2016 Nissan Titan XD
After hauling up our Drivers’ Choice Award for Best Pickup, the Nissan Titan XD looks to wow us again. This time, running on tried and true V8 gasoline power.
The original 5.0 liter Cummins turbo diesel V8 was a torque-y and stout mover that impressed us mightily. A tow rating of 12,300 pounds impressed us, too.
This time, we’re cruisin’ in the 5.6 liter “Endurance” V8, a naturally aspirated gasoline engine carried over from the current gen, and also smaller, Titan. Although some reengineering bumps horsepower way up to 390, and torque to 401 lb-ft.
Compared to the diesel, there’s a penalty on tow rating, of course. But at around eleven hundred pounds less weight, it’s not as much as we expected. Max payload on the other hand, is actually up about 500 pounds.
The lighter gas engine also makes it feel a little more nimble on its feet.
On sale now, the 2016 Nissan Titan XD, with V8 Gasoline power, starts around $36,000.
- Engine: 5.6 liter
- Horsepower: 390
- Torque: Starts around $36,000
2024 Chevrolet Trax
After a one-year hiatus, the Chevrolet Trax compact utility is back and all-new for 2024, aiming to entice young buyers with modern looks and amenities, all at a condensed value.
This sharp new design illustrates a significant growth spurt, now 11-inches longer on a 6-inch longer wheelbase. Inside, this means 3-more-inches of rear legroom and over 25 cubic-feet of cargo storage with the second-row seats up– or up to 54 cubic-feet seats-down.
This is the same for all five trims; of course, there are some key differences. For example, the entry LS and 1RS trims come with analog gauges and an 8-inch touchscreen. LT, 2RS and ACTIV come with both an 11-inch touchscreen and an 8-inch digital instrument panel. The higher trims also come with some extra content, like heated front seats and keyless start; but, some of the more important features, like certain driver safety systems, come standard on all.
Also standard is the sole powertrain: A turbocharged 1.2-liter inline-three rated at 137 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque sent through a six-speed automatic. The Trax is front-wheel drive only this time, and it proved to be up to the task during our North Carolina First Drive.
ALEXANDER KELLUM: “Now, for those of you who may be concerned about some of the powertrain figures there, ‘cause I know, like, 3-cylinder may not sound the most attractive to some buyers. Um, but for what this vehicle is meant to be, just a compact commuter that gets you from point-A to point-B and offers, again, a healthy amount of standard features, this three-cylinder’s doing great. I’m cruising around Asheville right now and I’m not having any problems. I could keep up with traffic on the freeway; yet, back here on some of these roads, uh, it’s perfect. It’s quiet, it’s smooth and, yeah, it feels great.”
The 2024 Chevrolet Trax is an impressive experience from powertrain to features, especially when you weigh its value. A base-level LS starts at $21,495 with delivery, while the top-level 2RS and ACTIV start at $24,995.
Chevrolet ticked all the boxes when they set out to create a compact utility for the young and modern buyer, all for a great value! And we’ll have more Quick Spins… soon!
2024 Toyota Grand Highlander
Not Just a Stretched Highlander
Somebody in Toyota product planning came up with the grand idea of making a bigger version of their best-selling Highlander and call it the Grand Highlander.
Then, someone in MotorWeek personnel planning came up with the great idea of sending me to Hawaii to check it out. So, here we are and here it is, the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander.
Longer by 6.5-inches, the priorities were to deliver true space for adults in the 3rd row and provide more room behind it for cargo. But don’t think of it so much as a stretched Highlander, as it is a completely new vehicle, with most of its styling cues like the big “hammerhead” trapezoidal grille, actually much closer to the RAV4. Plus, new wheels designs up to 20-inches.
There are 3 engines to choose from, and they each get their own transmission, starting with a 243-horsepower 2.5-liter Hybrid, working through a CVT.
It’s joined by a 265-horsepower 2.4-liter turbo I4 which has an 8-speed automatic.
Add a performance-minded hybrid setup to that 2.4-liter and you get a 362-horsepower Hybrid Max setup, mated to a 6-speed automatic. Hybrid Max versions get unique front and rear bumpers, along with a dual exhaust system, and standard all-wheel-drive, which is optional with the 2.4-liter turbo and the Hybrid.
“The Hybrid Max has plenty of torque for getting this Grand Highlander off the line, and delivers a very refined driving experience, but the Grand Highlander only weighs about 100-lbs. more, so the other engines hold their own as well.”
Familiar unassuming quality-minded Toyota interior, with their latest multimedia system which gets a 12.3-inch touchscreen standard.
“So, I’m driving a bigger Highlander, but it doesn’t necessarily feel any bigger. It’s still easy to maneuver, with ride quality that’s quite plush, and noise levels that rival Lexus.”
Since this is the grandest of all Highlanders, no need for L or LE trims; the Grand Highlander is available in XLE, Limited, and Platinum grades only, starting with XLE at about $43,000.
We’ll have much more on the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander soon…right here on MotorWeek.