Now available for 2017 is the newest version of Nissan’s redesigned Titan pickup, the half-ton versions, which offers a variety of choices – including a crew-cab model with premium amenities and plenty of power.
This truck comes with a new 390-horsepower, 5.6-liter Endurance V-8 gasoline engine, and is shorter and on a different chassis from bigger Titan XD diesel model that debuted for 2016.
Nissan said the 2017 Titan half-ton was given the same “aggressive style” of the Titan XD, but is about a foot shorter in wheelbase. The two models do share the same cabs, but the Titan half-ton's chassis is completely different from that of the XD.
For starters, the half-ton model is 228.1 inches long – 14.7 inches less than the XD (242.8 inches). While only the crew cab model was available to start, Nissan this spring added single cab and king cab variants to the model mix.
Titan crew cab prices for 2017 begin at $35,230 (plus $1,195 freight) for the base S rear-drive model, and range as high as $55,850 for the Platinum four-wheel-drive version.
In between are the SV, which starts at $38,370 with rear drive, and the SL, $46,830 for rear drive. Platinum rear-drive models begin at $52,760.
Four-wheel-drive S models start at $38,260; SV at $41,400; and SL at $49,910 (our tester).
There is also the special Pro-4X crew cab model, available only with four-wheel drive, starting at $45,470.
Single-cab Titan models range from $29,580-$35,490, available only in S and SV trims, either with rear- or four-wheel drive.
King Cab models, with a slightly smaller cabin than the crew cab, range from $32,550 for the base S with rear drive to $43,290 for the Pro-4X four-wheel drive. The SV rear-drive starts at $35,930. With four-wheel drive, the S begins at $35,580, and the SV is $38,960.
This is the first time that a Japanese automaker has offered two different sizes of big pickups – one is the standard half-ton, like our tester, and the other – the XD -- approaches the size of U.S. domestic heavy-duty pickups.
In addition, Nissan also offers the larger XD crew cab model with the same V-8 Endurance engine, which adds a gasoline-powered option to the XD lineup, which originally came only with the diesel.
The XD with the 5.6-liter gas engine is available in five crew cab trim levels in both rear- and four-wheel-drive configurations. All of the gasoline models come with a new seven-speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Control and Downshift Rev Matching.
Gasoline XD models start at $31,590 for single cab, $33,560 for king cab, and $36,790 for crew cab versions.
Meanwhile, the XD diesels have starting prices of $37,140 for single cab S models; $40,110 for S king cab versions; and $42,040 for the S crew cabs with rear drive.
Diesel models come with a Cummins 5.0-liter turbocharged V-8 engine, cranking out 310 horsepower and 555 foot-pounds of torque.
Introduced 12 years ago, the Titan had been essentially the same since it was launched – until last year’s complete redesign.
The Titan XD diesel has the capabilities of some bigger heavy-duty pickups, including towing of up to 12,000 pounds and a payload of 2,000 pounds, while maintaining a half-ton pickup's cab size.
Nissan's truck designers created a pair of vehicles that can more than hold their own against not only the San Antonio-built Toyota Tundra, but also domestic stalwarts such as the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Ford F-150 and Ram.
Nissan rolled out the original Titan in summer 2003 as the main product of its new plant in Canton, Miss., which has been -- and will continue to be -- the exclusive production site for the Titan.
Designed as a “powerful precision tool,” the new Titan features available cutting-edge features and convenience aids – including rear view monitor with trailer guides, around view monitor with moving object detection, and a trailer light check system that allows a one-person hook-up operation, the automaker said.
Also available is a blind-spot warning system, as well as front and rear sonar. The XD’s integrated gooseneck hitch was engineered into the frame and is easily accessible in the bed.
The Titan’s front end features new lights, grille, hood, fenders and bumper intended to project a technical feel “like the pieces of an interlocking puzzle or even a hint of armor," Nissan said.
Engineers also paid close attention to aerodynamics, which is crucial to improving fuel economy. Wind resistance was reduced by about 10 percent from the previous model. The new aerodynamic design includes roof and tailgate spoilers.
Optional features include LED headlights and taillights, signature daytime running lights, and step rails for the cabin and the cargo bed. The bed includes the industry-first Utili-track bed channel system, including dual lockable in-bed storage boxes that are accessible from inside the bed without having to remove a camper top or tonneau cover.
The boxes are watertight easily drained, so they can be used as coolers for picnics and tailgating. The can be removed, if more space is needed in the bed.
Included on our SL four-wheel-drive tester were a spray-on bed liner, flush-mounted LED bedrail lights, cargo and tailgate lights, a 120-volt in-bed power outlet, and a damped tailgate that is easy to lift, and which drops smoothly and softly.
Inside, there is a wide variety of standard and optional features, including a new ergonomic four-spoke steering wheel; front and rear NASA-inspired zero gravity seats; chrome finishers and premium stitched trim; and work-scaled knobs with ergonomic grips.
The half-ton crew cab can accommodate five or six passengers, depending on the front-seat setup. A three-person bench seat or a pair of captain’s chairs is available for the front; the rear seat is a three-person bench.
A large center console can serve as a mobile workstation, and the center shift lever has been moved to the steering column to free up storage space in the center console.
The Cummins engines are built in Indiana, while the 5.6-liter gasoline engine and a coming V-6 are sourced from the Nissan engine plant in Decherd, Tennessee.
Our SL version came with heated leather captain’s chairs up front, with eight-way power adjustment and power lumbar adjust for the driver, along with four-way power adjust for the passenger.
One of my passengers, a frequent world traveler, was quite impressed with the front passenger seat, which she compared to some of the best first-class airline seats she’s experienced.
Rear-seat leg-, head- and knee-room were quite liberal for up to three passengers. The rear seat in our SL was also leather, with a 60/40 split-fold-up feature that allowed for carrying cargo inside when necessary. There was under-seat storage, as well.
Other premium features of our SL included power tilt/telescopic leather steering wheel; memory for the driver’s seat, mirrors and steering column; a Rockford Fosgate premium audio system with seven-inch color display and 12 speakers; NissanConnect with navigation and mobile apps/services; front and rear sonar parking aids; dual automatic climate control; auto-dimming inside mirror with Homelink; an advanced drive assist driver-information five-inch display in the center of the instrument panel; multiple power outlets and a USB port; remote entry with pushbutton start; Bluetooth hands-free phone system; and cruise control.
Among included high-tech safety features of our Titan were four-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic stability control; vehicle-immobilizing security system; and blind-spot warning, with rear cross-traffic alert.
Outside, we had 20-inch alloy wheels, a full-size spare tire, and automatic LED headlights. Also included were fog lights, chrome power/folding outside mirrors with LED turn signals; chrome front bumper/grille/door handles; a power/sliding rear window; front tow hooks; and running boards.
Our truck came with the impressive shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system with high-and low-range gearing from a two-speed transfer case, and the four-wheel active-brake limited slip system.
We did some mild off-road driving, and one tough spot that we got hung up on because the steep hill was wet from rain and slippery from gravel and grass. Otherwise, the Titan did well in four-wheel-drive situations. Better off-road tires would have avoided the problem we had with the slippery hill.
The only option on our test vehicle was the SL Towing Convenience Package ($360), which brought extendable, folding, heated, auto-dimming towing mirrors and a trailer brake controller.
The Titan crew cab half-ton has the capability of towing trailers weighing up to 9,400 pounds with two-wheel drive, or 9,230 pounds with four-wheel drive, like our tester.
Although we never loaded our truck with cargo or tried pulling a trailer, we had plenty of power from the V-8 engine, and the seven-speed transmission shifted smoothly even on our off-road jaunts on some steep hills.
Fuel-economy ratings are the same for the two- or four-wheel-drive 5.6-liter models – 15 mpg city/21 highway/18 combined, except for the Pro-4X model, which is 17 mpg combined. We averaged about 16.5 mpg during our weeklong test, with a mixture of city and highway driving, plus some off-road.
Total sticker price for our Titan crew cab half-ton SL four-wheel-drive tester with the Endurance V-8 gasoline engine was $51,465, including freight and options.
The automotive columns of G. Chambers Williams III have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 1994. Contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter @gchambers3.
2017 Nissan Titan Crew Cab 5.6-liter half-ton pickup
The package: Full-size, five- or six-passenger, four-door, rear- or four-wheel-drive, V-8 gasoline-powered, body-on-frame pickup truck.
Highlights: New for 2017, this is the 1500 version of the redesigned Titan pickup with a gasoline V-8 engine and a crew cab configuration, the smaller version of the two full-size trucks in the Titan lineup (the other is the XD).
Negatives: Can get pricey with all the extras.
Engine: 5.6-liter gasoline V-8.
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic.
Power/torque: 390 HP./394 foot-pounds.
Brakes, front/rear: Disc/disc, antilock.
Length: 228.1 inches (228.5 inches for Pro-4X only).
Curb weight range: 5,508-5,684 pounds.
Maximum payload: 1,600 pounds (2WD); 1,620 pounds (4WD).
Electronic stability control: Standard.
Side air bags: Front seat-mounted side curtain.
Towing capacity: 9,400 pounds (2WD); 9,230 pounds (4WD).
EPA fuel economy: 15 mpg city/21 highway/18 combined (2WD or 4WD); 15/21/17 (Pro-4X only).
Fuel capacity/type: 26 gallons/regular unleaded.
Base price range: $35,230-$55,850, plus $1,195 freight.
Price as tested: $51,465, including freight and options (SL 4WD model with front captain’s chairs).
Major competitors: Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, Toyota Tundra, Ford F-150, Ram 1500.
On the Road rating: 9.0 (of a possible 10).
Prices shown are manufacturer’s suggested retail; actual selling price may vary.