2020 Nissan Titan XD: The Most Underrated Half-Ton Battles The World’s Toughest Towing Test!

The 2020 Nissan Titan XD sits in its own class.

We were lucky enough to rope Mr. Truck into testing this 2020 Nissan Titan XD up the Ike Gauntlet with Andre. We call this type of test a “Super Ike” as it goes beyond a regular Ike Gauntlet, pushing the load numbers to the max. Remember: the Ike Gauntlet is up (and down) extreme grades, pulling at high elevation at highway speeds. Not easy. Gas trucks like this V8 Titan XD tend to struggle on the steep incline.

Our tester Titan XD has a 5.6-liter V8 that makes 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. Connected to the new nine-speed automatic transmission, we had yet to test this beefier-than-a-half-ton truck properly. On paper, it can tow up to 11,000 pounds (when properly equipped) and it has a maximum of 2,240 pounds in terms of payload capacity. But how does it actually perform in the real world with that new transmission?

Unlike the half-ton, the XD has a beefier underpinnings and sits on a larger frame. On top of that, it has beefier brakes and a recirculating ball steering system, like many other HD trucks. This gives it the higher capacity over the half-ton Titan.

More than some, less than others

True, the Titan XD is no heavy duty pickup truck; however, it can do a lot more than a standard 1/2-ton truck. Not everyone is convinced, and sales numbers are not great. That’s a shame; we feel that the powertrain and overall driving dynamics of the Titan and Titan XD are superb. They are easy to get bargains on too.

In this test, we pull 9,200 pounds. That’s hitting the maximum load for our test truck given its configuration. The Platinum Reserve trim we tested costs about $69,000. While that is pricey, it’s far less than super-high trim levels from many competitors.

To see how it does, watch below as Andre and Mr. Truck take the 2020 Nissan Titan XD up this extremely difficult towing challenge!

Nathan Adlen
Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.