2017 Nissan Titan XD Driving Impressions

The Titan XD uses a much heavier frame than that of the Titan, they share nothing in the frame/chassis department.

In terms of handling and ride quality, Titan XD feels like it’s somewhere between Silverado 1500 and Silverado 2500. We are tempted to call it semi-heavy duty, but practically speaking, Titan XD will do everything most trucks in the F-250 class are called upon to do. If you need more towing capability than what the XD offers, you may want to consider the F-350 class.

We found the Titan XD quite capable while pulling a 10,000-pound gooseneck trailer. We had the same impression while hauling a heavy load.

The 5.0-liter diesel starts easily, even in cold weather, by inserting a key then pressing a start button. It rumbles pleasantly at idle. From outside, the traditional diesel clatter can barely be heard. This Cummins sounds confident, but not loud and clattery like the 5.9-liter inline-6 used in earlier Rams.

Underway, the diesel is smooth and delivers strong pulling power whenever the loud pedal is depressed. The two-stage turbo is tuned well to provide easy cruising over the flatlands or strong acceleration.

It comes with a heavy-duty Aisin 6-speed automatic controlled by a column shifter, with a rotary dial for two- or four-wheel drive.

Titan XD is set up for a fifth-wheel or gooseneck hitch. In literally a couple of minutes after pulling off the dealer lot, it’s possible to pop the plugs in the bed, plug in a ball. Then, back up to a gooseneck trailer using the cameras to locate, lower the trailer onto the ball, hook the chains through, and off you go to the races. But before you drive off, stand behind the trailer, press a couple of buttons on the key fob, and a test sequence will initiate allowing you to observe all the brake lights and turn signals are working, a fantastic feature.

Hooking up a bumper-pull trailer is made easier with a rearview camera that was redesigned for 2016 with this task in mind.

The trailer mirrors are effective, if on the small side, with a convex mirror below the flat mirror. The trailer mirrors can be extended manually, by standing outside the truck and yanking on them, not as convenient as the power-extendable mirrors on the F-250. Also, the mirrors tilt down when selecting reverse, a feature we seldom appreciate.

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