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From the logbook: 2012 Nissan Titan

Consumer Reports News: March 28, 2012 04:08 PM

Despite seeming innovative in 2004 when it was launched, the Titan never really caught on with pickup truck buyers. The Titan brought a punchy and refined powertrain, large four-door cabin, relatively agile handling, a pre-sprayed bed, and a damped tailgate. But sales were lagging expectations and a host of reliability problems plagued it in the first few years.

The Titan's design dates to 2004, making it quite long in the tooth. And although it has received some updates through the years, it hasn't been significantly changed since its introduction, with the exception of its reliability rising to average. Most competing models have newer designs, including the Chevrolet Silverado, Dodge Ram, Ford F-150, and Toyota Tundra.

It's also been a while since we tested this Titan, and we felt was time revisit it. We didn't load our 2012 four-wheel-drive SV crew cab with too many options (captain's chairs, power driver seat, Bluetooth, trailer hitch and wiring), so the price only came to $36,905. While a fair chunk of change, that's about $2,000-$3,000 less than most of our other recently tested pickups.

So is the Titan still competitive? Here's a look at some initial logbook comments:

"Despite its size, the big Titan is easy to drive."

"Most agile among full-sized pickups."

"The ride is choppy, but, overall, not bad."

"Steering effort is a bit high."

"High bed makes reversing in parking lots difficult."

"I wish for some telescope to adjust this big steering wheel."

"High step-in. After a weekend of this, I'll take some running boards."

"Driver's seat gets soggy after an hour... the passenger seat is rattling."

"I like the driver's seat fold-down arm rest."

"Controls are spread across the dash and hard to reach."

"$36K and no 'auto' headlights?"

"Power rear window and damped tailgate are nice touches."

Looking at these logbook comments and our Ratings of full-sized trucks (available to online subscribers), the Titan draws a mixed bag of reactions. It competes in a very tightly clustered segment with few bad choices. But some of us think that despite its age, it still holds its own, as shown by this comment: "This is a worthy pickup that does many things better than the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado."

Once testing is completed, we'll have the full measure of how it stacks up against its tough competition.

See our pickup truck buying advice and Ratings.

Mike Quincy

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