2019 Nissan Titan XD Diesel MPG: One Last Real-World Test

2019 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Mileage Illustration

Cars.com illustration by Paul Dolan

By Aaron Bragman

Like all trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating over 8,500 pounds, the 2019 Nissan Titan XD diesel isn't required to report its fuel economy numbers (GVWR: 8,990 pounds). But that doesn't stop you from wanting to know what kind of fuel economy the Titan XD diesel gets, and it doesn't stop us from testing it on a 200-mile fuel economy loop to keep you informed.

Related: Find a Nissan Titan XD for Sale Near You

This is the final year for the Titan XD with a diesel engine — the next model, a significantly refreshed truck coming in 2020, will still have an XD variant, but it'll be gas-powered. So the days are now numbered for the Cummins-powered rig you see here, a 2019 Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X equipped with the turbo-diesel 5.0-liter engine. The Titan XD always has been something of an unusual beast — too beefy to be considered a light-duty pickup, not tough enough to be a heavy-duty truck. Nissan has pitched it as a "tweener" truck. Something to provide you extra grunt over a light duty for towing and hauling, but not something as expensive as a full-on heavy-duty model. The bottom line in PickupTrucks.com's 2017 three-quarter-ton comparison where the XD competed was, "There is value here, but you need to be clear about the trade-offs. If you need a stronger half ton, this is a great truck, but it shouldn't be playing in the same sandbox as the big boys."

Related: Nissan to End Titan XD Diesel Production Before 2020 Titan, XD Refresh

The Cummins V-8 pumps out 310 horsepower and a stonkin' 555 pounds-feet of torque. It's mated to a rather outdated six-speed automatic transmission and a part-time four-wheel-drive system with a low-range gear.

My truck for this fuel economy test was a 2019 Titan XD crew-cab 4x4 with the Cummins diesel engine in the Pro-4X off-road trim. Right off the bat, the off-road trim counts against the Titan XD's fuel economy: The Pro-4X's chonky General Grabber all-terrain tires aren't made for maximizing mileage; they're made for helping the Pro-4X be a bad-ass off-road truck. So consider this something of a "worst case scenario" for the Titan XD diesel — your mileage may vary.

Related: 2017 Monster Factory Off-Road Challenge: Off-Road Suitability

But that's not a dig against the Titan XD diesel, as the results from our 200-mile test loop were surprisingly good. Starting from Ann Arbor, Mich., our test loop went through suburban Detroit neighborhoods and included a highway run to Lansing, Mich., before ending up back in Ann Arbor. The weather was perfect: sunny and 75 degrees. Speeds were kept to within 5 mph of posted limits, tire pressures were set to the manufacturer's recommended readings, and off we went.

Two hundred miles later, I had my answer: The Titan XD diesel's trip computer was telling me I averaged 18.8 mpg overall, while my calculations using the mileage and the fuel used were a comparable 18.7 mpg. That should give the Titan XD with its 26-gallon fuel tank a theoretical range greater than 480 miles. That's a little less than the 19.3 mpg we observed in 2017 for our 3/4-Ton Premium Truck Challenge, where we had an on-road-oriented Titan XD Platinum Reserve model, though on a different test loop. It also stacks up favorably to the other diesel trucks in that test, of which only one is still in production in the form we tested in 2017: the Ford F-250 King Ranch at 18.3 mpg. The Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 2500 have both been refreshed since that test.

So if you want a diesel-powered Nissan Titan, better act fast. With competitive fuel economy and a price generally less than that of a heavy-duty truck from a Detroit Three competitor (though with appreciably less capability), it's an interesting alternative choice in the pickup market. And with Nissan saying it's planning to end production of the diesel later this year, it sounds like now is the time to move.

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