2008.5 Titan New Car Test Drive
Is the strong-but-sensitive type currently in or out of fashion? We're asking, because the Nissan Titan definitely fits the description.
Titan is a big truck. It excels at roominess, with lots of headroom up front, while the back seats of Crew Cab models offer plenty of legroom. It's a dazzling performer, with even more power and torque this year from its mighty 5.6-liter V8. (That's the standard engine; there is no base V6.) Properly equipped, Titan can tow 9,500 pounds. Four-wheel-drive models boast high ground clearances and generous approach angles. Titan's handling is equally responsive, making it among the most enjoyable of the full-size pickups to drive. Brakes, suspension, and drivetrain work together for quick response.
So Titan is a serious truck, but one that also pleases the senses. It offers more emotional appeal than other trucks. That appeal begins with its expressive styling and extends to clever innovations and options that include a factory-applied spray-in bedliner, a C-channel tie-down system for securing cargo and accessories, and a stash box integrated into the driver's-side rear fender for storing a tow hitch or other small items. The rear doors on the King Cab open nearly 180 degrees for quick access. A dampened assist reduces effort when opening and closing the tailgate. The Crew Cab has a power retractable rear window with privacy glass and an electric defroster.
Not surprisingly, Titan earned top honors in the Large Pickup segment of the J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) study for 2006. The study measures owner delight with design, content, layout and performance.
And with all that going for it, Titan is also an American truck. Yes, it's the first full-size pickup ever from a company whose world headquarters are located outside of North America. (We're not counting the 1999-06 Toyota Tundra, which was only about 7/8ths full-size.) But Titan was designed in California, and is assembled near Jackson, Mississippi, using engines shipped from Nissan's plant near Nashville, Tennessee. With some Big Three-branded trucks now assembled in Mexico, the relative meanings of 'domestic' and 'import' become complicated.
Changes for 2007 are minimal. In some Midwestern and Southern states, Titan is now a Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV), meaning it can run on gasoline or various blends of gasoline and ethanol. In other states it still runs on gasoline only. But all prices are the same either way. Nor does FFV capability affect power and torque, both of which are increased for '07, from 305 to 317 horsepower, and 379 to 385 pound-feet, respectively.
Trim enhancements include new chrome packages for LE and SE. The Utility Bed is now optional on SE; and the Texas Titan package has been extended to include LE Crew Cabs as well as SE King and Crew Cabs.
The Nissan Titan is available in two body styles: an extended King Cab with auxiliary rear doors and a 6-foot, 7-inch bed; and a Crew Cab with a larger cabin, four conventional doors and a 5-foot, 7-inch bed. All Titans are powered by Nissan's 5.6-liter V8 engine and five-speed automatic transmission. All models are available in 2WD and 4WD.
Three trim levels are offered: XE, SE, and LE. All come with a high level of standard equipment including a tire-pressure monitor, cruise control, tilt steering and a CD stereo.
The most basic XE King Cab 2WD ($23,700) and 4WD ($26,900) come with wind-up windows, manual door locks, cloth upholstery, a split front bench seat that has a fold-down armrest storage bin, a split pop-up rear seat, and 17-inch steel wheels. A Preferred Package ($700) adds an upgraded stereo with MP3 capability, an overhead console, a tinted and sliding rear cab window, and tinted rear door glass.
SE King Cab 2WD ($25,850) and 4WD ($29,050) add captain's chairs with a better grade of cloth, 18-inch aluminum wheels, power everything, and host of other features, including an audio package that can play MP3-formatted CDs. Various Popular Packages ($1100-1750) nearly bridge the equipment gap between the SE and LE (below); but leather upholstery is not available.
Other SE options include a Utility Bed Package ($950), which combines a clever channel system in the bed for flexible tie-down configurations to fit a wide range of cargo; a lockable storage system in the outside of the bed; tailgate lighting; a power point at the rear; and the factory-applied spray-in bedliner.
LE King Cab 2WD ($30,650) and 4WD ($33,700) get exclusive leather seats in front, Rockford-Fosgate audio, fog lights, power adjustable pedals, tubular running boards and all the trick bed features in the Utility Bed Package. A DVD-based navigation system ($1,800) is optional on LE only.
Front bench seats are available as a credit option on SE (-$150) and LE (-$400).
The Crew Cab 2WD XE ($26,550), SE ($28,350), and LE ($33,150); and 4WD XE ($29,750), SE ($31,550), and LE ($36,200) are similarly equipped. Most of the same option packages are offered.
An off-road package ($1,050) for 4WD models consists of a unique lower-ratio (3.357:1) Dana axle; switch-on-demand electronically activated locking rear differential; Rancho performance gas shock absorbers; beefyP285/70R17 all-terrain tires; fog lights; and skid plates for the radiator, oil pan and transfer case. The Trac Package ($300) adds Active Brake Limited Slip (ALBS) and the locking differential to a 2WD XE or SE.
All models can be equipped with XM or Sirius Satellite Radio ($350). SE and LE Crew Cabs are available with DVD entertainment ($1450), or a sunroof ($900). SE and LE King and Crew Cabs offer a safety package ($1200) that includes front-seat side-impact airbags, air curtains, and Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC).
New for 2007 is a Chrome Package for SE ($2,500) and LE ($1,050) that adds 18-inch chrome wheels and chrome step rails. The identically priced Texas Titan Package includes chrome 18-inch wheels and step rails, plus fog lamps, factory spray-on bed liner, floor mats with the Texas Star, and Texas Titan identification. Offered only on SE Kings and Crews last year, the Lone Star look is now available on LE Crew Cabs as well. Tow packages) are also available, as are other options.
Safety features that come standard include dual-stage front air bags with seat belt sensors and a front-passenger occupant classification sensor. Titan's front seat belts feature pretensioners and load limiters and adjustable upper anchors; seat belts are your most important line of defense in a crash, so be sure to wear them. In the rear are three-point outboard passenger seat belts and the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tether for CHildren) child seat anchor system. Active front head restraints come standard on all models.