2008 Nissan Titan Review

2008 Nissan Titan - Titan-ic pickup.


Buyers of full-size pickup trucks tend to be very loyal folk. As one of the recent newcomers in the segment, Nissan knew that if it hoped to get more truck buyers to consider its Titan, it would have to make significant revisions for 2008.

The most notable upgrade for 2008 is the addition of a long-wheelbase model and a new Titan Pro-4X model. The 2008 Titan also features freshened styling with a revised front end and all-new wheel styles.

Inside, Titan features a new seat design and refined meter clusters. Other 2008 Titan enhancements include available Bluetooth hands-free phone system, XM Satellite Radio tuner, heated leather-appointed bench seat, a revised center stack and a larger, 8-inch DVD screen (up from 7-inch).

Nissan's Titan has great curb-appeal. I like Titan's tough-looking, muscular stance. Regardless of which trim level you choose, Titan looks poised to stake its claim in this segment.

With Titan, you don't have all kinds of powertrain choices, but you will get a solidly-built truck with plenty of power for hauling, a spacious cabin with room for up to six adults, innovative design features, and one of the smoothest rides in the segment.

The new Nissan Titan is offered in four trims: XE, SE, Pro-4X and LE. There are two body styles: King Cab and Crew Cab. And there are now four bed sizes: 5-feet 5-inches, 6-feet 5-inches, 7-feet and 8-feet. Also new is the availability of an E85 Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV) version.

Base XE models feature 18-inch steel wheels, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat, air-conditioning, a CD stereo and cruise control. The mid-level SE adds 18-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, front captain's chairs with a center console, leather seating, an in-dash CD changer, an auxiliary audio input jack, power heated mirrors and an overhead console.

The new Pro-4X (4WD only) adds Rancho off-road performance shocks, skid plates, a lower final-drive gear ratio, all-terrain tires and a push-button rear-locking differential.

The top-of-the-line Titan LE adds 20-inch wheels, rear park assist, power front seats, Bluetooth connectivity, automatic dual-zone climate control, an upgraded Rockford Fosgate audio system, power adjustable pedals, auto-dimming mirrors, a factory-applied spray-on bedliner and specialized cargo tie-down tracks.

My tester was the LE model with a King Cab and four-wheel drive. The King Cab features rear-hinged wide-open rear doors that swing open 168 degrees, providing excellent access to the rear seats.

For those needing accommodations for up to six large adults, I recommend the Crew Cab. The Crew Cab provides four large swing-out doors and a rear seat with enough room for a comfortable (24-degree) seatback angle and available rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

Powering all Titans is a stout 5.6-liter V-8 engine that produces 317 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque. Mated to Titan's powerful V-8 is a smooth-shifting five-speed automatic transmission with Tow/Haul mode. A manual transmission is not available.

Still, this truck can tow or haul just about anything. When properly equipped, the Titan can tow up to 9,400 pounds. But one of the most amazing feats for me was how refined the ride felt while driving around town.

For a 4x4, I was pleasantly surprised with how smooth and compliant the ride felt. An easy to operate switch on my tester's instrument panel lets the driver quickly and simply switch from 2WD to 4WD. Two modes are provided; 4H and 4LO.

I also enjoyed the cabin's creature comforts like the rear park assist and awesome sounding Rockford Fosgate audio system. I have to admit, though, even with park assist, full-size pickups like the Titan are not easy to park. When visiting the mall, I parked far away so I could balance the bulk between two parking spaces.

Another downer about large pickups is fuel economy. But if you need a work truck and like the option of running on E85, Titan fits the bill.

Folks that use their truck's bed will like Titan. It offers an available utili-track cargo channel system with adjustable tie-down cleats, factory-installed spray-on bedliner, lockable bedside storage compartment, and a tailgate workstation with two lights and a 12-volt power outlet.

2008 Nissan Titan 4X4 LE
Engine: 5.6-liter (317 hp) V-8

Transmission: 5-speed automatic

Drive type: 4WD

Fuel economy: 12 city/17 highway

Base price: $35,150

As tested: $36,900 (includes $745 for destination)

Web site: www.nissan-usa.com