Editors at TheCarConnection.com have driven the 2009 Nissan Titan on- and off-road to bring you their overall take on how the Titan ranks next to other full-size rigs. TheCarConnection.com's experts have also read other reviews on the Web to bring you a wide range of opinions and help you to make a smart buying decision for your next truck.
The Nissan Titan was first introduced in 2004 to glowing reviews across the board. For 2009, the truck is still a strong choice--but in some ways it feels a bit dated. The exterior and interior were slightly revised for 2008, and the exterior in particular stands up well, with a macho look that doesn't blend in with the rest of the pack.
Nissan finally made a long-wheelbase (159.5 inches) model available last year. Through 2007, only the standard 139.8-inch wheelbase had been available. Ford, Chevy, and Dodge all offer huge ranges of models and configurations, while the Titan has been stalwart in its limited range. However, the 2009 Nissan Titan line includes four models (XE, SE, PRO-4X, and LE) and two body styles (King Cab and Crew Cab) in 4x2 and 4x4 drive configurations, as well as four bed sizes (5'5", 6'5", 7', and 8').
The 2009 Titan's only powertrain is the powerful 5.6-liter dual-overhead-camshaft V-8 rated at 317 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque. The Titan features a standard five-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is poor; the combination gets ratings as low as 12 mpg city, and TheCarConnection.com has seen even worse numbers in real-world driving.
Along with powerful acceleration, this powertrain gives properly equipped Titan models the capability to tow up to 9,500 pounds with the King Cab and 9,400 pounds with the Crew Cab.
On the road, the Titan could be considered a sports car of trucks. While still a big vehicle, it drives smaller than it is. The truck corners with little lean, and the optional Vehicle Dynamic Control stability system works well without being too intrusive. The ride is comfortable for a truck, but the road and engine noise can wear on you after a few hours in the driver's seat.
Inside, the cabin is roomy and comfortable enough. Shorter drivers will appreciate the power-adjustable pedals. Some interior materials could be better, but overall the interior is more than acceptable.
A full range of airbags is available on the 2009 Titan, helping to improve the safety score to five stars for driver front impacts and four stars for passenger front impacts.
Options include a Bluetooth Hands-Free Phone System; an XM Satellite Radio tuner; a heated, leather-appointed bench seat; a revised center stack; and a larger, 8.0-inch DVD screen (up from 7.0 inches). New for 2009 is a Max Utility Package that combines towing and bed-utility features.
The Bottom Line:
The 2009 Nissan Titan won't meet all specialized work needs, but it's a good, powerful hauler with a comfortable interior.