The Nissan Titan features bold styling, standard V8 power, and a host of clever driver-centric features. (Source: Nissan)
The Titan has received the ultimate makeover for 2017. The truck that was almost forgotten when shopping for pickups is completely redesigned for the 2017 model year. The new truck is wholly far more competent than its predecessor. And who is this new truck for? Well, Nissan is having a hard time with that. The simple answer is that it is an ideal truck for first-time truck owners– long odds on getting many Chevy or Ford truck owners to switch. But if this is your first full-size truck, the Titan would be an excellent choice. However Nissan offers near-heavy-duty model that has more towing than most of the light duty pickup trucks, and yet is not really a heavy duty pickup. Who is this truck for? Read on to learn exactly who, and if the Titan is the right first-time pickup for you!
2017 Nissan Titan Fast Facts
Seating: 3 Passenger (Single Cab), 5-6 Passenger (Crew Cab)
• Exceptionally quiet cabin
• Zero gravity seats
• Storage Options in Cabin
• Pop-out Tailgate Step
• 16 Cup Holders
• 110-volt outlet in bed
• Platinum Reserve an ultra luxury model
• Familiar controls for car shoppers
• Precise steering feel
• Maneuverable in tight spaces
• Less towing than the competition
• Body roll in hard cornering
• Expensive No Matter Which Trim
• Limited Bed/Cab Configurations (…For Now)
• Tall Climb Up
• Lacks Certain Safety Features
• Limited Engine Options
• No Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
Dealmakers: Nissan Titan’s Top Lifestyle Features
The trailer brake controller is just one of the many features offered on the Titan. (Source: Nissan)
Nissan put their time in, learning how folks use their trucks in order to provide buyers with many thoughtful features. From rear step-ups to make climbing into the bed easier to vivid LED lighting when in the bed, the Titan has great features for truck users. But Nissan also incorporated many features from its cars and SUVs, thus making the Titan even more livable.
Dealmaker: Exceptionally quiet cabin
The cabin of the Titan is roomy, well-equipped and supremely quiet. (Source: Nissan)
If you are ever reading a car review and see the letters NVH, it stands for Noise Vibration and Harshness. This is the subtle vibrations, road noise, and wind noise that are the difference between an econo-box and a luxury car. Nissan went to great lengths to reduce noise in the cabin. The side mirrors were given a more aerodynamic shape, reducing turbulence, and seals were added to isolate engine noise and further wind noise. The result is a 25% reduction in wind noise compared to the previous Titan. Anecdotally, other reviewers have said the Titan feels quieter than the competition.
Dealmaker: Familiar Controls for Car Shoppers
The layout of many controls in the Titan will be familiar for sedan and crossover drivers. (Source: Nissan)
Those coming out of an SUV or crossover for the first time will feel right at home behind the heel of the Titan, as all the controls are in a familiar place– albeit on a larger scale. Nissan sedan and crossover interiors are very well laid out, with a combination of touch screen controls, but also familiar buttons and knobs. Even the climate control uses a dial for each temperature control zone. If you are coming out of any car or crossover (especially a Nissan), the most important controls you use will all be in the same place– something that’s not always guaranteed with some automakers rolling out all sorts of unique interior designs.
Dealmaker: Column-Style Shifter
The column shifter is familiar to truck owners and frees up center console space. (Source: Nissan)
This is a variation on “familiar controls” from above, but directed towards those who have owned trucks for years. Among those new designs that automakers are attempting to rethink the shifter in your car. This is the ultimate case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and yet this trend, which started in luxury cars, has finally made its way to trucks, with Ram employing is proprietary “rotary shifter.” It’s not the most confusing controller in the world, but it is not nearly as simple as a column shifter, which is exactly what the Nissan Titan has.
In addition to being the easiest-to-use shifter you could possibly find in a truck, moving the shifter from the center console to the column frees up more center console space.
Dealmaker: Storage Options in Cabin
Speaking of use-of-space, the designers at Nissan have thought of everything with regards to how folks use their trucks. The Titan comes with all sorts of storage solutions both inside and out of the truck. The cabin features standard bench seating ith a center console that folds down and provides under-arm storage. The truck equipped with the front bucket seats and large center console features a deep well between the seats, with dividers perfectly sized for a laptop.
In the four-door crew cab models, the rear seats fold down to provide a standing design envronmnent on which you can plop down a laptop (and plug it into the wall-style power outlet found in the rear seats, more on that in a bit). Fold up the seat again and fold up the lower half of the seat to reveal storage compartments under the rear bench. There are also flaps that fold out to allow for a flat load floor for large items that you don’t want exposed to the elements.
Dealmaker: Zero-Gravity Seats
Nissan makes a big deal about its Zero Gravity Seats. And, no, before you ask, these seats did not come out of the Space Shuttle. Rather, Nissan engineers designed seats that are inspired by the weightlessness of space, and how your back takes a neutral position in those Zero-G conditions. The seats incorporate 14 different pressure points and are supposed to provide more blood flow to your legs and leave you feeling more refreshed after a long ride. All we can say is that the seats are darn comfortable!
Dealmaker: 110-Volt Outlet in the Cabin and Bed
A wall-style power outlet is available in the cab of the Titan. You can also get one in the bed. (Source: Nissan)
With all your devices and tablets, automakers have responded with added USB power ports, but sometimes a USB port isn’t enough. If you need an outlet for larger items, like a laptop, the Titan is available with a 110-volt, wall-style power outlet located in the back of the center console. But what if you need power outside the cabin of the Titan, for a power tool? The Titan is also available with an in-bed power outlet, providing power for the worksite or the campsite.
Note: Not available on the base S model. In-cab outlet optional on SV and standard on models above it. The bed outlet is optional on the SV and PRO-4X, and standard on above trims.
Dealmaker: Titan XD
The Titan is also offered in a sort-of heavy duty model, dubbed the DX. When it debuted, we asked a rep from Nissan what the truck really is, and he said it was something between a light duty and a heavy duty truck. That’s great for folks looking for more capability than the standard truck, but somewhat confusing if you’re trying to cross-shop it against other pickups. It is caller, tougher, and can tow up to 12,640 pounds, compared to the non-XD’s 9,730-lb. capacity.
NOTE: We typically focus on light duty pickups, and have not included the HD or SuperDuty of any other competing truck. With that, we’re mentioning the XD, and will refer to it occasionally, but in the interest of fairness, will not try to directly compare it.
Dealmaker: Remote Trailer Light Control
When towing a large boat or camper trailer, one of the most important safety aspects is letting other motorists know what you’re up to. If any trailer lights are out, you become a dangerous obstacle on the highway, and there’s no telling which way you’re going to turn next. The Titan comes with a remote trailer light control. Simply stand behind the trailer, and press the button on the key fob, and it will cycle through all the lights to make sure they are working.
Dealbreakers: Nissan Titan’s Worst Lifestyle Features
The Titan is still very new, so every dealbreaker of this truck has not been found. There are a few early negative attributes, but with time, more may reveal themselves. Return to this page periodically for updates on any new negative– or positive– revelations of the Titan as Heavy.com and others get behind the wheel of this new pickup.
Dealbreaker: Limited Bed/Cab Configurations (…For Now)
The first configurations offered of the Titan are Crew Cab and a Single Cab with a Long Bed. (Source: Nissan)
Before this year, the Titan had the same design since 2004. That means the 2017 was a major changeover to the new design, and that sort of overhaul doesn’t happen overnight. As such, only limited versions of the Titan have been available, while Nissan works on new versions. The first version of the new Titan that was available was the Quad Cab with a smaller bed. After several months, the Single Cab version was available for work crews, featuring a smaller cab and a full-size bed. As of right now those are the only option.
There will be plenty more bed/cab configurations to come, but if you had your heart set on a specific configuration that Nissan does not offer at the moment, it could be months before it is made available.
Dealbreaker: Expensive No Matter Which Trim
The Platinum Reserve trim piles on the options–and price–but the Titan is expensive for the market, in all its incarnations. (Source: Nissan)
In targeting new truck buyers, Nissan had to load up the Titan with a lot of goodies to make it appealing for any buyer that is loyal to Chevy, Ford, or Ram. As such, the Titan is a well-equipped full-size pickup. But all those features come with a price, and the base MSRP of a 2017 Nissan Titan is $29,450. Compare that to the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, which starts at $27,585, or the Ford F-150, which starts at $26,540, and you begin to see that if you are looking to pay the least for a full-size pickup, the Titan is not a good place to start.
Dealbreaker: Tall Climb to Get in the Titan
The Titan makes an imposing first impression. That big profile also makes it big climb to get up into the cabin. (Source: Nissan)
There’s no getting around the sheer size of trucks lately. As rival automakers try to outdo each other, the consumer is left choosing between large and extra-large sizes. One would think that if Nissan were trying to attract the weekend warrior/casual truck user, the best way to do it would be with an easy step up. According to reviewers, even with the side rails, stepping up into the Titan is a bit of a stretch. If you plan on using a full-size truck to bring the kids to school, you might to better to look at the Ram 1500, which has an optional air suspension that can completely lower the truck for easier access.
Dealbreaker: No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
The Titan has some solid infotainment tech, but lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (Source: Nissan)
When automakers design a new car, they save the touch screen stuff for last. That’s because in the time they design and start building the car, the tech has already changed. With that in mind, there should have at least been some viable way to work Apple CarPlay or Android Auto into the touch screen system o the Titan. The Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, and F-150 offer this. If Nissan wants to play ball with the big boys, they need to offer everything that they offer, and then some.
Dealmaker/breaker: Comment on Features/Trims
The Titan is available with tech like parking sensors, but falls short of being the most tech-savvy truck out there. (Source: Nissan)
Trucks are typically offered in five to seven bed/cab configurations, with single, extended, and crew cabs, and short, standard, and long bed sizes. As of right now, only two bed/cab configurations are available, with more to join. Later on we can expect a King Cab, which is a lot like the F-150’s SuperCab. This King Cab will feature rear half-doors, that rearward, but they only open after you’ve opened the front doors. This cab will be offered later in 2017.
Cab/Bed Configurations Offered
Even in the Single Cab, Long Bed setup, the Titan exudes a premium feel. (Source: Nissan)
Single Cab, Long Bed: (MSRP: $29,580)
The Single Cab, Long Bed model is the tried-and-true work truck configuration. (Source: Nissan)
We’ve talked about what a commuter-friendly truck the Titan is, but for any truck to truly be considered for the worksite, it needs to be offered in that traditional “work truck” layout of a single cab and long bed. The single cab comes with a bench seat that can seat three. The center seatback folds down into a center armrest with embedded storage and cup holders. The long bed has plenty of space for all your worksite needs, and is available with a spray-in bedliner, minimizing damage and long-term rusting.
Crew Cab, Short Bed: (MSRP: $34,780)
The Crew Cab features a spacious cabin and still has decent bed space. (Source: Nissan)
This is the true “commuter truck” configuration, prioritizing cabin space with seating for up to six, over bed area. From the exterior, you can tell the cabin is huge, and stepping into this big truck backs up its outward appearance. The cabin has more than enough head and legroom, even for taller drivers. And while the single cab is only available in S and SV trims, the Crew Cab includes those trims, but adds the upscale SL and luxurious Platinum Reserve trims.
S: (MSRP: $29,580)
• Wide-angle towing side mirrors
• In-bed tie-down hooks
• 5-inch color audio display
• USB auxiliary audio port
• NissanConnect Mobile Apps
SV: (MSRP $32,460, includes everything from S, plus)
• 18-inch alloy wheels
• Trailer sway control
• Upgraded instrument panel
• Satellite radio (subscription required)
• Chrome door handles
SL: (MSRP $46,380, includes everything from SV, plus)
• 20-inch alloy wheels
• 110-volt outlet in bed
• LED bed lights
• Leather-appointed seats (heated front seats)
• 7.0-inch touchscreen navigation system
• Rockford Fosgate stereo, 12-speakers, subwoofer
Platinum Reserve: (MSRP $52,310, includes everything from SL, plus)
• Unique two-tone paint scheme
• Trailer brake controller
• Debossed leather seating (heated first AND second row)
• Open-pore wood interior accents
• Side mirrors that tilt down when reversing
• Dark chrome tailgate accents
PRO-4X: (MSRP $45,020)
• All-terrain tires (all others have all-season tires)
• 18-inch machined aluminum alloy wheels
• Bilstein monotube carryover shocks
• Electronically locking rear differential
• Skid plates for transfer case, lower radiator
• Hill descent control
Titan XD: (MSRP $31,090)
• 5.0-liter diesel V8 (MSRP $37,140 with diesel)
• Greater towing capacity
• Bigger brakes
• Thicker, tougher frame
Dealmaker: Like Other New Trucks…for Better or Worse
The Titan handles…like a truck. That’s not meant to be an oversimplification, as trucks have become incredibly agile (for their size). They sop up many of the dips, bumps, and cracks in the road, and yet are not overly top-heavy. You still have to take care in tight corners and watch your speed, but the response has been largely positive with regards to the V8.
Handling: Sharp Steering, but Not Always Secure
Like its competitors,” explains Car and Driver,” the Titan generally does not like to be hustled around corners; instead, the steering and suspension are tuned for work and comfort.” In our research and evaluation on the Titan, we found similar impressions. The steering itself feels precise, and actually can work its way in and out of tight spaces–crucial if you ever have to take this big truck into the city.
Drivetrain: Powerful, but Limited Options
The 5.0-liter V8 pulls strong, and makes 390 horsepower. (Source: Nissan)
The Titan comes with a 5.6-liter V8 that makes 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. This is a solid and stout engine, and when combined with the 7-speed automatic, manages power well and always finds the ideal gear. The low first gear allows the Titan to jump out from a full stop. You can also get a Cummins diesel V8 with 310 horsepower and 555 pound feet of torque, but that’s only available on the Nissan Titan XD
• Engine #1: 5.6-liter V8
• Output: 390 horsepower / 394 lb.-ft. of torque
• Transmission: 7-speed automatic
• Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive, optional four-wheel drive
• 0-60 MPH: 6.4 sec
• Towing: 9,730 lbs. (max.)
• Fuel economy: 15/21/18 (city/highway/combined, RWD)
• Engine #2: 5.0-liter Cummins Diesel V8 (Titan XD only)
• Output: 310 horsepower / 555 lb.-ft. of torque
• Transmission: 6-speed automatic
• Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive, optional four-wheel drive
• 0-60 MPH: TBD sec
• Towing: 12,640 lbs. (max.)
• Fuel economy: N/A (city/highway/combined)
Towing/Hauling: Competitive Numbers
The Titan’s towing tops out at 9,390 lbs., but if you get the Titan XD, that number can jump to 12,640. As we said, Nissan is picking and choosing when this truck is heavy duty and when it is not, so we’re sticking with the 9,390 number. That puts it…
Off-Road Performance: PRO-4X is a Pro for the Trail
The PRO-4X is the off-road specialty package, it features a unique wheel design, all-terrain tires, off-road shocks, and unique badging inside and out. It also features a Hill Descent Control system which modulates the throttle and brake without you putting your foot on any pedals. Think of it as an off-road cruise control system, but one that allows you to focus on your off-road line a bit better.
Dealmaker: Too Early to Tell
There are two major safety organizations that test road cars and publish scores. They are the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). NHTSA scores vehicles out of five stars, while the IIHS scores on a scale of Poor, Marginal, Acceptable, and Good. Additionally, the IIHS offers “Top Safety Pick” recommendations, as well as “Top Safety Pick +” for vehicles with advanced crash avoidance and mitigation features.
|Truck||NHTSA Overall Crash Results|
|Chevrolet Silverado 1500||5/5|
|GMC Sierra 1500||5/5|
The new Nissan Titan has not yet been tested by NHTSA or the IIHS. When this data becomes available, we will be sure to add it to this section of the buying guide.
The Nissan Titan comes standard with front impact, side impact, and side curtain airbags, as well as the LATCH child seat anchoring system. The Titan also comes standard with anti-lock brakes, Vehicle Dynamics Control, Traction Control System, Tire Pressure Monitoring
Safety Tech: Just Enough, But far from Cutting Edge
The Titan is available with safety features such as blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. This is standard on the PRO-4X, SL, and Platinum Reserve Models. The Titan is also available with a backup camera (Once again, standard on the top three models, optional on SV), and the AroundView monitor (Shown in video above. Optional on PRO-4X, standard on Platinum Reserve). For even more awareness when parking, Nissan also offers front and rear sonar parking sensors (optional on SV, PRO-4X, standard on SL, Platinum Reserve). These are great for parking in tight places, and combined with the blind spot system can watch out for you in many driving situations.
But the Titan doesn’t offer advanced features like forward collision warning, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control, as is offered in trucks like the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500. That a ground-up redesign in 2016 would lack such features is a glaring omission and will certainly keep the Titan from earning a Top Safety Pick+ label from the IIHS.
Reliability: To Early to Tell
There is no data yet available on the Titan for reliability. When this data becomes available it will be immediately included in our buying guide.
Tiebreakers: Comparing the Titan to the Competition
The Ram 1500 is another ideal truck for first-time pickup buyers. (Source: FCA)
The truck market is one of the most hotly contested markets in the automotive work. The one-upsmanship that goes on is seldom found anywhere else in the industry, with automakers routinely updating pickups for marginal power and towing gains so they can claim “Best-in-class,” even for a year. No matter which truck you select, it will be large, spacious, and supremely capable. What sets them apart are the styling, packaging and features unique to each entry in the market.
Chevrolet Silverado (MSRP $27,585-$54,925)
The two trucks that set the foundation of this market are the Ford F-150 and Silverado 1500. These trucks are far and away the two top-selling pickups in the market. The Silverado has iconic styling, as defined by the split-chrome grille. The extended cab version of the Silverado has conventional second-row doors, unlike the F-150’s clamshell doors, which need the front doors to be opened first. The Silverado has similar available tech, but Chevy’s Safety Alert and MyLink give it the edge in the tech department.
Titan vs Silverado:
• Best-in-Class Towing 12,500 lbs. (Titan XD has 12,640, but TECHNICALLY isn’t light duty)
• Forward Collision Avoidance and Lane Departure Warning offered (Not available on Titan)
• Apple CarPlay system offered (Not available on Titan)
Learn more about the Chevrolet Silverado here.
Ford F-150 (MSRP $26,540-$63,025)
Aluminum. This is what separates the F-150 from the rest. It’s extensive use of military grade aluminum keeps weight down, which allows it to use turbocharged V6s to much of the work previously demanded of a V8. Other automakers have criticized this choice, claiming it will dent more easily and repairs will be expensive. There have been mixed reviews of the Sync 3 infotainment system.
Titan vs F-150:
• Aluminum keeps weight down, but body repair bills could run up
• Advanced safety systems (not offered on Titan)
• Sync 3 improvement over previous Ford infotainment (Titan infotainment just OK)
Learn more about the Ford F-150 here.
Ram 1500 (MSRP $26,395-$53,375)
Like the Titan, the Ram 1500 is a strong contender as the ideal entry point for first-time truck buyers. It has familiar controls, an extremely smooth ride, and many features that will make truck ownership easy.
Titan vs Ram 1500:
• Ram EcoDiesel V6 the MPG king (Titan MPG falls short on fuel economy)
• No surround view camera system (Titan offers AroundView)
• Ram has ultra smooth ride with air suspension (Titan just average)
Learn more about the Ram 1500 here.
GMC Sierra (MSRP $27,815-$54,640)
The Sierra is the GMC equivalent of the Silverado. They are built on the same platform, offer much of the same mechanicals, and even have similar styling. You’d think it would be simply a matter of choice, but despite the Sierra being positioned as the luxury truck option, pricing is relatively the same.
Titan vs Sierra:
• Strong towing of 12,000 lbs. (See Silverado/Titan towing gripe)
• Forward Collision Avoidance and Lane Departure Warning offered (Not available on Titan)
• Innovative septs cut into rear bumper (Steps offered, but not as seamless)
Learn more about the Sierra here.
Toyota Tundra (MSRP $29,140-$49,580)
The Tundra features big, bold styling and really spacious seats on the Double Cab and CrewMaX models, and it even has a solid infotainment system. But the Tundra is held back by poor fuel economy, a rough ride, and styling that not everyone has fallen in love with.
Titan vs Tundra:
• Good infotainment system, but lacks Apple CarPlay (Titan in same boat)
• Extremely roomy DoubleCab and CrewMax models (No mid-size extended cab offered on Titan…yet)
• Poor fuel economy (Titan in same boat)
Learn more about the Tundra here.
Should I Buy a Nissan Titan?
Be it the PRO-4X’s off-road performance or the in-cabin features, there are many reasons to like the Titan. (Source: Nissan)
For first-time truck buyers, or seasoned truck owners looking for a more commute-friendly truck, the 2017 Nissan Titan is a very refined and competitive pickup. It features a comfortable interior, fitted with many creature comforts and controls that are easy to use. Though it lacks some of the most advanced safety and infotainment tech, it also has clever features like the pop-out tailgate step and remote trailer lights.
So Which to Buy?
• If you love comfortable interiors: Silverado, Ram, Titan
• If you require a truck with good fuel economy: Ford F-150, Ram (EcoDiesel)
• If you want the latest safety and infotainment tech: Silverado/Sierra
• If you must have the most towing capacity: Silverado, Titan
• If you’re on a tight budget: Ford F-150
Dealmakers vs. Dealbreakers Final Tally
Dealmaker: Seriously Quiet Cabin
Dealmaker: Zero Gravity Seats
Dealmaker: Pop-out Tailgate Step
Dealmaker: 110v outlet in cab AND bed
Dealmaker: Storage Options in Cabin
Dealmaker: Familiar Controls for Car Shoppers
Dealmaker: Downright luxurious Platinum Reserve model
Dealmaker: Precise Steering Feel
Dealmaker: Titan XD Halfway-to-Heavy-Duty
Dealmaker: Maneuverable in Tight Spaces
Dealmaker: 16 Cup Holders
Dealbreaker: Non-XD Less Towing than Competition
Dealbreaker: Limited Bed/Cab Configurations (…for now) (half-breaker)
Dealbreaker: Tall Climb into cabin
Dealbreaker: Lacks Latest Safety Tech
Dealbreaker: Limited Engine Options
Dealbreaker: No Apple CarPlay
Final Tally: 4.5+
Market Average: TBD
The Titan is a tremendous improvement over the previous model, and offers a supremely attractive full-size truck with available features that bring it into near-luxury territory. But given how long it’s been since we had a new Titan, and given how much the industry has evolved in the last 5-10 years, we expected more from the Titan in the way of safety and entertainment technology. We expected there to be forward collision warning and support for Apple CarPlay. Nissan might have these features in the works, but at the moment, the newest entrant in the truck market it already behind the competition in technology.