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    2020 Nissan Titan XD first drive: Extra medium

    The Nissan Titan XD is one thing of a tweener. It’s designed to be extra snug and manageable than a heavy-duty pickup however supply extra functionality (and confidence) for light-duty homeowners when pushed to the restrict. Neither mild nor heavy, it is, um, further medium.But why has the Japanese automaker developed and constructed a rig that occupies this slim grey space between established pickup lessons? Its reasoning is logical, if a bit convoluted. A correctly outfitted Ford F-150, as an example, can tow greater than 13,000 kilos, a formidable determine to make sure. But how simply does it deal with such a load? It’s one factor to get a heavyweight trailer up to the mark, however you’ve got additionally bought to maintain it beneath management and convey it to a safe cease. All this could be a tall order for a mere half-ton truck.

    Of course, drivers that routinely drag large masses are in all probability higher served by a heavy-duty pickup. The Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD can tow as much as 35,500 kilos with a gooseneck or fifth-wheel hookup. That’s practically thrice as a lot because the F-150. But the draw back to this selection is that whenever you aren’t towing, you are caught driving a ponderous car that is robust to see out of and much more troublesome to park.Delivering larger functionality than the usual, light-duty Titan, the XD fashions function various essential upgrades. They journey atop a beefier body, are fitted with bigger brakes, have a huskier differential and include an upgraded suspension system, amongst different enhancements.

    Still, despite the fact that it is designed to bridge the hole between half-ton and heavy-duty pickups, the Titan XD is not significantly succesful. When correctly outfitted, its most tow ranking is simply 11,040 kilos — lower than the aforementioned half-ton F-150. Payload capability tops out at 2,450, which is a mere 150 greater than a maxed-out Ram 1500 can deal with.

    A steady, servile workhorseOn the street, towing with this Nissan is a comparatively drama-free affair. I had intensive time behind the wheel of an XD that had a camper hooked up to its rear bumper — particularly, a 27-foot-long Airstream. Clocking in with a base weight of nearly 6,000 kilos, the Titan dealt with this trailer with exceptional ease.Over the course of a number of hours within the left-front seat, not as soon as did it really feel just like the camper was shaking the truck round, just like the tail was attempting to wag the canine, even when traversing sketchy pavement. Braking efficiency was admirable, the XD’s husky, four-wheel discs bringing issues to a protected, safe and straight cease each time. One draw back, although, is the situation of the accessible trailer-brake controller. It’s mounted low on the dashboard and is just a little onerous to see. Beyond that, if in case you have a smartphone clipped into the motive force’s aspect holster on the middle console, it is going to be partially blocked, which is undesirable when you want a contact of trailer braking to straighten issues out.The Titan XD has no hassle towing. Even a 27-foot-long Airstream camper isn’t any large deal. 
    Craig Cole/Roadshow
    Changes for 2020Considerably making up for these lackluster figures, the Titan XD is now provided in just one configuration, with a crew-cab physique, four-wheel drive and a 6.5-foot mattress. This simplified technique is sensible; when’s the final time you noticed a regular-cab truck? These days, drivers cannot get sufficient extended-cab and crew-cab pickups, which is why Nissan is placing all its XD eggs in a single basket. If you need some alternative, take into account the usual Titan. It could also be rather less succesful, however it may be had with rear-wheel drive or a smaller, extended-cab physique.Other apparent new-for-2020 tweaks embody a redesigned  grille, new tailgate finishers and 4 contemporary paint colours, bringing the whole variety of hues to 10.  Naturally, there are extra substantive upgrades as effectively. Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 tech is now commonplace in each mannequin. This consists of six driver-assistance options like computerized emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert and lane-departure warning, to call a couple of. Adaptive cruise management is out there, although Nissan’s glorious ProPilot Assist system, which takes adaptive cruise management to the following degree by together with lane-centering performance, is not provided.Inside, a 7-inch, reconfigurable instrument-cluster display screen is commonplace; ditto for an 8-inch infotainment show. Stepping issues up, Pro-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve fashions are all fitted with a vivid and colourful 9-incher for just a little further display screen property. This touch-enabled show is house to a refreshed NissanJoin infotainment system, which now helps over-the-air software program updates. For added flexibility, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are each included, as is in-vehicle Wi-Fi that may assist as much as seven gadgets. A mighty-fine engine resides beneath the Titan XD’s hood.
    Craig Cole/Roadshow
    A world-class powertrainGiving the Titan XD sufficient guts to get massive masses shifting is a strong engine. Mounted between its entrance fenders is a smooth-running and sweet-sounding 5.6-liter V8. Fitted with direct injection plus variable valve timing and raise, it delivers 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque whenever you feed it premium gas. That’s a good enhance in contrast with earlier mannequin years, the place this engine put out 390 hp and 394 pound-feet. This engine is an absolute sweetheart, each silken and sonorous. It’s simply the perfect a part of driving a Titan XD. Unladen, it offers ample acceleration, but it has no concern placing its shoulder to the heaviest of masses. Bury the accelerator and it surges forward, however there’s nonetheless sufficient meat decrease within the rev vary that wide-open throttle is nearly utterly pointless, even when towing.Maximizing its 400 horses, the engine is matched to a brand-new transmission. The nine-speed unit helps with each efficiency and effectivity. Shifts are fast, effectively timed and {smooth}, plus, placing it in tow/haul mannequin makes trailering even simpler. Upshifts are delayed for improved acceleration and it seamlessly drops gears as you decelerate to assist present a little bit of engine braking. I’ve actually zero gripes about this drivetrain mixture. It’s sensible. But what about gas economic system? Well, sadly there’s nothing to report on this division. Like different automobiles with a gross car weight ranking (GVRW) exceeding 8,500 kilos, Nissan is not required to publish any. It takes lots of dinosaur juice to maneuver this rig, so do not count on it to sip gasoline like a Prius.Now for a little bit of unhealthy information: The mighty 5.0-liter Cummins V8 turbodiesel engine that is been a staple choice within the Titan XD has been dropped. Again, that is one other transfer to simplify the lineup, although I’m nonetheless unhappy to see it go.This truck’s inside is one thing of a blended bag.
    Craig Cole/Roadshow
    Room for enchancmentThis Nissan truck’s powertrain is dynamite, however the remainder of its driving expertise is just so-so. On the freeway, there is a bit extra wind and tire noise than I’d like to listen to, plus the steering is lifeless. No, I do not count on this rig to carve corners like a Mazda Miata, however the recirculating-ball steering system it is fitted with feels significantly heavy and numb.Whether you are in a range-topping Platinum Reserve or an off-road-focused Pro-4X, the Titan XD’s journey is agency. Consequently, it may be a bit springy, bounding over undulating pavement. The journey is noticeably smoother when towing. A bit of tongue weight settles issues down properly. The XD’s inside is spacious, and its seats are correctly snug in each rows. Unfortunately, just a little extra may have been carried out to enhance this cabin. It’s completely wonderful, however the onerous plastic on the higher door panels seems a bit low hire, plus the steering-column shroud is free, rotating ever so barely clockwise whenever you put the truck in drive. This movement strikes the turn-signal stalk a bit, because it’s hooked up to the column shroud.Overall, this truck’s cabin is best than the most recent Chevrolet Silverado’s and about on par with the F-150, which, at this level, is fairly previous. When it involves inside appointments, Ram nonetheless has a definite benefit over different truckmakers.This is A LOT of pickup truck.
    Craig Cole/Roadshow
    Remember the TitansThe 2020 Nissan Titan XD is steady, assured and brings the thunder because of its excellent powertrain. Sadly, a couple of tough edges detract from the general bundle. This truck’s segment-straddling place available in the market is sensible, no less than on paper, although in the true world, this technique hasn’t attracted many consumers. Last yr, fewer than 32,000 Titan and Titan XD fashions left Nissan dealerships in America, virtually definitely an unsustainable efficiency.With so many glorious choices from American automakers, this can be a onerous pickup to advocate, particularly whenever you take a look at pricing. Since just one variant is obtainable for 2020, the bottom value is moderately steep. The XD begins round $46,175, together with $1,595 in supply charges.This is an efficient truck, although not a section chief, nevertheless, it does have one trump card: an industry-leading assure. Buyers are protected by a 5-year/100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper guarantee. That’s an enormous deal, however nonetheless not sufficient.Editors’ be aware: Travel prices associated to this story have been lined by the producer, which is widespread within the auto {industry}. The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s employees are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.

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