The fullsize truck market is about to grow by one. Nissan Motor Corp., manufacturer of the successful line of Hardbody and Frontier compact pickups, has just kicked open the door to the fullsize truck market by presenting the Titan pickup. Nissan's first attempt at building a fullsize pickup is based on one important idea: have the right foundation. "The formula for the Nissan Titan's success is simple. First, get the basics right. Give it a fullsize body, full power with real truck horsepower and torque, and then add in a lot of style and a lot of innovations." This came directly from Larry Dominique, chief product specialist for the Titan. The Titan was conceived from the start as a real fullsize truck and is built and equipped to be just what the American buyer is looking for. Judging by our initial road testing, Nissan has hit the mark, and it just might make converts out of many domestic pickup buyers.
For starters, the Titan was designed on a clean sheet of paper. All models of the truck, including both 2WD and 4x4 models, are built on the same box-section, steel ladder frame. The box-section design of the frame provides increased rigidity compared with the more traditional open, C-channel frames that some pickups are based on and also gives the Titan frame extra torsional strength. Additionally, there are no crossmembers or obstructions hanging below the framerails to hinder ground clearance, making the Titan an excellent off-road candidate.
Muscular Bulges, Sexy Styling
Another clean sheet of paper design is the Titan's body, which is available in King Cab and crew cab configurations. Beginning with the bold front-end design, the engineers at Nissan created a refined appearance by combining the bumper and lower valance into one unit. The front end is segregated into three distinct areas and fronted by a chromed center section. The bold look is further enhanced with circular driving lamps, which are recessed into the bumper, and openings in the center section for tow hooks. Perhaps the most aggressive-looking part of the Titan is the combination of composite headlamps, a slant-faced hood, and nearly flat-topped front fenders. This trio of stying cues forms a rakish profile that bestows a look of empowerment. The cab combines smooth exterior sheetmetal with a unique over-the-bed extension and a raked windshield for a modern take on the traditional pickup. We love the Titan's Wide-Open rear doors, which open with a two-stage 180-degree swing. The Wide-Open doors allow full access to the flat rear floor of the cab, which makes for an excellent cargo area inside of the cab. The bed continues this theme, with flared bedsides and perfect semicircular wheelwell openings. The most notable features of the bed, though, are the standard bedside storage compartment and the factory-installed spray-in bedliner. Both are industry firsts. The bedside storage compartment provides a sealed storage area for trailering accessories or anything else you desire to stow safely inside. The factory-applied spray-in bedliner is a nice departure from the traditional drop-in plastic liners of yesterday, and the liner works with the Titan's optional Utili-track bed channel system. The bed channel system comes with removable anodized aluminum and safety cleats that slide into special channels and provides an infinite number of cargo attachment points.