Plaza Nissan’s Titan V8 fills out half-ton
CARMEL, CA: There were gasps from several senior autowriters in the room when Nissan announced it was increasing the warranty of its 2017 Titan pickups to five years or 160,000 km.
I know, because I was on of them.
This is big news in a segment where the product is bought knowing it’s going to lead a hard life.
It will apply to the Titan with the older ladder frame and the Titan XD, which was introduced last year when Nissan adopted the 5.0-litre Cummins turbo diesel V8.
It is a full bumper-to-bumper warranty that Nissan says beats competitors’ standard protection programs by two years and 60,000 km.
It covers all 2017 Titan models and matches the new limited warranty of all Nissan commercial vehicles, including the NV Cargo, NV Passenger and NV200.
It’s a bold move, but one Nissan had to make to raise its profile in a sea of domestic pickups, the F-150 in particular.
The warranty announcement was made in Carmel, CA, where Nissan was also showing the new Crew Cab 5.6-litre Endurance gasoline V8 (390 hp, 394 lb/ft) and the Single Cab in static form as the brand strives to flesh out the fleet.
Eventually, Titan will be offered in a total of three cabs, three bed lengths, 4x4 and 4x2 drive and S, SV, SL, PRO-4X and Platinum Reserve trim levels.
As opposed to the Titan XD with a longer, stouter frame to accommodate the diesel, the Titan is on a separate, shorter frame and is powered by the V8 to start, followed by a V6, probably the 3.5-litre direct injection V6 just added to the Pathfinder.
Tested here is the 2017 Titan Crew Cab V8 Platinum Reserve which is on sale now.
The Titan seven-speed automatic comes with a separate warmer for the transmission fluid instead of relying on the engine. The reason is it gets the fluid up to operating temperature quicker, so it runs more efficiently.
Depending on powertrain and cab, box lengths are 5.5-, 6.5- and 8.0-feet.
The Titan XD diesel has been well documented on this site/newspapers, so lets look at the gasoline V8 versions.
Right off the bat the styling is bold, starting with a in-your-face grille with available LED projector headlights, but more importantly, with a 10 per cent reduction in drag thanks to active grille shutter behind the radiator and AC condenser.
Look closer and you’ll find a roof spoiler and tailgate spoiler as well underbody covers to help improve airflow. It all results in a 28 per cent increase in fuel economy over the 2016 model.
At 9,220 lb, Nissan is now claiming the highest base grade tow capacity in the half-ton pickup segment.
Aiding towing is a backup camera, an integrated trailer brake controller and Downhill Speed Control.
Titan also offers a 360-degree camera that operates at low speeds to help backing up in tight spaces.
The Titan Endurance was debuted as the same time as the new, flagship Armada SUV where much was made about the “library level” quiet of the Armada interior.
Interestingly, the new Titan gets the same laminated front side glass and Nissan has added three layers of sound insulation between the cabin and engine bay along with a 45 per cent improvement in body sealing over the 2016 model.
The Crew Cab we tested has the claimed largest lockable interior storage bin in the segment. Located under the back seat, the lid creates a flat floor. On the inside, it has dividers for small items.
The driving part of the Titan V8 launch was in and around Carmel, CA, with forest fires being battled by up to an estimated 5,500 firefighters. All along the highways in the area were handmade signs from homeowners thanking those on the fire line. It was heartening to see.
Also tested at the same event were the 2017 Armada and Pathfinder SUVs and we used the same roads for the most part, being a mix of freeway and cross mountain two-lane blacktop where the Titan drove more like a car than a light truck.
Where the new Titan is noticeable improved is the lessening of body roll and a reduction of vibration coming to the hands through the steering wheel.
When it comes to ride and handling, Nissan says Titan has the best steering feel in the segment.
But where it really shone was on an off-road path with very steep climbs and descents, where we tested the three-mode 4X4 drive (2H, 4H, 4LO) selected by a rotary dial.
Up until now, Nissan has been a bit player in the half-ton segment, but now with three engines, three cabs and three bed lengths, Titan has the right stuff.
The back seat of the 2017 Titan (Platinum Reserve model shown) back seat folds up to reveal a storage bin with a lid that converts to a flat floor.