Nissan Titan XD - 5.6L Gas vs 5.0L Cummins Diesel

2016 MY 5.6L Endurance powered Nissan Titan XD

The Nissan Titan XD is becoming somewhat of a novelty - not because it's not a cool concept, not because its performance is subpar, and not because people don't like the idea of a half ton pickup powered by 300+ cubic inches of raw power from Cummins, the renowned diesel engine manufacturer. Then again, the term "half ton" just might be a significant part of the problem. Technically speaking, the Nissan Titan XD, unlike the standard Nissan Titan, is not a 1/2 ton pickup; but it doesn't quite fit into the 3/4 ton category either. Keeping in mind that 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton are, for all intents and purposes, arbitrary terms with no direct relationship to a truck's physical capabilities, the Nissan Titan XD is in a league of its own. While it seems like a pickup that may bridge the gap between two quintessential categories would be widely popular, it hasn't been.

The big question is whether or not a gasoline powered powertrain will revive the struggling XD platform. While it features up to the same gross vehicle wait rating (GVWR), the 5.6L V-8 powered XD loses some serious weight - the heaviest gas powered XD, according to Nissan, weighs in just 60 lbs heavier than the lightest diesel powered XD.

The updated 5.6L V-8 is impressive; 11.2 to 1 compression on regular 87 octane fuel thanks to a direct injection fuel system helps push the package to nearly 400 horsepower and just north of 400 lb-ft of torque. Horsepower and torque are produced on a high note, but that's not untypical for a gasoline engine. Those figures place the 5.6L powered XD in the middle of the pack when compared to competing 1/2 tons and picking up the rear of available gas powered 3/4 tons (although not necessarily coming in dead last).

Impressive is the 5.6L V-8 powered XD's 7 speed automatic transmission, which features a deep 1st gear reduction and comfortable steps between sequential upshifts. The second overdrive is slightly on the short side at 0.78 to 1, but it looks like Nissan has compensated with a tall 3.36 to 1 axle ratio - with a 4.89 first gear ratio, you'll never know that this truck's rear end is stuffed with highway gears. When compared to the Cummins powered XD, the 5.6L version's revs at 55 mph are only 90 rpm higher.

The 5.6L powered Titan XD may be preferred to the Cummins powered variation do to its greater payload, and it manages to maintain reasonable conventional and gooseneck tow ratings.

5.6l Gas Titan Quick Specs









4.89 : 1

3.17 : 1

2.03 : 1

1.41 : 1

1.00 : 1

0.86 : 1

0.78 : 1

4.04 : 1


Nissan Motors


339 cid, 5.6 liters


90° V-8

Bore x Stroke:

3.858" x 3.622"


Aluminum engine block, aluminum cylinder heads

Compression Ratio:

11.2 : 1


Direct injection


Naturally aspirated


390 hp @ 5,800 rpm


401 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm


50 state emissions compliant


Gasoline, regular unleaded (87 octane)

Axle Ratio (Final Drive):

3.36 : 1

Curb Weight:

6,005 - 6,769 lbs, varies with configuration


8,992 lbs

Max Payload:

2,500 lbs


17,700 lbs

Max Conv. Tow:

11,270 lbs

Max 5th Wheel Tow:

11,380 lbs

Powertrain Warranty:

5 year/60,000 mile

Fuel Economy:

Not rated by EPA do to GVWR

Note - exact capabilities vary by configuration; refer to manufacturer's specifications. All specifications based on 2016 model year production vehicle.