Anyone who is even remotely interested in the light/medium duty US truck market is aware that there is a new Nissan Titan a few months away from being released, and if you weren’t well you are now. And if you weren’t already excited, you should be, and I’ll tell you exactly why.
The very first Titan truck Nissan introduced was more than a decade ago. In car years that’s equivalent to two lifetimes. What was the reason for this hiatus? There are several answers. One, Nissan was ridding the wave of its success. Pick up trucks out sell every other type of non commercial vehicle in the US, including crossovers and SUV’s. Even cars, for every car sold there is 1.6 trucks sold. Those types of sales equal huge profits, and Titan has been in the top ten for the past 12 years. With minor, mostly cosmetic changes Nissan has had a quiet hit on their hands. That has been selling like bread and milk before a Nor’easter. Consumers buy a product that works and works well, and that is the other reason Titan has remained relevant but unchanged, because of its excellent build quality. However when it came to making the new truck the folks at Nissan wanted to make sure they got every detail right. So, since 2010 they have been at it. Let’s take a closer look what they came up with, and if it was worth the wait.
The major news here is the XD model. It will fill the gap between the light duty and heavy-duty trucks on the market. It’s bigger and longer than say a F150 but a bit smaller all around than a F250/350. Offering even more design versatility there will be several different cab and bed configurations available. Such as Crew Cab that’s four full doors, King Cab full fronts with a smaller rear doors, and Single Cab just two regular sized doors, with three available bed lengths sizes of which are to be announced soon. The most notable change of the truck is the new exterior design. Nissan say they used a “powerful precision tool” for inspiration, I say the used the Ford F150. There are undeniable similarities between the two trucks, especially in the left triangular corner on the headlights. With that said, I am fond of the way the truck looks. The overall design is pleasing and yet and its masculine in its presence. I especially like the fact that the wheels seems to fit appropriately into the giant wheel arches. Unlike the Silverado/Sierra twins, who also have the giant arches design cue, but leave a giant gap between wheel and truck.
The Cummins diesel! Quick history about Cummins, it is one of the worlds most successful diesel manufacturing companies. Their engines are found in huge trucks, boats, and construction equipment. For the past 29 years their engines have also been found in Ram trucks. Why would Ram allow Nissan to come in and swipe the engine from right under them, baffles my mind. Some say that Chrysler (who owns Ram) doesn’t have a transmission that’s strong enough to handle the immense torque of the engine, and cheap enough to go into the light duty variant of the Ram 1500. That’s where Nissan comes in. They developed a six speed transmission that has been thoroughly tested and proven to be more than up to the task. The fully boxed frame of the Titan has also been reinforced and then reinforced again. Not only will this be adequate enough to handle the engines immense torque load it will allow for factory goose neck towing, with an in bed fifth wheel tow-hitch a factory option. The engine itself combines the best of all worlds. The Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel (official name) is said to have fuel economy that’s 20 percent better than the outgoing light duty V8 competitors. You’re talking about close to 30MPG from a full-blown 13,000 lbs towing machine. That’s Honda Accord territory. The exact horsepower and torque figures have not been released yet, but expect them to be about 20-30% better than the current V8 offering. So you have unmatched power and great economy combined with smart technological goodies that limit “diesel clatter” and allow cold weather starts without issue.
Trucks these days are packed with more technology than ever before, and Titan isn’t the exception. The exception here is how well the technology has been integrated into the overall design and function of the truck. Along, with a long list of the usual safety features such as Blind Spot Warning, (BSW) and Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPMS). One can opt for such amenities as Rear-view Monitor and Around View Monitor, the later gives the driver a bird’s eye view of the truck so when you’re backing out of a blind driveway or trying to hitch up a trailer you can do it without enlisting a friend to help. These tech goodies help in avoiding a costly run in with a small stump or God forbid a small child that’s wondered in the mirror blind spot behind the tall rear end. With the truck owner in mind Nissan has steeped up their game tremendously. From small details like moving the glove box handle closer to the left so the reach isn’t as strenuous for the driver, to major segment first like LED in bed lighting that makes tasks easier when the sun goes down a breeze. Also, the clever cargo latching system allows for a limitless number of tie-down combinations. Nissan offers storage boxes incorporated into the bed sides which are water proof and drainable. So you can lock your tools away at night or a 24 pack of Corona on ice before the big game. The best feature in my opinion is the in bed electrical outlet. A simple yet an igneous idea that would improve any work or play predicament. Big props to Nissan for listening to the truck owners and making key improvements.
Nissan has been quiet for the last decade. Maybe it was all just calm before the storm, because that is exactly how the new Titan has taken the pick up truck segment of the market, by storm. So get your snow shoes out and ready the shovels because it looks like this storm will be of epic proportions.