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Nissan launched the Titan XD for the 2016 model year and didn’t split hairs in presenting its new pickup as holding a “unique position” of providing the relative price and ride quality of a light-duty truck with its capabilities more fitting of the heavy-duty segment. Upon its introduction, the Titan XD accomplished this mission. However, as the pickup landscape has evolved over the last seven years, Nissan’s amalgamation of light- and heavy-duty is outdated with subpar capabilities, as evidenced by a recent notable review of the 2023 model.

The Titan XD gets labeled ‘stagnant’

Edmunds recently called out the Nissan Titan XD for being “simply another entry in the full-size class, and a stagnant entry at that,” noting the Titan XD hasn’t been notably revamped since its debut. For instance, Nissan has just introduced wireless Apple CarPlay on the Titan XD, only available in the two highest trims.

In either the light- or heavy-duty segment, a priority has been placed on turning pickups into tech and feature-rich family haulers just as much as stuff haulers, making the Titan XD appear somewhat obsolete against offerings from the Big Three or the Lexus-like Tundra Capstone. The Nissan Titan XD isn’t strictly bare-bones, but its feature list is lacking for its price point, especially when you consider its overall capabilities are outclassed by more modern offerings in either the light- or heavy-duty class.

The Titan XD trails the field for towing

The Nissan Titan XD is placed in front of rocky scenery, potentially at a crossroads like the figurative one Nissan is facing with the truck.
The Nissan Titan XD | Nissan

The Titan XD’s torpor is apparent by its 10,880-lb towing capacity. For comparison, the 2023 F-150 can haul up to 14,000 lbs, and the Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, Toyota Tundra, and Ram 1500 can all accommodate more than 12,000 lbs. Even the all-electric Rivian R1T is rated to tow slightly higher than Nissan’s heavy-duty offering.

Step up into the actual heavy-duty class, and the Ram 2500 and F-250 can haul up to 20,000 lbs with the F-250’s payload capacity at over 4,200 lbs while the Titan XD settles for 2,240 lbs.

What the Titan XD gets right

Edmunds states the Nissan Titan XD is far more simply presented than its competitors, with just one cab offered, a lone bed size, and just one engine – a 5.6-liter V8 developing 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. The review also states the Pro-4X “can be the foundation of a wild off-road truck,” and it’s more comfortable and spacious than most heavy-duty trucks.

With its sizeable dimensions, the Titan XD doesn’t require a sub-six-foot bed for plenty of passenger space. One of the truck’s overall strong suits is its comfortable seats, assuredly appreciated in this work truck after a long day of toiling.

Still, with heavy-duty fuel efficiency and bulky proportions without the added benefit of respectable towing capacity or a more modern cabin, the Titan XD needs a shot in the arm to keep it alive.

How can Nissan revamp the Titan XD?

The Nissan Titan XD is rapidly becoming the truck equivalent of a Tupperware container full of mostly forgotten leftovers being systematically relegated farther and farther back into the recesses of a fridge as more appealing foods garner all the attention at the front of the shelf. Nissan must address its towing and payload capacities to make the pickup relevant again. In this regard, it’s no longer between truck segments; it’s no more capable than an averagely equipped light-duty truck.

This could be accomplished through a boost in power, and to simultaneously address its appetite for fuel, perhaps Nissan could borrow from the playbook of Toyota and introduce a beefier equivalent to the hybrid i-Force Max turbocharged V6 of some 2023 Tundra models. Or, use the tried-and-true method of injecting more grunt solely via internal combustion.

Of course, the Titan XD can benefit from new clothes and a new cabin. The automaker recently refreshed its midsized Nissan Frontier, which was long overdue, making the pickup a far more appealing player in its segment.

Then again, it’s also been reported Nissan is axing the standard Titan from its lineup after the 2024 model year. And if that’s the case, it’s a fair assumption the Titan XD will also be heading to the great scrapyard in the sky. So maybe there’s a reason it hasn’t been updated after all. 


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