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Nissan Titan: The 8,500-Pound Tweener

May 2015, by Tariq Kamal - Also by this author

Not much has changed since the Nissan Titan rolled onto the full-size pickup scene in the 2004-MY — that is, not much has changed with the Titan itself. Its competitors, including the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra and Ram 1500, have changed considerably, priming the pump for the major Titan redesign that debuted at the 2015 North American International Auto Show and will hit showrooms later this year as a 2016 model.

In the course of their research, Nissan’s analysts discovered that 75,000 full-size pickup owners abandon their trucks in favor of a smaller, and presumably more fuel-efficient vehicle each year, while another 75,000 graduate to a heavy-duty pickup. Enter the 2016 Titan and its debut model — the XD, an 8,500-pound tweener that promises to haul a 2,000-pound payload and tow 12,000 more.

The heart of this beast is a 5.0-liter Cummins turbodiesel V-8 that will deliver 310 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque. The diesel V-8 will be followed by a gasoline-powered V-6 and V-8, thus tripling the engine options for the outgoing model, which could only be equipped with a 5.6-liter V-8.

All three engines will be paired with an Aisin shiftable six-speed automatic transmission and rear- or four-wheel drive. The combinations will multiply with the eventual availability of three cabs, two frame sizes (the XD is 20 inches longer than the base model), three bed lengths and five trim levels.

Specs for the 2016 Nissan Titan.
Specs for the 2016 Nissan Titan.

The new exterior is a complete departure from the prior model and could be mistaken — in passing — for the outgoing F-150. Nissan’s proprietary Utili-Track bed channel, mount and tie-down system returns and will be joined by watertight, drainable and removable in-bed storage boxes and a 120-volt power outlet. A unique system will allow solo drivers to check a trailer’s turn signals, as well as brake and running lights, without assistance.

Maximum towing capacity will be delivered by a factory “fifth-wheel” gooseneck hitch attached to the frame ahead of the rear axle. Hill-descent control and hill-start assist will come standard.

The cabin features multiple storage compartments, including room for a 15-inch laptop, a 7-inch infotainment display, 12- and 120-volt outlets and a 12-speaker Rockford Fosgate stereo system.
Stay tuned to BusinessFleet.com for updates on pricing, availability and specs.

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