2016 Nissan Titan XD — The Latest Neighborhood Bully

2016 Nissan Titan XDModel Tested: 2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X 4WD

Engine: 5-liter V-8 Cummins turbo diesel

Transmission: Aisin six-speed automatic

EPA Ratings: Not required for this vehicle

Base Price: $50,970

As Tested: $58,165

Overview: There’s been a lot of buzz about the all-new 2016 Nissan Titan XD — and since I own a 2007 Titan 4-by-4 Crew Cab that I special-ordered, that buzz got my attention.

The new Titan XD is a semiheavy-duty pickup built on a totally new, heavy-duty, boxed, full-length ladder frame. It’s powered by a 310-horse Cummins diesel delivering 555 pound-feet of torque at 1,600 rpm, and is rated to tow up to 12,300 pounds — particularly impressive numbers to folks pulling trailers. Towing equipment includes an integrated trailer brake controller, trailer sway control, tow/haul mode with downhill speed control, trailer light-check system, rearview camera with trailer guides and more cameras focused in every direction.

All Titan XDs are crew cabs, feature a bold new chrome grille, ride on a 151.6-inch wheelbase, and have 5.5-foot beds. Maximum payload capacity is 2,000 pounds.

2016 Nissan Titan XDInterior: The crew cab is roomy and comfortable, utilizing attractive materials throughout. All the controls — most accessed by the touch screen, but including knobs and steering wheel controls — are simple, logical and easy to use.

Behind the Wheel: The smooth, relatively quiet Cummins diesel delivers strong torque and acceleration, with four-wheel ventilated disc brakes that are substantially larger and more powerful than those on light-duty pickups.

Ride quality is better than other heavy-duty pickups but firmer than light-duty trucks. It feels precise at highway speeds, toys with steep grades and by heavy-duty pickup standards, steers and handles quite well.

Whines: A wide turning radius challenges parking lot maneuvers.

Bottom Line: Some buyers need more capability than light-duty but don’t need or want to pay for the capability of heavy-duty. The Titan XD is an excellent and comfortable alternative, offering semiheavy pulling power for a small gooseneck horse trailer, car trailer, camper or boat.