When the new Nissan Titan — the first fully-new version in over a decade — arrives in showrooms next year, it’s going to do something pretty interesting: In the right trim, the Titan XD will splice the no-man’s land between the trenches of the ½-ton and ¾-ton pickups. With the available 310-horsepower 5.0-liter Cummins diesel in place that also produces 555 pound-feet of twist, the new Titan will neatly bisect today’s pickup status quo.
“Over the past 10 to 15 years, there has been a torque war between manufacturers and 3/4 ton diesel pickups. These trucks have gone from 600 pound-feet maybe 10 years ago to 900 and up today,” Nissan’s Phil O’Connor, director of marketing for its trucks, told us. He added:
What that’s created is a capability gap between 1/2 and 3/4 ton trucks, where customers have to make a decision: They need a little more capability than what comes with 1/2 tons, and they want a diesel engine, but they don’t need all the capability that comes from a 900 pound-feet 3/4 ton diesel truck, and the downsides that come with it. There’s an impact on fuel economy, there’s a ride and handling impact that comes with the capability a 3/4 ton truck delivers, and costs associated; if you’re not going to use it, that’s burdensome.
You can read more of our interview with O’Connor. But Nissan’s theory of splicing the segment is meaningless unless it can back it up financially — and fortunately, it can. The Titan will start at $40,290 for the base-model S 4×2, before destination charges. The truck will peak at a luxury-vehicle-like $60,520 for the range-topping Platinum Reserve 4×4. As you can see from the table below (courtesy of Nissan), Nissan will offer enough models in that $20,000 disparity that there’s one for virtually every pricing bracket.
|TITAN XD S Crew Cab 4×2||$40,290 USD|
|TITAN XD SV Crew Cab 4×2||$44,060 USD|
|TITAN XD SL Crew Cab 4×2||$52,030 USD|
|TITAN XD Platinum Reserve Crew Cab 4×2||$57,470 USD|
|TITAN XD S Crew Cab 4×4||$43,290 USD|
|TITAN XD SV Crew Cab 4×4||$47,010 USD|
|TITAN XD PRO-4X Crew Cab 4×4||$50,970 USD|
|TITAN XD SL Crew Cab 4×4||$55,030 USD|
|TITAN XD Platinum Reserve Crew Cab 4×4||$60,520 USD|
Of course, the next step is to figure out how this slots into the competition. Aside from the Ram Ecodiesel ($37,405, much less power) there isn’t another diesel contender in the ½-ton segment — you’ll have to jump to the 250/2500 level to open those options, and it’s in the vacuum between where Nissan hopes to have the biggest impact.
At the top end, around the $60,000 mark, that’ll buy you a really nice truck all around. You can get a Dodge Powerwagon Laramie (at about $57,000), though that might just be too much truck for your average weekend-tower. Chevrolet can sell you a nice Silverado in High Country trim from $53,115, or bump you into a Sierra Denali which can reach well over $60,000. You’ll be down on power and tug if you go that direction, though. You see where Nissan’s coming from?
That’s all for the diesel-equipped XD. Nissan doesn’t expect that all of its customers will want a high-end oil-burner, so there will be gasoline options too — namely a 5.6-liter V8. Those models are expected to start out at roughly $35,000, so on par with a ground-level ¾-ton or a Ford F-150 in Lariat trim and little else for a bit more.
“When we bring out the full line of Titan pickups, the XD with its diesel engine will be our most premium truck, the most capable truck, and I think it helps legitimize the Titan brand as a real full-size pick-up competitor,” O’Connor added. At this pricing scale, the formula sounds about right to us also.
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