Trucks & SUVs

2021 Nissan Titan vs. 2021 Nissan Titan XD: What’s the Difference?

Shop Nissan’s lineup, and you’ll notice that it features not one but three pickup trucks. You’ll likely see that two out of those three options share a similar name, too – the 2021 Nissan Titan and the 2021 Nissan Titan XD. Confusing, right? You might even be asking yourself if these pickup trucks are the same. And, if they aren’t, what’s the difference between them?

The 2021 Nissan Titan off-roading
2021 Nissan Titan | Nissan

Are the Nissan Titan and the Titan XD the same pickup?

There’s no denying that the 2021 Nissan Titan and the 2021 Nissan Titan XD are similar pickup trucks. In fact, according to Nissan, the Titan and the Titan XD share the same cab sizes and offer similar interior options. 

Both pickups come standard with Safety Shield 360 too, which includes sought-after safety features like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic braking, high beam assist, lane departure warning, blind-spot warnings, and rear-cross traffic alerts.

The 2021 Nissan Titan and the 2021 Nissan Titan XD also come driven by the same engine. Powered by a 5.6-liter V8 engine, both of these pickups can deliver 400-hp and 413 pound-feet of torque. For the Nissan Titan, in particular, its standard V8 engine offers best-in-class standard horsepower and torque too. While the same can’t be said for the Titan XD, 400-hp and 413 pound-feet of torque is still plenty of power to work with.

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The difference between the 2021 Nissan Titan and the Titan XD comes down to towing power

As similar as the 2021 Nissan Titan and the Nissan Titan XD are, there are a couple of key differences between the two. The main difference, however, comes down to towing power. While both pickups come driven by a standard V8 engine, it’s the Nissan Titan XD’s fully boxed ladder frame that comes reinforced with commercial-grade parts. 

According to Nissan, it’s the Titan XD’s reinforced frame that allows it to tow a pretty impressive amount too. All in all, this year’s model can tow up to 11,040-pounds. The Nissan Titan, on the other hand, can only tow up to 9,310-pounds when properly equipped. For some pickup shoppers, that difference in towing power could be a deal-breaker. 

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What it’s like to drive these pickups

According to Car and Driver, much like other pickups, the Nissan Titan sacrifices handling and ride quality for off-road capabilities and impressive towing and hauling capacities. “While it can giddy up and go and has sufficient stopping power, its steering and handling aren’t as refined as its competition,” reported Car and Driver. 

Fortunately for the Nissan Titan, Consumer Reports was a bit more optimistic. “Even though it’s a truck, the Titan rides well. Most bumps are absorbed with muted rubbery jiggles,” Consumer Reports explained, adding, “It’s more comfortable riding than the Chevrolet Silverado but not as cushy as the Ram 1500.”

As for the Nissan Titan XD? Car and Driver reports that it handles like a heavy-duty pickup truck. Its steering is uncommunicative, and it’s “unwieldy to drive on the highway.” It’s not all bad news, though. According to Kelley Blue Book, “Except for negotiating tight parking spots, the 2021 Nissan Titan XD is easy to live with. It rides comfortably, with a quiet cabin and supportive, NASA-inspired “zero-gravity” seats.”

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Which Nissan Titan is the better buy?

When it comes down to it, it all depends on what you’re looking for in your next truck. Do you need a pickup that’s able to tow more than 11,000-pounds? If so, then the Nissan Titan XD could be a fit for you. But if you don’t? Then deciding on the Titan instead might not be such a bad idea.