2016 Nissan Titan XD 5.0L Cummins Takes On the Extreme Ike Gauntlet Towing Test [Video]

2016 nissan titan xd gooseneck trailer towing review test
2016 Nissan Titan XD PRO-4X

The 2016 Nissan Titan XD is finally here and it’s ready to take on the mighty Ike Gauntlet towing test. During the test, we take a truck – loaded nearly to the max – up and down an 8 mile stretch of the I-70 with a maximum grade of 7% and the top elevation of 11,158 feet above sea level. This is truly an extreme test of a truck’s towing ability.

We test all aspects of a pickup truck that relate to towing. Do side mirrors offer good visibility around the trailer? Does it squat too much under maximum load? How does the transmission behave on the way down the mountain? How do the brakes feel? Does the truck have enough power to maintain the speed up the hill? And many more…

What better way to test the all-new 2016 Titan XD than by hooking up a gooseneck trailer and heading high into the Rocky Mountains? Granted, this specific LoadMax trailer is rated at weights that exceed the capability of the Titan XD. However, this all-new truck comes with a gooseneck hitch from the factory. We loaded it to 10,200 lbs of total trailer weight, keeping in mind the additional rolling resistance of the two dually axles.


2016 Nissan Titan XD
Model Crew Cab 4×4 PRO-4X
As-Tested Price $58,285
Engine 5.0-liter V8 Cummins Diesel
Transmission 6-speed Auto
Power (hp / lb-ft) 310 / 555
Payload Rating 1,733 lbs
Tow Rating 11,784 lbs
Test Load (trailer + ppl) 10,700 lbs
Rear Suspension Sag 3 in
Ambient Temp F 30 degrees Fahrenheit
Relative Humidity Low (20%)
Barometric Pressure (at top) 29.76 inHg
Calculated Power Loss 32.5 %
Down: Transmission Temp normal
Up: Time 8:44
Up: MPG 3.9
Up: Transmission Temp normal
 Ike Gauntlet Rating  63 out of 100

All specifications are for the as-tested configuration.

We are implementing the following scoring system to rate the trucks’ performance on the Ike Gauntlet.

There is a maximum of 100 points, with 25 points given in each of the following categories:

  • Downhill Braking: 1 point is subtracted for each brake application required to keep a truck below the desired speed limit of 60 mph. Brakes are applied to decrease speed to 50 mph then released.
  • Uphill Time: The 8-mile uphill run should be completed in 8:00 minutes at 60 mph. Trucks are deducted 1 point for each 5 second interval (or portion thereof) over 8:00 minutes required to complete the run.
  • Uphill MPG: Based on previous years’ tests, a baseline of 6.0 mpg was established. Trucks are deducted 1 point for each 0.2 mpg (as calculated by the vehicle’s trip computer) under 6.0 mpg. Trucks will be awarded points for mpg scores over 6.0 mpg using the same 0.2 mpg rule.
  • Subjective Review: Inevitably, there are aspects to any truck that cannot be captured by a category, except this one. Each truck will have the drivers give their subjective scoring based on driving impressions and features that detract from or add to a truck’s Ike Gauntlet performance. With a max of 25 points given by each reviewer, the scores are averaged.

The Titan XD score breaks down as follows:

  • 16 points for Downhill Braking,
  • 16 points for Uphill Time,
  • 15 points for Uphill MPG,
  • 16 points as the average of the subjective scores from Nathan (17 points) and MrTruck (15 points).

The result is a 63 out of 100 rating. This is the first truck that we rated this way.

Watch the Titan XD on the Ike Gauntlet action here.