The more things change, the more some things seem to stay the same. Take Nissan’s Titan fullsize pickup. When first introduced it bowed with the highest power in the half-ton segment nearly eight years ago and was one of the first to offer more than four gears in an automatic. As we approach the arrival of the 2011 model vehicles on the lot, Titan has fallen nearly to the back of the pack. It is still a robust truck but Nissan has been putting most of its attention of late into the smaller spectrum of the lineup leaving the fullsize models Titan pickup and Armada fullsize sport ute a bit long in the tooth. Hope may be around the corner though as we are seeing images of the new Infiniti QX luxury SUV that is based on this platform so perhaps the second coming is coming soon.
Our first real shakedown of the Nissan Titan pickup now almost seven years back proved that mud, rocks, sand and puddles that approached dimensions of West Texas stock tanks proved no match for the truck, and reassured the positive impression I had already gotten from my on-road exposure.
The basic Titan package is fairly simple and has remained largely unchanged since initial launch – one engine (with power up to 317hp from the Endurance 5.6-liter V-8), one transmission (five-speed auto with tow/haul mode and center console-mounted shifter), choice of 4×2 or shift-on-the-fly 4×4 system, independent front suspension, solid Dana rear axle with multi-leaf spring suspension, four-wheel limited slip technology, four-wheel Bosch disc brakes with ABS and, of course, fully boxed frame rails front to rear for exceptional torsional rigidity (meaning this truck may honky-tonk but it don’t do the twist).
Cabin choices are between King and Crew styles with the rear seat area in the latter offering cavernous space in the second row. All Titan pickup beds feature spray-in bedliner and our tester came with the Utili-track tie down system. Nissan has also engineered a convenient driver’s side lockbox in the lower portion of the rear quarter panel for stowing chains, jumper cables or whatever. Nice. And the trucks tailgate doesn’t come slamming down on you if you let go thanks to shock dampers built into the hinges. Again, nice.
The upgraded audio package features the 350-watt Rockford Fosgate system with subwoofer as well as XM Satellite radio capability. This system produced some of the best bass response we have ever heard (felt) in a factory stereo system. Other technology offered in the Titan includes Bluetooth connectivity, rear sonar system, driver information center and tire pressure monitoring system.
The LE package on our recent tester stepped up creature comforts to include leather appointed interior with wood appearance trim, power adjustable pedals, power rear cab window, fog lamps and 20-inch wheels and tires.
The big news on this particular truck is the Heavy Metal Chrome package added on. The wheels were chrome, the billet grille was chrome, the step rails were chrome and the badging announcing this Heavy Metal Chrome package was, of course, chrome. Think of this as a Sammy Hagar/Trace Adkins duet.
Pricing for the 2010 Nissan Titan 4×2 LE Crew Cab pickup begins at $36,420 with our tester coming in at $38,995, and fuel economy is (still) rated at 13 mpg city and 18 mpg highway.