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  • 2017 Nissan Titan XD

    Posted on July 31st, 2017 ninarussin

    Bridges the gap between light and heavy-duty pickups

    By Nina Russin

    Nissan Titan XD Crew Cab

    Nissan Titan XD Crew Cab

    Nissan calls the XD a niche vehicle that created its own niche, by bridging the gap between light and heavy-duty pickup trucks. Drivers who need more payload and towing capacity than a light-duty truck provides, but don’t have the parking space or fuel budget for a heavy-duty truck can find a lot to love in the Titan XD.

    Buyers can choose between a gasoline or Cummins turbo-diesel engine. The diesel option develops up to 555 peak horsepower as engine speeds as low as 1600 rpm, making it ideal for towing and hauling. The rear-wheel drive model tows up to 12,640 pounds, while the four-wheel drive truck tested has a 12,360-pound rating. Either way, the XD tows about 3,000 pounds more than its light-duty sibling: something that could make a critical difference when hooking up a large boat or trailer.

    The Platinum Reserve model tested comes with a Class IV gooseneck hitch with integrated 4 pin/7 pin wiring harness-connector, trailer brake controller and trailer light check function, spray on bedliner, Utili-track tie down system, LED under-rail bed lighting, rearview and around-view monitors. Pricing starts at $61,960 excluding the $1195 destination charge. A bed utility package adds the Titan Box integrated storage system in the side walls of the cargo bed, an electronic tailgate lock and rear bed step, bringing the final MSRP to $63,905.

    Test drive in Phoenix, Arizona

    Nissan Titan XD Crew Cab

    Nissan Titan XD Crew Cab

    This week’s test drive was my second experience behind the wheel of the Titan, the first being at the media launch at the end of 2015. At that time, I got a feel for the truck’s off-road, towing and hauling capabilities. This time, I was more interested in what the truck would be like to live with on-a-daily basis.

    I don’t pay much attention to vehicle size at media launches, simply because we don’t spend a lot of time in city traffic or trying to park. The Titan XD crew cab is a very long truck: 231 inches (19-1/4 feet) end to end. It did not fit in my garage and barely fit in the driveway without blocking the street. If you’re considering buying this vehicle, keep in mind that you will need a very large space to park it in.

    The turbo-diesel engine gives the Titan excellent low end power, with remarkably good acceleration off the line for a high-profile vehicle weighing over 6500 pounds. Nissan doesn’t publish fuel economy numbers for the Titan XD since the EPA doesn’t require it. In a long-term test, the folks at Edmunds.com averaged 14.7, which puts the truck on par with other large heavy-duty diesels.

    Nissan Titan XD Crew Cab

    Nissan Titan XD Crew Cab

    An Aisin six-speed automatic transmission works well with the engine, delivering smooth, linear power with no obvious shift shock under normal driving conditions. The drivetrain is quiet, with no noticeable diesel tick.

    Because of its long wheelbase, the truck’s turning diameter isn’t particularly good: 53.2 feet curb-to-curb. I found myself having to correct once or twice when pulling into a perpendicular parking slot. The rearview camera and around-view monitor are invaluable, not only for parking for making it much easier for those planning to hook up the trailer.

    The steering system is recirculating ball: not quite as precise feeling as rack-and-pinion but much more durable and therefore better suited for the truck’s intended use. I found steering feedback to be quite good, with plenty of assist at lower speeds and solid on-center response on the highway.

    Nissan Titan XD Crew Cab

    Nissan Titan XD Crew Cab

    A double wishbone front suspension and multi-leaf rear suspension with solid axle provide a comfortable ride, with none of the highway chatter that can be the bane of larger trucks.

    Large, ventilated four-wheel disc brakes stop the Titan XD in firm, linear fashion.

    Visibility around the vehicle is good, with a blind spot monitoring system that illuminates when vehicles in adjacent lanes pass through the driver’s blind spots. I had no problems weaving through rush-hour traffic.

    Upscale interior

    Nissan Titan XD Interior

    Nissan Titan XD Interior

    It’s no surprise that the upscale grade of the Titan comes with all the comforts of a well-appointed living room, including premium audio system, leather upholstery with power front seat controls, heating and cooling.

    Remote engine start enables owners to heat or cool the interior prior to entry during extreme heat or cold. Access and egress to both rows is quite good thanks to the standard running boards.

    I found both the gauge cluster and center stack screen easy to read in a variety of lighting conditions. The Rockford Fosgate audio system delivers great sound, with standard satellite radio, real-time traffic and travel links. Bluetooth interface with Siri eyes-free is also standard, so owners can stay connected by phone on the go.

    Dual-zone automatic climate control keeps front-row passengers comfortable in temperature extremes. The crew cab is large enough to give both rows of passengers enough head, hip and legroom for longer drives. When the second row isn’t in use, it adds considerable interior storage space: enough to hold a bicycle with the front wheel removed out of the rain.

    Standard safety

    The Nissan Titan XD Platinum Reserve model comes with six airbags, antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, rearview camera, around-view monitor, fog lamps, tire pressure monitoring and blind spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert.

    Nissan builds the Titan XD at its Canton, Mississippi assembly plant.

    Like: A truck capable of hauling and towing loads beyond the capability of light-duty trucks with excellent low end power, ride and handling.

    Dislike: The truck’s long wheelbase and overall length can make it difficult to park.

    Quick facts:

    Make: Nissan
    Model: Titan XD Turbo-Diesel Platinum Reserve 4WD
    Year: 2017
    Base price: $61,960
    As tested: $63,905
    Horsepower: 310 HP @ 3200 rpm
    Torque: 555 lbs.-ft. @ 1600 rpm
    Zero-to-sixty: N/A
    Antilock brakes: Standard
    Side curtain airbags: Standard
    First aid kit: N/A
    Bicycle friendly: Yes
    Off-road: Yes
    Towing: Yes
    Fuel economy: N/A

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