2017 Nissan Titan Crew Cab V-8: Durable half-ton is rugged and innovative

By Mike Blake - Carlisle Events
Thursday, February 2, 2017

Launched for the 2004 model year as an alternative to the full-size pick-up establishment, Nissan’s Titan went through its first generation without a major redesign until 2016. This year, the all-new Titan Crew Cab adds a bold design, a new half-ton model and a new standard 390-horsepower 5.6-liter Endurance® V-8 gasoline engine coupled with a 7-speed automatic transmission.

With body-on-frame (fully boxed ladder-type) construction utilizing corrosion-resistant and high strength steel, the new Titan half-ton continues the design cues established by the original Titan full-size pickup, including bed and cab features that are now industry standard, and the rugged function and style of the Titan XD.

The Titan half-ton has the same aggressive style as the Titan XD, but is built on a completely separate chassis and is about a foot shorter in wheelbase (139.8 inches versus XD's 151.6 inches). At 228.1 inches in length, it is 14.7 inches shorter than the larger Titan XD (242.8 inches).The new Titan also measures 79.5 inches in width and 76.0 inches in height. Minimum ground clearance is 8.9 inches and step-in height is 22.9 inches up front and 23.8 in the rear and Titan has a curbweight of 5684 lbs. Titan and Titan XD share the same cabs, and both offer similar toughness, durability and innovative interior, bed and driving aid features.

The Titan half-ton's exterior design was created at Nissan Design America in La Jolla, Calif. The design's focus on improved aerodynamics (an approximate 10 percent reduction versus the previous-generation Titan) incorporates a front spoiler, roof and tailgate spoilers, front tow hook hole cover, underbody covers, rear tire wind deflectors and a seal between the cab and bed.

The Titan half-ton also incorporates an Active Grille Shutter, which helps reduce drag by closing the grille opening behind the radiator when a large amount of airflow is not needed, and its standard 5.5-foot bed is designed to work hard and play hard, with a wide range of available functionality features.

An improved interior layout offers enhanced storage versus the previous generation Titan – front storage has been increased 33 percent and rear storage 28 percent – and new second- row underseat storage includes a locking lid for added security, along with an integrated foldout flat floor.

Filled with high-tech, infotainment, climate and comfort items, the interior provides 41.0 inches of front headroom with 40.4 inches in row two; leg room is 31.8 inches in row one and 38.5 inches in the second row; knee room is 26.6 and 23.9 and shoulder room is 63.3 inches in the first seats and 63.6 in the second row. The standard front and rear Zero Gravity seats help maximize posture positioning for enhanced comfort during long distance driving.

Titan power is provided by a smooth 5.6-liter Endurance® V-8 engine that shares its displacement with the previous-generation V-8, but gains 73 hp (390 hp) and 9 lbs.-ft. of torque (394 lbs.-ft.) from Gen-1. Titan is EPA rated at 15mpg in city driving, 21 mpg on the highway and 18mpg overall, and a week of tests in snowy conditions yielded an average of 17.3mpg.

During tests, the cabin was quiet, the seats were comfortable and the sightlines were good. Engine power built predictably and consistently and while the rack-and-pinion engine speed variable assist steering was a bit heavy, handling was par for the niche though a bit top-heavy. The double-wishbone front suspension with 34-mm stabilizer bar and twin-tube coil-over shock absorbers works with a multi-leaf solid-axle rear with an 18 mm-stabilizer bar and twin-tube shock absorbers to smooth out most road irregularities and while it floated a bit at high-speed, Titan’s road feel was dependable when needed. On the track, Titan gradually gained enough speed to finish off a zero-to-60mph sprint in 7.2 seconds and confidently completed a quarter-mile in 15.7 seconds.

With attention to safety, Titan is outfitted with an Anti-lock Braking System, Vehicle Dynamic Control, Traction Control System and Tire Pressure Monitoring System. Also onboard is the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System with single-stage driver and dual-stage passenger supplemental front air bags with seat belt sensors and occupant classification sensor. This includes roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags with rollover sensor and front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags.

The 2017 Nissan Titan Crew Cab comes in nine base trim levels, beginning with the S 2x2 at $34,780 and the 4x4 at $37,760, and topping out with the Platinum 4x4 at $55,400. Second on the list – SV -- started at $37,670 and added Advanced Drive-Assist® Display, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio, trailer sway control and chrome exterior trim to the S. I tested the next one up, the SL, starting at $46,380, after adding Remote Engine Start/Stop System, Leather-appointed seats, NissanConnect™ powered by SiriusXM® and a Rockford Fosgate® audio system. In Magnetic Black with an SL Black Leather interior, the Chrome Package was added for $1200 (chrome grille, exhaust finisher, 20-inch chrome wheels and kick plat finisher); and the $410 Towing Convenience Package was required; Splash Guards added $235; Running Board Lighting added $370; Door Sill Plates were $95; all-season floor mats added $135 and Destination and Handling added $1195, for a sticker-as-tested of $50,020.

> Visit www.CarlisleEvents.com for more on the automotive hobby.

Mike Blake, former editor of KIT CAR magazine, joined Carlisle Events as senior automotive journalist in 2004. He's been a "car guy" since the 1960s and has been writing professionally for about 30 years.

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