The 2017 Nissan Titan Crew Cab arriving at dealers right now is the second installment of the new truck line that started with the heavy duty Titan XD earlier this year.
The lighter half-ton Titan will be the volume model of the breed, eventually gaining two more cabs in the Space Cab and the recently unveiled single cab – a first ever for Titan. All three variants will ride on the same 139-inch wheelbase and each have their own bed size ranging from 5.5 feet up to a 8-foot bed.
Our Crew Cab tester features the 5.5-foot bed. In the SL trim grade that bed has a spray on bed liner along with a handy Utili-Track cleat system enabling strap-downs on the bed sides or floor rails. A 120-volt power outlet.
When it comes to styling, the Titan and Titan XD are fraternal twins. The front-end on the Titan is actually entirely different with its own hood, fenders, grille and bumper design. While similar, it’s an inch lower and has more aerodynamic shaping.
LED headlamps and a lot of chrome adorn the SL along with 20-inch wheels and sturdy chrome running boards with rubber grips. A power rear window is included and with the tow package it has extendable mirrors.
Inside is leather seating, heated up front with power for both driver and passenger. The leather and soft trims black in ours, all featured tan accent stitching for a subtle look. Woodgrain appliques could appear more real but blend in tastefully.
Rear seats fold in a 60/40 split in a variety of ways. First, the seat backs can fold down for a high load deck. You can also raise the lower cushion for a tall storage capacity. This is afforded by a ingenious fold out deck with also an under seat storage area that can accommodate anything from straps to a rifle.
Filling the cab with thick bass bumping sound here is the Rockford Fosgate audio and navigation system. Sound quality is awesome and using the touchscreen easily done while driving. Graphics quality is crisp and the navigation maps well done with perspective views.
Driving the Titan is at launch a 394 horsepower 5.6 liter V8, a thoroughly redesigned version of the last generation engine. It now has direct fuel-injection, new heads and valve timing system, and a freshly designed intake.
It’s mounted to an also new 7-speed automatic transmission that in our tester drives the rear wheels. Four-wheel drive is also an option.
Power comes on strong and in a more refined tone than before. Gone is the loud and raucous exhaust tone of the last Titan, replaced with a more machine-like thrum similar to contemporary trucks. The transmission delivers downshifts well when prodded but seems to still hunt around in casual stop and go driving.
Fuel economy is the big goal, with this truck being rated at 18 mpg combined. In our week with it however we only achieved 15.5 mpg, though our cycle was about 2/3 city and 1/3 highway.
Handling has been improved as well with an evolution of the Titan chassis that gets new springs and dampers, revised steering gear and thicker anti-roll bars. Hydraulic cab mounts and the latter changes contribute to a quieter and more sporting feel with less of the jitters overall.
The steering feels good on the highway and when we got to the washboard road and off-road trail offered a good communication level and maneuverability. The Titan feels considerably lighter on its feet than the Titan XD, and that comes in handy when managing it in the rough.
We did note a slight bit of shudder in the front body structure when rolling over rough roads that could be attributed to our early production truck, but overall found the chassis to be robust and refined no matter what was thrown at it.
At $48,380 our Titan Crew Cab SL 2WD is one step down from the top-line Platinum Reserve model. While well featured it does in with slightly less than some competitors when it comes to bells and whistles at around the same price.
Some will however see the value in its new 5 year / 100,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty and the feeling of solid quality it offers similar to that of the Toyota Tundra, and that some domestics don’t rise to.