a new truck in the spring and this is near the top of trucks in intertested in. Im also hoping that Ford releases an 8spd transmission in the F150.

truck is OK, but i'm excited about the new cummins too

Agreed. Not too excited about the truck, but curious about pricing and how the diesel MPG will be. I think the old titan looked better. Doesn't really boost your confidence to hear they are doing "last minute calibrations".

and the slowest product launch award goes to....

Like to see some of the more detailed specs

I see Nissan is keeping with the Fugly scheme on the re-design. Better than before but still fugly...

If it's anything like the NV Van, it'll be a solid hauler. That thing is seriously sturdy and abuse resistant.

For a 5L V8 diesel, the grill looks surprisingly small. Unless the design brief for the new Cummins, is all about maximum mileage in more regular half ton ( tow <12000) usage, than schlepping mega tonnage across the Panamints mid summer. Which, come to think of it, may be a genuinely undeserved niche. Ecoboost/V8 like tow capacity at twice ecoboost/V8 real world tow mileage..... Just don't give it all back by fitting a half of ecoboost/V8 fuel tank size....

The front end looks disproportional to the rest of the truck. The current Titan looks better and that's sad when you consider that it's a decade old.

The Cummins diesel is the ONLY reason these trucks will sell. The Frontier diesel will be more worth waiting for.

Maybe the cummins name can save Nissan pickups like they do ram annually


This truck already looks dated and the interior is about 6 years behind, RAM, Ford and GM.

Styling is not its best point.
Interested in the V8 Cummins.
I also remember the first 5.9 Cummins not being in a pretty dress either.

If it can show its merit, the styling will come along.

I want to know more about the Cummins engine. Like how long has it been in production in other applications, or is this totally new? Totally new would scare me until they worked the bugs out. But if this has been already deployed in commercial applications then it's probably pretty bullet-proof.

Kurt, it will be used in other applications, but this is one of the first. It's only been around a year or two.

I believe once you see the new XD in person a lot of your opinions will change.

Congrats to Nissan. Unlike the Tundra they have made themselves relevant in the truck market with this well proven name in Diesel. Cummins.

The engine has been around since 2007, this to me is more than a couple of years and the engine is currently sold and used by other manufacturers.

Reading the comments from the spies leads me to believe these aren't spy photos. The spy comment is very comprehensive in the detail.

I would like to see the new Titan in real life, as the photos might not do the vehicle justice.

A person who wrote the comment above regarding how small the grille was has nothing to worry about. The grilles on US pickups are not designed to be functional, they are anitmated and designed to project the appearance of a real truck.

The design of the pickup makes it look quite large or larger than what it may be. The Colorado/Canyon were able to make their pickups look larger as well.

I do think the front end design will catch on and people will become more desensitized regarding it's looks.

Can't wait for a review of this Cummins Titan.

I think Nissan looks great and these is coming from a GM guy ! The old truck was the fuglies truck in the market .

when will the frontier with diesel debut?

I see some of the keyboard fanbois are at it already. Looks are subjective I really like it expecially in black. How can the interior look dated? The interior is all soft touch materials with real stitching and contrasting colors unlike the tundra and the misproportioned interior of the silverado. Some people like a brick on wheels I.e silverado and others don't. Personally the ram is probably the best design.

My Titan has been more solid than my tundra or pervious F150. Granted Nissan had years to get it right. At least nissan is being innovative unlike toyota which has kept me from a new tundra.

It has all the styling queues of a real truck. The Ford F150.

It is as ugly as the new F150!

Bottom line is if it will be better than what is current in diesel. The current HD diesels arent very good. they are better than before but just too problematic for what you get. Personally with the 8 speed tranny and 6.2 v8 GM might be rivaling the 17k towing that most diesels are rated for without every max tow option. pay load increases with a engine that is close to 1/3rd the weight too. if this 5.0 diesel can run with a 420hp gas v8 with 8 speed than it will be a good option. otherwise the DEF fluid and other factors current diesels ave will turn people away like many already have by what Ford and RAM diesels offer. Many people have bought into the large v8 gasoline engines that were former cummins owners. main reason is they are daily driving and not putting enough load on the drive train for the emissions to perform correct. I to w daily I could use a diesel. I could use a 5.0 to its full potential regularly and wouldnt mind getting much better economy while doing so. will the That engine be able to out run a 8 speed and 10 speed equipped gasoline? I think it will be close. im sure the fuel consumption will be less but DEF is also there. So are other factors. it will be an option for sure..

I thought these would behitting dealer lots by now, slowest launch ever. That Sao I like the truck, hoping the standard model is a bit more proportioned up front though. I don't like how the the front clip is wider the the rest of the truck, but I know they had to do it to fit the diesel

It will be interesting to see how much this engine will be choked by US emissions equipment.

@ Jason No 8 speed for the F150. 10 speed (joint w GM) starts in MY17 with Raptor.

Personally, the Nissan XD without chrome grill treatment looks much better.

I think the ED Ram release was probably slower. Apparently they had a few issues.

They should have had it here in Phoenix today. 117 degrees. They could have tested in stop and go traffic. And yes the slowest launch ever!!!

See a lot of FORD in it. See about as much as Ram did when they copied FORD. Chrysler admitted to that. They said copy the best and the rest is history for ram. I remember the lead guy for Chrysler saying yes we copied FORD. You copy the best and look what it did for ram. They still copy FORD's paint schemes. The best never rest. Period.

@Greg, as ugly as you.

I had high hopes that it would look good in plain trim too, but I guess I was wrong. Greg is right. This truck is indeed pretty ugly, but it's even uglier than the new F-150.

It's on par with the '14 + restyled Tundra in ugliness. I can only hope that the non-diesel gas engine version will have a slightly smaller nose to look a little less bulbous in the front. However, I don't think that will be the case here.

Point out where Dodge copied the inferior ford cause I've never seen it

whys everyone down on its looks the f 150 is fugly, chevrolet front grille and headlights fugly, toyota tundra bulky and a big blob of a mess, and then the new titan with an aggressive looking nose, nice curves and maybe just a little bulky like the tundra and the titan can finally pull off white paint....i dont understand the hate. then it gets the reliability and power advantages of being nissan. They finally have different cab and bed configurations gas and diesel v8 and an optional v6. standard led running lights and high tow numbers. while ram is ugly and still unreliable without a gas v8 the only other brand i think itd be hard to choose between would be a new chevy.

Google it. You will find it.

Not a terrible looking truck. Looks better than the current titan. I feel that if they ditched that typical Nissan "V" in the grille it would look much better.

Really? I see a fusion of Ram and Tundra, but that's just me. Although it is true that when it comes to pickups, in most cases, every company follows in Ford's footsteps.

It looks like the current Titan with a higher hood. The cab and roof line are direct carry over from the current model. The rest of the truck shares lines with the new Maxima and Murano. The v grill with the v lines blending into the lines on the hood. The fender lines on the front door match the new Maximas. The only thing that looks like a ford is the Tailgate.

The truck looks to be well made
It will certainly have the best engine in the 1/2 ton segment
Ford engines 383 torque at 5500 rpm , compared to 555 torque at 1600 rpm FORD engines seem downright anemic by comparison.
FORD will have to address that sore spot.
I will certainly be checking out the Titan models when they arrive. I need a new truck ,I've had my old one since 1988.
still runs fine but is getting a tad long in the tooth.

The wheel wells are not cut as high into the body as the old Titan. The side window sills are higher and the front windshield is shorter due to the extremely raised hood section near the cowl.

All of these styling tricks add to the illusion that the truck is a lot larger. However, in reality, it's not really that much bigger than the old Titan except for the longer front end overhang ahead of the front wheels.

One thing I don't like is the "fat lady wearing heels" look that the bulbous front end/headlight design gives the new Titan in the pics. To make matters worse, Nissan is still being cheap by using 8" wide wheels. Standard 9" wide wheels would make this truck look much better.

The old Titan looked more trim and taut which gave it a more sporty character than the other makes. Unfortunately, this one looks just as bloated and puffy as the newer designs which makes it more derivative than the original Titan when it first came out.

It will be interesting to see the gradual impact these new Cummins Titans will have at the bottom end of the HD segment.

Even if Nissan sell 50 000 of these Cummins Titans it will be a blow to the HDs.

To me it seems Ford will be the biggest loser. Ford currently can't afford to reduce it's share of the HD segment since it is its money earner. I don't see the new 2015 aluminium F-150 making huge profits.

As a matter of fact I do hope the new Titan is a good pickup and sells well. So far Nissan's marketing hype hasn't been overselling the Titan. Actually the coverage of the pickup has been quite limited in comparison to the other manufacturers.

I wonder if Toyota will produce a quasi HD? If Toyota did I would be scared if I was one of the Big 3, especially Ford.

Maybe Ford might create a supplier, or another issue so it can slide back the introduction of it's aluminium SuperDuty?

@Dave, I don't think Ford is worried about that. You are comparing apples to oranges when you are comparing diesel to naturally aspirated gasoline engines. Maybe more a comparison to the ecoboost but the FE will not be close at all.

Looks like a cross between the old Toyota T100 and a Ford HD. Yuck.

I have a 2011 Titan. I can't wait to get a new one. I pull a pressure wash rig everywhere. I've put 100k trouble free miles on my Titan since I bought it. It runs like the day I bought it. I recently changed the oil in the rear end form the first time. It came out like new oil. That's why I love Nissan. They make good stuff.
The new body style looks like a good matchup to the Ram and Ford and Toyota. I like the look.

I really want to like this truck because of the diesel and 8 spd but I can't it's downright ugly.

"Styling is not its best point.
Interested in the V8 Cummins.
I also remember the first 5.9 Cummins not being in a pretty dress either.

If it can show its merit, the styling will come along."

So, you're saying they intentionally made it ugly so that the engine could be judged on it's own merit first, and then, if we all buy their ugly truck in big enough numbers because we want a diesel, then and only then will NISSAN hire people who actually went to design school (or maybe that was the problem) and make the truck as attractive as the package should have been from the start. Hmmm...interesting line of thought. OK, I'll wait then until they start selling and come back with a redesign that's not so goshdarn polarizing. Or fugly as has been noted. This makes even GM's re-do look...well, less fugly.

I'm very interested to see what Nissan's final tow and payload ratings are for this thing. I think if they end up rating it at 12k, it'll be a bit of a loss out of the gate. GM and Ford already do 12k with gas engines, and while a Cummins-equipped Titan would tow that same 12k with more authority and ease, that still means it's got some left in the tank (so to speak) that it could be used for if engineered further. I think Nissan's goal should be 14-15k lbs max towing. That is the middle ground they should be hunting for.

The other unfortunate item is that they don't have more speeds in the tranny. GM and Ford are already on their way to 8/10-speed units, and Ram has had a diesel 8-speed combo in the 1500 for a few years now. Granted, everyone's HD tranny is still 6-speed, but I think that will change in a couple years. Perhaps Nissan will be able to adapt in that time frame as well.

Regardless, this will be a quantum revolution of an update for the Titan. I can't wait for the road tests.

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