Nissan Titan - a lot of truck

Written By nyit on Saturday, April 16, 2011 | 3:53 AM

Pickups are a way of life for many people, whether it is for recreation, work, farm & ranch, or simply because a driver likes them. Pickups have improved in recent years, from merely utilitarian into near-luxury vehicles. Earlier this summer, my wife Judy and I had a 2010 Nissan Titan for our weekly test evaluation and I really enjoyed it. It was a top-of-the-line model LE 4x2.

The Titan is available in four trim levels – XE, SE, Pro-4X, and the LE. The Titan does not come with a wide variety of choices. Our test model was a four-door crew cab. The only other choice is an extended cab. All Titan pickups are powered by a 5.6 liter V-8 engine and a five speed automatic transmission. This is a slight drawback in the pickup market for those wanting some engine choices for more fuel economy.
Pickups are improving their ride quality each year, but bumpy roads always present a challenge. The Titan chassis consists of an independent front suspension and leaf-spring rear suspension, which helps in off-road situations. Most pickups attain a rattle or two over time, but improvements are coming every year. Most pickups are adding more sound deadening materials and tightening parts. Our test model Titan had a really quiet cab for most of the highway riding, but there was a small rattle from inside the dashboard that never could be located.

The Titan provided easy handling and a fairly tight turning radius, which is not always possible in a full-size pickup. When I was on some very curvy roads, there was almost a connection with the road as the Titan held tightly without any feeling of leaning or slippage. Overall, I was very impressed with the road handling, especially curvy roads and backwoods trails.

The exterior of the Titan is attractive and distinctive, but there have not been many changes to set it apart from the competition. Our test model had an upgraded Heavy Metal Edition for an extra $1370. This added tremendously to the rugged, outdoor appearance. It included a heavy chrome grille, large chromed 2- inch wheels, and chromed step rails. All this heavy-duty chrome gives the outward appearance of this being a very aggressive pickup and sometimes perception becomes reality.

The interior is really nice – not premium or luxury, but very functional and comfortable. There are small cubby-holes and storage compartments everywhere. The center console box is large, able to hold a variety of fairly large items, including my wife’s purse. This cab arrangement is conducive to adequately make this truck an alternate work-place during the day. Standard equipment on our test model included Captains chairs for the front seats with touch-button adjustments and both fully heated. The rear passenger seat fold down flat for easy cargo room in the back. The interior includes a lot of leather and wood trim to give it an attractive appearance.

The standard sound system is a Rockford Fosgate premium audio that includes auxiliary inputs. There are two power outlets on each side of the center control panel, which I think is quite useful. It allows the plug-in of two cell phones, or other accessory items, at the same time. So many times, it is necessary to unplug something from the dash area so that a cell phone can be recharged. This was a very nice touch.
The cargo area is available in a couple of different sizes. Nissan has added a fairly large lockable compartment behind the left rear fender. This is almost a hidden area and works well for locking small items in a pickup. Our test model included the Util-Track tie-down system that included C-channel rails along the walls and floor. There were four movable tie-down cleats located in the rails. These were easy to move and easy to use and are ideal if you use the bed for carrying larger items that need to be secured on a regular basis, such as a riding lawn mower or a four-wheeler ATV.

The base rear-wheel-drive XE model starts at $26,320 and this includes the V-8 engine. Our test model LE had a long list of standard equipment and had a base MSRP of $36,420. With the destination charges and that Heavy Metal Chrome package added, the bottom sticker price came to $38,995. I had hoped for a little bit better gas mileage, but average out at just 19 mpg. This was better than the EPA ratings of 13 city and 18 highway. Maybe I just didn’t push it hard enough.

Overall, I really like the Titan. It may not fit everyone’s desires or needs, but if the fit is there, it is a great pickup truck that provides a lot for the driver.

by Alan Gell - MyCarData

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