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2016 Nissan Titan XD Diesel SL Crew Cab 4WD Review

Nissan full-size truck enthusiasts have been waiting for years for the new 2016 Titan XD diesel to get here. It’s finally arrived.

This week we test drive the all-new 2016 Nissan Titan XD Diesel SL 4WD model. This new Nissan Cummins-powered truck is going to make a lot of truck buyers happy, especially Nissan fans. Our neighbor, who owns a Nissan X-Terra and an off-road vehicle came running up to my driveway when he saw me pull into the yard. He told me he has been waiting for this truck to come out and will likely buy one soon.

Of course he had tons of questions about the new Titan and couldn't wait for me pop the hood and take a peak at the new 5.0-liter Turbo diesel unit. He has been waiting a few years for this truck, and was excited to see his first one. He pulls his heavy off-road vehicle, and this is the perfect setup for this recreational neighbor. What does the new Titan XD have to offer?

What’s new for 2016?

The 2016 Nissan Titan XD is an all-new model. Nissan’s new full-size Titan XD will attempt to carve out a niche in unchallenged territory between half-ton and three-quarter-ton segments. The new Titan will likely be a big hit as it arrives this summer. With the diesel, it will fit the bill for those doing serious towing.

nissan titan frontFeatures and options

The top-of-the-line SL trim ($55,030) comes with standard 20-inch alloy wheels and copious chrome exterior trim along with leather upholstery. It also features automatic headlights and wipers, foglights, front and rear parking sensors, a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, a power-sliding rear window, step rails, keyless entry and ignition, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front bucket seats with 8-way power adjustments for the driver (4-way passenger), dual-zone automatic climate control, a center console with rear power outlets and climate vents, a rearview camera and a 7-inch infotainment display with a navigation system.

Go to Page 2 : Interior highlights

Options on this tester included floor mats ($200), splash guards ($235) and electronic tailgate lock ($345). Total MSRP including destination: $56,505.

Interior highlights

The first thing we appreciated were the running boards this SL trim as the Titan seems higher than other full-size trucks. It’s likely because of the 20-inch wheels on this tester. They made it easy to get in and out this week. The cabin of the Titan XD is plenty comfortable with its leather seats, steering wheel and heated seats up front. The center console is massive and cavernous with enough room to store all your belongings when you are on the road pulling a trailer to your favorite camping spot. It also features all the electronic plug-ins to keep you and the kids connected and charged up. The materials inside look and feel upscale in this upper trim model. Nissan did a nice job with the fit and finish.


The crew cab’s back seats are nearly as comfortable, with plenty of headroom, legroom, knee room and hip room even for the tallest passengers. There’s a rear climate control and a power rear window to keep passengers comfortable. The back seats fold down for extra cargo room and they also fold up revealing a handy lockable storage area for valuables you want to be kept out of sight.

Engine and fuel mileage specs

A 5.0-liter Cummins V8 turbo diesel engine powers the Titan XD. It’s rated at 310 horsepower which isn’t all that impressive until you see the torque number that comes next. It’s rated at 555 pound-feet of torque at 1600 rpm. That massive amount of torque will be able to pull up to 12,314 lbs. This a truck for those wanting to pull a large travel trailer or pull four horses to the county fair. The diesel comes mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. EPA fuel-mileage ratings are not required on this vehicle. You can expect somewhere between 14-21 mpg city/highway without a load. One draw-back is the 26-gallon fuel tank with no upgrade to a larger one available. Nissan estimates the Cummins diesel will be 20 percent more efficient than comparable gasoline engines when towing.

cabinGo to Page 3: Driving dynamics

This 2016 Nissan Titan XD heavy-duty pickup came with a crew cab, a 5.5-foot bed and a shift on-the-fly four-wheel drive system. Just change it from 2WD, 4Hi or 4Lo settings. Titans uses a column shifter, with manual-shift toggles and a tow-haul switch out near the end. We tested the turbo diesel at high altitude west of Denver. At 7500-8000 feet elevation, the Titan XD handles the thin air by pushing what’s here into the 5.0-liter power plant. It did feel a bit underpowered in passing situations, but with 555 lb. ft of torque, it will work hard all day long if you are pulling a heavy trailer.

The big truck has a large turning radius as we found out on a city street in Golden. We got sideways turning around and realized we needed another 2 feet. But the longer wheelbase has benefits in ride quality. The ride seemed a lot less harsh than other full-size trucks. Another thing we noticed was the cabin was quiet even with the pedal mashed down and pulling hard up the mountain pass. We could hear the diesel engine roar, but not anything like other diesel trucks we’ve driven. Nissan put enough sound-deadening material inside to keep you comfortable and cocooned from the noisy outside word. By heavy-duty pickup standards, the Titan XD steers, handles and performs well in all driving situations.

Nissan titan console

The Titan XD comes fully-ready for towing a gooseneck trailer. You just pop out the plugs in the bed, plug in the ball, and hook in the chain anchors. You just back up to your trailer and the onboard camera guides you in. You can also check your trailer lights, with a button on the key fob. The driver can initiate a trailer-light sequence and watch as the system cycles through the turn signals, brake lights and running lights to ensure everything is working properly. Nissan designed the Titan XD diesel for those pulling and hauling big loads. The torquey V8 Cummins diesel has serious towing potential. You can load up the Titan XD diesel with people, cargo and a trailer and get right on down or up any mountain road.

nissan Titan XD towConclusion

The 2016 Nissan Titan XD with the Cummins diesel is an excellent choice for those needing to pull a small gooseneck horse trailer, car trailer, camper or a boat. Get the SL Crew Cab 4WD and you can go anywhere and do in comfort.

This 2016 Nissan Titan XD Diesel SL review is updated on May 11, 2018.