More than just a new model, the 2016 Nissan TITAN XD creates a “new class” of pickup that stakes out a unique position in the segment between traditional heavy-duty and light-duty entries. The bold new design combines the capability of a heavy-duty hauler with the drivability and affordability of a light-duty pickup.
The Texas Auto Writers Association, Inc. was founded in 1985 by automotive journalists who wanted to provide an avenue of professional growth, development and networking. These professionals sought to create an automotive event that was unique to Texas, and the result was TAWA Truck Rodeo which started in 1992. Today, results from the Texas Truck Rodeo are considered a true validation, often the precursor for other awards that the winners go on to receive from other entities. Results are widely covered in national publications such as Motor Trend, Consumer Reports and USA Today.
This fall, at the historic Knibbe Ranch near San Antonio, 69 TAWA journalist members evaluated a total of 88 vehicles, including pickups, SUVs and crossover utility vehicles. Product engineers, and members from the automotive development and marketing teams of the various manufacturers were also onsite for the momentous occasion. The off-road vehicles were put to the test climbing rocks and crossing creeks, while the smoother drives on the road allowed trailers-pulling comparisons for the brute strength trucks and opportunity to test them in a more everyday driving environment. The on-road course was also proving ground for a number of the luxury SUVs and most of the CUVs.
In the end, it was the 2016 Nissan Titan XD that was given the coveted “Truck of Texas” title, marking the first time for a Nissan truck to win one of the highest honors in the truck world. The Nissan Cummins® 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel and Aisin powering the new Titan also received Best Powertrain Award, while the Titan XD Pro-4X won best off-road pickup; the Titan XD Platinum Reserve won luxury pickup truck; and Nissan’s Murano Platinum won mid-size CUV award.
Titan’s powerful Cummins® 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel rated at 310 horsepower and a hefty 555 lb-ft of torque. It is mated to a heavy-duty 6-speed Aisin automatic transmission.
Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing and Operations, U.S.A., Nissan North America, said, “Of the hundreds of thousands of miles driven during the development of the all-new 2016 TITAN XD, the miles driven by the truck experts of the Texas Auto Writers Association were the most critical miles driven to date as we prepare to launch our new truck. This prestigious Truck of Texas award gives us tremendous validation heading into the TITAN XD launch in December. We are humbly honored to accept this award.”
The 2016 Ford Explorer was named SUV of Texas and the 2016 Volvo XC90 was named CUV of Texas.
The 2015 award categories and winning vehicles were:
- Truck of Texas: Nissan Titan XD (Cummins Diesel)
- SUV of Texas: 2016 Ford Explorer
- CUV of Texas: 2016 Volvo
- Truck line of Texas: Ford
- Heavy duty pickup truck: 2016 Ram 2500
- Best commercial vehicle: 2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris Cargo and Passenger van
- Luxury pickup truck: 2016 Nissan Titan XD Platinum Reserve
- Off-road pickup: 2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X
- Full-size pickup: 2016 Ram 1500 Rebel
- Midsize pickup: 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road & TRD Sport & Limited
- Best technology: Ford Pro-Trailer Backup Assist
- Best connectivity: Volvo Sensus
- Best powertrain: Nissan Cummins 5.0L V8 Diesel & Aisin
- Off-road utility vehicle: 2016 Jeep Wrangler
- Full-size luxury SUV: 2016 Lexus LX 570
- Mid-size luxury SUV: 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 4×4
- Compact luxury SUV: 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE LUX
- Full-size SUV: 2015 Dodge Durango RT AWD and Citadel AWD
- Mid-size SUV: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Diesel
- Compact SUV: 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk and Limited
- Full-size CUV: 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited AWD
- Mid-size CUV: 2015 Nissan Murano Platinum
- Compact CUV: 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk
- Luxury CUV: 2016 Volvo XC90 T6