This past summer, I reviewed a version of the Nissan Titan that lacked a back seat. I couldn’t get past such a concept. I wrote that review fairly but couldn’t get past how stripped down the truck was. And the lack of the back seat just befuddled me. After the review published I received some feedback from Nissan that they wanted to clarify. Though they thought my review was fair, they felt I wasn’t given the proper Titan to represent the essence of the brand. So this week, I get a redo of sorts as I’m driving a big honking, fully loaded 2018 Nissan Titan XD.

While my last Titan was definitely more bare bones and was a work-oriented truck, this week’s tester has mass consumer appeal. That being said, is this redo ready to compete against the other big truck brands? Nissan had been disengaged from the truck for many years, while the likes of Ford, GM, Ram and Toyota continued to offer up quality trucks in the best-selling segment in America. So when Nissan re-engaged into the market a couple years back, they did so with a splash – by putting a Cummins into a Nissan. That was quite the coup-de-tat for the Japanese car maker.

PERFORMANCE

My tester had the 5.0-liter V8 turbo diesel with the aforementioned Cummins engine. My previous Titan only had a gasoline-powered V8 which felt adequate, but uninspiring. With the Cummins turbo diesel, the Titan is ready to work. The torque is outstanding. This isn’t a work truck by any stretch, yet this is a truck that’s ready to do a lot of work. The Titan XD can tow up to 12,760 pounds and handle a payload of 2,910 pounds. The only issue I had with this version was the six-speed transmission. It felt a little antiquated, even compared to the other Titan I had, which had a seven-speed transmission.

INTERIOR

Inside, this Titan XD really did show me how nice the Titan can be. It still felt somewhat dated in the interior offering, but was light years ahead of my previous Titan. First, there was a back seat. And not just some basic back seat, but a full-fledged, lots-of-leg-room back seat. The rear seats are even heated for extra comfort. The leather seats are firm and supportive. There are high-quality touch points throughout the truck with only a few places having harder surface areas. This is by far the best Titan on the market. It may not be quite as luxurious as some of the F-150s or Sierras out there, but the Titan when appointed like this is a nice truck and fits well with today’s pickups that teeter on the point of luxury. The dark chrome accents and wood-tone trim makes this Titan look quite handsome.

A seven-inch color display drives the NissanConnect infotainment system. It’s a simple, intuitive system. The Rockford-Fosgate premium sound system really booms the sound. It lacked Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but through the NissanConnect system, you can download several apps to integrate with your phone.

PRICING

My tester was the Titan XD Platinum Reserve with four-wheel drive. As such, it had an MSRP of $63,360. Quite a contrast from the $35,000 Titan I previously reviewed, but there’s a lot more in this one than that one, so the price difference is vast because the difference is vast. My tester also had the electronic tail gate and the Titan utility box in the 6.5-foot bed. As such, the final MSRP of my tester was $65,405.

FUEL ECONOMY

Being a diesel, this Titan doesn’t have an EPA rating. However, the 26-gallon tank has a distance of about 460 miles. During my week with this behemoth, I averaged just over 19 mpg. That’s significantly better than the underpowered, stripped down I drove previously, which averaged just barely 15 mpg.

I want to thank Nissan for allowing me to see the full range of Titan trucks that they offer. From a stripped down work truck, affordably priced, to this modern marvel of diesel technology in the Titan XD. It certainly more suits today’s truck buyer. And in today’s ultra-competitive truck segment, big and luxurious (and having a back seat) is what we want.

SPECS

2018 Nissan Titan XD

Price/As tested price………………………. $63,360/$65,405

Mileage…………………………………… N/A

Engine……………………………………… 5.0-liter V8 turbo diesel

Horsepower…………………………… 310 hp/555 lbs./ft.

Transmission…………………………… Six-speed automatic

Drive Wheels……………………….. Four-wheel drive

Final Assembly Point…………………… Canton, Mississippi

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Jimmy Dinsmore

For several years Jimmy Dinsmore has reviewed new vehicles, offering up a unique look and an interesting voice in his weekly column. Jimmy looks at vehicles from the consumer’s point of view. Light on the technical jargon, and lacking the cynicism that pervades many other auto reviews, Driver’s Side treats each vehicle fairly, offering a light-hearted take. Email him at - jimmydinsmore@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @driversside.

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