2017 Titan Pro-4X: Nissan's Year of the Truck

By Frank A. Aukofer, October 29th, 2016

With its all-new 2017 Titan half-ton V-8 pickup truck, Nissan mimics the president and the U.S. Congress.

Manufacturer photo: The Titan Pro-4X is a four-wheel-drive model with a 5.5-foot long cargo box
Manufacturer photo: The Titan Pro-4X is a four-wheel-drive model with a 5.5-foot long cargo box

They issue proclamations to designate days, weeks, or other time periods for special recognition of favored enterprises, anniversaries, and entities. Among them: Cuban Sandwich Day, Squirrel Appreciation Day, Ferris Wheel Day, National Goof Off Day, and Lost Sock Memorial Day.

Nissan, for its part, has designated this "the year of the truck," though it doesn't specify a particular year or truck, and it doesn't even single out the new half-ton Titan, which could stand on its own. The others are the 2017 Armada full-size sport utility vehicle, and the 2017 Pathfinder midsize crossover SUV.

Because these vehicles are being introduced now, the "year of the truck" straddles 2016 and 2017. It's an effort by the Japanese manufacturer to bolster its lineup and sales with new and appealing pickup trucks, SUVs, and crossovers. It will include a redesign next year of the familiar midsize Frontier pickup.

The V-8 Titan follows on the tailgate of the earlier introduction of the Titan XD, a full-size diesel-powered pickup that slots between light-duty half-ton pickups and the brawnier heavy-duty models.

Manufacturer photo: The Titan Pro-4X is a four-wheel-drive model with a 5.5-foot long cargo box

Full-size pickups come in configurations designated as light duty, heavy duty, and super duty. The best selling Ford F-150, like the new Titan V-8, is a light-duty half-ton pickup, though that designation doesn't mean much because it can haul more than a half-ton of cargo.

Similarly, the tested Titan Pro-4X four-door pickup (starting at $46,215), can carry a payload of 1,610 pounds, which is more than three-quarters of a ton. It can tow trailers up to 9,390 pounds with proper equipment.

The half-ton Titan V-8 comes in five crew cab versions: S, SV, the tested Pro-4X, SL, and Platinum Reserve. Nissan also plans to include, for the first time, a single-cab two-door work truck, along with a king cab version with a small back seat.

The Pro-4X is the four-wheel-drive model. It is 19-foot 1-inch long, or 3 inches shorter than the Ford F-150 and 14 inches shorter than the Titan XD diesel. The cargo box is 5.5 feet long.

Under the hood is Nissan's 5.6-liter V-8 engine, which makes 390 horsepower and 394 lb.-ft. of torque. The transmission is a seven-speed automatic and the four-wheel-drive features high- and low-range settings. Though the Pro-4X weighs a whopping 5,684 pounds, it has enough power for easy highway cruising and off-road duty, though the Pro-4X's plus-size dimensions limit the latter.

Manufacturer photo: The Titan Pro-4X is a four-wheel-drive model with a 5.5-foot long cargo box

Because all big pickup trucks do essentially the same things -- haul big loads and tow heavy trailers -- manufacturers go out of their way to distinguish their products. For example, the Ford F-150 comes with a flip-up bar in the tailgate to ease climbing up into the cargo area. The Ram features lockable utility boxes in the sides of the cargo box.

The new Titan offers a bed channel system that features heavy-duty aluminum cleats that move and lock anywhere along the bed floor and walls to give the user many tie-down possibilities for cargo, including motorcycles. Also available are twin lockable in-bed storage boxes that are watertight and drainable and can be used for picnics or tailgating.

Inside, the front console can accommodate a laptop computer with a 15-inch screen. The tested Pro-4X came with heated and cooled power adjustable front seats, with memory settings for the power steering wheel, driver's seat, and outside mirrors.

The back seat offers decent room for three adults, with a nearly flat floor. Although the seatbacks do not recline, the seats fold up and out of the way for access to hideaway storage boxes under the seat.

Pickups nowadays also are used by many people as their daily drivers. And they are in a price class where buyers do not hesitate to equip them with every luxury and convenience item available.

Manufacturer photo: The Titan Pro-4X is a four-wheel-drive model with a 5.5-foot long cargo box

The tested Pro-4X, among other things, came equipped with an Around View camera, leather upholstery with heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel and rear seats, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel with memory, navigation system, SiriusXM satellite radio, heated outside mirrors, remote engine starting, electronic locking tailgate, and a premium Rockford Fosgate audio system.

That's a bunch but it ensures that this new Nissan works well for both play and work.

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