Whether your pleasure is to haul gear or haul ass, the Titan has you covered. The chassis is taut, and the staffers continue to rave about the 5.6L DOHC V-8 and five-speed automatic transmission combination. Other than the throttle tip-in being a bit sensitive, the 5.6L is remarkable and pulls the 5,100-pound Titan with authority. The exhaust sounds purely aftermarket, which is great when you want to impress around town, but it does tend to resonate a bit much at highway speeds. Those quibbles aside, this is definitely one of the best powertrain combinations in the 1/2-ton market, and is what gives the Titan 4x4 the highest 4x4 trailer-towing rating around.
Off-pavement, our Titan, with the optional $550 off-road package, makes quick work of any rutted backroads, and the Rancho shock absorbers do an admirable job of soaking up the bumps and preventing our Big Gulps from sloshing over.
Our early model's interior is starting to show some signs of wear, with some of the satin finish flaking off in high-use areas, such as around the steering wheel buttons. Out back, a wily plastic trim piece has decided it wants nothing more to do with the tailgate, but we'll have it reattached at our upcoming service stop. Mechanically, our Titan has remained sound since our last report, and the staff continues to request it for all sorts of hauling duties.
Previous report: Jan. '05
Base price: $34,200
Price as tested: $36,850
Four-wheel-drive system: Electronic two-speed transfer case
Miles to date: 16,302
Miles since last report: 7,457
Average mpg: 13.5
Best tank mpg: 15.5
Worst tank mpg: 10.13
Oil change (Synthetic): $52.30
Problem areas: Interior, exterior trim
WHAT'S HOT, WHAT'S NOT:
Hot: The engine and transmission are a gem-one of the few trucks we aren't always wishing for more power.
Not: Steering requires a very high effort, and driver sightlines aren't as good as the competition.
* "My girlfriend gave the Titan her approval for the low step-in height."
* "I can't believe this is a stock motor!"
* "With an upgraded interior, this might be the best 1/2-ton truck on the market."