Smooth, Powerful, Rugged
We seized the opportunity to flog the Titan through Nissan's Arizona Test Center beneath the 80-degree desert heat. While we were not able to take our steed off the pavement, this drive did offer a glimpse of what the Titan offered. The four-wheel disc brakes worked splendidly, and 90 mph to 40 mph braking showed the ABS did an adequate job of keeping tire lockup at bay. The pedal had a solid feel to it, and we didn't notice any extreme brake fade during our road course testing.
The new 5.6L Endurance V-8 was also an exciting development. Acceleration was crisp, and the Titan had no problem frying the rear tires without the need to power brake from the start. The Titan exhibited good low-end power, which continued on through the midrange and pulled right until the transmission shifted at 5,000 rpm. The five-speed automatic transmission shifted so smoothly that it was hardly noticeable. The shifts were quick and smooth, never jerking the truck, even at WOT. The combination of a spacious interior with maximum legroom and a console-mounted shifter made the Titan a pleasure to drive. The shifter made the hunt for the next gear quick and easy, unlike the column-mounted shifters in other trucks.
Over rough sections of pavement, the Titan exhibited excellent road manners. It had no problem soaking up potholes and simulated bridge crossings without having the rearend wash out in rough, off-camber cornering situations. The Titan's road manners were so very plush and refined that it makes us wonder how well it will tow a heavy load. Nissan is claiming a 9,400-pound towing capacity when the Titan is equipped with the Big Tow Package, and we'll have to wait to see how the truck rides with that package and no cargo load on the freeway. A plush ride and a good towing capacity are often impossible to have together; a truck usually has to give up one or the other, so it will be interesting to see how the Titan fares during more in-depth testing.
As if you couldn't already tell, we are excited about the introduction of another excellent truck to the fullsize pickup market. The increased competition will most certainly mean good news for the consumer. Stay tuned for a complete road test of Nissan's most interesting offering to date in an upcoming issue of OFF-ROAD!