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    Review: 2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X


    • Filling in the white space between light and heavy-duty pickups.

    Nissan never fully understood the rules with competing in the full-size truck marketplace. They had most of the basics with the choice of two different cab styles, range of trims, and a powerful V8 engine. But Nissan forgot one key rule about trucks; constant improvements will keep you in the spotlight. If you don’t believe this, just look at the Detroit three and their pickups. Every year, it seems one of them introduces new feature or improvement that will catapult them into the spotlight. It could be a new engine option, larger towing numbers, or an improved interior.

     

    Nissan never did that. Throughout the lifecycle of the first-generation Titan, the Japanese automaker only made minor changes. The biggest one of note was a revised interior toward the end of the 2000s. But with Nissan not making constant improvement or changes, the Titan fell to the back of the pack in a number of key areas such as towing and fuel economy. In 2014, Nissan only moved 12,527 Titan trucks. That largely trailed the Detroit three and even the Toyota Tundra.

    • Ford F-Series: 753,851*
    • Chevrolet Silverado*: 529,755*
    • Ram Pickup: 439,789*
    • GMC Sierra: 211,833*
    • Toyota Tundra: 118,493


    *Includes light and heavy duty trucks.

     


    The company isn’t giving up on the full-size truck market. Late last year, Nissan introduced the Titan XD. This model is said to provide the towing numbers and stability of a heavy duty truck, while having the maneuverability of a light-duty truck. The truck also features the brand’s first diesel engine. Later this year, Nissan will introduce a fully-redesigned Titan that will fix a number of the issues from the previous-generation model. That includes the choice of both a V6 and V8 engine, and a range of bed and cab configurations. It should be noted that the Titan and Titan XD don’t share much in terms of mechanical bits.

     

    We spent a week with a Titan XD to see if Nissan has a real chance of making any inroads in the full-size truck marketplace.

     

    Disclaimer: The Titan XD tested for this review is a pre-production model.

     

    2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro 4X 4

    The Titan XD doesn’t get off to a good start when it comes to the exterior. My first thought seeing the truck was, “is that an old Ford F-150?” A lot of this impression comes from the Titan XD’s front end as it looks very similar to the last-generation F-150 in terms of how it angles forward and the grille design. At least the rest of the Titan XD’s design does stand out. Our tester was the Pro-4X which adds 18-inch aluminum wheels, a gray finish for the lower part of the body, and skid plates.

     

    The bad news for some buyers is that you can’t get the Titan XD in an extended cab or with a longer bed. On one hand, Nissan might be on to something as many heavy duty trucks come in a crew cab configuration with a short bed. But limiting the configuration to just one style limits the appeal.

     

    Nissan has put a lot of work into the Titan XD’s bed to make it one of the most capable in the class. It begins with a dampened tailgate that makes it easier to open and close it. The bed itself comes with integrated tie-downs to help secure cargo and integrated LED lighting to make it easier to load or unload whenever it is dark. In the middle of the bed is an integrated gooseneck tow hitch that allows the Titan XD to tow even more types of trailers such fifth-wheel RVs.

     

    Getting into the Titan XD’s interior is slightly difficult due to the tall ride height. Entry rails are an option and one we would highly recommend getting. Otherwise, it is the perfect way to train for the Olympic high jump. Once you get inside, you’ll find an interior that isn’t special in terms of design. At least Nissan got the basics right with a large amount of soft-touch materials and contrasting trim pieces. Controls are large and within easy reach for both driver and passenger. The interior featured no squeaks or rattles, impressive for a pre-production model.

     


    2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro 4X 14


     

    Depending on trim, the Titan XD will seat either five or six people. Our Pro-4X tester came with seating for five. Getting yourself comfortable up front is very easy thanks to optional power adjustments for the seats and steering wheel. The back seat is very spacious with plenty of head and legroom for up to three passengers. Storage is impressive with an expansive center console and lockable storage bins under the rear seats. Nissan also made the lids of the storage bins fold out to provide a flat surface for carrying items in the back.

     

    Our tester came fitted with the optional seven-inch touchscreen with the NissanConnect infotainment system. Despite being one of the newer systems in the marketplace, the interface looks like it came from the Windows 95 era. At least moving around the system isn’t a big issue with large touch points and buttons on either side taking you to various functions. The screen Nissan uses for the infotainment system isn’t the best as it easily washes out in sunlight.

     


    2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro 4X 10


    The big news with the Titan XD is what lies under the hood: A 5.0L Cummins turbodiesel V8 with 310 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. There is also a new 5.6L Endurance V8 with 390 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. This engine comes solely with a seven-speed automatic. No matter which engine you choose, most trims will have the choice of either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. The Pro-4X is the only trim that comes with four-wheel drive standard.

     

    Despite what numbers say for the diesel V8, it doesn’t feel fast. Acceleration can be described as leisurely as most of the engine’s power is used to overcome the Titan XD’s heft - 7,257 pounds in the case of our tester. Much like the Ram 2500 Power Wagon I drove a few months back, the diesel engine sounds like you’re going fast, but you’re not. One other disappointment with the diesel V8 is how noisy it is. Compared to other diesel trucks, the 5.0L V8 sounds like a Peterbilt truck at idle. Despite Nissan’s efforts with using double-pane glass and sound-deadening material, a fair amount of engine noise comes in. The six-speed automatic is the bright spot in the Titan XD as it delivers smooth shifts.

     

    In terms of fuel economy, we recorded an average of 17.6 with most driving taking place in urban environments. Don’t expect any EPA fuel economy numbers as the Titan XD is exempt thanks to its gross vehicle weight sitting above 8,500 pounds.

     

    Nissan is promoting towing as one of the key strengths of the Titan XD and on paper, it seems there is a good case for it. When properly equipped, the Titan XD can tow up to 12,314 pounds when using a tow hitch and 12,160 pounds with a gooseneck hitch. But when you compare it to light-duty trucks, the Titan XD holds a slim advantage. Here is a table outlining the tow ratings of Ford, GM, and Ram trucks when equipped with their optional engines.

     


    gallery_10485_1234_232784.jpg

     


    As the table shows, both the F-150 and Silverado/Sierra 1500 (when equipped with Max Tow Package) can trounce the Titan XD when equipped with 5.6L Endurance V8. But when equipped with the 5.0L Turbodiesel V8, only the F-150 comes close by about 400 pounds. The Silverado and Sierra 1500 can cut that gap to around 300 pounds, but you'll need an optional tow package. The Titan XD can also tow with a gooseneck hitch from the factory, something that none of the light-duty trucks can say. Plus, the Titan XD is said to provide a more secure feeling when towing a heavy trailer. We can’t really say if that one is true or not since we didn’t get the chance to tow with the truck.

     

    The Titan XD’s ride is up there with the Ram 1500 in terms of ride quality. No matter the road surface, the Titan XD was able to provide a smooth ride. Around corners, the Titan XD feels planted in terms of the suspension. The steering is another matter. When the steering wheel was dead center, we found we could turn the wheel a few degrees and the truck would still go straight. We also found the steering to be very light and not having much feel. This didn’t give us the confidence that we were in control or able to maneuver the truck easily in tight spaces. It was a good thing our tester featured Nissan’s around-view camera system which made maneuvering a bit easier.

     

    In terms of the Titan XD’s pricing, Nissan undercuts most heavy-duty trucks except the Ford F-250 when it comes to models equipped with the gas engine. When it comes to diesel option, the Titan XD’s undercuts them all.

     

    Some of the issues we can chalk up to this Titan XD being a pre-production model. But when we talked with a couple of folks who have driven production models, they said the steering still felt somewhat light. We hope Nissan can work some of these issues out.

     


    2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro 4X 5


     

    I really don’t feel comfortable giving a full verdict on the 2016 Nissan Titan XD at the moment, mostly due to this being a pre-production model and the issues I had with the steering. I am considering doing a re-test of the Titan XD at a later date to see if these issues were only with the pre-production model or not.

     

    That said, I do have some impressions on the truck. Nissan is trying something different with the XD by trying to fit in between the light and heavy-duty trucks and I have to applaud them for this. Trying to do something different in a highly competitive marketplace could lure in some buyers. But it also could backfire. For one, truck buyers are the most brand loyal of any vehicle type. Trying to draw someone away from a brand they have been with is a difficult task. Making it even tougher is where Nissan has placed the Titan XD. How do you convince someone who is looking at either a light-duty or heavy-duty that the truck they want is in between? You could use towing, but as we showed, the advantage is with the diesel V8 and it is slim one compared to certain models. You could say it is more stable when towing. But in that case, why not get a heavy-duty that provides that along with higher tow ratings? The only case we could make it for it would be in terms of pricing.

     

    Nissan may have put themselves between a rock and hard place with the XD.

     

    Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the Titan XD, Insurance, and One Tank of Diesel

     

    Year: 2016
    Make: Nissan
    Model: Titan XD
    Trim: Pro-4X
    Engine: Cummins 5.0L Turbodiesel V8
    Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 310 @ 3,200
    Torque @ RPM: 555 @ 1,600
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - N/A
    Curb Weight: 7,257 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Canton, Mississippi
    Base Price: $50,970
    As Tested Price: $58,285 (Includes $1,195.00 Destination Charge)

     

    Options:
    Pro-4X Convenience Package - $3,310
    Pro-4X Luxury Package - $1,510
    Pro-4X Utility & Audio Package - $1,100

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    This is actually not a bad looking truck in person but that heft is going to kill sales for it when most of the competition has gone on a diet.

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    I see allot of complimentary coping to older Fords from the plastic looks cheap interior to the exterior nose.

     

    Over all not bad, but not a home run. I expect some based on heavy discounts to buy it, but over all a failuer out of the gate. 

     

    Nissan just needs to forget the full size truck market. Not their game ever or now.

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    The story is more than just the numbers. This truck is already priced below the competition (half-tons) when equipped comparably. 

     

    And every review of the truck - when they had the chance to tow or haul found that this is a serious truck if it fits your needs.

     

    And I think the frame is capable of probably towing and hauling a lot more. I think it's just that they don't have the big rig gas or diesel engines like the HD's.

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    Will be interesting to see where it goes. Based on price- it might have a chance....could see folks using it as a work truck (business)....

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    This is actually not a bad looking truck in person but that heft is going to kill sales for it when most of the competition has gone on a diet.

    I noticed that 7200+ pounds as well. That's freakin heavy. What are the HDs for the D3 weighing around? 

     

    I also don't think it is a bad looking truck in person. It's actually pretty good looking in person. Pictures definitely don't do it justice. 

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      Evolution is the impression you get when walking around the XT5. Cadillac’s designers didn’t make any drastic changes to the design profile aside from softening the Art & Science design language. The front now features a comically-large grille and headlights with a strand of LEDs that run into the bumper. Towards the back is an integrated spoiler that extends the roofline, a set of large taillights, and a rear bumper that comes with chrome exhaust ports and a faux skid plate. The XT5 does lose some of the polarizing details that made the SRX stand out, but it still stands out slightly in what is becoming a crowded class.
      Cadillac has been stepping up its game in terms of their interiors with their new models. Case in point is the XT5. Our top-line Platinum tester featured faux suede, leather, and wood trim on a number of surfaces that make it look and feel quite luxurious. We’re glad to see the removal of the Piano Black panel for the center stack as it looked out of place and was a magnet for fingerprints. One design idea we’re not so keen on is the gear selector. Instead of a lever, Cadillac went with a joystick controller to engage the various gears. The controller isn’t intuitive as you’ll find yourself going into the wrong gear or not going into one at all on a somewhat regular basis. You will get the hang of it after a bit, but you can’t help but wonder why Cadillac decided to change this in the first place.
      The leather used for the seats feel quite supple and help fix the issue of uncomfortable seats in the SRX. Interior space has grown, thanks to a two-inch increase in the wheelbase. Rear legroom has grown 3.2 inches and it allows anyone sitting back there to stretch out. Headroom is still slightly tight thanks in part to our tester coming with the optional panoramic sunroof. But this can be alleviated by recalling the rear seat slightly. Cargo space in smack dab in the middle - 30 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 63 cubic feet when folded.
      Cadillac User Interface (CUE) has been one of our least favorite infotainment systems to use since it was introduced a few years ago. The litany of problems ranging from a touch sensitive buttons not responding to inputs to the system crashing have dragged Cadillac down. But the system has been getting a number of changes and updates over the past few years. For starters, Cadillac has removed most of the touch-sensitive buttons from the system. Being able to press an actual button to turn on the heated/ventilated seats or adjust the temperature is really nice. It is a shame Cadillac didn’t bring back an actual volume knob for CUE - the touch-sensitive strip is still there. But at least there are volume controls on the steering wheel that allow you to avoid it. The system itself has been overhauled with a faster processor and a slightly improved interface. The changes make a difference as the system is snappier and a little bit easier to understand. If you still find CUE a bit overwhelming, you’ll be happy to know that CUE now features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
      Cadillac bucks the trend in the midsize luxury crossover class by only offering one engine - a 3.6L V6 producing 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque (@ 5,000 rpm). This comes paired with an eight-speed automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The V6 is the weak link in the XT5. When leaving a stop, it takes a moment for the engine to realize the accelerator pedal has been pressed before it starts working. This is even worse when you’re trying to make a pass as it seems the engine was busy taking a nap before it was hastily woken up. Once the engine is awake, it takes its time to get up to speed. There is a positive to the V6 engine and that is the stop-start system. Unlike some previous systems that are slow to restart the engine or do so in a very rough fashion, Cadillac’s system is quick and smooth when you let off the brake. The eight-speed automatic seems reluctant to downshift at times. We’re guessing this transmission was calibrated for fuel economy. At least the eight-speed automatic delivers smooth shifts.
      Fuel economy figures for the 2017 Cadillac XT5 all-wheel drive stand at 18 City/26 Highway/21 Combined. Our average fuel economy for the week landed around 22.3 mpg in mostly city driving. 
      One characteristic we liked about the SRX was its comfortable ride. Yes, it flies in the face of Cadillac’s message of beating the German’s at their own handling game. But buyers loved the smoothness on offer. Sadly, the XT5 loses a bit of the smoothness. Despite our tester featuring an adaptive suspension system, the XT5 wasn’t able to fully iron out bumps. Some of this can be attributed to 20-inch wheels fitted to our tester. At least the XT5 keeps road and wind noise out of the interior. Like the SRX, the XT5 isn’t sporty. Body motions are kept in check, but the light weight and nonexistent feel from the steering puts a halt to that idea. 
      An item Cadillac has been touting on the XT5 is the Rear Camera Mirror. Available only on the top-line Platinum, the mirror can stream the view from the rear camera by flicking a switch. We found this to be really helpful when backing out of parking lots as it gave a view that isn’t hindered by the thick rear pillars. Hopefully, Cadillac spreads this feature down to other trims of the XT5. 
      In some respects, the 2017 Cadillac XT5 is a step forward. The model improves on certain parts of the SRX such as a more luxurious and spacious interior, improved CUE system, and sharper looks. But in other respects, Cadillac messed up with the XT5. The 3.6L V6 needs to be shown the door and a new engine that offers better low-end performance to take its place. The loss of the smooth ride that the SRX was known for hurts the XT5 as well. Finally, there is the price. Our XT5 Platinum tester came with an as-tested price of $69,985. It is a nice crossover. But if we’re dropping close $70,000 on a luxury crossover, we can think of a few models that would be ahead of the XT5.
      It should be noted that the Cadillac XT5 has taken the place of the SRX of being the brand’s best selling model. At the end of 2016, Cadillac moved 39,485 XT5s. But unlike the SRX which we could recommend without hesitation, the XT5 comes with a number of caveats that we cannot do the same.
      Disclaimer: Cadillac Provided the XT5, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Cadillac
      Model: SRX
      Trim: Platinum
      Engine: 3.6L V6 VVT DI
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 310 @ 6,700
      Torque @ RPM: 271 @ 5,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/26/21
      Curb Weight: N/A
      Location of Manufacture: Spring Hill, TN
      Base Price: $62,500
      As Tested Price: $69,985 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Driver Assist Package - $2,340.00
      20-inch Wheels - $2,095.00
      Trailering Equipment - $575.00
      Black Ice Body Side Moldings - $355.00
      Compact Spare Tire - $350.00
      Black Ice License Plate Bar - $310.00
      Black Roof Rails - $295.00
      Black Splash Guards - $170.00
    • By dfelt
      G. David Felt - Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.cheersandgears.com
      Nissan Leaf 2.0 Beta!

      Seems while Nissan has talked in fuzzy grey circles about version 2.0, finally some details are coming out as well as the capture of the Mules running around or as we like to call in the Tech Industry, BETA Baby!
      So with this ugly heavily wrapped black nose (Full Photos Here) from Motor Authority, we can clearly see that version 2.0 is based on the IDS concept.

      In fact as multiple various other auto web sites report it really does have some clear connections to Nissans Micra which was launched at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.
      Nissan Micra

      Clearly the Floating roof is to stay but a more common look and feel much like what the Chevy Volt did from Version 1.0 to 2.0. Nissan seems to want to have the Leaf just blend in with the rest of the family.
      According to Green Car Report, at the annual Nissan Meeting 18 month ago, Nissan showed off their Advanced R&D EV with a 60kWh battery pack good for about 250 miles.

      According to their story they state that today's 30 kWh battery pack in the Leaf good for 107 miles is being replaced with two options expected to be 40 kWh and 60 kWh size which they say should produce about 140 and 220 miles.These two batteries fit into the same space as the old 30 kWh battery pack.
      Much like every other auto company, Nissan has been saying that their auto on the highway will self drive plus much more. Yet like any Beta, no firm list of what all will be included or optioned until the auto is released.
      Interesting is that The Guardian post a story that states where Exxonmobil and other oil companies say that oil and coal can handle the electricity needs of the world well past 2050 needs to rethink as dropping prices of EV's and Solar panels could make the growth of Fossil fuels neutralized by 2020. This report goes on to state that the market share gain of solar power and clean cars was the cause for the collapse of the coal mining industry in the US and Europe. The continued growth of Solar, Wind, thermal and the final acceptance with long range EV's is making people think twice about burning fossil fuels. This report is also predicting that EV's will make up 35% of all road transportation by 2035 and 2/3 rds by 2050 which would displace 25 million barrels of oil per day. End result is getting climate change to stop changing in regards to temps rising and help the ecosystem balance out sooner.
      End result, cleaner air, healthier planet, quiet auto's and long range for the Nissan Leaf 2.0.
      My one question is who many people do they think will continue to buy an EV with such a short range battery? I question how many 40 kWh battery pack Leaf 2.0 will actually get built versus the 60 kWh 220 mile range battery enabled Leaf.
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