Nissan’s full-size titanium pickup truck has a problem that Nissan engineers, entrepreneurs, and product planners will doubtless by no means repair.
This drawback? The truck just isn’t constructed by any of the three Detroit automakers.
Ram, GM, and Ford every have such loyal followers that it looks like the full-size truck market is solely impenetrable. It isn’t simply Nissan both – Toyota’s Tundra faces the identical problem.
To his credit score, Nissan appears to know this. Firm representatives say they know conquest gross sales will probably be tough, in order that they’re specializing in the un-branded half 1,000,000 truck consumers (their quantity) in addition to present Nissan house owners who could also be wanting into a giant truck transfer in.
That will simply be PR language – in spite of everything, it is your job to have a optimistic impression on issues. However, it might not be so. Whereas the Titan would not have the built-in model loyalty of its Detroit rivals, it is not a foul truck. It isn’t on par with the highest two within the section – Ram 1500 and Ford F-150 – however it’s able to tackle the Chevy and GMC. By itself, it’s abundantly competent.
(Full Disclosure: Nissan flew me to Utah to drive the Titan and fed and housed me. I didn’t take the jacket, journey mug, or speaker supplied.)
Modifications for 2020 embody a brand new design (together with totally different grilles on totally different fairings to make it simpler for observers to tell apart them), a brand new nine-speed computerized transmission, an influence improve for the 5.6-liter V8, and the usual availability of the Nissan Security Protect 360 driver help tech (computerized emergency braking with pedestrian detection, computerized rear braking, excessive beam assistant, rear cross site visitors warning, warning of blind spots, lane departure warning) and revised inside gear. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are customary.
The nine-speed gearbox permits a bigger gear distribution and a revised axle ratio of 4.083: 1.
There are two tiers of Titan: Titan and Titan XD Heavy Responsibility. Each vehicles will go on sale in early 2020, with the XD following the smaller Titan. Titan is out there in a king or crew cabin. Each can be found within the variations S, SV or PRO-4X in addition to with two-wheel or four-wheel drive. Crew Cabs are additionally out there within the SL and Platinum Reserve variations. XD fashions will probably be out there in all configurations, however solely as a crew cabin and solely with all-wheel drive.
Excessive-performance XD fashions are three inches taller, 14.6 inches longer, and experience on a wheelbase that’s 11.eight inches longer. The XD encompasses a totally packaged ladder body, off-the-shelf differential, heavy-duty brakes, heavy-duty suspension, and an built-in gooseneck clutch, and may pull as much as 1,600 kilos over the common 9,370 kilos of the Titan. The mattress is 6.5 toes lengthy versus 5.5.
New LED fog lights are a part of the styling replace, and this Titan is the primary to come back with a double panoramic sunroof. Driver help applied sciences out there embody ahead collision warning, clever cruise management, site visitors signal recognition and driver warning.
There’s a 9-inch touchscreen within the center stack. Different out there capabilities are wi-fi software program updates, WiFi hotspot and car entry by way of the app.
Heated entrance seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, premium audio, keyless entry and begin, satellite tv for pc radio, energy tilt / telescopic steering wheel, USB – these are additionally out there capabilities.
Relying on the gear, you possibly can have 18-, 19- or 20-inch wheels, and the Titan runs on double wishbone suspension with a stabilizer and coilovers on the entrance and multi-leaf with a stable axle, stabilizer and shock absorber on the rear. PR0-4X fashions have Bilstein mono-tube coilovers.
Different options of the PRO-4X embody customary all-wheel drive, hill descent management, digital rear axle differential, LED headlights, underrun safety, 18-inch wheels, off-road tires, crimson emblem, tow hooks, an off-road indicator and a black grille.
The SL is all about chrome (grille, mirrors, entrance bumper, exhaust trim, door handles) and has 20-inch wheels and LED lighting for the complete cargo house. Platinum Reserve encompasses a satin chrome grille and tailgate finisher, illuminated chrome working boards and two-tone paint. It additionally has 20 inch wheels.
Take note of towers – The towing capabilities out there embody trailer mild verify, trailer brake management, reversing digital camera, trailer sway management, tow / pull mode with downhill pace management, entrance and rear sonar and 360 diploma digital camera.
Our experience was at an altitude – hello, Park Metropolis – and the Titan had intermittent issues accelerating a bit, despite the fact that it wasn’t too caught throughout a towing demo through which I used to be towing ski-doos price round 400kg. The 5.6L appeared to supply a good, if not glorious, punch nearer to sea stage – it might definitely be class-appropriate. No person expects a truck to be a burner, and there was no less than sufficient braveness to merge them with out drama.
The experience is predictably comfortable, even within the SL Crew Cab I drove. Once more roughly equal for a full-size truck. No ram avenue manners, however acceptable.
Steering corrections had been required, however not extreme, and the system feels weighted sufficient and acceptably correct. Unusually sufficient, the fuel engine rattled like a diesel, though the sound subsided with the home windows open. The within of Titan is a pleasing place – it is spacious in the back and front with loads of headroom, and it is quiet.
Whereas the cabin styling is a bit dated, no less than the switchgear is straightforward to get to and use. Titan’s cockpit is arguably higher than what Chevrolet (and maybe GMC) has to supply.
Nissan allow us to drive the PRO-4X a bit of off-road, and it appeared to work completely, though giant vehicles are at all times tough to deal with on the paths.
Pricing has not but been introduced.
Nissan presents a comfortably competent truck with a design that units it other than its ancestors, whereas not being revolutionary.
It would not have the road grace or cabin of the Ram (heck, it would not even have the cabin of the F-150) and it would not have any distinctive options like an aluminum physique or a multifunction tailgate. Which may maintain Titan again – it is onerous sufficient to hit the massive guys in such a loyal section and be capable of outdo the leaders on the block in their very own sport or provide know-how that nobody else does useful to Nissans Factor.
Mid-pack manners and lack of Ge-Whiz options apart, the Titan nonetheless rides effectively sufficient on the street and off-road, and has sufficient house and fundamental content material to draw consumers. What number of of those Independents will turn out to be Nissan loyalists stays to be seen, however the Titan won’t be fully dominated out by the leaders of the pack.
[Images © 2019 Tim Healey/TTAC]