American automakers completely dominate in the profitable world of large pickup trucks, so when it came time for Nissan to redesign its slow-selling Titan, the Japanese firm sought to do something a bit different. With brand-new styling, a totally revamped interior and a powerful turbodiesel V8, the 2016 Titan will certainly give pickup shoppers another option to consider.
While diesel engines are common on larger heavy-duty trucks like the Ford F-350, only RAM Trucks offers a diesel on its regular-duty full-size. That motor, which RAM calls the EcoDiesel, is a six-cylinder which leans more toward bringing outstanding fuel efficiency than big torque numbers. Nissan is going a different route with the 2016 Titan, partnering with the well-respected diesel wizards at Cummins to build the V8-powered Titan XD.
Cummins Diesel Brings Huge Torque
The XD diesel model will be the first new 2016 Titan to hit the market with a release date by the end of 2015. The 2016 Titan lineup will also feature V6 and V8 traditional gasoline engines, though they will follow the XD diesel to market by a few months as Nissan seeks to make the Cummins motor the new truck’s defining characteristic.
Under the groundbreaking XD model’s shapely hood, a 5.0-liter common-rail-injection turbodiesel makes a full 310 horsepower and 555 foot-pounds of torque, or more torque than any of the motors found in competitors such as the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado and RAM 1500.
Nissan says all that torque will allow for a towing capacity in excess of 12,500 pounds, which would handily defeat the entire field of competitors and approach the ratings of much larger HD trucks. To make sure the new Titan is fit for loads on that scale, the truck’s frame has been derived from Nissan’s large commercial vehicles, made stronger than ever before through liberal use of high-strength steel and extra spot welds to improve torsional rigidity.
The 5.0-liter Cummins engine will come paired with a high-strength Aisen 6-speed automatic transmission, sending power to all four wheels through a newly redesigned heavy-duty transfer case. The rear axle, built in conjunction with American Axle Manufacturing, is also larger and more robust than the current-generation 2015 Titan. Nissan has even gone so far as to build a gooseneck trailer hitch integrated into the truck’s bed and welded to the frame. The hitch’s ball is removable for when a flat truck bed is necessary.
All-New Exterior and Interior Design
The 2016 Titan gets much more dynamic exterior and interior styling, and though some have criticized it for bearing a resemblance to the segment-leading F-150, the Titan does have some neat Japanese flourishes, like front and rear fender flares with curved character lines said to resemble Samurai warrior armor. On the inside, current Titan owners will find a big upgrade in interior build quality, with available soft leather with contrasting stitching and a newly redesigned infotainment system proportioned to be easy to use with gloved hands.
Will It Matter?
Though the Cummins 5.0 sure looks great on paper, it will need to turn in outstanding real-world performance if Nissan wants to steal away sales from buyers who are much more drawn to trucks from American brands. The 2016 Titan was designed in the United States and will be manufactured in Tennessee.