Sunday, May 15, 2016

First Drive: 2016 Nissan Titan XD Diesel

Cummins has been building engines since 1919, focusing on diesel engines. The Dodge Ram heavy duty trucks have been using I6 Cummins diesel engines since 1989. Cummins developed a 5.0L V8 diesel engine to be used for light duty trucks. FCA already uses a 3.0L turbo charged V6 diesel engines in its Ram 1500s and passed on the new Cummins V8 diesel engine. Cummins needed to find a truck for the new diesel engine. Cummins found a partner with Nissan. Nissan has been producing the Titan light duty truck since 2003. It has always came with a 5.6L V8 gas engine. At the 2015 North American Auto Show, Nissan revealed its second generation Titan. The second generation will have two forms, the regular Titan and the Titan XD. The Titan XD uses a heavy duty frame that came from Nissan commercial vehicles. Powering the Titan XD is Cummin's 5.0L V8 diesel engine.

There was a 2016 Nissan Titan XD available for test drives at the 2016 Houston Auto Show. The version available was the Platinum Reserve. It comes with chrome grill, chrome bumpers, 20" dark chrome-clad aluminum alloy wheels, and LED lights. It has an aggressive, yet high end luxury look to it. The inside has a black/brown leather interior. It is also comes with a 7" touchscreen with navigation. It felt luxurious inside. There was not much plastic parts to make the inside feel cheap.

The Nissan Titan XD Diesel is powered by a Cummins 5.0L V8 diesel engine that produces 310 hp and 555 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with an Aisin six-speed automatic transmission. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds and has a top speed of 106 mph. It has a max payload of 2,091 pounds and a max towing capacity of 12,314 pounds. For a truck with leaf springs, it has a quiet and smooth ride. Prices for the Nissan Titan XD Diesel start at $41,485. The version I drove was the 4x4 Platinum Reserve, which has a pricetag of $61,715. It is an expensive truck but it is one of two trucks to offer a diesel engine in its class.

Overall, the diesel engine brings new life into the Nissan Titan. Ford, Chevrolet, and Ram have made huge strides. It has better capability compared to the Ram 1500 Ecodiesel. It has about the same capability as a Ford F-150 with the 3.5L V6 Ecoboost engine and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with the 6.2L V8 engine. The Titan XD Diesel is more expensive compared to its competition. Then again, the Titan XD is the only 5/8 ton truck in the market. It is more than a half-ton truck, but does not have the capability of a 3/4 ton diesel truck. Still you get a lot of truck for the price. If you are in the market for a diesel truck, but do not need a heavy duty truck, give the Nissan Titan XD diesel a try.

Photo was taken by a camera phone.
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