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Nissan Updates Truck Trio in Chicago


2008 Nissan Titan

2008 Nissan Titan

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As part of a surprisingly low-key press event, Nissan previewed three critical new truck offerings for 2008, starting with an updated version of its less-than-stellar-selling Titan pickup. Once considered a credible threat to Big Three dominance of the full-size truck market, the Titan has languished in the market, sales hitting a modest 75,000 last year, or barely eight percent of the segment leader, Ford’s F-Series.

 

That could change, insisted Larry Dominque, Nissan’s big truck chief, with the addition of the King Cab edition, with its roomy cabin and seven-foot cargo bed. “This finally gives us a vehicle that building (tradespeople) want to buy,” said Dominique. The new model’s GVW jumps 580 pounds, with its payload now rated at more than 2000 pounds.

 

Nissan made a number of visual changes, as well, starting with a more macho grille and bumper. Inside, the 2008 Titan gets a redesigned center stack and an upgraded climate control system. The automaker claims it has also improved NVH – noise, vibration, and harshness.

 

Now with four different versions of Titan, Nissan is hoping to finally gain some traction for the truck. But while Dominique said he expects to see sales increase this coming year, he wouldn’t utter any forecasts. Another unanswered question is the potential impact of the new Toyota Tundra, which is taking aim at the same, domestic-dominated pickup segment.

 

The truck exec insisted he’s comfortable with the added competition which, he said, “We honestly think is going to help us. When we launched Titan, we had a lot of import rejecters, but with Toyota coming in and spending millions on advertising, that will help break down some of the barriers.”

 

2008 Nissan Armada

2008 Nissan Armada

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The Titan’s big powertrain remains the same as the one launched last year, a 5.6-liter V-8 pumping out 317 hp and 392 lb-ft of torque. That powerplant is shared with Nissan’s full-size Armada SUV, which also gets a reworking for the coming model-year. Responding to critics, the automaker improved the ute’s on-road ride and made some notable changes to the exterior, including a Titan-like grille and a new, integrated rear bumper that greatly reduces body panel gaps.

 

The most significant changes to the Armada can be found in the cabin, however, which has gotten a virtually complete makeover. There’s a new, soft-touch instrument panel, a refined gauge cluster, and new switches. The 2008 Armada also gets a new infotainment system based around a built-in hard drive system that can store thousands of tunes, as well as nationwide mapping data.

 

2008 Nissan Pathfinder

2008 Nissan Pathfinder

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Nissan’s triple play was completed with the rollout of the ’08 Pathfinder. Though there were some modest changes made to the SUV’s exterior, the big update can be found burbling under the hood. The updated utility vehicle gets Pathfinder’s first-ever V-8, a 5.6-liter package first used in the Armada and making 300 hp. The new engine allows Nissan to bump Pathfinder’s towing capacity to 7090 lb.

 

Related Articles

 

2007 Chicago Auto Show by TCC Team (2/7/2007)
Scion xB and xD, Dakota, Taurus, Pontiac G8 and more.

 

Nissan Earnings Take a Fall by Joseph Szczesny (2/5/2007)
Ghosn’s star loses some twinkle.

 

Nissan Truck Trio Ganging Up on Chicago by Marty Padgett (2/1/2007)
Titan, Pathfinder, and Armada coming to icy show.

 
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