Strengths: Chiseled styling, some clever features
Shortcomings: One engine, limited configurations, inferior ride and handling characteristics
Synopsis: The oldest truck in the bunch, and it shows
Not every editor agreed on which truck was best, but last place was unanimous. The Nissan Titan is the oldest truck in the bunch and finished at the bottom of almost every judging category, avoiding the sweep with a fourth place in safety.
The Titan we drove was the King Cab model in the PRO-4X trim level and four-wheel drive. Can it get the job done when called on? Absolutely. Does it offer bold, unique styling? Yup. Are its ride, handling, interior and amenities category competitive in 2010? No, not really.
One of the Titan's best features is the Utili-track cargo tie-down system. It consists of tracks, not just on the bed rails but also in the floor, with tie-down cleats that can be positioned anywhere on the lengths of the tracks. It makes it really easy to secure all manner of cargo. Another plus is the available factory-installed spray-on bedliner.
Other features or accessories of the Titan cargo bed include cargo bed lighting, a 12-volt outlet, a tailgate assist and a lockable storage compartment. Nissan dealers also offer a full complement of accessories, such as storage boxes, sliding bed extenders, tool boxes and bed dividers.
The Titan is available in an extended-cab model, known as King Cab, and a full four-door Crew Cab. The only engine is a strong 5.6-liter DOHC V8 of 317 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque, matched to a five-speed automatic. There are four trim levels: Base XE, up-level SE, PRO-4X (SE trim level with enhancements for more serious off-roading), and the luxury model LE.
Under the Titan is a fully-boxed frame, which adds stiffness and solidity to the overall structure. Brakes are ventilated discs both front and rear. On the King Cab model the rear doors open to 168 degrees, which enhances access for people or cargo. With the 60/40-split rear seats folded up there is a flat floor, good for luggage or toolboxes. The front passenger seat folds flat, offering a convenient work station, and with individual front seats there's a large, and lockable, center console. The Titan has one of the roomiest interiors of this group, and feels big, besides, so there is plenty of stretch-out room for full-size occupants. In this class, the Titan also offers the longest cargo bed with a Crew Cab configuration.
A couple years ago, the Nissan Titan wasn't a bad full-size pickup truck. And while it's probably better than ever by virtue of continual improvement, stiff competition has rendered it mostly irrelevant to new truck buyers.
Nissan Titan Test Rankings (Overall Editors' Rating: 66.9)
Editors' Recommendation: 5th
Driving Dynamics: 5th
Crash Test Ratings: 4th