The Titan has the same workhorse DNA as its pickup-truck peers, which results in similar physical attributes: immense exterior dimensions, remarkable capability, and extraordinary versatility. What separates the Nissan from its huge-selling domestic rivals—besides their decades of branding and devoted followings? Not as much as you would think. Pickup customers who chance a glance at the Titan will find a civilized cabin, a customizable cargo box, and a dedicated off-road trim. On the surface, Nissan’s latest attempt to lure buyers from domestic light-duty pickups appears well conceived. Too bad the Titan suffers from an unoriginal design, a rougher ride than rivals, and obsolete infotainment. Nissan’s Titan is proof that playing in the pickup-truck big league is easy; it’s winning that’s hard.

What’s New for 2017?

After the first-generation Titan spent more than a decade in relative obscurity, Nissan completely redesigned its half-ton pickup for 2017. It arrives one year after the company released the tweener Titan XD in an attempt to bridge the gap between light- and heavy-duty pickups. The regular Titan shares its Single Cab, King Cab (short four-door), and Crew Cab configurations with the Titan XD, as well as its exterior appearance. Although the two Titans look virtually identical, the light-duty model is built on a different chassis with a wheelbase that’s about a foot shorter for crew-cab models. It has been rumored that a V-6 engine might be available in 2017 on the half-ton, but that remains to be seen.

Trims and Options We’d Choose

The Titan ranks near the bottom of our truck-of-choice list. For the optimal pickup-truck experience, see the 10Best-winning Ford F-150 or either of GM’s perennial contenders, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and the GMC Sierra 1500. Still, the Titan isn’t without merit. We think the two-door regular cab provides a great value to commercial users who don’t have a Ford, Chevy, or Ram logo tattooed on their hindquarters. Despite its limited passenger capacity, the regular-cab Titan has an 8.2-foot bed, V-8 power, and several standard features we appreciate. These include:

• A damped tailgate that opens and closes easily
• Bluetooth audio and phone streaming
• Keyless entry with push-button start
• Power windows and door locks

The base, regular-cab S model starts at $30,775; four-wheel drive adds $3030 to every Titan. We would throw in the S Convenience & Utility package ($800), which adds an overhead storage console, a spray-in bedliner, and a Class IV trailer hitch. That combination is good for $31,575 of commercial-grade usability and convenient comfort.

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