Which flavor of the 2016 Nissan Titan XD is your preference? Would you take a 5.0-liter Cummins turbo-diesel V8 or a 5.6-liter gasoline V8? We recently had a chance to sample both at a Nissan event in Tennessee. Since our time with the trucks was very limited, this is a first impression.
The heavily updated 5.6-liter gasoline V8 has recently made its way into the “heavy-duty” 2016 Nissan Titan XD. The truck’s GVWR is pushing near 9,000 lbs. Since the rating is over 8,500, it is a class 2b truck. So technically, it is a heavy-duty, although the company is positioning the vehicle as somewhere between a half-ton and three-quarter ton. The XD’s capabilities are not unlike to what a three-quarter ton was able to do about a decade ago. The engine, and the 7-speed automatic transmission to which it is paired, will also appear in the upcoming 2017 Nissan Titan half ton pickup truck as well as the 2017 Nissan Armada.
So the truck now has two engines to choose from: a 390-horsepower gas-fed V8 that puts out 401 lb-ft of torque and a 5.0L Cummins diesel rated at 310 horsepower and 555 lb-ft of torque. Based on initial driving impressions, the gas engine has more ability to push you back in your seat than the diesel does. It also has a pleasing exhaust note, whereas the diesel’s is more subdued.
Based on an impromptu fuel economy test, the gas engine yielded an impressive 18.3 MPG over 84 miles with two passengers but no other load. Okay, maybe some camera equipment.
So the question is – which engine would you choose given the $5,000 premium for the Cummins. It will come down to how often and how much you tow.
To see more of Nathan’s impressions from the driving event watch the video below. We are looking forward to getting a gas-powered Titan XD for testing near our HQ in Colorado in the near future, so stay tuned for more in-depth testing, including an Ike Gauntlet run.