NISSAN ADDS A NEW TITAN PICKUP FOR 2017
By Tom Crosby
Despite its name, Nissan’s Titan models have always been tiny players in the lucrative full-size pickup truck market. With an all-new Titan for 2017 and an improved flagship Titan XD in 2016, the Japanese automaker hopes to gain traction against perennial heavyweights like Ford’s F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, Dodge Ram, GMC Sierra and Toyota Tundra. It’s a crowded and highly competitive segment with price, performance, vehicle personalization and brand loyalty major buyer characteristics. Nissan hopes to claw its way up the sales ladder with the 2017 Titan already named Motor Trend magazine’s truck of the year. Titans come in five models, with all but the off-road oriented PRO-X available in either 2- or 4-wheel drive. Our test drive Platinum Reserve 4WD is top trim with 20-inch wheels sporting all-season tires, quilted Zero Gravity leather heated/cooled front and heated rear seats, plus around-view monitor with moving detection. Both Titans have powerful V-8 engines well mated to 7-speed transmissions, attractive profiles that stack up visually against competitors, generous interior storage space and a strong 100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. Challenges remain for multiple customizations but Nissan says single cab and king cab variants, along with a V6 engine, will follow. Titan performs well off-road helped by a new gauge for calculating pitch and roll angles, low range gearing, active brake limited-slip differential and shift-on-the-fly for high or low 4-wheel drive.
On road, handling/ride are truck-like with bounce on uneven pavement. Gas gobbling is a trade-off for improved engine get up and go.
Inside, the spacious cabin seats five comfortably. Storage spaces abound, with lockable storage bins under the cushioned flip-up rear bench seats and a hidden under-seat envelope clip. The center console can hold a 15-inch tablet; there are six cupholders and eight bottle holders. Chrome and wood interior accents, soft leather door padding, ergonomically placed controls and a graphically clear 7-inch touchscreen create a stylish cabin. Climate control is robust. A premium Rockford Fosgate 12-speaker audio system overcomes minor but persistent engine noise. NissanConnect supplies emergency telematics, voice-activated navigation, app access and other technology and communication features. The 360-degree camera view aids parking in tight spaces. Remote start and trunk bed, tailgate and puddles nighttime illumination is helpful. Running boards are badged. The 65-inch truck bed contains a five-track channel system with four adjustable tie-down cleats and a 120-volt outlet. Towing rates at 9,230 pounds, slightly less than some competitors, and prices can exceed similar competitors.
LIKES: Power, off-road prowess, storage, looks, warranty
DISLIKES: Mileage, limited customization choices, engine noise, price
BOTTOM LINE: Uphill climb against more sophisticated rivals.
- Base price w/destination fee $56,595 (as tested)
- Curb weight 5,935 lbs.
- Wheelbase 139.8 inches
- Length 228.1 inches
- Width 80.7inches
- Engine specs 5.6-liter, DOHC, V8
- Horsepower 390-hp @ 5,800 rpm
- Torque 394 lbs.-ft. @4,000 rpm
- Transmission 7-speed automatic
- EPA Rating 15 city, 21 highway
- Range 26 gallons, regular
- Performance 0-60 in just over 6 seconds