This second generation Titan is easily Nissan’s boldest move yet. And as East Coast Editor for The Garage, getting a pickup truck is a rare treat. Living on coastal Connecticut, I’m in what’s considered the Metro New York City area. Why does that matter, you ask? There are plenty of pickups around, but in most cases, if you own a pickup, its because you need one for your job. Traffic around here is awful, and gas prices are among the highest in the nation. It’s not until you are well out into the country you start seeing people owning pickups simply because they want to, not because they need to. Nearly everywhere I went, people marveled at the gleaming Tower of Titan. And the near unanimous response was “That truck is simply too nice to use for work!”
And gleaming it is. Our Titan was a combination of imposing seriousness, bright chrome and more dark chrome that those more familiar with the sight of a luxury pickup truck will nod in approval. Climb into (I mean that-I’m 6’1″ and I needed the grab handle to hoist me up) and welcome to the luxury truck! Sitting high off the ground in command of all that surrounds you, you are instantly taken aback you are experiencing a level of comfort and material quality you would expect from an Infiniti. Anyone who has been in a modern Nissan will be right at home in terms of ease of getting used to the controls, you’re just sitting much higher. There is plenty of room for four full-grown adults front and rear, with plenty of storage space.
In your face styling and a luxurious cabin are all meaningless if your pickup can’t deliver the goods. Starting in the engine room, the Titan offers two choices. First, a 5.6L V-8 rated at 390hp, paired to a 7-speed automatic. However the big news is option number two, a 5.0L Cummins turbo diesel, with 310hp and a stump pulling 555 lb ft of torque, here mated to a 6-speed automatic. Working with Cummins is new for Nissan, and once people found a Cummins engine lay under the hood, our Titan had instant street cred. Titans can be had in rear or four wheel drive, the latter with a two-speed transfer case. Because of its weight, the Titan is not subject to EPA fuel economy testing, but in mostly in town driving our trip computer was indicating about 14 MPG.
Blistering acceleration is not what the Titan is about. Instead, the Titan pulls with authority with little noise or drama, and the towing controls are an instant indicator that this truck is ready for work. Our Titan can tow up to 10,610lbs, which puts it right in the middle of competing light and heavy duty trucks, a void Nissan intends to fill with the Titan. Looking at the sheer size of the Titan, one would be easily intimidated at how it might be to drive. In reality, it’s quite easy. Visibility is excellent, and Nissan’s all around camera makes parking easy. For a ladder on frame truck, the Titan is remarkably composed and civilized. You’re not quick to forget this truck is over 20′ long, so the best way to enjoy a Titan is to relax and take it easy.
As a pickup truck, the Titan is as serious as it looks. That Nissan was able to marry remarkable trucking ability in a relatively easy to drive package is an impressive achievement. The cute import pickups of my youth are a distant memory, the Titan is here in the present. While the notion of such a powerful truck offering such a high level of luxury may confuse some in Metro New York, I suspect few others will question the American made Titan.