Using the very large and very powerful 2016 Nissan Titan XD to haul my bed, couch, and other belongings from one apartment to a new one across town seemed a little like killing an ant with an anvil. Nissan bills the all-new Titan XD as a middle-ground vehicle that rides the boundary between everyday light-duty trucks like the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500, and the big-boy heavy-duty trucks like the Ford F-250 and Silverado 2500, so I was confident it had what it takes to transfer my personal stuff without complaint. After moving with the 2016 Nissan Titan XD, however, it appears the Titan XD is a large-peg truck that doesn’t quite fit into a medium-duty hole.
Squeezed into a narrow spot in my narrow apartment parking lot, the Titan cut an imposing figure. Nissan claims the Titan falls in between a light- and heavy-duty truck in size, but it certainly doesn’t look it. The massive front grille, lofty ride height, and limousine length made the Titan appear every bit as HD as an F-250 or Sierra 2500 HD. The Titan’s bed is extremely high off the ground, making it somewhat of a struggle to hoist furniture into the 6.5-foot bed. With the tailgate lowered, there are no bedsteps to help you clamber into the bed, making it difficult to enter and disembark the bed without jumping.
On the road, the 2016 Nissan Titan XD didn’t feel any smaller than it looked. The truck was as leaden and ponderous as was expected of the size and the nearly 7,500-pound curb weight, but was easier to drive than a rough-and-tumble HD truck. The Titan’s steering is vague and heavy, with an artificial springiness making it too eager to return to center after a turn.
The Cummins-sourced 5.0-liter turbodiesel V-8 engine was the sweetest spot of the truck, with 310 hp and a stump-yanking 555 lb-ft of torque. With all that shove available from 1,600 rpm, hauling the couch and mattress was no problem, especially given we were so far below the Titan’s 2,000-pound payload capacity. The six-speed automatic Aisin transmission’s brusque shifts attest to its heavy-duty nature; it’s much rougher than the automatics in rival light-duty trucks.
Tying down the precious payload in the bed was a cinch thanks to Nissan’s Utili-Track cargo management system. A series of channels running the length of the bed feature removable metal tie-down points that can be secured into various positions for securing cargo. With a few lengths of nylon rope and a cluster of bungee cables, my furniture and boxes were tethered tightly and arrived with nary a scuff.
During the move, the Titan XD’s Platinum Reserve-spec interior was a nice place to spend my time. Thick leather lined the cabin, with attractive stitching and relatively soft touchpoints. The firm ride, an unfortunate side effect of the truck’s high tow and payload ratings, wasn’t a back-breaker over rough pavement. Big seats and easy-to-use controls rounded out the pleasant cabin.
The 2016 Nissan Titan XD is an impressive pickup truck in many ways, but its medium-duty aspirations lead to relatively poor on-road manners and a curb weight that is even heavier than some of its HD competitors. For buyers who just need an everyday truck, it’s a little too much. The light-duty Nissan Titan will better mesh with what F-150, Ram 1500, and Sierra 1500 buyers really need.
2016 Nissan Titan XD Platinum 4×4 Specifications
|Engine:||5.0L turbodiesel DOHC 32-valve V-8/310 hp @ 3,200 rpm, 555 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm|
|Layout:||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, 4WD truck|
|L x W x H:||242.7 x 80.7 x 78.8 in|