Slotting between a half-ton and full-on heavy-duty pickup, the 2018 Nissan Titan XD was hoping to offer more towing and engine choices than a traditional full-size pickup, but without the added price and size. That didn’t really work out too well, as Ram now offers a diesel engine on its 1500 truck, and a top-of-the-line Ford F-150 can tow more weight than the Titan XD. Still, the XD does offer a more-robust frame than the half-ton Titan pickup, and its Cummins turbodiesel allows it to tow up to 12,640 pounds with a healthy 2,420-lb payload. The Titan also comes with America’s best full-size truck bumper-to-bumper warranty covering five years or 100,000 miles.
What’s New for 2018?
The 2018 Titan XD carries over largely unchanged. A new Midnight Edition package is offered on the diesel SV and SL Crew Cab 4×4 models. See the 2018 Nissan Titan XD models for sale near you
What We Like
Strong frame; generous rear-seat legroom; good payload and towing numbers; handles better than most heavy-duty trucks; versatile bed and towing features
What We Don’t
The Titan XD offers a choice of two engines. Standard is a 5.6-liter gasoline V8 making 390 horsepower and 394 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with a 7-speed automatic. The second is a 5.0-liter Cummins turbodiesel V8. This engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic and produces 310 hp and 555 lb-ft of torque. As the Titan qualifies as a class 2b truck, Nissan does not have to report Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy.
Standard Features & Options
The 2018 Titan XD is offered in three configurations: Single Cab, King Cab and Crew Cab. Crew Cab models are fitted with a 6.5-foot bed, while the Single Cab is equipped with an 8-foot bed. The Single Cab is offered in S and SV trim, the King Cab in S, SV and PRO-4X and the Crew Cab in S, SV, PRO-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve.
The Titan XD S Single Cab ($33,335 2-wheel drive, $36,365 4-wheel drive) comes with a 5.6-liter V8, 40/20/40-split bench front seat, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with a 5-inch display and USB/auxiliary inputs, NissanConnect with Bluetooth streaming and text messaging, stain-resistant cloth seats with vinyl bolsters, vinyl flooring, a manual-sliding rear window, a locking tailgate with closing assist, 17-in steel wheels, power windows and locks, remote keyless entry, push-button starting, a tilt-telescopic steering column, cruise control and air conditioning.
The SV Single Cab ($37,235 2-wheel drive, $40,265 4-wheel drive) adds upgraded cloth seats, carpeting, a steering-wheel-mounted meter display control, Nissan’s Advanced Drive-Assist Display, fine vision instruments, satellite radio, an overhead console, power-heated side mirrors, Siri Eyes Free, a chrome bumper and grille, front tow hooks, an integrated gooseneck hitch, oil-pan and fuel-tank skid plates (4×4) and trailer-sway control.
The PRO-4X Crew Cab ($44,425) adds 4-wheel drive with a switch-operated 2-speed transfer case, 18-in alloy wheels with all-terrain tires, a full-size spare tire, Bilstein coil-over shocks, hill-descent control, bucket seats with a center console, an 8-way power front seat, a 7-in touchscreen audio display, NissanConnect with navigation and mobile apps, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 110-volt rear outlet, a rearview monitor, a blind spot monitoring system and rear cross-traffic alert, rain-sensing wipers, LED automatic headlights, LED daytime running lights, fog lights, a spray-in bedliner, radiator and transfer-case skid plates, a tow hitch with built-in 4- and 7-in pin connectors, a power-sliding rear window and rear-seat vents.
The SL Crew Cab ($50,705 2-wheel drive, $53,735 4-wheel drive) adds 20-in alloy wheels, leather seating, additional exterior chrome trim, the Utili-Track bed channel system, four movable aluminum bed cleats, cargo bed lights, LED lights under the bed rail, fixed running boards, puddle lights, heated front seats, a 4-way power passenger seat, a 12-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio upgrade, a power tilt-telescopic steering column, remote starting, a front and rear sonar system and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
The Platinum Reserve ($56,075 2-wheel drive, $59,655 4-wheel drive) adds a heated steering wheel, a trailer brake controller, a trailer light check, extendable split-towing mirrors with reverse tilt-down functionality, the Around View Monitor, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, interior wood trim and upgraded leather seating.
Where offered, the Cummins 5.0-liter diesel engine option adds about $5,000 to the bottom line of each trim.
Some popular option packages include the SV Tow Convenience package, which adds tow mirrors (manually extending with heat and puddle lamps), a trailer brake controller, a 7-pin wiring harness connector, an integrated gooseneck hitch and front tow hooks.
The SV Convenience package brings the Intelligent Key system, cloth captain’s seats with a center console, rear-seat 110-volt and 12-volt outlets, an 8-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar, rear vents, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, front- and rear-parking sensors, a rearview monitor, a power-sliding rear window with a defogger, auto on/off headlights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a universal garage-door opener and compass, a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, 20-in aluminum-alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, NissanConnect with navigation and mobile apps, a 7-in touchscreen display and heated front seats.
The PRO-4X offers three packages (Utility and Audio, Convenience and Luxury) that add features such as the Rockford Fosgate audio system, a power-sliding rear window, an illuminated bed, front- and rear-parking sensors, navigation, heated rear seats, the Around View Monitor, a heated steering wheel and a power tilt-telescopic steering column.
New this year is the Midnight Edition package that adds a body-colored grille and dark insert, black fog lamp finishers, 20-in black wheels, body-colored bumpers, black step rails and black interior trim.
Nissan equips the 2018 Titan XD with a host of standard safety features, including side and side-curtain airbags, electronic traction and stability control and a tire-pressure monitor. Optional safety equipment includes front- and rear-parking sensors, a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert and the Around View Monitor.
The Titan XD has not yet been crash-tested.
Behind the Wheel
We sent a few of our editors to test the 2018 Nissan Titan XD. Overall, they liked the new truck, but they did find a few shortcomings.
Doug DeMuro wrote: "We drove the XD in a variety of conditions, both with an empty box and carrying a 750-lb payload. The XD is quiet and smooth, not nearly as stiff as most 3-quarter-ton pickups. It’s not the grocery-getter and fashion-accessory truck that some light-duty trucks have become, but it delivers a comfortable, enjoyable ride on smooth roads and handles rougher pavement with ease. A towing demonstration proved that the engine had no trouble on a rising grade with a 7,500-lb trailer in tow. Minimum ground clearance of 9 inches on the 4×4 models made off-road driving fun and impressive — the diesel power plant is perfectly suited for the demands of rough trails and moderate obstacles."
Jason Fogelson had a slightly different take: "On the road, the Titan offered an excellent driving experience. While some trucks are vague and skittish, the Titan XD handled difficult bumps and challenging potholes with surprising confidence, feeling more like an SUV than a pickup with an open bed. We were also impressed with the Titan’s steering and cornering, which — while not perfect — were fairly predictable and devoid of traditional pickup-truck body roll. Admittedly, we noted a few flaws. For instance, despite the oft-discussed 310-hp 5.0-liter turbodiesel V8’s excellent appearance on paper, we found acceleration to be a little lazy."
Other Cars to Consider
2018 Ford Super Duty — Ford’s heavy-duty pickup offers more bed, more wheelbase and higher tow ratings than the Titan XD. Plus, its diesel engine delivers 440 hp and 925 lb-ft of torque. Ford’s SYNC 3 is also a far better infotainment system than NissanConnect.
2018 Toyota Tundra — The Tundra doesn’t offer a diesel engine, but it does offer a choice between two V8 gasoline engines, a proven track record and a lower base price.
2018 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel — The RAM 1500, equipped with the automaker’s EcoDiesel V6, may be a light-duty truck, but it gets impressive fuel economy, can tow up to 9,200 pounds and offers various cab configurations.
Used GMC Sierra Denali HD— The 2012-2016 GMC Sierra Denali HD offers a choice of powerful gasoline or diesel engines, is loaded with luxury features and will likely cost a lot less than a brand-new SL or Platinum Reserve. Newer versions will also offer GMC’s IntelliLink, which is superior to NissanConnect.
If you’re using a truck to tow, haul and get dirty, we’d go with the SV 4×4 and opt for the three available packages (Convenience, Tow and Utility). Off-roaders should look to the PRO-4X. The Platinum Reserve competes well against Ford’s King Ranch and RAM’s Laramie Limited, but you should be prepared to pay through the nose.