2020 Nissan Titan XD Has Stronger Bones and More Muscle

Connor Hoffman
Photo credit: Nissan

From Car and Driver

  • Nissan ceased production of the Titan with the 5.0-liter Cummins diesel V-8, but has updated the gas-powered 5.6-liter V-8 to produce 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque in 2020 Titan XD models.
  • Nissan also lengthened the wheelbase, and every XD is a 4WD model with a 6.5-foot bed.
  • All 2020 Titan XDs come standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen and Nissan's Safety Shield 360 safety features.

Ever since our 2016 long-term Nissan Titan XD diesel disappointed us, we’ve been waiting for Nissan to improve its not-quite-heavy-duty truck. For 2020, though, Nissan will stop producing the Titan XD with the 5.0-liter Cummins diesel V-8 and only offer the 5.6-liter V-8. With the refresh, Nissan is trying to make the XD more desirable by giving it an exterior and interior makeover, an updated powertrain with a small power increase, new technology and safety features, and increased towing and payload capacities compared to the half-ton Titan.

The Titan XD has an all-new face for 2020. Up front, unique grille designs and tailgate styles distinguish each trim level. Most notable is the PRO-4X, which features a bold all-black grille with an all-new Lava Red Nissan badge. The XD’s snazzy updated headlights, which have a Titan logo engraved inside them, remind us of those on the Nissan Titan Warrior concept; unfortunately, they are only available on the top three trim levels. In back, the PRO-4X features an all-black black tailgate with the red Nissan badge, and the Platinum Reserve has a Satin Chrome tailgate. Four exterior colors are also exclusive to the Titan XD: Red Alert, Baja Storm, Cardinal Red Metallic, and Super Black.

Photo credit: Nissan

Updated Powertrain, but No More Diesel

Nissan has discontinued the Cummins diesel engine because of lack of consumer interest. The gas-powered 5.6-liter V-8 is upgraded to produce 400 horsepower (up 10) and 413 lb-ft of torque (up 19), and a nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the previous seven-speed unit. Nissan claims a larger final gear will provide increased torque at the wheels for faster acceleration.

Stronger Bones

The new Titan XD is solely offered as a 4x4 crew cab, which is what Nissan says consumers want. The XD is almost 15 inches longer, with a 151.6-inch wheelbase, and three inches taller than the regular Titan. All XD models get a 6.5-foot truck bed, which now features LED "surround" lighting. An accessory package featuring a sport bar with a light bar on top and Lava Red–accented steps could become available through dealers for PRO-4X models.

Photo credit: Nissan

Smarter Towing and Tech

Nissan told us that the 2020 Titan XD's towing capacity and maximum payload numbers won't be released until next month. Meanwhile, a Nissan spokesperson told C/D that the 2020 XD will have about 1700 pounds more towing capacity and 900 pounds greater payload capacity than the regular 2020 Titan. Towing aids include an integrated trailer brake controller, trailer sway control (TSC), a tow and haul mode with downhill speed control, and a trailer light check system. A rearview monitor with trailer guides and Nissan's around-view monitor with front, side, and rear cameras are also available. An on-screen notification and warning chime detects moving objects and alerts the driver. Nissan says that the Titan XD is also the only truck to come from the factory with a standard gooseneck hitch, available on SV models and above, that is fitted onto the frame of the truck.

The 2020 Titan XD's standard-equipment list is much improved, duplicating the equipment list on the regular Titan, including an 8.0-inch touchscreen. Every model gets Safety Shield 360, which includes automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, automatic high-beams, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and rear automated emergency braking. Additional options include a 360-degree camera and adaptive cruise control.

Nissan hasn't announced pricing but said the new XD goes on sale in early 2020.

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