By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.6
To all those Doubting Thomases out there who thought a foreign pickup truck could never compete with the offerings from Ram, Chevy and Ford, the 2012 Nissan Titan politely says sit down and rethink your position. Although there is no Titan 3/4- or 1-ton model available, the majority of pickups sold in the U.S. are of the half-ton variant, placing the 2012 Titan right in the thick of things. Every bit the equal to its domestic rivals, the Titan possesses a powerful V8 engine, sturdy boxed frame and a number of unique bed and cab equipment features designed to make life with a pickup truck a little easier. While marketed primarily to those who do light- to medium-duty work, it's probably a better bet that the 2012 Nissan Titan will find a home with those who like to spend weekends on the lake with their boat, or up in the mountains with their dirt bikes. For folks who need to venture far from the beaten path, the 2012 Nissan Titan's PRO-4X off-road package should be enticing.
If you're looking for an alternative to the commonplace Ford, Ram or Chevy offerings, the 2012 Nissan Titan truck offers a unique twist on the full-size pickup formula, with bold styling and a proven record of resale and reliability.
The 2012 Nissan Titan's 317-horsepower V8 is not the strongest in the class, falling short of the Ram's 390-horsepower HEMI V8 and the Chevy's 403-horsepower 6.2-liter V8. If you're looking to haul or tow really heavy loads, the Titan's half-ton configuration can't match the Chevy, Ford and Ram 3/4- and 1-ton models. Nissan also doesn't offer a diesel engine option or a dually rear end.
For 2012, Nissan offers a new Sport Appearance Package on the Titan King Cab and Crew Cab SV models. Included in the package are 20-inch SL aluminum-alloy wheels, dark grille treatment, body-colored front and rear bumpers, black step rails, PRO-4X seats with silver contrasting stitching, lockable bedside storage compartment, a body-side sport "Titan" graphic, white-faced gauges, foglights, and Captain's chairs with a center console.
Driving Impressions Although it does not have the most powerful V8 engine in its class, calling the 2012 Nissan Titan pickup truck weak would be a gross misrepresentation. The 5.6-liter V8 standard...in all Titan trucks (there is no V6 option, even on the base truck), delivers a respectable 317 horsepower and, more important, 385 lb-ft of torque. The Titan's V8 is responsive at all speeds, delivering impressive power to pass traffic on steep inclines. Nissan's gated 5-speed automatic transmission came in handy on steep descents, where we often found ourselves shifting through the lower gear ranges to slow the vehicle and spare the brakes. This feature is particularly helpful when towing, too. We did sense some vibration telegraphed through the steering wheel, but the Titan's ride was composed and calm. Overall, our testers concluded that the 2012 Nissan Titan pickup delivers a smooth, controlled ride and exhibits better-than-average steering and handling response.
Wide-Swinging Rear Door
The hinged rear door on the Nissan Titan King Cab model swings back 168 degrees to create exceptionally convenient interior access.
Exterior Storage Box
The 2012 Nissan Titan's exterior storage box (located behind the left rear wheel) is perfect for storing such items as jumper cables or muddy clothing.
Thanks to Nissan's wide and varied trim options, the 2012 Nissan Titan truck can be anything from a bang-it-up work truck to near-luxury pickup. Bench seating and simple interior fabric choices grace the base-model trucks, which also include a column shifter. Upper-end models move to Captain's-chair-style seating with a center console gated shifter and wide center storage compartment big enough to fit a tablet or laptop. The advantage of a gated shifter is that it guides the shift lever through a jagged slotted path, which allows for more precise gear control when changing gears. Inside, while the 2012 Nissan Titan pickup's interior looks large and accommodating, some of our taller testers found headroom to be at a premium, even with the power driver's seat at its lowest position.
The 2012 Nissan Titan is offered in King or Crew Cab (there is no regular cab truck), with a choice of long or short wheelbase and three different bed lengths. Knowing they'd have to go the extra mile to win over die-hard domestic fans, Nissan engineers added clever and useful features such as a built-in bed channel system featuring movable cleats for securing items, and a factory spray-in bedliner to keep your investment looking new. Further usable features include a rear door on King Cab models that opens a full 168 degrees and a lockable external storage area located behind the left wheel well. The 2012 Titan truck offers 9.8 inches of ground clearance on 2-wheel-drive models and 10.7 inches on PRO-4X trims.
The 2012 Nissan Titan S has a 317-horsepower 5.6-liter V8, 5-speed automatic transmission with a Tow/Haul mode, 4-wheel Active-Brake Limited Slip (ABLS) brakes, front side and full-length side-curtain airbags, air conditioning, full gauges, exterior cargo light, dual manual side mirrors, full bench seat, a rear 12-volt outlet, AM/FM stereo with CD, fuel-tank skid plate, cruise control, tilt wheel, tire-pressure monitor and 18-inch steel wheels. The S Crew Cab, SV, SL and PRO-4X add even more standard features including power locks, power windows, remote keyless entry, a sliding rear window and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Options vary by trim and include 4-wheel drive, 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, a limited-slip rear differential, bed extender, a HomeLink Universal Transceiver, and the SV Sport Appearance Package.
Unlike many of its competitors, the 2012 Nissan Titan 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 making 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)
By Americo on Monday, January 05, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 104,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive"
Cons: "fuel is little hard on it."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I always been a big horn fan and when I bought the Nissa Titan I was not sure about it but after a while I really enjoy the truck it will give you the power that you need to tow at any time, I'm proud to drive the titan at any time."
12 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By Jerry Dale on Sunday, September 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun driving,quiet ride, comfy seats"
Cons: "cost a fortune to fill it up."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Traded my 09 Silverado on this truck and had I known how nice they were I would have never owned a Chevy. Much more leg room in the backseat, quieter in the cab and about 3-5 mpg better on the highway.I'm averaging 19 on the highway in the first month I've owned it."
15 people out of 35 found this review helpful
By Bob Ball on Friday, June 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,778overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Performance, interior features, ride, much cheaper"
Cons: "Bad gas mileage...Hope next gen has better mpg"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Happy with having a Titan its a great truck to own has an good ride but gas mileage not best dropping to 18.2 mpg less. It's a real nice truck with SV Crew Cab all of features were available on Titan. The ride is smooth read reviews about it don't know why people were biasing about this truck to me a very nice truck although might be 10 years older needs some cosmetic changes love how comfortable the seats. Interior looks reasonable for price ever handling is amazing and got some excellent horsepower with the 4.6L engine it's so powerful. Titan has great brake distances and tows anything includes side bars available for storage something like with Ram 1500s box storages. Have a navigation system, Pioneer CD stereo, rear view camera is optional. I am just amazed on how much room it offers doesn't feel lacking or steering shakes when taking the Titan at higher speed it's a well built truck as don't think nothing isn't wrong buying a Titan long take on long test drive know details and long term reliability when maintaining not abusing it will last at least 200K miles. Overall we are proud of our Nissan reliability still own a '05 Altima 2.5s bought new in 2005 with 180K miles and wife has a 2014 Maxima she loves so much and I am happy with my Titan truck. It looks good was much cheaper for me getting this over Chevy, Ford or Toyota maybe that is why this truck hasn't changed a bit in style because Nissan wanted buyers to have a good deal when making a purchasing on the Titan just gave some new updates from interior to performance. One thing about Nissan they have some of the best VQ engines ever in class. I will keep it until reaches 300,000 miles while taking care of engine and tranny than it will last a long time don't think 2013-14 models haven't suffer low problems than averaged as other years either except rear axle problems but know a coworkers friend who has one at almost 200K miles with no problems bought new but love mine new Titan it's the best ever had."
15 people out of 25 found this review helpful
By Clayp711 on Friday, May 30, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 165,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Sturdy, plain and simple"
Cons: "Drinks gas like an alcoholic, overpriced"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"This truck was overpriced for the lack of features and drank gas like a fish. Two tanks per week at $80 per tank (120 mi round trip daily commute). Had the same truck once in the LE model and my payment for that from brand new with NMAC was $11 less than this was used with 36k miles."
8 people out of 16 found this review helpful
By Ed on Friday, May 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 117,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Cons: "THREE (3) CUP HOLDERS"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Custom-match truck bed cover made. Comfortable leather seats, instant heat/air, inside convenient for anyone's needs. paint and finish look like the day I purchased NEW. My truck in EXCELLENT condition, inside and out. MOTTO: Take care of your car/truck, it takes care of you!"
11 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By srivkin78 on Tuesday, April 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Full of options for much less then Ford/Chevy"
Cons: "MPG's but it's expected"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"First off the Titan is the only truck I have owned but i have driven Ram 1500 and Silverados and i can say this: This is a very nice riding truck and for the money, you get a lot. I had a 2007 Titan CC LE 4x4 short bed loaded which was my first truck i ever owned and loved it...and now i have a 2013 CC SV Premium 4x4. Got it for a great price, around $36,000 after incentives. I use it as an active home owner truck but i know this thing would make a great construction truck. PLENTY of room. It's very cozy and everyone who has ridden in it has commented on how much room there is and how smooth the ride is. Plenty of power for most people not the mention the VQ56 engine responds well to bolt ons like, exhaust, headers, intake and Uprev tune...you will pick up some very nice gains if you are into adding performance mods. Check the Titantalk forums. Gas mileage with spirited driving is 13.5MPG( i use 93 octane 100% of the time), on long trips i can get around 16. So in camparison it falls short compared to other models....But that will all change the the new Diesel comes out for 2015....which i will be getting. If you are looking to get into a Titan, wait for teh 2015 Titan Diesel to be released, i will be well worth it...300+hp and 500+tq and rumored at or above 25 MPG"
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful