by J.T. Hills
SGN Contributing Writer
- Powerful 5.6-liter V8
- Pro-4X off-road capabilities
- Eight-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system
- Front end indistinguishable from Armada SUV
- Side impact seat mounted and side curtain airbags are a $900 option
Nissan's full-size pickup, the Titan, was first introduced at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit as a 2004 model. The conception, development and engineering of the Titan was all done primarily in North America, and produced at Nissan's facility in Canton, Mississippi. After some exterior and interior updates in 2008, the 2009 Titan is relatively unchanged. For 2009, new equipment packages are added, including the Max Utility Package that combines some of the most popular towing and bed utility features. The Titan XW receives a matte black finish for the grille and a body-color front bumper. Nissan will cease producing the Titan at its Mississippi assembly plant in 2010. The next-generation Titan will be based on the Dodge Ram platform and will likely feature Dodge power train components. After spending a week with the 2009 Nissan Titan 4x4 Pro-4X, I've assimilated, corrugated, encapsulated, conjugated, and insinuated my own observations, and here they are:
I love trucks even more, I love big trucks
Full-size pickup trucks have gotten a bad rap ever since gas went above $4 a gallon a year or so ago. A vehicle that only gets 12 mpg city and 17 mpg highway suddenly gets very expensive to drive, not to mention the environmental impact. The economics of owning one suddenly went from a drivable fashion statement to its roots: a utilitarian vehicle. You can't really haul yard waste or tow a boat in a Prius.
When your lifestyle demands it, the 2009 Nissan Titan 4x4 Pro-4x provides a compelling option in the pickup truck field. For one, it looks like a great big Tonka truck; the styling goes directly to the kid in you (the kid that likes to play with trucks). Nissan completely outfitted the Titan Pro-4x with all the toys, bells, and whistles for those who like to play in a big sandbox.
The Nissan Titan comes with a 317 hp 5.6-liter DOHC 32-valve V-8 with 385 lb-ft. of torque and a 9,500 lb towing capacity. True, it's not the industry leader when it comes to towing, and it's merely competitive when it comes to payload capacity in its class. Where the Titan becomes really competitive is in its horsepower, torque, and off-road capabilities.
The Titan Pro-4x also has a rugged, youthful look that you just can't get out of a Ford F150 without a lot of expensive aftermarket add-ons. Oh, and it's the toys or equipment packages that make it all the more fun for thousands less than a comparably equipped domestic brand. I loved the big leather appointed-captain's chairs, the eight-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system, and the multiple cup holders.
The Titan sure drives like a truck. There's nothing sophisticated about that. It has its charm, and if gas spikes again you'll be reworking your budget, but if your job and lifestyle require the purchase, it's well worth looking at. Oh, and someone said I looked butch driving it before I opened my mouth and that type of feedback is almost priceless, polar ice caps be damned.
Okay, for an MSRP of $41,240, what do you get?
The 2009 Nissan Titan 4x4 Pro-4x comes extremely well equipped with a base price of $33,490. Popular options such as Navigation are competitively priced. Here's a look at some of my favorites:
- 317 hp 5.6-liter 32-valve Endurance V-8
- Five-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode
- Independent double wishbone front suspension and Dana axles
- Solid rear Dana axle
- Speed sensitive power assisted rack and pinion steering
- Two-speed transfer case with Hi, Lo, Lo lock
- Electronic 4x4 mode switch
- Electronic locking rear differential
- Four-wheel vented disc brakes
- Four-wheel anti-lock braking system
- Electronic brake distribution
- 28 gallon fuel tank and 6' 7 cargo bed
- 18 alloy wheels
- Nissan advanced airbag system
- Tire pressure monitoring system
- Rear sonar system
- Multiple 12-volt DC power outlets
- Front captain's chairs
- Eight-way power drivers seat
- Power adjustable pedals
- Standard AC/ power windows, door locks
- Steering wheel mounted cruise control and audio controls
- Six-disc in dash CD changer
- Floor mats ($125)
- Driver's Convenience Package: leather appointed seats, four-way power front passenger seat, 350 watt Rockford Fosgate eight-speaker sound system with subwoofer and center speaker, Bluetooth, XM Satellite Radio, Homelink, heated exterior mirrors ($2,650)
- Pro-4x Side Airbag Package: Side impact seat mounted and curtain airbags system, vehicle dynamic control, and brake assist ($900)
- Pro-4x Technology Package: Nissan Navigation and 7 LCD display ($1,800)
- Pro-4x Utility Package: factory applied spray-on bed liner, Utilitrak cannel system with four adustable tie-down cleats, tailgate lighting with 12-volt power, Class IV integrated received hitch, seven-pin wiring harness, trailer brake pre-wiring, power/heated extendable mirrors ($1,250)