In addition to the competition's top award, Truck of Texas, the new TITAN XD won three other honors: Luxury Pickup Truck of Texas, Off-Road Pickup Truck of Texas and Best Powertrain for its standard Cummins® 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel engine. The new 2016 TITAN XD is scheduled to go on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide in December. Nissan also took home the Mid-Size CUV of Texas trophy for its completely redesigned 2015 Nissan Murano.
In announcing the Truck of Texas award, the TITAN XD was cited for its strong performance and also received high marks for its interior and exterior.
"This was the largest Truck Rodeo in the history of TAWA," said Mike Marrs, president, TAWA. "We had 69 journalists evaluating 80 vehicles. To win on this stage, with this level of competition is an accomplishment Nissan should be very proud of."
More than just a new model, the 2016 Nissan TITAN XD 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 and is anchored by a powerful 310-horsepower Cummins® 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel and mated to a heavy-duty 6-speed Aisin automatic transmission – a combination worthy of Best Powertrain.
"There's an old saying that when it comes to hard-working trucks: You need three things – torque, torque and more torque," said Diaz. "The all-new 2016 TITAN XD's Cummins® 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel is the truck engine of the future today. This engine combines the ‘triple nickel' 555 lb-ft of torque with quiet, responsive operation for everyday driving and the fuel efficiency under load that has been missing in the full-size truck category. Our thanks to our partner Cummins® for making this possible."
While the new TITAN XD offers the powerful towing and hauling of the larger, more expensive heavy-duty trucks – including a maximum towing capacity of more than 12,000 pounds* when properly equipped – it offers the fuel-efficiency* and affordability of a half-ton pickup.
"Nissan has taken a unique approach with its new Cummins powertrain," Marrs added. "The power, torque and efficiency of the Cummins 5.0-liter V8 Turbo Diesel resonated very well with TAWA."
The new TITAN's innovation leadership also includes cutting-edge available towing, utility features and driving aids, including 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 – including checking turn signals, brake lights and running/clearance lights.
Also assisting trailer hook-ups is the TITAN's RearView Monitor with Trailer Guides, while the available Around View® Monitor (AVM) provides a unique "bird's eye" view of the surrounding area to help with parking and pulling in and out of tight spaces. The system also includes Moving Object Detection (MOD). Helping TITAN XD owners take advantage of its ample towing power are two available hitches – including an integrated gooseneck hitch engineered into the frame and easily accessible in the bed.
The 2016 TITAN XD is offered in five grade levels: S, SV, SL, Platinum Reserve and the sporty PRO-4X grade with standard off-road features such as 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with all-terrain off-road tires, Bilstein off-road shock absorbers, electronic locking rear differential and skid plates.
"The all-new TITAN XD PRO-4X is a most capable all-around off-road truck with outstanding performance for not only trail running and getting you to out-of-the-way places, but for getting you in and out of tight spaces with innovative features such as its Around View® Monitor. It's the complete package for hardcore 4x4 truck enthusiasts. We are honored to accept this award," added Diaz.
The TITAN XD Platinum Reserve grade, top winner in the Luxury Pickup Truck of Texas category, features premium leather-appointed heated seating, dark chrome exterior trim, two-tone paint treatment, leather-wrapped steering wheel with wood insert, 20-inch dark chrome aluminum-alloy wheels and much more.
Following the launch of the 2016 TITAN XD Crew Cab in December, the new TITAN will be offered in three cab configurations, two frame sizes, three powertrain offerings and five grade levels. More information on the full lineup will be available at a later date.
In addition to the strong showing of the TITAN XD in the various Texas Truck Rodeo categories, the all-new 2015 Nissan Murano bested a highly competitive field of entries for the Mid-Size CUV of Texas honor. Murano was noted by the members of TAWA for its exterior styling, interior and performance.
"When we launched the all-new Nissan Murano, we knew that it was something very special in the category with its breakthrough design, luxurious interior and advanced IT and safety features," said Diaz. "Consumers have responded, with Murano sales up nearly 30 percent this year. This prestigious award from the Texas Auto Writers Association is more than an honor, it's icing on the cake."
The all-new Murano carries forward new Nissan design direction with V-Motion front end, boomerang lights, floating roof treatment and efficient aerodynamics. Inside, the new Murano offers an engaging social lounge feel through features such as the refined lower-height instrument panel, wide center console, advanced Zero Gravity seating, and the airy atmosphere created by the large windows and oversized Power Panoramic Moonroof. Murano is offered in four well-equipped models, available in both FWD and AWD.