A Perennial Favorite Refined
The fullsize Nissan Titan has always impressed our staff. In the case of the latest variant, sporting the distinguishing Pro-4X badging, our crew is happy to reemphasize the elation we reported during our initial evaluation. It's just a shame that our once-favored Pickup Truck of the Year winner as we know it is slated for the chopping block as Nissan has decided to partner with Dodge for the next generation Titan platform.
So it is with a heavy heart that we acknowledge this to be our last yearlong evaluation of the original Nissan-built fullsize pickup. Much of our affinity for the Titan revolves around the well-matched power-to-weight ratio afforded by the all-aluminum Endurance V-8. We can only hope that the powerful 5.6L Endurance V-8 powertrain remains available if this happens. This best-to-date version churns out a respectable 318 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque, a slight but noticeable bump over the introductory rating of 305 hp and 297 lb-ft. Other noteworthy improvements include a refreshed interior, better HVAC switch gear, and a restyled gauge cluster.
Changes we once desired on the original '04 model have been addressed. For instance, the headlight switch now has stiffer detents, helping to prevent drivers from unintentionally powering off the headlights when using the blinkers. While the Pro-4X does lack a few interior amenities we might expect to find on premium models, such as navigation and heated seats, however we still thoroughly enjoy driving a wheeler-friendly pickup day-in and day-out. In the past, all of our Titan evaluations have been with crew-cab versions, and as such, the smaller King Cab has taken some getting used to. Barely able to fit four fullsize adults comfortably, the King Cab seating is much better suited for youngsters or in our case cargo. One tester recalled how easy it was to load a large television into the backseat, thanks to the rear passenger door's ability to swing out a full 168 degrees-a feature shared with the Chevy Silverado extended-cab.
We also like the long list of goodies bundled into each Pro-4X package. These include Rancho shocks, a lower final gear ratio (3.36:1), additional skidplating for the radiator and transfer case, a rear electronic locker, white-faced interior gauges, body-color exterior trim, and a special interior treatment you won't find on any other Titan model, which includes embroidered seats and a trick-looking shift knob. All of this sounds good on paper, but in reality it's the lower gearing, additional skidplating, and rear diff-lock that make the Pro-4X shine in the dirt. Otherwise, everything we already know and love about the original Titan remains. From a quick-access lockable side storage compartment to the solid-as-they-come adjustable tie-down cleats to a 12-volt plug located conveniently inside the bed, this truck speaks directly to guys like us who like trucks with utility to spare. Now, if they could just convince the truck-buying public.
Previous reports: None
Base price: $31,450
Price as tested: $36,020
Four-wheel-drive system: Two-speed, part time electronic, shift-on-the-fly
Miles to date: 4,127
Miles since last report: First Report
Average mpg (this report): 12.10
Test best tank (mpg): 17.18
Test worst tank (mpg): 8.25 (towing)
This period: None
Problem areas: None
What's Hot, What's Not
Hot: Powerful engine, plenty of passing power
Not: Seatbelt adjusters hard to reach while seated
"No underhood light?"
"Awesome tow rig for light-medium loads."
"Noisy A/C fan."
"Traction control works great."
"Thank God they fixed the headlight switch on this generation"