The 2021 Nissan Titan XD is more of an extra-duty pickup than a full-on heavy-duty truck. Bigger than a standard half-ton, but not quite up to the same towing and hauling levels as a three-quarter-ton, the Titan XD could tempt buyers seeking serious capability, but unwilling to spend heavy-duty money.
The downside to this in-between approach is that newer and better half-ton trucks from the domestic manufacturers are outdoing the Titan XD in the towing stakes, while offering more choices. Still, the XD has a stronger frame than its half-ton Titan pickup counterpart and comes with America’s best bumper-to-bumper full-size truck warranty covering 5 years or 100,000 miles.
What’s New for 2021?
In the wake of a major revision for 2020, there are no significant changes for this year. See the 2021 Nissan Titan models for sale near you
What We Like
- Strong frame
- Generous rear legroom
- Good payload and towing numbers
- Handles better than most heavy duty trucks
- Versatile bed and towing features
What We Don’t
- Lack of engine, bed and cab choices
- 26-gallon fuel tank could be bigger
The Titan XD has a 5.6-liter V8 making 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque with premium gasoline. A 9-speed automatic transmission sends that energy to all four wheels. This standard 4-wheel drive system also includes a 2-speed transfer case.
The Titan XD is categorized as a class 2b truck, so there are no fuel consumption estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Standard Features and Options
The 2021 Nissan Titan XD comes as a crew cab model with a 6.5-foot bed and 4-wheel drive as standard. Trim levels are S, SV, Pro-4X, SL, and Platinum Reserve.
The Titan XD S Crew Cab ($46,625) comes with 17-in steel wheels, hill start assist, keyless entry/ignition, Advanced Drive Assist Display with Off-Road Indicator and Off-Road Menu, vinyl flooring, power windows/locks, manual sliding rear window, 40/20/40 split/fold front bench, cloth upholstery, tilt/telescope steering column, cruise control, air conditioning, rear reading lights, rear door alert system, locking tailgate, spray-in bed liner, rear parking sensors, 8-in infotainment touchscreen, NissanConnect with mobile apps, Bluetooth phone/streaming, hands-free text messaging, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, satellite radio, one USB-A port, one USB-C port, 6-speaker audio system, and the driver assistance features that make up the Nissan Safety Shield 360 package (itemized in the Safety section below).
Not many options are available for S trim, but it can be fitted with high-capacity front springs and 20-in wheels.
SV ($50,365) adds upgraded cloth upholstery, carpeting, overhead console, adaptive cruise control, heated/extendable side mirrors, front tow hooks, LED taillights, integrated gooseneck hitch, oil pan/fuel tank skid plates, trailer sway/trailer brake control, trailer light function check on the key fob, and LED ambient cabin lighting.
SV trim is eligible for more options than the base trim. An SV Convenience package brings most of the luxury features of the higher trims, plus 20-in alloy wheels.
Pro-4X ($56,115) has 18-in alloy wheels wearing all-terrain tires, full-size spare, Bilstein off-road shock absorbers, hill descent control, rain-sensing wipers, remote start, LED exterior lighting, automatic on/off headlights, front parking sensors, radiator/transfer case skid plates, rear bed step, LED under-rail bed lighting, Utilitrack cargo organizer system with four tie-down cleats, LED tailgate area illumination, front captain’s chairs, 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, center console with two more USB-A ports, dual-zone automatic climate control with rear vents, self-dimming rearview mirror, universal garage door opener, power-sliding rear window, rear 110-volt outlet, tow hitch with built-in 4- and 7-in pin connectors, road sign recognition, 9-in infotainment touchscreen, navigation, Wi-fi, and a 12-speaker Fender-branded audio system.
This trim qualifies for a couple of option packages that bring a heated/power-adjustable steering wheel, heated rear seats, leather seating surfaces, and a 360-degree camera system (the Intelligent Around View Monitor).
SL ($60,665) adds 20-in alloy wheels, exterior chrome trim, fixed running boards, puddle lights, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, 4-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, power-adjustable steering column, drivers-side memory settings, heated steering wheel, and a 360-degree camera system.
Platinum Reserve ($63,905) brings dark chrome and satin chrome exterior elements, 2-tone exterior paintwork, heated/ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, heated wood/leather steering wheel, interior wood trim, upgraded leather seating, and a leather-wrapped center console.
The top three trims are all eligible for a powered dual-panel panoramic moonroof.
As well as mandatory safety features like electronic traction/stability control, anti-lock brakes, a rearview camera, tire pressure monitoring and a full complement of airbags, the 2021 Titan XD also comes with the Nissan Safety Shield 360 set of driver assistance features.
This includes forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, rear automatic emergency braking (no other pickup has this), blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, driver attention monitoring, lane departure warning with haptic steering wheel, and automatic high beams.
The Titan XD has not been crash-tested.
Behind the Wheel
The Titan XD provides an excellent driving experience. While some trucks are vague and skittish, the Titan XD is quiet and smooth, handling difficult bumps and challenging potholes with confidence.
The engine has no trouble towing a 7,500-pound trailer uphill. And the nine inches of ground clearance in the Pro-4X makes off-road adventures possible.
Other Cars to Consider
2021 Ford Super Duty — Ford’s heavy duty pickup has more beds and higher tow ratings than the Titan XD. Plus, its optional diesel engine makes an astounding 1,050 lb-ft of torque. Ford’s Sync 3 is also a far better infotainment system than NissanConnect.
Used GMC Sierra Denali HD — The 2012 to 2017 GMC Sierra Denali HD offers a choice of powerful gasoline or diesel engines, is loaded with luxury features and should cost a lot less than a brand-new SL or Platinum Reserve. Newer versions will also have GMC’s IntelliLink, which is superior to NissanConnect.
Questions You May Ask
What’s the difference between the 2021 Nissan Titan XD and the standard Titan pickup?
The Titan is a half-ton pickup with the same engine as the XD. The XD has a fully boxed ladder frame, rides about three inches higher, is 14.8 inches longer and rides on a wheelbase that’s 11.8 inches longer. The XD can tow 2,000 pounds more than the Titan, carry 541 pounds more payload and can also come with a gooseneck trailer hitch.
Where is the 2021 Nissan Titan XD built?
Although Nissan is a Japanese company, the Titan XD is built at the company’s factory in Canton, Mississippi.
How much can the 2021 Nissan Titan XD tow?
When properly equipped, the 2021 Titan XD can tow up to 11,400 pounds and carry a payload of 2,240 pounds. That sounds pretty good, but the 2020 Ford F-150 (a half-ton truck) had a maximum trailer rating of 13,200 pounds. The Ram 1500 can pull 12,750 pounds and the Chevy Silverado 1500 handles 13,300 pounds.
How reliable is the 2021 Nissan Titan XD?
Long-term data on the Nissan Titan XD put it about average in reliability, but that information also includes the now-discontinued diesel engine. Overall, the Titan XD doesn’t hold its value as well as the Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado or Toyota Tundra.
The SV trim brings plenty of towing and payload capability at a reasonable price. This trim also brings some leeway in which options to choose.