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Roseville, Calif. – It’s not easy being Nissan and trying to make inroads in the truck world. The three most popular – and many would argue the best – are Chevrolet, Ford and Ram.

Despite not being as heralded, the folks at Nissan keep trying. That effort may begin reaping some rewards thanks to the 2016 Nissan Titan XD. We like the XD because it delivers a more comfortable ride than three-quarter ton trucks, but it still provides comparable towing capability, and that’s often times the bottom line for people who regularly buy large trucks.

Make no mistake, the Titan XD is a beast that can haul, tow and complete workloads as well as the competition in its weight class. It weighs 7,000 pounds, measures a little more than 20 feet from front to back, and can tow up to 9,500 pounds. The XD is classified as a heavy-duty pickup because its Gross Vehicle Weight Rating exceeds 8,500 pounds. The fully-boxed ladder XD frame was modified by Nissan and extends to a 151.6-inch wheelbase that can accommodate the standard crew-cab layout and a 6.5-foot bed.

2016 Nissan Titan XD

  • Performance: turbocharged-diesel 5.0-liter, V8, 310 horsepower; 5.6-liter, V8, 390 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: not rated
  • Price estimate: $51,900 to $65,250
  • Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/100,000 miles; roadside assistance: 3 years/36,000; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited

Thanks to the diligence of the Nissan engineers, the 2016 Titan XD changed in appearance. Its front end was extended to be adaptable to the Cummins turbocharged-diesel grille, the two batteries, and charged air cooler. Every model with the exception of the base S comes standard with an integrated “gooseneck” hitch.

The 2016 Nissan Titan XD offers both gasoline or turbo-diesel engines. Both models come equipped with a 26-gallon gas tank. Like other heavy-duty trucks, the XD is exempt from fuel economy testing and labeling, although if gas mileage is a big consideration, go with the diesel engine. The XD comes with a choice of rear- or four-wheel drive. The crew cab can seat up to six people.

The XD features five trim levels: S, SV, Pro-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve. Standard features for the entry-level S model includes 17-inch steel wheels; lockable damped tailgate; manual-sliding rear window; manual side mirrors; remote keyless entry; Bluetooth capability; tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; bench front seat; 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks; cloth-and-vinyl upholstery; audio system with 5-inch color display; USB connectivity; and auxiliary audio jack. Note that the recommended Convenience and Utility package includes a spray-in bed liner, front overhead console, and receiver hitch.

The Titan XD comes with a choice of engines. Test-driven here was the turbo-diesel, a 5.0-liter, V8 engine that generates 310 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque and was teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission. The standard gasoline engine is a 5.6-liter, V8 that produces 390 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. Freeway passing power and hill climbing can feel labored in the diesel model.

The Nissan XC has a column shifter, which helps make room for three front passengers. The dash and the touchscreen entertainment and navigation system are fairly easy to master, although some of the buttons are a bit small. The cabin is roomy and fairly comfortable for even a 6-foot-2 adult.

If the search is on for a truck that is a middle-ground model, the 2016 Nissan Titan XD should be given a look.

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