Nissan’s full-size pickup is the most truck-like truck on the market
What is it: The Titan is Nissan’s full-size pickup — a step above the Frontier and one below the Titan XD — and it wears that hat well. What it lacks in earth-shattering numbers, it makes up for with wholesome truck nostalgia. The Midnight Edition means that all the brightwork and pretty much every other surface is painted black.
Key Competitors: Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500
Base Price: $51,655 As-Tested Price: $54,775
Full Review: Nissan Titan drive review
Highlights: The best part of this Titan tester is the Midnight Edition package — a highlight of the special editions. While most just bring some extra badging and maybe a feature or two, the Midnight Edition actually adds a lot of aesthetic value to the truck. Otherwise, this is still the semi-new Nissan Titan from 2017.
Our Opinion: We’re in the middle of the Truck Wars, and there’s no shortage of ultra-luxury or ultra-heavy-duty pickups out there to tow your yacht, host a small gathering or, hell, even use to put something in the bed every now and then. Of course, there is space in the world for a truck that doesn’t exactly follow that path — instead it looks at the trucks of yore and improves on what worked.
That’s the Nissan Titan.
This is the most truck-like truck currently on the market: It still has a stiff ride, and it still has a demure interior. That isn’t to say the interior feels cheap or unattended to — it checks all the boxes I want from a pickup truck interior. It’s not swathed in leather and chrome. It’s a truck, for truck’s sake.
The ride feels like pickups from two generations ago, and I really like that — both stiff and bouncy, especially with an empty bed. To be fair, the Titan isn’t logging-truck or industrial-equipment stiff, but it’s the kind of unladen stiffness that feels right at home to a lover of old trucks.
The Titan’s 5.6-liter V8 absolutely rules. It might not be your go-to for towing, but if you want a healthy-sounding V8 under the hood of your pickup, it’d be smart to snag one of these Titans. Aside from how great it sounds, the naturally aspirated engine delivers great, smooth throttle response and helps get this rig away from stoplights quickly. The V8’s 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque head through the seven-speed automatic before hitting the wheels. The transmission doesn’t feel sluggish and provides quick, sure shifts.
While I didn’t tow anything with our Titan, the 9,240-pound rating would make this good for a car and a small two-axle car trailer. I couldn’t ask for more than that. The fact that this could haul your project car home from that Craigslist stranger’s house without going over the limit is a major plus for grabbing a full-size pickup. If you’re not into dragging project cars home, you can always load motorcycles in the bed — this Titan is spacious enough for two if you’re skilled.
How does the Titan shape up in the Truck Wars? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for — it’s not as luxurious as the ultra-high-optioned GMC, Ram or Ford pickups of the world, but it’s not trying to be. If you’re looking for a good, honest toy hauler that you can also rip around the city with a nice engine note, the Titan definitely checks those boxes.
Sales? Oh, it gets slaughtered by the big boys, but with more than 50,000 examples moved last year, there’s at least some demand for the Nissan Titan, and I’m OK with that.
–Wesley Wren, associate editor
Options: Midnight Edition including body color front grille, dark headlamps, black fog lamp finisher, black exterior badging, black mirrors, black door handles, 20-inch black wheels, body color front and rear bumper, black step rails, black interior trim and Midnight Edition exterior badge ($1,250), titan box ($985), electronic tailgate lock ($390), rear bumper step ($290) and Midnight Edition floor mats ($205)
Writer: Wesley Wren
Published: March 19, 2019