Somewhere between the half-ton pickup segment and the three-quarter ton market is an area that up until now has never been addressed. Enter the Nissan Titan pickup. This truck from Nissan looks to make a name for itself in the previously untapped middle ground between these two trucks. We’ll check out the 5.6-liter Endurance V8 and see how it performs in the high-altitude of Colorado.
What’s new for 2018?
This year, a Nissan Titan King Cab, with a long bed and an extended cab, has been added to the lineup along with some new appearance packages.
Features & Options
2018 Nissan Titan SL 4x4 Crew Cab ($50,360) comes standard with 20-inch wheels, power-folding mirrors with puddle lamps, running boards, a power-sliding rear window, LED cargo box lighting, and a Utili-Track bed rail system with four movable tie-down cleats. It also has remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver-seat memory functions, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a four-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, leather upholstery, a Rockford Fosgate 12-speaker audio system, a 120 volt outlet inside the bed, and NissanConnect Services, a subscription-based emergency telematics features suite.
The Midnight Edition package ($1,250) is available on SV and SL crew-cab models, and it adds black, body accents, unique interior trim and black 20-inch wheels. Additional options on this tester included Titan Box (985), electronic tailgate lock ($390) and rear bumper step ($290). Total MSRP including destination: 54,775.
Climbing up into the Titan SL, lets you know this is a full-size pickup that is ready to handle some tough jobs. It may be cushy on the inside, but it’s a truck ready to do some heavy hauling if needed. We appreciated the backup camera in this long truck this week. It also comes with the standard blind spot warning that kept us from scraping the side. It’s got plenty of warning signals to let you know when you get too close to an object in the front, back and sides. The SL trim also comes with large chrome power-folding side mirrors that made it easy to navigate through heavy city traffic.
This truck is comfortable and roomy inside. There are lots of storage options up front as the large console opens up to reveal a cavernous area to store just about anything you will want to bring on a long trip. The 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system is easy to use and offers the latest technology to stay connected. The back seat is big enough for three tall adults and the seat lowers flat for more cargo carrying ability if you need it.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
The 2016 Nissan Titan XD is powered by a 5.6-liter Endurance V8 with 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque. It comes mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission sending power to all four wheels on this 4WD tester. EPA fuel-mileage ratings come in at 15/21 city/highway mpg and 18 combined mpg.
We recently test drove the Titan XD Cummins Diesel model and think the 5.6-liter gasoline V8 combined with the seven-speed combination feels stronger and more responsive than the diesel variant. At least empty, the Endurance V8 offers quicker acceleration from a start, and also faster kick-down response when we mashed down the pedal as we entered I-70 and merged into traffic. Of course, there’s not as much torque as the diesel (555 lb-ft), so towing a heavy trailer is going to be better left for the 5.0-liter turbocharged Cummins powerplant.
The 5.6-liter gas engine comes with 80 more horsepower than the diesel, giving it a different set of job skills over the diesel. The Titan SL is also 700 pounds lighter than the diesel because of its all-aluminum construction and you can feel it under heavy acceleration. We took it into the high altitude environment west of Denver and the V8 had the power to spare in the rarified air at 9000 feet. We had no trouble passing slower cars who were struggling to get up the steep incline near Georgetown. At least when empty, the 5.6-liter V8 had plenty of grunt.
If you are looking for payload capacity, the gas variant Titan will haul as much as 2,594 pounds, or about 500 pounds more than its diesel stablemate. On the open road, the ride feels less harsh than other heavy-duty trucks on the market. The long wheelbase offers a smooth ride and the cabin is quiet and comfortable.
Nissan developed the Titan SL 4x4 Crew Cab to tap into the middle ground between half-ton and three-quarter-ton pickups. They succeeded in building an attractive offering in the gas V8 variant that is capable of handling substantial loads, features a beefier frame and running gear than half-ton trucks and the ride isn’t as harsh as most heavy-duty trucks. The interior is upscale with the convenience package and there’s plenty of technology and safety equipment to keep you connected and out of harm's way. If you need to tow heavier loads, check out the 5.0-liter Cummins turbo diesel model.