Nissan Titan Road Test

First Drive

2017 Nissan Titan Goes Lighter

A long-awaited redesign aims squarely at the heart of the full-sized pickup truck market

Overview

A new half-ton Nissan Titan joins the monstrous, almost heavy-duty Titan XD truck that went on sale a few months ago. Initially, this less-imposing Titan will be available only with a 390-hp, 5.6-liter V8 engine, matched to a seven-speed automatic transmission. (A V6 will come later.)

The only body style offered for now is a four-door crew cab. But like most trucks in this class, you will soon be able to choose a regular- or extended-cab version. You can get a Titan in either two- or four-wheel drive and choose from among five trim lines or optional extras: S, SV, PRO-4X, SL, and Platinum Reserve.

Built in in Canton, Miss., the new Titan half-ton gets a completely different chassis from the larger XD, and it's about a foot shorter in both wheelbase and overall length.The crew-cab model has a standard 5.5-foot-long bed that offers a flexible system to tie down and secure cargo. Movable aluminum-alloy cleats, located on the sides of the bed, can be positioned and locked down, allowing owners to secure items large or small with straps or bungee cords. Other bed features include a spray-on bedliner, flush-mounted LED lights, access to a 120-volt power outlet, and a damped tailgate.

The Titan is on sale now, starting at $35,975 for the base two-wheel-drive crew cab. The top-shelf, four-wheel-drive Platinum Reserve rings in at $56,595.

Impressions

Inside, luxury features such as dual-zone automatic climate control, and heated and cooled front seats are available, along with a choice of fabric or leather seating surfaces. You can even get heated rear seats.Both 5- and 7-inch infotainment screens are offered. And like most competing models, you can get a navigation system, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and a rearview camera (including Nissan’s nicely done 360-degree surround-view monitor).

Those interested in towing will find the Titan well-equipped, with an integrated trailer brake controller, trailer sway control, and a trailer-light check system that makes it easier for the driver to hook-up a trailer without a spotter.The check system lets you make sure all of the turn signals, brake lights, and running/clearance lights are fully functioning. Nissan says that when properly equipped, the Titan’s maximum towing capacity is 9,390 pounds and maximum payload capacity is 1,610 pounds.

CR's Take

The previous Titan was among the lowest-scoring trucks in our tests, with an uncomfortable ride, rudimentary infotainment systems, just so-so fit and finish, and a dismal 14 mpg overall. The new model can only get better. Our tested Titan XD turned out to be a blunt instrument needing a bit of finishing school. It’s ponderous to drive and doesn’t approach the payload or towing capabilities of true HD trucks. Perhaps the light-duty Titan will be more refined and give the dominant Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, and Ram 1500 a run for their money.

New Car Reliability Prediction


Warranty

All cars come with basic warranty coverage, also known as a bumper-to-bumper warranty. This protects consumers against unexpected problems with non-wear items. Powertrain warranty protects against engine and transmission troubles. Rust through, or corrosion warranty, covers rust to non-damaged components. Roadside aid provides on-location assistance in case of a breakdown and may include limited towing services.

Extended warranties provide peace of mind. Owners of models known to have worse-than-average predicted reliability can mitigate risks with an extended warranty. Generally, we recommend buying a model with better-than-average reliability and skipping this expensive add on. If you do buy an extended warranty, it is key to read the small print to understand what is covered and where you can bring the car for repairs.

Basic (years/miles)
3/36000

Powertrain (years/miles)
5/60000

Rust through (years/miles)
5/unlimited

Roadside aid (years/miles)
5/60000