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2017 Nissan Titan: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader October 2016

Big trucks are a big deal around these parts. Only when pump prices crest the $4 per gallon threshold do the sales of full-size pickups begin to stumble. Otherwise, we 'Mericans love our big, honkin' trucks. And, the 2017 Nissan Titan is, indeed, a big, honkin' truck.

No doubt America's love affair with full-size pickups and SUVs heavily contributed to Nissan's change of heart to stop building Titan. After flirting with a Chrysler-built Titan and a year-long hiatus in 2016, Nissan reintroduced the half-ton Titan, which is better in every way than the first-generation model.

Will it steal away loyal Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado and RAM 1500 owners when they replace their current trucks? Probably not, but Nissan isn't expecting such a sea change. Nissan's goal is to attract first-time full-size truck buyers, particularly within the current Nissan owner base. If a few domestic truck owners defect to Titan's ranks, all the better.

What's New for 2017?

Nissan completely redesigned Titan for 2017; it receives the new 5.6-liter V8 found in the 2017 Nissan Armada, as well as all the cutting-edge towing technologies introduced on the Titan XD.

What We Like

The more powerful V8; buffed up, more trucklike styling; 5-year/100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty; creative storage areas inside and out; available rearview monitor with trailer guides; PRO-4X hardcore off-road version

What We Don't

Hauling and towing still lag behind the competition

How Much?

$34,780-$52,310

Fuel Economy

Although Nissan promises a V6 is coming, currently all Titans use a 390-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 by way of a 7-speed automatic transmission to turn the rear or all four wheels. Generating 394 lb-ft of peak torque, Titan can tow a maximum of nearly 9,400 pounds.

Some advanced engine technologies, as well as the active grille shutter, improve fuel economy. Except the PRO-4X grade, all Titans deliver a government-estimated 15 miles per gallon in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. These numbers line up pretty well with those of competitors. The highway mileage estimate drops to 20 mpg for the PRO-4X. For about $3,000, you can opt for 4-wheel drive (4WD) on all Titan grades, except the PRO-4X, which comes standard with it. Mileage remains the same for 4WD versions.

Standard Features & Options

Nissan offers Titan Crew Cab V8 in five grades: S, SV, PRO-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve.

The S Crew Cab ($34,780) comes standard with 18-inch painted steel wheels, front 40/20/40-split bench seat, vinyl floor covering, cloth/vinyl seats, six cup holders, eight bottle holders, power windows, power locks with remote keyless entry, two 12V outlets, manual sliding rear window, air conditioning, six airbags, cruise control, 5-in color display, Bluetooth connectivity, NissanConnect with Mobile Apps, hands-free text messaging and a 6-speaker audio system with a USB port and redundant steering wheel-mounted controls. An optional convenience package includes an overhead console, spray-on bed liner and a receiver hitch with a wiring harness.

The SV Crew Cab ($37,670) comes out of the box with all the S features and most options, as well as 18-in alloy wheels, floor carpeting, power/heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals, full cloth seats, satellite radio capability and an upgraded gauge package. Several options and packages offer an array of extra features, such as spray-on bed liner, bucket front seats, an 8-way power driver's seat, a 7-in color touchscreen, a navigation system, Siri Eyes Free, power-sliding rear window, dual-zone automatic temperature control, a center console 12V outlet, a rear 110V outlet, rain-sensing wipers, rear traffic alert and a rearview monitor.

The PRO-4X Crew Cab 4x4 ($45,020) arrives with all the SV standard and most optional features listed, adding all-terrain tires, LED low-beam/halogen high-beam headlights with auto on, LED running lights, a lower radiator skid plate, rear A/C vents and blind spot warning. Among the available options are the in-bed Utili-track Channel System, a 110V power outlet, running boards, driver's side auto-dimming outboard mirror, outboard mirror-mounted puddle lights, heated front seats, 4-way power adjustable passenger seat, a 12-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system with subwoofer, remote engine start and a front/rear sonar parking-assist system.

The SL Crew Cab ($46,380) comes with all the PRO-4X standard gear, except the all-terrain tires and radiator skid plate. It also includes all the PRO-4X listed options. Additional standard features are 20-in alloy wheels, chrome outboard mirrors and leather seats. Options include a trailer brake controller, a key fob-controlled trailer-light-function check and extendable outboard mirrors for towing.

The Platinum Reserve Crew Cab ($52,310) provides all the SL standard gear and listed options, adding stitched logos in the leather seats, ventilated front seats, a heated second-row seat, interior wood accents, a 360-degree around-view monitor and aluminum doorsill plates. Options include a rear DVD entertainment system, an electronic-locking tailgate and a rear utility bed step.

Safety

Neither the government nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has crash-tested the 2017 Titan. All Titan Crew Cabs come with six airbags and front knee bolsters. Many of the high-tech safety and driver-assistance technologies found on today's crop of new cars aren't available, even as options, on Titan. However, a rearview monitor, front/rear sonar parking assist, blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert are available or standard on upper trim levels. The 360-degree around-view monitor is available on the PRO-4X and standard on the Platinum Reserve.

Behind the Wheel

One reoccurring gripe about the first generation Titan was its less-than-truck feel. It didn't look quite as capable as the domestic big trucks on the outside and that sense remained once behind the wheel. Neither is true with the 2017 Titan. It looks and drives as a full-size truck should. From the growl of its powerful V8 to the impressive off-road prowess of the PRO-4X, Titan leaves no doubt that it can go toe-to-toe with the segment's big boys. In fact, if anything, it might out-truck a couple of its competitors in the way it handles and rides.

The isolation-booth-quiet cabin is nicely appointed, the materials are top-notch, the Zero Gravity seats were engineered in conjunction with NASA and Nissan arranged all the controls and switches based on frequency of use. The split rear-seat cushions fold up revealing bag hooks to keep plastic grocery bags in place. The rear-seat backs fold down flat to accommodate cargo. There's nary a nit to pick with Titan's treatment of its occupants or what they might carry inside the cabin. Behind the Crew Cab, where the real work goes on, the variety of storage and hauling solutions dwarfs anything its competitors offer.

Other Trucks to Consider

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 -- The mainstay and best seller of Chevrolet's lineup, Silverado is versatile and checks all the full-size truck boxes.

2017 RAM 1500 -- Another big truck that does it all and does it well, the 1500 sets itself apart from the pack with its coil-spring rear suspension that delivers an almost boulevard ride.

2017 Ford F-150 -- With the only aluminum wrapper in the big-truck segment, the F-150 receives high marks for its variety of engine choices and top towing numbers. Oh, and there's that freakish Raptor model, too.

Autotrader's Advice

For all-round solid performance and utility, the 2017 Nissan Titan SV grade makes available just about everything most of us need in a truck. Most of whichever core features aren't standard are offered among the option packages. Though, for anyone who's going to seriously off-road, the PRO-4X is the way to go.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2017 Nissan Titan: New Car Review - Autotrader