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PROject-4X Second Report: On- and Off-Road Testing Continues

Posted in Features on January 9, 2018
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From the get-go, our plan for PROject-4X, a 2017 Nissan Titan PRO-4X crew cab, was to spend a few months with the truck in stock form prior to beginning the build. Why? Well, one reason is that aside from 2017 Pickup Truck of the Year testing we have had limited time in the driver seat of this new-for-2017 truck. Also, we wanted to use the truck in a variety of ways both on- and off-road to determine what mods could help the truck do its job even better and what should be left alone. As much as we love using wrenches and a Sawzall we’re not going to arbitrarily tear into the Titan.

As of January 8, 2018, we’ve put about 2,600 miles on the truck. Those miles have included a vast number of highway miles, but also a significant number of off-road miles. Due to our location near land that is open to wheeling, we’ve spent a fair amount of time exploring trails with the truck. Additionally, we’ve towed a 20-foot RV trailer (approximate weight of 4,200 pounds) and a 6x12-foot enclosed cargo trailer (approximate weight of 1,750 pounds empty).

When we point PROject-4X off-road, 4WD system activation is easy thanks to the excellent location of the 4WD engagement switch. Because of the switch’s larger size and the fact that there are no other similar switches near it, we can simply engage the Magna TX91A T-case into the 4-Hi setting without taking our eyes off the road. Engagement in both 4-Hi and 4-Lo has been flawless, and in each case engagement is signaled by an audible chime and a corresponding visual graphic that can be seen in one of two ways in the instrument cluster. We’re also digging the Titan’s 39:1 crawl ratio, which offers excellent control and torque for crawling over trail obstacles.

On road, the 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque from the 5.6L Endurance V-8 engine never leaves us wanting more. It works seamlessly with the seven-speed JATCO automatic transmission to provide smooth power. The Endurance/JATCO pairing also works great when towing, and we have no complaints when using the truck to tow either our travel trailer or cargo trailer. And we have to note that we really like the field of view created by the dual heated power outside rearview mirrors. Each uses a large standard mirror with a lower convex mirror that gives an excellent field of view for objects close to the vehicle. When combined with the Blind Spot Warning system we have peace of mind knowing that we are in the know about things that are next to the truck. We’re admittedly critical of 4x4s with lots of electronic gizmos, but we’ve come to love the Titan’s Around View monitor with Moving Object Detection, which is part of the PRO-4X Luxury Package. From helping us get the Titan into tight parking spaces to allowing us to safely back out onto busy roads, the systems just flat-out work and are great tools.

The Titan’s cabin is sealed tightly, and in only the windiest conditions do we hear wind noise on-road at highway speed. The overall on-road ride from the IFS and leaf-spring rear suspension is very good. And the rear suspension barely squatted when we hitched up our RV (tongue weight around 350 pounds). The Titan’s four-wheel disc brakes do a great job reigning in forward velocity, and we love the trailer brake controller that’s included with the PRO-4X Utility and Tow Package.

We’re still getting used to wheeling such a nice truck. Our Titan has the PRO-4X Convenience Package, which includes leather seats. Further, the Utility and Tow Package bumps the audio system to a Rockford Fosgate Premium setup with 12 speakers.

Testing of the Titan continues, so stay tuned! Be sure to visit PROject-4X’s Instagram page (@project4xtitan) and its Facebook page at “PROject4x,” where we’re posting updates on the fly. And be sure to check out the large gallery of PROject-4X photos and the video included with this update!

Testing Data

Current mileage: 11,681
Best tank mpg: 18.6
Worst tank mpg: 14.1
Average mpg: 16.6
Maintenance: Nissan dealer 10,000-mile service consisting of oil and filter change, $45.96

Specifications (as tested)

Vehicle/model: 2017 Nissan Titan PRO-4X
Base price: $45,470
Price as tested: $52,855
Options as tested: PRO-4X Utility and Tow Package ($1,820), PRO-4X Convenience Package ($3,520), PRO-4X Luxury Package ($750), Destination Charge ($1,295)

Engine
Type: 32-valve V-8
Displacement (ci/liter): 339/5.6
Bore x stroke (in): 3.86 x 3.62
Compression ratio (:1): 11.2
Intake/FI: Naturally aspirated/sequential multiport electronic
Mfg.’s power rating @ rpm (hp): 390 @ 5,800
Mfg.’s torque rating @ rpm (lb-ft): 394 @ 4,000
Mfg.’s suggested fuel type: Unleaded regular

Drivetrain
Transmission: JATCO 7-spd automatic
Ratios (:1):
First: 4.89
Second: 3.17
Third: 2.03
Fourth: 1.41
Fifth: 1.00
Sixth: 0.86
Reverse: 4.04
Axle ratio (:1): 3.92
Transfer case: Magna TX91A 2-spd
Low-range ratio (:1): 2.72
Crawl ratio (:1): 39.0

Frame/Body
Frame: Steel, ladder-type
Body: Steel

Suspension/Axles
Front: Double-wishbone, Bilstein shocks, stabilizer bar/AAM 8.25-in
Rear: Multileaf, Bilstein shocks, stabilizer bar/AAM 9.5-in

Steering
Type: Power rack-and-pinion
Turns (lock-to-lock): 2.9
Ratio (:1): 16.1

Brakes
Front: 13.8x1.2-in vented disc, dual-piston caliper
Rear: 13.6x0.8-in vented disc, single-piston caliper
ABS: Four-wheel

Wheels/Tires
Wheels (in): 18x8
Tires: P275/70R18 General Grabber APT

Fuel Economy
EPA city/highway: 15/20

Dimensions/Capacities
Weight (lb): 5,684
Wheelbase (in): 139.8
Overall length (in): 228.5
Overall width (in): 80.7
Height (in): 77.2
Track f/r (in): 68.6/68.0
Minimum ground clearance (in): 9.8
Turning diameter, curb-to-curb (ft): 48.0
Approach/departure angles (deg): 22.8/23.0
Breakover angle (deg): 21.7
GVWR (lb): 7,300
Payload (lb): 1,610
Maximum towing capacity (lb): 9,230
Seating: 5
Fuel capacity (gal): 26

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