2018 Titan New Car Test Drive
The Nissan Titan was redesigned and launched as an all-new truck for 2017, the beginning of its second generation, so for 2018 it was unchanged. There's a new Midnight Appearance package that darkens the exterior, but that's all.
A full-size pickup, Titan stretches 19 feet long and weighs 5000 pounds. Titan is the light-duty model. (Titan XD is a heavy-duty model that looks the same but differs in many ways. Titan XD is reviewed separately.)
The standard engine is a quick and delightful 5.6-liter V8 making 390 horsepower and 394 foot-pounds of torque, mated to a 7-speed automatic that can sometimes be slow to respond. It gets 15/21/18 EPA City/Highway/Combined miles per gallon, with 2WD. There is also a 5.0-liter intercooled turbo diesel V8.
Rivals include Toyota Tundra, Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500. Titan is built in Mississippi and was designed in California, and is as American as any of them, including the Tundra, which is built in Texas.
Titan is available in Single Cab and Crew Cab versions. The cabs are straightforward and comfortable, with supportive front seats that come in handsome leather in the Platinum Reserve model. The navigation screen is small, but the rearview camera is useful when backing up or attaching a trailer. The front seats are supportive and the controls large and easy to operate.
On the road, Titan feels tall but taut, more precise than some of its rivals. The suspension is relatively firm and controlled, and the steering is direct.
The bed uses a tie-down system of cleats and rails that comes standard, and locking storage boxes are available. The tailgate is damped, so it lowers easily and doesn't slam down.
Also standard is a controller for trailer brakes, and it's steadier and more precise than aftermarket trailer-brake controllers. Surround-view cameras add to the rearview camera, along with blind-spot monitors, cross-traffic alerts in reverse, and front and rear parking sensors.
Nissan Titan comes in a bewildering 52 models and/or trim levels, from the two-wheel-drive Single Cab Titan S ($30,030) with cloth upholstery and six-speaker audio, to the four-wheel-drive Diesel Crew Cab Platinum Reserve.