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2015 Titan: Nissan Pulls Upgrades Forward

By Sue Mead, November 8th, 2014

The 2015 Titan is lightly updated as Nissan readies the full-size pickup truck to be completely redesigned for the 2016 model year.

Discontinued is the long-wheelbase version, while two new colors are added to the exterior palette and one to the interior along with new interior door panels and materials and revised features for different trim levels. Pricing for the 2015 Titan starts at $29,360. It competes with the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, Ram, and Toyota Tundra.

Titan was introduced to the U.S. in 2004 with praise for its tough-truck design, innovative features, and practical capabilities. Engineered as a work truck, as well as a family adventure vehicle, it shares its F-Alpha pickup platform with the Nissan Armada and Infiniti QX sport utility vehicles.

Nissan engineers describe it as the "Z" of pickups, meaning it is endowed with a sporty, responsive ride, despite its large size. As any practical pickup truck should, Titan is available in 2WD and 4WD versions.

It features one standard powerplant and two bed lengths -- one that extends to longer than 7 feet. It is available in five different trim packages: SV Value Truck Package, SV Utility Package, SV Premium Package, PRO-4X Premium Utility Package, and PRO-4X Luxury Package, each offering bespoke package content. Models equipped with front Captain Chairs now also boast a driver's seat with power adjustable lumbar control.

From the outside, Nissan's full-size truck is bold and aggressive looking, with a design that resembles its smaller, compact Frontier pickup sibling -- but beefed-up on steroids. The large chrome bumpers and front grille are meant to signify its work-truck mission and its fully-boxed steel ladder frame supports that vocation.

Notable is a climate-resistant, lockable storage utility compartment in the cargo bed immediately behind the driver's side rear wheel well, Nissan's Utili-track Bed Channel System that has four lockable cleats forged of heavy-duty aluminum, and a segment-first, factory-applied spray-on bedliner.

Chock-full of conveniences, the Titan lives up to its name and is crafted as a "mobile work station." The overall stature and the scale of its features -- from door handles to audio system knobs -- are oversized, making them easy to manipulate with a gloved hand.

Inside, it can seat up to six passengers and offers an innovative cargo storage system that helps stow and organize cargo. Wide-opening rear doors on the King Cab model spread 168 degrees and aid in cargo loading and carrying, as there is no B-pillar to impede ingress. A 60/40 split fold-up rear bench seat provides out-of-sight, under-seat stowage compartments.

A lockable oversized center console is large enough to hold a laptop or hanging file folders, while a 120-volt outlet in the console allows charging a laptop while on the go. The fold-flat passenger seat can be used as a writing desk.

Under the hood, Titan is motivated by a 5.6-liter Endurance V-8 that touts 317 horsepower and 385 lb.-ft. torque; it is matched to a five-speed automatic transmission. The King Cab version can tow up to 9,500 pounds, while Crew Cab models can haul 9,400 pounds; both are capable of carrying 1 ton of payload.

Of note, Titan is Flex Fuel Vehicle capable, meaning it can operate on E85 ethanol fuel, and is rated at up to 18 mpg on the highway and 13 mpg in the city.

Titan's popular PRO-4X package is designed for off-roaders and others who use their truck in the backcountry. It brings a Rancho suspension, an electronic locking rear differential, lockable bedside storage, skid plates, BFGoodrich Rugged Trail tires, and a lower final-drive ratio for hauling over rough and tough terrain.

We drove the Titan recently during a ride-and-drive program in Nashville, Tenn. Attractive styling, ample power, great ergonomics with running boards for entry and exit, as well as excellent visibility define the truck.

Despite its tall step-in height, as well as jumbo buttons and knobs that give the impression of the Big Tall Man's store, we found it comfortable and highly functional for people of smaller stature.

Four-wheel-drive versions boast a shift-on-the-fly system that allows instantaneous transitions between 2WD and 4WD at speeds up to 60 mph. A 4WD low-range enables the truck for more extreme conditions and, when needed, a switch-enabled electronic locking rear differential pairs the back wheels so they work in tandem for ultimate grip.

Rancho shocks allow good wheel travel and smooth the ride, while the PRO-4X trim adds skid plates to protect the oil pan, fuel tank, transfer case, and lower radiator from rough terrain.

Specifications

Base price $29,360 (as tested: $30,455)
Curb weight 4,847 lbs.
Displacement 5.6-liter
Engine type DOHC V-8 w/
Epa mileage rating 13 mpg city, 18 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 28 gal.
Horsepower (net) 317 at 5200 rpm
Overall length 224.6 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 385 at 3400 rpm
Transmission 5-speed automatic
Vehicle type 5/6-passenger 4x2 full-size pickup
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