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01 July 2017

2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X Diesel Review

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When associate editor Scott Evans moved from our long-term Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X pickup to the new Motor Trend 2017 Car of the Year, the Chevrolet Bolt, many on staff thought the larger-than-life pickup would become orphaned. Fortunately, my house in the Downey suburbs has enough off-street parking for four vehicles and wide neighborhood streets for the occasional curb-side parking. And though I’ve never been a truck person, I learned to appreciate their utility during my time as the chaperone for our former long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pickup. Plus I was curious how the Titan XD with the 5.0-liter Cummins turbodiesel V-8 stacked up to the Ram 1500 with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel turbodiesel V-6.

The Titan XD has seen lots of use in the 9,000-ish miles it’s been driven since I took over as chaperone two-and-a-half months ago. The “eXtra Duty” pickup has proven useful, but it hasn’t been without some growing pains.

Despite Evans asking the dealer to look at some issues during its first service around the 10,000-mile mark, the Titan XD is still plagued with a few problems. I had the dealer check out these issues during its second service just before 19,500 miles. Our 20,000-miles service consisted of an oil and filter change, a new air filter, new front and rear fuel filters, brake fluid exchange, tire rotation, and brake inspection as well as a tire pressure check and multi-point inspection. The total cost came to $555.81.

The dragging and moaning steering and squeaky front left suspension mentioned in Evans’ previous updates haven’t gone away. In fact, Evans had the dealer lube both systems during its first service, and I had it checked during its second service. Although the dealer could not locate those issues, a month after its most recent visit my girlfriend could hear and feel the binding in the steering system from the passenger seat.

During the Titan XD’s first visit, the service advisor notified Evans of an open bulletin to reflash the TCM (transmission control module), but the new software wasn’t available. When I asked about the bulletin on my visit, the computer system didn’t show any open bulletins for our VIN.

The dealer also wasn’t able to replicate the Bluetooth glitch, which begins with a piercing sound through the speakers followed by a complete infotainment reboot after roughly 10-30 minutes into a phone call. Sometimes it happens two or even three times in the same phone call about 10 minutes apart. When the dealer couldn’t replicate the issue with an iPhone 7 or Samsung Galaxy S6, they suggested the issue was with the iPhone 6 that Evans and I have, though we’ve noticed the issue with associate online editor Stefan Ogbac’s Samsung Galaxy S7, too.

Several more issues not previously mentioned have materialized. The orange backlight for the infotainment system’s buttons and dials flickers—this issue is noticeable at night. About every 1,500 miles, a service engine soon/oil change warning appears on the 5.0-inch screen mounted in the gauge cluster. It even turned on a few hundred miles after its second maintenance visit. The owner’s manual calls for 10,000-mile service intervals. Additionally, the front passenger seatbelt light comes on intermittently even when there is nothing on the seat. Sometimes it comes on several hours into a drive.

Lastly, the tailgate would open intermittently—only about three times out of more than a dozen tries over the course of a few weeks. Whether unlocking the tailgate with the key fob or manually with the key, the tailgate refused to drop when lifting the handle because it appeared that a metal rod near the top of the outside edge of the tailgate wouldn’t budge. The dealer found that the rear door lock was binding. Replacing the tailgate door lock mechanism cured the problem.

Other than those issues, the Titan XD has proven useful for various hauling and towing chores. We’ll have more on those in a future update.

More on our long-term Nissan Titan XD here:

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