Nissan has been making reliable cars, crossovers, and SUVs for years. Trying to break into the truck segment may have been a rough one, with Nissan still trying to balance its signature ability to build functional-yet-luxurious vehicles. And a full-size truck that isn’t functional won’t be a best-seller. With its breakthrough truck, the Titan, Nissan hoped to get it right. What did the experts have to say? And has experience helped improve the Titan?
Car and Driver
To put it lightly, the experts at Car and Driver were not impressed with the new 2016 Nissan Titan XD. In fact, the 2016 Titan “was one of the most disappointing new vehicles” evaluated in quite some time. Driving the midrange Pro-4X trim, the Titan XD featured a Cummins turbo-diesel, eight-cylinder engine that simply couldn’t keep up with its weight. For its tremendous size, Car and Driver found the Titan to be lackluster in both the power and towing capacity. When empty, the Titan was stiff to handle. But its suspension offered “a bit more compliance” than your standard heavy-duty.
The 2016 Titan was offered only as a crew cab, but the Pro-4X variant offered standard four-wheel drive. The hefty price tag for the Titan driven by Car and Driver, while loaded with features, didn’t seem to have the power to match. With a “general inability to endear when it was healthy,” Car and Driver found it to be lagging behind the current competition.
If the initial impression of the 2016 Titan wasn’t that great, it should come as no surprise that MotorTrend’s long-term review of the same model didn’t fare well either. With more than 30,000 miles, MotorTrend “developed a love-hate relationship” with the 2016 Nissan Titan XD. While towing capacity pales in comparison to competitors, the Titan Pro-4X tows what it can well. The same diesel engine puts out 310 hp and 555 lb-ft torque and makes hauling easy. But when it came to mechanics, MotorTrend found that after 30,000, the Titan XD Diesel had more mechanical issues than other comparable trucks. Even with all of its issues however, MotorTrend noted that the 2016 Titan was fun to drive, but also served its purpose well.
Trying to make its way into the truck segment, Nissan may have missed the mark a few times with the Titan. But with a few years under its belt, Nissan came back with improvements and a redesign for 2018. In fact, experts at Jalopnik claim that the 2018 Nissan Titan was “one of the most clever pickups” they had ever driven. Nissan worked to make its full-size pickup as functional as possible, with storage solutions and smart features everywhere. Jalopnik noted that the Titan’s cabin was enormous and its bed was massive and functional, with a built-in tie-down system.
Jalopnik drove the standard Nissan Titan 4×4, which featured a 5.6-liter, eight-cylinder engine that put out 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque. The Titan’s previous engine was tweaked and improved, which also improved the Titan’s fuel economy. Paired with a new, seven-speed automatic transmission, Nissan took notes on its prior generation’s power. While it still couldn’t tow as much as the competition, the Titan was built for hauling things. Jalopnik appreciated the Titan’s long bed, locked storage box in the bed, tie-down system, and fold-out platform under the rear seats for extra storage. Jalopnik did note, however, that the Titan’s interior and mechanical features still did not match its price tag.