2020 Nissan Titan XD first drive review: Extra medium


The Nissan Titan XD is something of a tweener. It truly is designed to be a lot more cozy and workable than a large-obligation pickup but provide a lot more functionality (and confidence) for gentle-obligation homeowners when pushed to the restrict. Neither gentle nor large, it’s, um, additional medium.

But why has the Japanese automaker produced and developed a rig that occupies this slender grey place between set up pickup courses? Its reasoning is rational, if a little bit convoluted. 

A appropriately geared up Ford F-a hundred and fifty, for occasion, can tow a lot more than 13,000 kilos, an impressive determine to be selected. But how effortlessly does it handle such a load? It truly is one particular issue to get a heavyweight trailer up to velocity, but you’ve got also acquired to maintain it below handle and provide it to a secure cease. All this can be a tall get for a mere half-ton truck.

Of study course, drivers that routinely drag huge hundreds are probably greater served by a large-obligation pickup. The Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Hd can tow up to 35,five hundred kilos with a gooseneck or fifth-wheel hookup. That is almost a few situations as considerably as the F-a hundred and fifty. But the draw back to this alternative is that when you are not towing, you are trapped driving a ponderous motor vehicle that is tricky to see out of and even a lot more tricky to park.

Providing increased functionality than the common, gentle-obligation Titan, the XD styles aspect a amount of essential upgrades. They trip atop a beefier body, are fitted with much larger brakes, have a huskier differential and occur with an upgraded suspension method, between other enhancements.

However, even even though it’s designed to bridge the hole between half-ton and large-obligation pickups, the Titan XD isn’t really especially capable. When appropriately geared up, its maximum tow rating is just eleven,040 kilos — a lot less than the aforementioned half-ton F-a hundred and fifty. Payload ability tops out at 2,450, which is a mere a hundred and fifty a lot more than a maxed-out Ram 1500 can handle.

A steady, servile workhorse

On the highway, towing with this Nissan is a rather drama-free affair. I had substantial time at the rear of the wheel of an XD that had a camper attached to its rear bumper — exclusively, a 27-foot-extensive Airstream. Clocking in with a base bodyweight of just about 6,000 kilos, the Titan dealt with this trailer with impressive relieve.

More than the study course of numerous several hours in the left-entrance seat, not as soon as did it truly feel like the camper was shaking the truck all-around, like the tail was attempting to wag the pet, even when traversing sketchy pavement. Braking performance was admirable, the XD’s husky, 4-wheel discs bringing matters to a safe, secure and straight cease every single time. One draw back, even though, is the area of the offered trailer-brake controller. It truly is mounted low on the dashboard and is a very little hard to see. Past that, if you have a smartphone clipped into the driver’s facet holster on the centre console, it will be partially blocked, which is undesirable if you need to have a touch of trailer braking to straighten matters out.

2020 Nissan Titan XD

The Titan XD has no problems towing. Even a 27-foot-extensive Airstream camper is no large deal. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Modifications for 2020

Considerably building up for these lackluster figures, the Titan XD is now available in only one particular configuration, with a crew-taxi entire body, 4-wheel travel and a 6.5-foot bed. This simplified approach would make sense when’s the very last time you observed a normal-taxi truck? These days, drivers are unable to get plenty of extended-taxi and crew-taxi pickups, which is why Nissan is placing all its XD eggs in one particular basket. If you want some alternative, take into consideration the common Titan. It might be a very little a lot less capable, but it can be had with rear-wheel travel or a more compact, extended-taxi entire body.

Other evident new-for-2020 tweaks incorporate a redesigned  grille, new tailgate finishers and 4 fresh new paint hues, bringing the total amount of hues to ten.  

Naturally, there are a lot more substantive upgrades as very well. Nissan’s Security Protect 360 tech is now common in every single product. This consists of six driver-help functions like computerized unexpected emergency braking, rear cross-targeted visitors inform and lane-departure warning, to identify a few. Adaptive cruise handle is offered, even though Nissan’s exceptional ProPilot Support method, which will take adaptive cruise handle to the upcoming stage by like lane-centering features, isn’t really available.

Inside, a seven-inch, reconfigurable instrument-cluster display screen is common ditto for an eight-inch infotainment display. Stepping matters up, Professional-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve styles are all fitted with a vibrant and colorful nine-incher for a very little additional display screen estate. This touch-enabled display is property to a refreshed NissanConnect infotainment method, which now supports in excess of-the-air program updates. For additional adaptability, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are each included, as is in-motor vehicle Wi-Fi that can assist up to 7 gadgets. 

2020 Nissan Titan XD

A mighty-good motor resides beneath the Titan XD’s hood.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

A world-class powertrain

Offering the Titan XD plenty of guts to get huge hundreds transferring is a highly effective motor. Mounted between its entrance fenders is a sleek-jogging and sweet-sounding 5.6-liter V8. Equipped with direct injection furthermore variable valve timing and carry, it delivers four hundred horsepower and 413 pound-toes of torque when you feed it high quality gasoline. That is a good maximize as opposed with earlier product decades, in which this motor set out 390 hp and 394 pound-toes. 

This motor is an complete sweetheart, each silken and sonorous. It truly is effortlessly the most effective portion of driving a Titan XD. Unladen, it presents enough acceleration, nevertheless it has no challenge placing its shoulder to the heaviest of hundreds. Bury the accelerator and it surges in advance, but you will find continue to plenty of meat lessen in the rev vary that large-open up throttle is nearly totally avoidable, even when towing.

Maximizing its four hundred horses, the motor is matched to a model-new transmission. The 9-velocity unit will help with each performance and efficiency. Shifts are speedy, very well timed and sleek, furthermore, placing it in tow/haul product would make trailering even simpler. Upshifts are delayed for enhanced acceleration and it seamlessly drops gears as you gradual down to support supply a little bit of motor braking. I have virtually zero gripes about this drivetrain mixture. It truly is excellent. 

But what about gasoline economic system? Properly, unfortunately you will find absolutely nothing to report in this section. Like other vehicles with a gross motor vehicle bodyweight rating (GVRW) exceeding eight,five hundred kilos, Nissan isn’t really necessary to publish any. It will take a great deal of dinosaur juice to go this rig, so never hope it to sip gasoline like a Prius.

Now for a little bit of undesirable news: The mighty 5.-liter Cummins V8 turbodiesel motor that is been a staple alternative in the Titan XD has been dropped. All over again, this is another go to simplify the lineup, even though I’m continue to unfortunate to see it go.

2020 Nissan Titan XD

This truck’s inside is something of a blended bag.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Room for improvement

This Nissan truck’s powertrain is dynamite, but the rest of its driving encounter is only so-so. On the highway, you will find a little bit a lot more wind and tire sounds than I would like to hear, furthermore the steering is useless. No, I never hope this rig to carve corners like a Mazda Miata, but the recirculating-ball steering method it’s fitted with feels especially large and numb.

Irrespective of whether you are in a vary-topping Platinum Reserve or an off-highway-centered Professional-4X, the Titan XD’s trip is firm. Consequently, it can be a little bit springy, bounding in excess of undulating pavement. The trip is significantly smoother when towing. A very little tongue bodyweight settles matters down properly. 

The XD’s inside is roomy, and its seats are appropriately cozy in each rows. Regrettably, a very little a lot more could have been done to enhance this cabin. It truly is correctly good, but the hard plastic on the higher doorway panels seems to be a little bit low hire, furthermore the steering-column shroud is loose, rotating ever so a little bit clockwise when you set the truck in travel. This movement moves the switch-signal stalk a little bit, due to the fact it’s attached to the column shroud.

General, this truck’s cabin is greater than the most recent Chevrolet Silverado’s and about on par with the F-a hundred and fifty, which, at this stage, is very old. When it arrives to inside appointments, Ram continue to has a distinctive advantage in excess of other truckmakers.

2020 Nissan Titan XD

This is A Whole lot of pickup truck.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Bear in mind the Titans

The 2020 Nissan Titan XD is steady, self-assured and brings the thunder many thanks to its fantastic powertrain. Regrettably, a few rough edges detract from the overall package deal. 

This truck’s segment-straddling placement in the market would make sense, at minimum on paper, even though in the real world, this approach hasn’t attracted quite a few buyers. Last yr, fewer than 32,000 Titan and Titan XD styles left Nissan dealerships in The united states, nearly surely an unsustainable performance.

With so quite a few exceptional choices from American automakers, this is a hard pickup to advocate, specially when you glance at pricing. Given that only one particular variant is available for 2020, the base value is fairly steep. The XD starts all-around $46,a hundred seventy five, like $one,595 in shipping service fees.

This is a great truck, even though not a segment chief, however, it does have one particular trump card: an marketplace-leading guarantee. Buyers are shielded by a 5-yr/a hundred,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. That is a large deal, but continue to not plenty of.

Editors’ observe: Journey expenditures related to this story were coated by the manufacturer, which is prevalent in the automobile marketplace. The judgments and thoughts of Roadshow’s employees are our personal and we do not take paid editorial content.