Even though it's winter, new pickups are blossoming like dandelions in the spring. Chevrolet and GMC each have all-new models, and Toyota's redesigned Tundra is coming into the marketplace with enhanced size and presence.
The Nissan Titan was one of the first full-size Japanese pickups when it bowed in 2005, and it continues with minor changes for 2007. You might think the Titan seems a little dated, but it's still competitive. Some of the new trucks, for example, have features such as the in-bed utility track system that Nissan pioneered. The Titan was conceived and engineered for the American market, and it is built in Nissan's brand-new plant in Canton, Miss., just outside of Jackson.
The Titan's 5.6-liter V-8 has considerable grunt, and the horsepower has been bumped up to 317 for 2007. Towing capacity is 9,500 pounds for the King Cab and 9,400 pounds for the Crew Cab. Payload capacity, on the other hand, is only 1,799 pounds.
The Titan's all-aluminum V8 has iron cylinder liners, chain-driven dual overhead camshafts and graphite-coated pistons. The engine has been tuned to deliver nearly 90 percent of its torque by 2,500 rpm. For 2007, the Titan is a Flex-Fuel Vehicle that can burn E85 ethanol.
A five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission is the only one offered. Power rack-and-pinion steering and 17-inch wheels and tires are standard.
Four-wheel-drive Titans use a shift-on-the-fly system with an electronic control part-time transfer case. A brake-activated limited-slip traction control system transfers torque to the wheels with traction as driving conditions dictate.
Nissan provides an off-road package that consists of Rancho shock absorbers, off-road tires, underbody skid plates, tow hooks and fog lamps.
Because pickups are popular for personal use, Nissan decided to build the Titan in both King Cab and Crew Cab configurations. The Crew Cab, whose rear seat has 40 inches of legroom, drives more like an SUV than a truck. The drawback to the cabin's generous legroom is a short, 5-foot, 6-inch bed. A tubular bed extender folds out onto the tailgate to provide extra length when needed.
The rear seat back is reclined a full 24 degrees, and it has a 60/40 split fold-up feature that offers more usable space than fold-and-tumble designs. The rear compartment has ample storage, including bins in the doors and bottle holders in the rear-door armrests. The rear doors open 168 degrees for easy entry to the back seat. The wide-opening doors facilitate loading large items inside once the rear seat is folded down.
An available overhead console system gives passengers more storage options and also comes with an optional rear-seat DVD entertainment system with a fold-down, 7-inch monitor and 350-watt, 10-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system. Side-curtain airbags are optional.
The optional high-utility bed is very clever. The channel rack system can be used to anchor cleats for the adjustable tie-downs. Numerous clever accessories, from dividers and cleats to the sliding bed extender, are also available. The spray-on bed liner resists rust, protects the bed and makes the truck quieter.
To aid visibility around the tailgate area at night, small lights in the side of the bed come on when the tailgate is lowered. A weatherproof power outlet is located at the back of the bed, and a small, lockable bin is built into the lower outside section of the rear fender.
The test truck's base price was $31,550. Options included XM satellite radio, Rockford Fosgate audio, power adjustable pedals, rear parking sensors, eight-way power driver's seat, off-road package, tow package, rear-seat DVD system, bed extender and the utility bed package. The sticker price was $39,005.
Three years or 36,000 miles. The powertrain warranty is for five years or 60,000 miles.