The Winner! Nissan Titan Crew Cab
Nissan enters the extremely competitive and brand-loyal fullsize truck market with its all-new Titan fullsize pickup. The new truck features the 5.6L Endurance V-8 that produces 305 hp and 379 lb-ft of torque. It is an all-aluminum DOHC design that features six-bolt main bearing caps. Coupled to the V-8 is a smooth-shifting five-speed automatic transmission that also comes with a tow/haul mode. Both fit inside of a fully boxed ladder frame that is the backbone of the Titan.
The new Titan's suspension consists of a double-wishbone IFS and a solid-axle/leaf-spring rear. Rancho shocks are also available as an option for those who plan to spend some time in the dirt. Other goodies for the trail include an optional rear electric locker, which our test truck did not have, and 285/70-17 BFGoodrich tires. Bringing things to a stop are disc brakes at every corner.
What We Liked
The heart of any truck is its engine, and the Titan has one that beats hard and strong. Every one of our judges raved about the power of the Endurance V-8. There's lots of power on tap here, and this was evident at the dragstrip, where the Titan smoked the other two trucks during acceleration testing. The power also translated well into the real world, as the big Nissan could power through dunes and up mountain grades without any problem.
Our testers also liked the interior of the Titan Crew Cab. It is big and spacious and features lots of storage areas throughout. The cloth interior that came in our tester was also very comfortable, with seats that provided support but are also cushy at the same time. In the rear there was plenty of legroom and with the seats folded up, the Titan could hold plenty of gear in its cab.
The praise also continued once the Titan got in the dirt. All of the trucks were fairly evenly ranked when it came to trail performance, but the Nissan is able to crawl slightly better than the others, and its big tires and height give it decent clearance. The Rancho shocks that came on our model also sucked up the bumps well, even though they are a bit on the firm side. With the addition of the optional locker, the Titan likely would have scored more highly in the dirt than it did.
The steering on the Nissan also received high marks from our judges. It is perfectly weighted and very crisp, allowing for a good feel for the road. The steering, when combined with the firmer ride given by the Rancho shocks, made the Titan a blast to push over twisty pavement. Also the fact that it rides nicely on the highway let it rack up major points in our highway section of scoring.
What We Didn't Like
First off, the A-pillars on the Nissan are massive. This made visibility in the city and on twisty roads somewhat of a pain as trying to see around the A-pillars in corners could be difficult.
Our Titan came with big mirrors that are similar to those found on the Super Duty, with a regular mirror up top and a convex mirror on the bottom. This can be an effective arrangement, but in this case, the bottom mirrors are not independently adjustable. That means that we had to manually adjust the whole mirror assembly to set up the bottom mirrors properly.
We also did not like the transfer-case shifter knob on the Titan-it looked and felt like it had been robbed off of an air-conditioning system. A shift lever would have been much better.
Nissan has hit a home run with the Titan. It is hard to find fault with the Titan as it has gobs of power, handles well, rides nicely and does well off in the dirt. The Crew Cab format also makes it a very versatile truck as we can still haul all of our friends and their gear in the back. All of these strong points let it rack up the most points and cruise to an easy victory to be named Four Wheeler's Pickup Truck of the Year for 2004.
Check It Out If:
You are a fan of a truck with lots of power and the ability to carry both gear and people.
Avoid It If:
Your driveway or garage doesn't provide room for a truck that is truly fullsize.