First introduced way back in 2004, the Nissan Titan full-size pickup is definitely beginning to show its age but still offers plenty of power and capability. One weakness is a lack of options compared to the domestic competition- the Titan has a single powertrain and no heavy-duty model.
The Titan uses a rugged fully boxed frame with a live rear axle supported by leaf springs. The truck can be had in extended-cab (King Cab) and Crew Cab forms: the King Cab features small rear-hinged doors that open 168 degrees for nearly unlimited interior access, while the Crew Cab has four standard doors and considerably more rear seat space.
Each cab comes with a choice of two bed lengths: 6.5- or 8-foot for the King Cab, and 5.5- or 7-foot for the Crew Cab. Buyers are also asked to choose between two different wheelbases measuring 138.9 inches and 159.5 inches.
In contrast to the its competitors, which offer a range of six- and eight-cylinder engine options, the Titan comes only with a 5.6-liter V8. This mill makes a healthy 317 horsepower and 385 lb-ft torque and pairs exclusively with a five-speed automatic transmission.
Two- and four-wheel-drive variants are available, and maximum towing capacity is rated at up to 9,500 pounds for King Cab and 9,400 pounds for Crew Cab (when properly equipped). Fuel economy is rated at 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway for the 2WD version while 4WD models return 12/17 mpg.
The Titan's handling is precise for a large pickup, and could even be called sporty. It's cabin, however, has fallen behind the times in terms of material quality and refinement. Low-grade plastics are abundant, and the overall design is dated.
Titans feature two interior configurations - a bench seat with column shifter (seats six), or two front bucket seats with a large center console and gated floor shifter (seats five).
The bench seat is standard on S and SV models, while captains seats are standard on the PRO-4X and SL models and available as part of the SV Value Truck Package (SV models).
Among the Titan's interior features are standard flip-up 60/40 rear seat cushions for added cargo space and flexibility, with available grocery hooks on the bottom of the seat cushions. The rear floor was designed to be nearly flat for maximum cargo utility.
The Crew Cab's rear seat is large with a full 24 degrees of seat back angle, helping passengers take full advantage of the Crew Cab Titan's 126 cubic feet of available space, including front and rear seat leg room of 41.8 inches and 40.4 inches, respectively.
Both King Cab and Crew Cab Titans' rear compartments offer rear storage, including door storage bins and rear door bottle holders in the armrests and available power front windows with one-touch auto up/down function (not available on King Cab S models). All Titan Crew Cab models feature a standard power down/up rear bed access cab window.
An available overhead console system gives passengers more storage options. The console houses rear audio controls and also contains storage bins for both front and rear passengers for items like sunglasses, CDs, cell phone, PDA or a small tissue box. The Titan features an available fold-flat front passenger seat that allows extra versatility and can also be used as a working area.
Trim Level Breakdown
The Titan is offered in S, SV, PRO-4X and SL trim levels.
The spartan S trim comes standard with A/C, a six-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system and painted 18-inch steel wheels. Extra convenience can be added with the S Popular Equipment Package, which brings remote keyless entry, cruise control, an overhead center console, a sliding back window and rear privacy glass, a class IV tow hitch receiver with seven-pin wiring harness and trailer brake controller pre-wiring.
To the S' features, the SV adds chrome exterior trim, power locks and windows, a rearview camera, Bluetooth smartphone connectivity, cruise control, remote keyless entry, a power-adjustable driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, two-tone cloth upholstery, AUX and USB inputs for the stereo, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
The off-road-focused PRO-4X ups the ante with Rancho Shocks, an electronic locking rear differential, skid plates, a lower final gear ratio, black exterior trim, dark-finish 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, a rear tailgate spoiler, a rear sonar system, fog lights, auto on/off headlights and front captain's chairs.
The SL builds on the SV's features with leather upholstery, a navigation screen with voice command functionality, 5.8-inch touch-screen monitor and Google point-of-interest search, heated front seats, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, memory seating, wood-tone interior accents, hands-free text-messaging assistant, a rear sonar system, fog lights, auto on/off headlights, front captain's chairs and 20-inch alloy wheels.
Nissan recently added a new Sport Appearance Package, which is available with King Cab and Crew Cab SV models. It includes 20-inch SL aluminum-alloy wheels in dark hyper silver finish, a dark grille treatment, body colored front and rear bumpers, black step rails, PRO-4X seats with silver contrasting stitching, lockable bedside storage compartment, bodyside sport Titan graphic, white-faced gauges and fog lights.
All Titan models come standard with dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
The Titan faces stiff competition from rivals that offer many more cab, bed and engine configurations than Nissan's aging pickup does. These include the popular Chevrolet Silverado and the Ford F-150, which offers a powerful yet fuel efficient EcoBoost twin-turbocharged V6 option. The aggressively-styled Toyota Tundra also merits consideration.