Nissan expects to blur the line between light-duty and heavy-duty pickups with its 2016 Titan XD crew cab by offering it with a Cummins 5.0L V8 turbo diesel rated at 310 hp and 555-ft.-lb. of torque.
The idea is that the new truck combines the capability of a heavy-duty hauler with the drivability and affordability of a light-duty pickup. Nissan's says Titan's maximum towing capacity should be more than 12,000 lb., and maximum payload is expected to be more than 2,000 lbs. A 12,000-lb. tow rating handily out-distances the only other half-ton truck with a diesel engine -- the 2015 Ram 1500 with 3.0L EcoDiesel has a tow rating of 9,200 lb. But the numbers are in line with GM's Silverado/Sierra 1500s at max tow ratings of 12,000 lb. and Ford's 2015 F-150 at 12,200 lb. tow rating.
The Cummins diesel -- designed specifically for light-duty use -- is the heart of Nissan's Titan XD. A compacted graphite iron (CGI) engine block, aluminum heads and composite valve covers reduce weight. It's the first commercial application of Cummins' new M2 two-stage turbo system. Nissan chose to mate the engine to a heavy-duty six-speed Aisin automatic transmission, and an electronic locking rear differential is available on the 2016 Titan.
To take advantage of the XD powertrain, Nissan offers a frame-integrated gooseneck hitch in the bed in addition to the rear tow hitch. The XD's 151.6-in. wheelbase is about 20 in. longer than non-XD Titans. Radiator cooling capacity has been increased more than 25% compared to the previous Titan model.
Titan gives away nothing to the competition in terms of available towing and driver-aid technology. It includes an integrated trailer brake controller, Trailer Sway Control (TSC), tow/haul mode with downhill speed control and a trailer light-check system that allows one-person hook-up operation -- including checking turn signals, brake lights and running/clearance lights.
The Titan also includes a RearView Monitor with Trailer Guides, while the Around View Monitor (AVM) provides a "bird's eye" view of the surrounding area from front, rear and side cameras to help with parking and navigating tight spaces. The system also includes Moving Object Detection (MOD), which helps the driver to detect vehicles, shopping carts or other large objects when backing out via an on-screen notification and warning chime.
The Titan XD Crew Cab is the first of three cab configurations, two frame sizes, three powertrain offerings and five grade levels to eventually be available in the Titan lineup. The Titan Crew Cab XD has a 151.6-in. wheebase and 242.9-in. overall length. You have a choice of 17-in, 18-in., or available 20-in. aluminum wheels.
The Nissan XD offers a full line of amenities, including a 7.0-in color touch-screen display, NissanConnect with navigation and mobile apps, remote start with auto temp control, automatic dual zone climate control, supplemental cab heater and heated and cooled front seats. The truck will by assembled in Nissan America's Canton, Mississippi Vehicle Assembly Plant.