Re­mem­ber this Ti­tan

Nis­san’s large pickup for 2017 can be a real gas to drive

Springfield Sun - - AUTOMOTIVE - By David Sch­midt Au­towrit­ersink

Spend­ing a week driv­ing a large pickup truck around sub­ur­bia, as well as a cou­ple of hun­dred miles down the interstate and back will give you plenty of in­sight into liv­ing with this sized ve­hi­cle.

Driv­ing the gaso­line-pow­ered Nis­san Ti­tan HD is a pure truck ex­pe­ri­ence.

Granted I am not by na­ture a truck per­son, but that week of driv­ing got me plenty com­fort­able with where the cor­ners were, and just how small a park­ing spot I could get it into. Ba­si­cally, if I could get a car into it, I was pretty cer­tain I could get the Ti­tan in it as well.

Hav­ing said that, this Ti­tan XD is a pretty large ve­hi­cle. The wheel­base, at 151.6 inches, is about 11.8 inches longer than stan­dard Ti­tan. Over­all length for the Ti­tan XD is 242.7 inches while Ti­tan mea­sures 228.1 inches. Ti­tan XD’S height is 78.8 inches while Ti­tan mea­sures 76 inches. So, this isn’t merely an­other 1500-class light pickup truck. But it isn’t of­fi­cially a heavy-duty truck ei­ther.

It sort of fits in be­tween them, which Nis­san feels will at­tract those who need just a bit more ca­pa­bil­ity but would rather not pay the se­ri­ous pre­mium to move up the 2500-class ve­hi­cles. When this just-about-heavy-duty sized pickup truck was in­tro­duced as a 2016 model, it was only pow­ered by a diesel en­gine. Now, for the 2017 model year, Nis­san has added a gaso­line en­gine to the lineup.

Nis­san says this is a new en­gine, al­though it shares the dis­place­ment of the pre­vi­ous truck V8 through­out their fleet. But this en­gine pro­duces 390 hp. and 402 lb.-ft. of peak torque com­pared to the pre­vi­ous model’s 317 hp. and 385 lb.-ft. of peak torque. This power goes through a seven-speed trans­mis­sion to ei­ther the rear or all four wheel.

It does this by us­ing four vari­able valves per cylin­der as well and di­rect gaso­line in­jec­tion for more ef­fi­cient power con­trol. On the high­way, I got al­most 16 mpg for a 200-or-so mile drive. Of­fi­cial EPA num­bers are 15 mpg city and 21 mpg high­way. In gen­eral driv­ing, in­clud­ing a fair bit of high­way, that av­er­age dropped to 13.9 mpg.

While that might sound hor­ri­ble, it’s not some­thing of great con­cern for peo­ple who would be shop­ping a big truck. This en­gine also gives the gas-pow­ered Ti­tan a max­i­mum pay­load of 2594 lb. and a tow rat­ing of 11,270-lb. You can also at­tach a snow plow to the front of this pickup, some­thing that’s pop­u­lar in cer­tain parts of the coun­try de­spite Global Warm­ing.

So this Ti­tan will do pretty much any­thing that a non-pro­fes­sional owner would want. That means the fairer fuel-econ­omy com­par­i­son would be against true heavy-duty classed ve­hi­cles, be­cause that’s what Nis­san hopes that’s what they are go­ing to be shopped against.

The en­gine pro­vided plenty of power to ac­com­plish tasks for a pickup of this size. Hav­ing said that, if I was go­ing to be buy­ing this to tow some­thing re­quir­ing this much ca­pa­bil­ity, I’d prob­a­bly opt for the diesel ver­sion. But then again, I like diesel en­gines for any num­ber of rea­sons.

The in­te­rior is that of a truck, nice, but fairly analog. The shifter is on the col­umn, which is a good place for it when you have a trans­mis­sion that you rarely must shift. Why take up space on the cen­ter con­sole? Most pickup truck driv­ers have plenty of stuff to store there, so it seems to make sense.

The map screen could have been big­ger, and it was a long reach to use the touch­screen as­pect of it. Per­haps I’m spoiled, be­cause the trend in cars to for larger and larger screens. Would be worth con­sid­er­ing when it comes time in a cou­ple of model years to re­fresh the Ti­tan.

Seats are quite com­fort­able, and on a sev­eral-hour trip it was plenty sup­port­ive. The cabin is huge, with plenty of room for the rear rid­ers.

The truck comes with a bed liner and Nis­san’s ad­justable rail sys­tem for tie downs and other ac­cou­trements. I par­tic­u­larly like the rear cor­ner steps, which move in and out with an easy pull on the side of it.

Al­though this is a large ve­hi­cle, it was easy to drive in traf­fic. Granted, you had to pay at­ten­tion be­cause there were many times when you might have just a cou­ple of inches of play. But there’s never been any­thing wrong with a ve­hi­cle re­quir­ing that its driver pay at­ten­tion.

The dou­ble side mir­rors are great, giv­ing you two valu­able views along both sides and rear­ward. For pickup driv­ers, this is a quite help­ful fea­ture, be­cause of the pre­vi­ous para­graph’s point – you must pay at­ten­tion to what’s near your ve­hi­cle, all the way around.

There’s plenty of power in this large truck. But in driv­ing on the high­way it was quiet and try­ing to be ef­fi­cient by keep­ing the revs low. Need the power and it’s there for pass­ing. I would have liked to do a lit­tle less cor­rect­ing with the steer­ing wheel on what ap­peared and felt like pretty smooth road­ways, but that isn’t an un­usual sit­u­a­tion with pick­ups as com­pared to cars.

Pric­ing starts with a Man­u­fac­turer’s Sug­gested Re­tail Price* (MSRP) of $34,780 for the TI­TAN Crew Cab S 4x2 up to the start­ing price for the top-of-the­line TI­TAN XD Plat­inum Re­serve Crew Cab 4x4 $56,910 If you have any ques­tions, com­ments or ideas, please send them to com­ment@ Au­towrit­ersink.com.

The stan­dard bearer of Nis­san’s fam­ily of TI­TAN pick­ups, the 2017 TI­TAN Crew Cab is pow­ered by a new 390-horse­power 5.6-liter En­durance® V8 gaso­line en­gine.

The 2017 Nis­san TI­TAN King Cab is marked by its avail­able 6-per­son seat­ing, wide-open­ing rear doors and avail­able “rear seat delete” op­tion that is ideal for com­mer­cial use with its flat floor and se­cure in-cab stor­age space.

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