Road Test: 2017 Nissan Titan PRO-4X

Road Test: 2017 Nissan Titan PRO-4X

Story by Jordan Allan, photos courtesy of Nissan Canada

If you were to mention the Nissan Titan to anyone with something of an interest in trucks, it’s almost guaranteed that the first thing that would come to their mind would be the Titan XD. Introduced back in 2015 as a 2016 model, the Nissan Titan XD provides somewhat of a middle ground between half-ton and ¾-ton trucks thanks largely to its 5.0L twin-turbocharged Cummins V8 that pumps out an impressive 310 horsepower and 555 lb.-ft. and pushes towing capacity over 12,000 lbs. Although it sometime seems to get lost in the XD’s shadow, Nissan rolled out a new half-ton version of the Titan in the summer of 2016 that features the new generation looks introduced on the XD version. The half-ton is about 15-in. shorter than the XD and doesn’t offer a diesel engine, but what it does offer is an extremely capable, good looking pickup that should garner some attention away from Detroit’s Big 3.

The Titan’s first generation of the half-ton hit the market for the 2004 model year as it attempted to establish itself as a true player in the ultra-competitive light-truck market here in North America. After some success early on, the Titan probably wasn’t quite as successful as Nissan had hoped for. Near the end of its run, the Titan became very dormant and saw very little changes or upgrades made until they finally stopped production after 2015. After a one year hiatus for 2016, Nissan finally introduced the 2nd generation half-ton Titan and almost immediately it garnered more attention than its predecessor.  It features a much better look, offers an upgraded and more powerful V8 engine, and offers numerous interior and bed storage solutions.

The aforementioned upgraded V8 engine option is currently standard across all trims and is an upgraded version of the same 5.6L V8 engine found in the previous Titan. Power has been increased to 390 horsepower and 394 lb-ft. of torque and despite the higher output there has also been an improvement when it comes to fuel economy with the new version rated at 14.2 L/100 km in combined city/highway driving which is a full 3.0 L/100 km improvement over the previous version.

Inside of the Titan features a much more refined interior design than the outgoing model. The cabin is very spacious and provides enough room to comfortably seat 5 adults, while the rear passenger area offers many great storage options such as a cab-width lockable bin with dividers located under the rear seats. This option comes as an option on the SV trim and standard on all above trims, as does the foldable cargo platform that can be accessed once the rear seats are flipped up.

Behind the wheel is probably where the 2017 Titan is most impressive as it features an ultra-smooth seven-speed automatic transmission paired to the V8 engine which work together to provide ample acceleration. The Bilstein coil-over suspension found on our PRO-4X test model made for an overall enjoyable ride and despite the fairly large size of the truck, it feels like you’re driving something much smaller. The steering feel is definitely one of the highlights of the truck as it provides sharp a response at lower speeds, making it easier to navigate city driving situations and enabling better handling at highway speeds, taking sharp corners with ease.

While the Nissan Titan may not quite match up with some of its competition when it comes to things like payload and towing limits, its versatility is unquestionable. If you are a truck buyer who requires hauling heavier loads – the larger XD probably better suited for you. However, if you like the idea of a truck that can haul people with everyday loads and performs well in light off-roading back country conditions, the regular Titan is a very capable choice.

It’s been rumored that a V6 engine offering is coming soon for the Titan half-ton, as is a King Cab version, both of which will serve to add to the versatility of Nissan’s truck lineup – welcome additions necessary to compete in this well contested segment. When taking into consideration Nissan’s advertised 5 year/ 160,000 KM bumper to bumper warranty and after spending a week driving this latest version, I see no reason why it wouldn’t compete very well for any new light-truck buyers consideration.

Categories: Driver Plus, Road Tests