I am a big truck fan, and always have been. I have driven every one I can get my hands on, even going as far as getting my 7-ton license in the Marines because, well, why not. And beyodn that love of big trucks has come my love for diesel engines. Now, while I don’t own a big diesel truck, I do have a big diesel SUV courtesy of my 2006 Volkswagen Touareg with the V10 TDI. It’s a bit ridiculous, quite pricey to maintain, but a pure joy to drive.
But driving it does not take the feeling that I would like a full-size pickup one day in the driveway, maybe even replacing the VW. Now, there are options, from the Ford F-250 to the Chevy 2500, and of course, the RAM 1500 on up. Each of these trucks has an established history, loyal following, and an earned place in the truck market. But Nissan has come from the woodworks, delivering something most did not see coming.
The new Cummins Diesel powered 2016 Nissan Titan hit the market this year, and it has hit hard.
I was skeptical at first, especially with the big 3 really owning the market, but it looks like Nissan did their homework. Not only did they go with an engine manufacturer and design that is trusted by millions, but they delivered a ride that surpasses anything I have driven in the past. That is a bold statement, I know, but hear me out.
Getting inside this big pickup, the seats envelope you without being too soft, and the positioning of everything from the steering wheel to the seats provide more adjustment than seen on other trucks. The MMI is as fast as other Nissans and Infinitis tested in the past, with an incredibly responsive screen and smart navigation. The back seat had enough space even with my seat in the full back position to fit a very tall passenger comfortably, and with all the conveniences of heated seats and air in the back, there would be no discomfort. And with the individual controls for each rider in the truck, there would be no bickering or discomfort from anyone even on the longest of road trips. In an almost plush way, Nissan has brought true comfort and convenience inside the Titan without overwhelming the driver and experience.
Driving this truck was a whole other story from the big 3 as well. The 5.0L Cummins Diesel provided ample torque on the low and high-end, while being incredibly quiet at cruising speeds, even at 75MPH on the highway. Road noise is also kept at a minimum with an active suspension, which is a big thing to say with the low-quality of the roads in Colorado. This is all even more incredible when you realize just how big the truck is, with a presence that cannot be missed on any road. And with the 360* downward camera for parking, even this big truck is easier to get into those difficult spots with ease and confidence.
So what makes the 2016 Nissan Titan the best truck I have driven all year? It’s not to say that the big 3 have made bad vehicles; on the contrary, they have made trucks that fit their buyers, fanbase, and standard design. But Nissan had to come out swinging, throwing everything it had into this new big Diesel, truly saying “we are not afraid, not stepping down”. There is no standard fare in this truck, nothing that feels like we have seen it before. Instead, it’s a well-oiled truck, well built from the ground up, ready to take on the challenges ahead.
Now, is the world ready to take it on? Only time will tell.