By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 10/21/2011
So-called full-size half-ton pickup trucks were once the sole domain of the domestic manufacturers, but no more. The 2011 Nissan Titan full-size pickup is every bit the equal to such long-established rivals as the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado. With its powerful engine, long list of available features and various configurations, the 2011 Nissan Titan should appeal to a large portion of the light-duty truck community. Although its appeal is primarily aimed at the urban weekend warrior needing to carry bikes, kayaks and ATVs, the Titan is equally comfortable hauling around concrete, dirt, plywood and anything else that fits into the cargo bed. Serious off-road adventurers will likely gravitate toward the PRO-4X trim.
If you're looking for a full-size pickup truck with a good record of reliability and resale, loaded with innovative features for real-world working conditions, and also stylish and comfortable, get behind the wheel of the 2011 Nissan Titan.
If you're a long-time Ford or Chevy pickup owner who thinks the Ram is overly styled, the 2011 Nissan Titan probably won't float your boat either. Those who need a 3/4- or 1-ton rig, a diesel engine or dually rear end will have to look to the domestics.
For 2011, the Titan SE and LE become the Titan SV and SL.
When it comes to power, the 2011 Nissan Titan is in no danger of being called wimpy. The standard 5.6-liter V8, which pumps out an impressive 317 horsepower, responds instantly to throttle input and pulls strongly even under load. Nissan's 5-speed gated automatic transmission shifts smoothly and the gated shifter makes it easy shuttling between first and second gears, something we did quite often on steep downhill descents. We did pick up on some vibration telegraphed through the steering wheel, and there is a noticeable exhaust note upon application of the throttle. When it comes to normal driving situations, however, the Titan delivers a smooth, controlled ride and exhibits better-than-average pickup truck steering and handling response.
Wide-Swinging Rear Door
The hinged rear door on the King Cab model swings back 168 degrees to create exceptionally convenient interior access.
Exterior Storage Box
The Titan's exterior storage box (located behind the left rear wheel) is perfect for storing such items as jumper cables, tow chains and tools.
Depending upon trim, the 2011 Nissan Titan can offer a practical or practically luxurious truck interior environment. Base models feature bench seating and a column shifter, while upper-end trims tout bucket-style Captain's-Chair seating and a wide center console outfitted with a gated shifter, which directs the shift lever through a slotted path, providing more precise control when shifting gears. While we did find the cabin to be roomy and well appointed, some taller folks commented that, even with the seat at its lowest position, they still found themselves staring out through the windshield's tint band. We also found some uneasiness with the power window buttons, which are placed parallel to the windows. Although easy to reach, with the windows lowered we fear this design makes the switches vulnerable to the outside elements.
The 2011 Nissan Titan is available in King and Crew Cab truck configurations, with three bed lengths, and a choice of a long or short wheelbase. Common-sense features, such as the available built-in channel system with moveable cleats and the protective factory spray-in bedliner, show the Titan's design team understands the rear-world situations for which the pickup might be used. Other clever features include the lockable external storage bin located outside the bed and just behind the left rear wheel and, on the King Cab model, a rear door that facilitates easy loading by opening a full 168 degrees. Off-road enthusiasts will love the 10-inches of ground clearance (measured at the axle) provided by the PRO-4X trim.
Standard equipment for the Titan S includes a 317-horsepower 5.6-liter V8, 5-speed automatic transmission with a Tow/Haul mode, 4-wheel Active-Brake Limited Slip (ABLS) brakes, air conditioning, full gauges, exterior cargo light, dual manually-operated side mirrors, full bench seat, a rear 12-volt outlet, AM/FM stereo with CD, tilt wheel, tire-pressure monitor, 18-inch steel wheels and front, side and full-length side-curtain airbags. The S Crew Cab, SV, SL and PRO-4X add even more standard features, including power locks, power windows, remote keyless entry, cruise control, a sliding rear window and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Options vary by trim and include 4-wheel drive (4WD), a tow package, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, Rockford Fosgate audio, a spray-in bedliner, an 8-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, rear-seat DVD entertainment system (on the Crew Cab), navigation, an electronic locking rear differential, bed extender and a Homelink Universal Transceiver.
Unlike many of its competitors, the 2011 Nissan Titan pickup offers only one engine choice, and it's the most powerful V8 Nissan builds. The 5.6-liter V8 produces an abundance of power, but it cannot reasonably be expected to deliver the best fuel economy. A no-cost option is the same engine fitted with technology that makes it E85-compatible.
317 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
385 lb-ft of torque @ 3,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 (2WD, gasoline), 12/17 (4WD, gasoline), 9/13 (2WD, E85), 9/13 (4WD, E85)
The Titan King Cab S pickup has a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $28,000, while a fully-loaded PRO-4X Crew Cab truck tops out around $46,000. To make your best deal on a Titan, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price, which shows the typical transaction price paid for the truck in your area. Kelley Blue Book expects the Titan to maintain an average resale value over a 5-year period, holding below the Ford F-150 Super Cab, the Chevrolet Silverado Extended Cab 1500 and Ram 1500 Quad Cab.