Nissan Announces 2016 Lineup Changes, Xterra Dead
Nissan has just dropped a comprehensive list of updates and changes happening to its 2016 vehicle lineup, including its trucks, body-on-frame SUVs, and utility vans. Most concerning is the news the venerable Xterra will not live past the 2015 model year. Yep, after 15 years on the market and more than 750,000 examples sold, the rugged, two-row SUV is headed out to pasture.
Thankfully that’s the saddest news on Nissan’s truck front. Leading the polar opposite express is the introduction of the 2016 Nissan Titan XD – the three-quarter ton truck that is supposed to drive like a half-ton but pull like a one-ton. Fans of the truck already know the big news is under the Titan XD’s hood. That’s because a Cummins V-8 turbodiesel is cradled between the fully boxed frame rails and kicks out an impressive 555 pound-feet of torque.
Nissan also hints at the Titan’s other optional powertrain, saying three engines will be offered. My guess is an updated version of the 5.6-liter V-8 currently found in the truck, along with a V-6 – possibly turbocharged – for the base level truck.
Also related to the Titan, Nissan says it will release more information on the three-row Nissan Armada at a later date.
The Frontier, Nissan’s aging midsized truck offering, is getting very minor update that include new colors and greater moonroof availability in lesser trim levels. Nissan’s workhorses, the NV and NV200 vans, also get very minor updates that include paint colors, now-standard side-impact air bags, and greater availability of the SL Technology package.
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Sadly, the Xterra has come to the end of is lifespan. I can’t say I didn’t see it coming, however, with Nissan’s move to a unibody platform for the Pathfinder – the Xterra’s cousin. Slow sales thanks to a thirsty V-6 engine, low-budget tech options, and years since a refresh have all played a role in sealing this vehicle’s fate.
Note: 2015 Nissan Frontier shown here
Since Nissan is focused on launching the Titan XD for 2016, I don’t suspect much will be done about the Frontier until at least 2018. At that time, expect some major changes, including an all-new body, frame, exterior design, and interior accommodations. Rumors have been swirling about the next Frontier coming with a four-cylinder turbodiesel. That’s perfectly logical given Nissan’s relationship with Cummins and the Colorado/Canyon twins coming with a four-cylinder turbodiesel for 2016.
Note: 2016 Nissan Titan XD shown here.
The Titan XD is stealing many of Nissan’s headlines these days, and rightly so. The pickup truck is attempting to define and create a new group of trucks that have the advantages of both the light duty and heavy duty class of personal pickup trucks. The new 5.0-liter Cummins V-8 turbodiesel has been leading those headlines with its 310 horsepower and 555 pound-feet of torque. Nissan says the truck will be able to pull more than 12,000 pounds and will come with a factory-optional gooseneck hitch.
The Titan XD’s interior is also a vast improvement over the outgoing trucks’. Higher grade materials, better fitments, and more technology are putting the truck back in the fight against the domestics.
2014 Nissan Armada shown here.
Sharing the Titian’s platform and powertrain, the Armada is a beastly full-sized SUV that offers three rows of seating, 4WD, the ability to tow, and V-8 power. Like the Frontier, I don’t expect Nissan to release the next Armada until the 2018 model year.
Sadly there is hearsay the Armada will be sunk in favor of a refresh. Hopefully Nissan will shoot for Chevy Tahoe and Suburban sales and not come up short. What’s more, Nissan could incorporate many of the Titian XD’s features into the next Armada, giving it more towing capacity than any current full-sized SUV. That’s especially true since GM canned the Suburban and Yukon XL 2500 series.
Note: 2015 Nissan NV200 shown here.
The NV is Nissan’s answer to the 2015 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savanna full-sized vans. However, like the Armada, the NV is based on the current generation Titan. It offers both a 4.0-liter V-6 and the 5.6-liter V-8, along with a five-speed automatic transmission and ladder frame. The NV comes in three chassis forms: NV1500, NV2500, and NV3500, with each offering more hauling and towing capability than the last.
The only changes to the NV is the inclusion of the front seat-mounted side-impact airbags and roof-mounted curtain airbags coming standard on NV Cargo models, a new paint color of Cayenne Red, and the SL Technology Package coming standard on more trim levels.
There’s no word on when Nissan will next update the NV van lineup, but my guess is not anytime soon. Here again, Nissan does have the option to include more Titan XD parts into the construction, so perhaps that will be the case.
Note: 2015 Nissan NV200 shown here.
Nissan’s little cargo van than could, the NV200, competes with the Ford Transit Connect. Literally the only change happening here is the new color of Taxi Yellow getting added to the NV200 Cargo’s paint swatch. Otherwise both the Cargo and Passenger version of the van remain the same.
Don’t expect any major updates here within the next three years.