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Working Ranch April/May 2016

Nissan’s much anticipated Cummins powered heavy-duty ½-ton f all the new trucks coming to market in the last couple years, none have piqued my interest or heightened my expectations more than the Cummins-powered Nissan Titan XD. The thought of sliding a 5.0-liter Cummins V-8 into a half-ton pickup evokes a truck that will have tons of low-end torque and excellent fuel economy compared to the standard Titan and other gas-powered V-8 half-tons. To my delight I was given the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a 2016 Titan XD Crew Cab 4x4 for a week-long test drive, putting it to use as one would if it were a ranch owner’s newest pickup fi lling multiple needs. The base Titan XD, which in 2016 is only available with the 310hp Cummins V8 and Aisin six-speed automatic, is offered in fi ve models with the base four-door “S” starting at an MSRP of $40,290. My test truck’s window sticker, including the standard destination-and-handling fee of $1,195 Nissan adds to all XDs, came to a tidy $63,270. Yup. (Editor: That’s the $$$ equivalent of 70 head of 500# steers). My joyful expectations suddenly hiccupped. But sometimes you get what you pay for in a truck, and the Platinum Reserve XD’s interior is close to similarly-priced offerings By Bruce W. Smith The 2016 Titan XD comes from the factory with a gooseneck hitch, making it ready to go to work as soon as you hit the ranch. Maximum towing capacity for the tested Platinum Reserve CC 4x4 is 10,600 pounds. from the Big Three’s upper-crust pickups: plush leather heated rear seats; heated and cooled front buckets; premium Rockford Fosgate sound system; 360-degree camera system; and premium navigation system with full mobile connectivity. It’s a very comfortable interior. XDs also come standard with a factory installed gooseneck hitch, integrated trailer brake controller, Class IV hitch, trailer sway control, tow mirrors and spray-in bedliner. It even has a built-in trailer light check on the key fob. After all, Nissan came out with this heavy-duty half-ton specifi cally for the buyer who was looking for a pickup that was going to be used a lot for work/towing applications. Under the hood is what gets the work done. Cummins 310hp 5.0L V8 fi lls the engine bay. It looks sweet, and sounds sweet when the hood is open. It’s 555 lbs.-ft. torque at 1,600 rpm blows away other halfton’s engines, gas or diesel, naturally apsited or turbo’d. That power is delivered through the Aisin six-speed automatic and 3.92 axle ratios with an electronic-locking rear differential. What I found on the road is the XD is underwhelming on the performance side. Nissan strived to build a pickup that was in between a half-ton and an HD. They did that perfectly. The XD is truly a “tweener”: It has a harsher ride and higher towing/payload capacity than the half-tons, but has neither the power nor the load capabilities of the ¾- and 1-tons. Basically, this is a tight, tidy, quiet, well-built truck. Add that to the legendary longevity of the Cummins engine and the Nissan Titan XD has all the attributes you want in a pickup that you plan to keep around for a long time. 2016 Nissan Titan XD (Left) Nissan’s Platinum Reserve interior is plush and well appointed with all the creature comforts any rancher would fi nd appealing. Front seats are both heated and air-conditioned. (Right) The heart of the Titan XD is the 5.0L Cummins V8, which makes an impressive 310hp and 555 lbs.-ft torque. Engine layout makes it is easy to service. Highway fuel economy is about 20mpg, with city economy around 14mpg. 104 I WORKING RANCH I APRIL / MAY 2016


Working Ranch April/May 2016
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