Nissan Titan XD, Heavy Half

Most of the numbers for the new Nissan Titan XD are now released, along with first drive reviews. I particularly liked the reviews from TFL Truck, PickupTrucks.com and TruckTrend.

The Titan XD is interesting due to how Nissan is marketing it as a “heavy half”.

The components seem to bear this out. Many core components of the Titan XD resemble a 34 ton truck. From the V-8 Cummins diesel engine and Aisin transmission, to the larger rear differential and brakes, the Titan XD is different than regular half tons. Its GVWR and curb weight are also notably higher than the rest of the half tons, at 8,800 and 6,709 pounds respectively, classifying it as a heavy duty from the perspective of the government.

You would be forgiven for expecting those components to result in impressive capacity numbers, but they turn out to be anticlimactic:

CapacityTitan XDF-150SilveradoRAM
Towing Capacity (pounds)12,31411,90011,70010,540
Payload Capacity (pounds)2,0912,2602,0001,864

Note: All numbers are the maximum values for 4x2 Crew Cab models.

While the Titan XD does have the highest towing capacity of the half tons at 12,314 pounds, it is by a small margin and doesn’t approach the starting capacity of 14,000 pounds for 34 ton trucks. Payload capacity is only mid-range, with the F-150 being the standout in the segment.

So what will those beefier components provide, exactly? Durability and reliability when the truck is used consistently at its limits, particularly with regards to towing. Wear and tear should be minimized while safety and control will be maximized, similar to that of a 34 ton truck at those capacities. Making up for the average capacity numbers, according to first drive reviews, the Titan XD still maintains the ride quality of a half-ton, being noticeably quieter and smoother than the heavy duty trucks especially when empty.

With the caveat that I haven’t seen the Titan XD in person, I believe Nissan truly has created a “heavy-half”. The question now is whether there is a market for it.