2019 Nissan Titan XD 5.6-liter Endurance V8 Platinum Reserve 4x4 CC new car reviews

Released in 2016 as a way to blur the lines between light-duty and heavy-duty trucks, the Nissan Titan XD promised to offer towing and hauling capacities close to that of the heavy-duty players, but with the fuel efficiency and affordability of a lighter-duty truck. According to Nissan, when specced correctly, the XD has a max towing capacity of 12,710 pounds with a max payload just shy of 3000 pounds. Our Platinum Reserve Crew Cab tester came with the 5.6-liter V8, which drops the towing capacity to 11,360 pounds (Two-wheel-drive models are slightly higher). We suspect that 12,710-pound figure comes when the XD is equipped with the 5-liter Cummins V8 Turbo Diesel.

What about fuel mileage? Our window sticker promised 15 city and 21 highway, with an overall average of 18.

As for what comes with a Platinum Reserve, we’ll let Nissan tell you:

The top-of-the-line Crew Cab Platinum Reserve is distinguished by its premium leather-appointed seats with "Platinum Reserve" branding on the seat backs, Fender Premium Audio system, "Platinum Reserve" exterior badging, heated steering wheel, chrome exhaust tailpipe finishers, 20x7.5-inch dark chrome-like wheels, driver and passenger heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, Trailer Brake Controller, Trailer Light Check function, dark chrome tailgate finisher, two-tone painted front and rear fascia, two-tone paint on the body sides, two-tone painted over-fender molding, dark chrome outside door handles and outside mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel with a wood insert, premium open-pore wood instrument panel finishers with metallic "Platinum Reserve" badging, leather-wrapped shift knob with a dark-painted trim ring, and dark chrome-accented vent knobs and cup holder trim.

And all that razzle dazzle comes at a price: Our tester came in at $180 dollars short of $60,000. The base MSRP? $57,390.

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J.G. Pasterjak JG Pasterjak
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Lately it seems all my truck reviews have the common theme that trucks are too expensive and too big these days. I’d promise that this review will be different, but I already broke that promise in the first sentence.

Setting aside the $50,000+ price tag, the Titan XD’s physical heft actually seems like a plus given its near 12,000lb towing capacity in its gas version. A truck that feels this physically massive should shrug off a 2.5 tonne load, but Nissan has done a fine job at making the truck fairly maneuverable when you have to use it as a normal vehicle. I’d never call it “nimble,” but to make a modern half-ton pickup drive like anything other than a commercial big rig is a fine feat of engineering.

And, honestly, I guess that’s the best thing you can say about any modern pickup. I have a hard time getting too worked up about “premium” pickup trucks, because to me a pickup is still a tool. I need it to accomplish tasks and be not hateful while doing so, and the Titan checks those boxes nicely. Unfortunately, it slots in that that uncomfortable valley of modern pickups for me where, if the vehicle is too nice for me to want to load it with mulch, I start to doubt its effectiveness as a tool.

Look, I don’t want this to sound like sour grapes. The Titan is objectively a great truck (maybe not as good as the class-standard Toyota Tundra, but still darn good) that drives far smaller than its actual physical size would lead you to believe, and gets the job done from a tow-and-haul perspective.

And while trucks may be expensive as hell these days, a quick check of the Nissan website shows 0% financing and massive discounts available on 2019s that are still parked on dealer lots.

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NickD
NickD PowerDork
10/10/19 9:53 a.m.

That's, uh, quite the name. Did Capcom name it?

Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
10/10/19 10:00 a.m.

The 2nd gen Titan seems like an all-around major improvement over the 1st gen Titan, but... it has none of the market significance that the 1st gen had. 

The original Titan came out truly swinging, having as its only engine option a 5.6 that made it faster than a Hemi Ram back when the Hemi was a big deal, and also made it as fast as a Silverado SS and much faster than any other GM pickup.  You couldn't really get a 'boring' Titan in the context of its competitors at the time. It was powerful, did truck stuff fine, and fell apart slower than the Big 3 competitors did. A good start!

Nowadays all those competitors have made leaps and bounds. The Nissan is better too, but the other competitors have made MORE leaps and bounds and now the Titan doesn't really stand out at anything. I've sat in one (but not not driven it), and it just seems sort of generic and unexceptional in 2019 even though its miles ahead of the 2004 model. 

I think Nissan made a big mistake when they changed course on their diesel plans. Way back in 2010 Nissan had a Titan running around with a 2.8L Cummins that they estimated would be rated 28mpg combined city/hwy. This  was 4 years before Ram became the first half-ton diesel. It would have been a big deal if Nissan was first to market with a half-ton diesel, especially one with the trusted Cummins name. But, they changed course and not only were they not the first half-ton diesel, they're now the ONLY half-ton diesel that DOESN'T get great fuel economy! Ok, so you don't have great fuel economy. But then you compare it to other diesels that don't get great fuel economy and it's ALSO by far the slowest and lowest tow rating! 12,000 lbs? Not only is it basically no better than the gas tow rating, it's also slightly short of the THIRTY thousand lbs that the big diesels are rated at in their top spec 1 ton trucks.  So where does this 5.0 reside in the grand scheme of things? An unexceptional engine in an unexceptional truck? At least if it was a 28mpg 4cyl  people would be choosing a Nissan over a GM/Ford/Ram and a Cummins over a VM Motori, Powerstroke, or Duramax for perceived reliability reasons, and they'd be mostly right about it!  

Instead, it's an also-ran. A huge improvement over the 1st Titan, a perfectly decent gas half ton, but also a massive miscalculation and a study in coulda woulda shouldas. 

fidelity101
fidelity101 UltraDork
10/10/19 11:55 a.m.

all these new half tons are trying to be 3/4 tons in disguise and they only check some of the boxes when should check them all, especially for the price tags...

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
10/10/19 1:23 p.m.
TJL
TJL HalfDork
10/10/19 2:07 p.m.

Im a huge nissan fan. It took me a bit to warm up to the first Titan, but i ended up really liking it. This new one i dont like. Its bulgy, not as bad as the tundra, and the wheel/tire combo is too small for the wheel wells. 

For both generations, why the hell not use the nissan made diesels that the rest of the world gets? And then they stuck a warmed over dana 44 out back while again, they have their own rear ends that are much stronger. My old weak nissan hardbody had a better rear end than the new ones, and it had about 1/3rd the power. 

I was seeing quite a few new titans on used car lots(even my local deland nissan) that only had a few hundred miles, if that.  Not exactly confidence inspiring. Nissan was buying back trucks because they were having so many issues.

My bigger issue is the price. Im not in the crowd that thinks 60k is a OK price for a truck.  I paid 24k for my slightly used 2012 frontier pro-4x and that was painful for me. 

 

If i were to go buy a full size truck right now, id probably get a f-150 with a 5.0 or 3.5 eco. But thats not gonna be happening. 

NoviceClass
NoviceClass New Reader
10/11/19 1:03 a.m.

They don't seem to be necessarily bad trucks, but the styling , to me, is really unattractive.  From a side view the area where the fenders come to the cowl is ghastly. It looks like the cab and bed were designed by employee A, the front clip designed by employee B, employee C just welded them together as best he could. 

It just looks broken and sad.

 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Reader
10/11/19 6:53 a.m.

I owned a first gen (2010 I think) Titan and it was a pretty decent truck at a great price.  The loud pedal was lots of fun but the transmission was from a 350Z and was weak, and the rear axle wasn't very good either.  At least it looked decent.  The new ones are ugly and expensive.  

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
10/11/19 8:17 a.m.

In reply to Vigo :

Waaay back in the earlier part of this century, when the 5.0 Cummins was first being developed, it was designed with a nearly identical 6 cylinder variant. I walk past both the v6 and v8 prototypes frequently at work and occasionally play the "what if" game. Dodge was the intended customer back then and I think they even had some Ram 1500 and Gen2 Durango prototypes with the v6 running around. THAT would've been the game changer, and probably would've fit into the current market place really well. Essentially it would've been a Cummins EcoDiesel.

Instead, the auto industry tanked, Dodge was bought by Fiat who wanted to use their own V6, and Cummins went back to the drawing board with the engine while they looked for a new partner. The engine design was heavily updated but the v6 was scrapped entirely. Not sure why the V6 was dropped in favor of the V8 architecture. Maybe they were hoping the v8 would have more appeal to commercial customers? I don't know. The V8 never seemed like a great fit for anything.

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