Following its first foray into the half-ton sector with the first-generation Titan, Nissan is back for a second stab at one of America's most popular vehicle segments. Not to be confused with its in-betweener Titan XD (a so-called Extra Duty truck) that straddles the half- and three-quarter ton pickup markets, the standard Titan returns for 2017 completely redesigned.
At first glimpse, it's easy to confuse the Titan and the Titan XD. Both look more or less identical. They share the same beefy grille, flared wheel arches, and blocky styling, plus they're also both the same width and roughly the same height.
The Titan is offered in a Regular Cab form with an eight-foot bed, or, as a Crew Cab with a 5.5-foot bed, and can be fitted with the Utili-track load-securing system as well as integrated in-bed lockable boxes. An extended cab variant will be made available at a later date.
As with the XD, the Titan's cabin is organized and intuitively laid out and even the base trim level receives a push-button start transmission. Available Zero Gravity memory foam seats give the Titan drive-all-day support, while rear legroom in the Crew Cab is generous.
Where the differences emerge between the Titan and Titan XD is under the skin. The Titan and Titan XD ride on distinct chassis with different suspension setups, brakes, hubs and other components. That difference shows up in ability. The strongest Titan can to up to 9,390 lbs (4,259 kg), whereas the strongest XD can tow as much as 12,000 lbs (5,443 kg). Payload for the standard Titan tops out at 1,610 lbs (730 kg), whereas the XD can haul as much as 2,000 lbs (907 kg). Overall, these figures are competitive but not class-leading in the half-ton truck segment.
At launch, the Titan will be offered exclusively with the Endurance 5.6-litre V8 engine which boasts 390 horsepower, 401 lb-ft of torque, direct fuel injection, and is paired to a seven-speed automatic. It's a big step up from the old Titan engine that made 317 hp and 385 lb-ft of torque. This engine is competitive against rivals' V8 engines including the Toyota Tundra, Ram 1500, and outpaces the 5.0-litre V8 and 5.3-litre V8 in the Ford F-150 and GM half-ton trucks, respectively. The Titan Crew Cab is rated at 15.2 L/100 km city and 11.1 highway; the Pro-4X with its knobby tires and off-road kit fares slightly worse at 16.0 L/100 km city and 12 even on the highway.
Down the road, a V6 engine will also be offered, a first for the Titan. Unfortunately, the Cummins diesel from the XD isn't on the horizon. All Titans but the base Regular Cab S come standard with four-wheel drive.
A total of five trim lines are offered on the new Titan Crew Cab, ranging from base S and mid-grade SV, to the off-road-oriented PRO-4X and luxury SL and Platinum Reserve trims. The Regular Cab body style is available in S trim only.
Despite being aimed at business operators, the S and SV grade trims are better equipped than their bare-bones rivals. Remote keyless entry, push-button start, vinyl upholstery and a 5.0-inch display audio system are included on the S, while the SV adds stain-resistant cloth upholstery, chrome exterior trim, and a full-colour instrument cluster display. Beyond bright body colours, the PRO-4X trim adds Bilstein off-road shocks, front bucket seats, a locking rear differential, hill descent control, and knobby tires.
Two luxury models are also being offered, the SL and Platinum Reserve. Both of these trims feature leather upholstery, 20-inch chrome wheels, and a Rockford Fosgate premium audio system with 12 speakers. The Reserve ups the ante with premium leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, 360-degree parking camera, ventilated seats and an integrated trailer-brake controller.
While Titans can be equipped with a blind-spot warning system, rear cross-traffic alert, and reverse camera, active safety systems such as radar cruise control and emergency autonomous braking are not yet available.