Nissan’s Burlier TITAN XD Gets a Major 2020 Refresh But Ditches the Diesel

Another reason to consider a heavy-duty hauler

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Nissan’s full-size pickup gets a major refresh for 2020, recently unveiled at the State Fair of Texas. Now, it’s the burlier 2020 TITAN XD’s turn. 

When is the new Titan XD available and how much is it?

Available early 2020, the new Titan XD comes in Crew Cab body configurations, 4-wheel drive and five well-equipped grade levels including:

  • S
  • SV
  • PRO-4X
  • SL 
  • Platinum Reserve

Official pricing hasn’t been released yet but we suspect late 2019 for firm numbers, so check back then. 

Goodbye XD diesel, hello more powerful V8

To sum up the XD trim, in the company’s words, “offers the comfort of a light duty truck with the towing confidence of a heavy duty hauler.” However, they’ve shelved the popular diesel-powered option — typically the go-to choice for big truck buyers doing real hauling and pulling duties. 

Instead, expect a retuned 5.6L Endurance V8 under the 2020 Titan XD’s hood, making 400-hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, paired to Nissan’s new 9-speed auto transmission replacing the outgoing 7-speed tranny. The horsepower and torque is also up, from 390-hp and 394 lb-ft of torque with the 2019 Titan XD. 

Here’s our review of the 2017 Nissan Titan XD.

Towing capacity

2020 Nissan TITAN XD towing capacity
Among the list of TITAN XD’s available towing aids are an Integrated Trailer Brake Controller, Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Tow/Haul Mode with Downhill Speed Control and a Trailer Light Check system that allows one-person hook-up operation – checking turn signals, brake lights and running/clearance lights from inside the cab or with the key fob. Photo: Nissan

Considering more than half of heavy-duty truck buyers care about towing capacity, losing the diesel engine for 2020 probably makes sense. Compared to its lighter Titan sibling, the XD offers higher maximum towing and payload capacities, built on a distinct reinforced, fully boxed, full-length ladder frame paired to a 4-wheel disc system featuring substantial rear ventilated discs with hydraulic power assist.

If off-road exploration is more your thing, check out this 2017 Nissan Titan PRO-4X Project Basecamp with a Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel making 310-hp and a healthy 555 lb-ft of torque.

Expect a new gooseneck hitch integrated into the frame for more convenient access in the truck bed which now also includes a plug to make pulling duties that much easier. 

Some of the new towing tech includes an Integrated Trailer Brake Controller, Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Tow/Haul Mode with Downhill Speed Control and a Trailer Light Check system. 

The Trailer Light Check system is a big one because it allows one person to handle the hook-up tasks, including checking turn signals, brake lights and running/clearance lights from inside the cab or with the key fob.

Exterior design gets revamped

The Nissan XD has always flossed a bold, aggressive look especially compared to the competitors from Ford and GMC, but the new grille design up front ramps it up even more while separately the XD from other Titan trims. 

2020 Nissan TITAN XD front grille
XD’s updated front design including new grille separates this HD trim from the Titan pack. Photo: Nissan

Nissan calls it their “Powerful Warrior” design theme — perhaps a bit much but how can you argue with a sweet name like that.

Riding on 20-inch wheels, the new XD also finds two-tone over-fender treatments, completely redesigned front bumper and wheel designs, available LED headlights and “double boomerang” LED Daytime Running Lights, optional LED fog lights, and in the rear are all-LED lights added to the pickup bed.

Upgrade interior with new 9-inch touchscreen infotainment setup

From mid-size pickups to full-size offerings, gone are the days of bland, basic interiors — the more expensive heavy-duty pickups are certainly no exception. 

Nissan refined the Titan XD’s interior with the new model, adding a new Integrated Command Center featuring a large, 9-inch hi-res touchscreen display. This system improves the truck’s connectivity and tech offering, which now includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. 

2020 Nissan TITAN XD interior
More refined for 2020, the new Titan’s cabin get better seats front and back, and new 9-inch infotainment system. Photo: Nissan

A WiFi router is also new, allowing up to 7 connected devices — but this will be an added subscription and we’re guessing it won’t be cheap based on what we’ve seen from other automakers like GM. WiFi is always a nice-to-have but not when there’s an added expense over and above an existing mobile phone bill. 

Also new are Zero Gravity seats both in the front and rear. A spacey name for seats that essentially look to maximize posture positioning for enhanced comfort during long distance driving.


Heavy-duty trucks are levelling up their game right now, across the segment. Nissan’s new XD may have ditched the diesel but it has improved towing capacity which is what most buyers want. The front design is new and improved and the interior is more refined with added tech like the new 9-inch infotainment system. 

Perhaps most big half-ton truck buyers opt for something domestic, but Nissan is definitely in the game with the significantly refreshed 2020 Titan XD. 

If you’re shopping for a new truck, hit up our Truck Buyer’s Guide here.

Photos of the updated 2020 Titan XD, Platinum Reserve shown here:

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