2010 Nissan Titan Review

The Car Connection Expert Rating Breakdown?

7.4
on a scale of 1 to 10
Styling
7.0
Expert Rating
Performance
8.0
Expert Rating
Comfort & Quality
7.0
Expert Rating
Safety
7.0
Expert Rating
Features
8.0
Expert Rating
Consumer Reviews
0 Reviews
2018
The Car Connection
See the nominees and vote »
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
January 14, 2010

The 2010 Nissan Titan performs well and has a comfortable interior, but its appeal is more limited than the full-line full-size trucks from the Big Three and Toyota.

To see how the 2010 Nissan Titan measures up against the competition, the editors of TheCarConnection.com have driven the Titan on- and off-road and present their overall assessment. Then TheCarConnection.com has also read other reviews, handpicking highlights that might help you make a smart buying decision.

Thanks to styling that resists the almost identical cues used by other major truckmakers—along with a strong V-8 engine—the Titan stands out from the crowd. Yet those same attributes give the Titan limited appeal; while other full-size pickups try to be everything to everyone, with special focused models for all sorts of work and play, the 2010 Nissan Titan offers just one engine and a limited lineup that's aimed more at casual, recreational users than the hard-hat crowd, though there are some innovative features.

When the Nissan Titan was first introduced in 2004, it forged a new design direction and escalated a race toward "macho" styling we've seen in pickups over the past decade. The Titan broke through with an aggressive, upright appearance that included flared fenders combined with bright chrome details and clean side styling to give it a look that doesn't seem all that out of place in the city. It still looks fresh from the outside, but the same can't be said inside, where the instrument panel in particular looks dull and plasticky compared to newer designs.

All 2010 Nissan Titan models come with a powerful 5.6-liter DOHC V-8, rated at 317 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque and mated only to a five-speed automatic transmission. The engine provides strong acceleration and works very well with the standard five-speed automatic transmission. But fuel economy is poor; the combination gets ratings as low as 12 mpg city, and TheCarConnection.com has seen even worse numbers in real-world driving. The upside is that Titan models can tow up to 9,500 pounds with the King Cab and 9,400 pounds with the Crew Cab. Another strength is that on the road, the Titan somehow feels smaller than it is; it maneuvers reasonably well at low speed. Nearly all models are offered with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, except PRO-4X off-road variants.

Review continues below

The cabin of the 2010 Titan is roomy and comfortable, with good seating for four full-size adults in Crew Cab versions. Shorter drivers will appreciate the power-adjustable pedals. But interior materials leave a lot to be desired; the drab look and feel of the interior plastics is tough to get over—particularly if you've tested other trucks in this class—but overall the interior is very functional, with lots of storage spaces for smaller items. Although the engine note is a bit too loud for some tastes, the Titan rides comfortably for a truck, with very little road or wind noise.

Although some might not get past the single-powertrain lineup, the Titan lineup includes four models (XE, SE, PRO-4X, and LE) and two body styles (King Cab and Crew Cab), as well as four bed sizes (5'5", 6'5", 7', and 8') and two wheelbases that go with these lengths, so you have plenty of combinations to choose from. Ford, Chevy, and Dodge still offer much larger ranges, including heavy-duty versions and more fuel-efficient models.

A full range of airbags is available on the 2010 Titan, along with anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control. The Titan gets "good" crash-test ratings in frontal tests from the IIHS, but achieves only a "marginal" rating in side impact and an "acceptable" rating in rear impact; additionally, it gets four- and five-star frontal ratings from the federal government.

Especially of interest is the off-road-focused PRO-4X, which includes heavy-duty components, tow hooks, Rancho shocks, off-road wheels and tires, a lockable storage box and locking tailgate, and a full-size spare. Options include a Bluetooth Hands-Free Phone System; an XM Satellite Radio tuner; a heated, leather-appointed bench seat; a revised center stack; and a larger, 8.0-inch DVD screen (up from 7.0 inches). An available Max Utility Package combines towing and bed-utility features, and for 2010, there's a new SE Value Truck Package that adds Bluetooth, captain's chairs, a power driver's seat, and fog lamps.

7

2010 Nissan Titan

Styling

Though it's now the oldest of the full-size pickups in design, the 2010 Nissan Titan still manages to look tough.

When the Nissan Titan was first introduced in 2004, it forged a new design direction and escalated a race toward "macho" styling we've seen in pickups over the past decade. The Titan broke through with an aggressive, upright appearance that included flared fenders combined with bright chrome details and clean side styling to give it a look that doesn't seem out of place in the city.

Kelley Blue Book describes its style as "out of the mainstream" and warns, "if you like the more conservatively-styled trucks from Chevrolet and Ford, the Titan may be too flashy for your taste." Cars.com says, "The Titan's massive grille is getting familiar these days; in Nissan's lineup, it adorns one other truck and three SUVs." Even so, the Titan "looks just as commanding as a Silverado or Tundra." Car and Driver thinks it bears a resemblance to the Frontier, Nissan's smaller truck, and snipes "the Titan's got enough fake chrome on its nose to outfit a Roppongi sushi bar."

The Titan hasn't changed much over the years. Cars.com notes "some changes in the Titan's headlights and grille framework" from the 2008 refresh, "but the differences are slight." Titans with the off-road package receive a "PRO-4X decal over the rear fender and a body-colored grille and bumper," notes Car and Driver.

The 2010 Nissan Titan still looks fresh from the outside, but the same can't be said inside, where the instrument panel in particular seems dull and plasticky compared to newer designs. Reviewers avoid commenting much on style, however. Cars.com reports that the Nissan Titan has "a lot of typical big-pickup fixtures [such as] hefty door handles [and] a big armrest." Edmunds likes the Nissan Titan's "spacious and functional interior design," and Kelley Blue Book calls it "bold and forward-thinking in its design." Revised metering for the instrument cluster and center stack "improves visual appeal," according to Kelley Blue Book.

8

2010 Nissan Titan

Performance

The big V-8 in the 2010 Nissan Titan is an asset—provided you have the budget to support its thirst.

All 2010 Nissan Titan models come with a powerful 5.6-liter DOHC V-8, rated at 317 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque and mated only to a five-speed automatic transmission.

ConsumerGuide says that the "smooth, powerful V8 puts Titan among [the] quickest large trucks off the line...[and] passing punch is ample." Edmunds reports that the engine "delivers plenty of muscle, right from idle [and] it sounds great, too."

The engine provides strong acceleration and works very well with the standard five-speed automatic transmission in the experience of TheCarConnection.com, but Cars.com is not a fan: "The five-speed automatic lags a bit in kick-down response, and its shifts are on the slow side." ConsumerGuide, however, finds that the "transmission upshifts smoothly and downshifts promptly. The column-mounted transmission [on certain trims]...cleverly integrates a toggle control for manual shifting." Kelley Blue Book concurs that the transmission shifts "smoothly," and their test 2009 Nissan Titan is equipped with a "gated shifter [that] made it easy to move...gears whenever we needed to apply engine braking."

Nearly all models are offered with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, except PRO-4X off-road variants. 4WD Titans "employ a part-time transfer case with separate high and low gears...which switched seamlessly from one setting to the next," explains Cars.com.

But fuel economy is poor; the combination gets ratings as low as 12 mpg city, and TheCarConnection.com sees even worse numbers in real-world driving. The Titan uses regular-grade gas—and a lot of it. Car and Driver reports that the new long-wheelbase Titan is equipped with a "super-tanker gas tank...at 37 gallons." That's good, considering the Nissan Titan's lowly fuel economy. On E85, the Titan achieves just 9 mpg city, 12 highway.

For a big, heavy pickup, the Nissan Titan handles extremely well. Edmunds notes that the "precise, linear steering and nicely weighted effort make the truck relatively nimble and easy to drive quickly on pavement." ConsumerGuide adds that "the rear end tends to hop through bumpy corners when the cargo bed is empty [but] steering feel is accurate and the brakes deliver drama-free stops."

Another upside is that Titan models can tow up to 9,500 pounds with the King Cab and 9,400 pounds with the Crew Cab. Another strength is that on the road, the Titan somehow feels smaller than it is; it maneuvers reasonably well at low speed. However, a stiff ride quality (especially on PRO-4X models) can make the Titan feel "skittish in off-road situations." Four-wheel-drive Nissan Titans with the off-road package enjoy best-in-class ground clearance "with over 10 inches measured at the rear axle," observes Kelley Blue Book.

7

2010 Nissan Titan

Comfort & Quality

The materials and interior details inside the 2010 Nissan Titan aren't likely to win you over, but its otherwise spacious and comfortable cabin might.

The cabin of the 2010 Titan is roomy and comfortable, with good seating for four full-size adults in Crew Cab versions. Shorter drivers will appreciate the power-adjustable pedals.

As it turns out, the interior of the Titan varies significantly depending on which model you choose. As Edmunds explains, "Base XE models come with a 40/20/40-split bench front seat; The mid-grade Titan SE adds front captain's chairs with a center console and leather; [and] Top-of-the-line Titan LE models add power-adjustable seats [and] pedals." ConsumerGuide calls the captain's chairs "substantial and supportive," with ample headroom and legroom. They point out that a "high step-in requires grabbing the steering wheel or assist handle to enter." Kelley Blue Book mentions that "some drivers also felt the seat bottoms could do with a sharper upward angle to better support their thighs."

In Crew Cab Titans, the rear doors swing back 180 degrees, "but they also anchor the front seat belts, so people in front have to unbuckle if someone in back needs to get out," notes Cars.com.

Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com tout the numerous storage options of the 2009 Nissan Titan. Kelley Blue Book calls the lockbox "perfect for storing such items as jumper cables or muddy clothing." They also like that on the Nissan Titan, the "hinged rear door on the King Cab model swings back 168 degrees to create exceptionally convenient interior access." Edmunds notes that the "rear seats fold up to provide a large load floor for hauling items inside the cab." They describe the Nissan Titan as "a great cargo carrier thanks to the optional Utility Bed Package with its durable spray-on bed liner, movable tie-down cleats, handy tailgate illumination and driver-side lockbox [located behind the rear wheel]."

But interior materials leave a lot to be desired; the drab look and feel of the interior plastics is tough to get over—particularly if you've tested other trucks in this class. ConsumerGuide complains that the Titan's cabin "is let down by an overuse of hard plastic materials and mediocre assembly quality. The glovebox lid has a flimsy, insubstantial feel." Edmunds, however, disagrees, contending that materials are "only average, but build quality is generally very good."

Cars.com isn't a big fan of the instrument-panel design: "Nissan redesigned the center controls this year. The chrome-ringed dials...might prove difficult to use if you're wearing gloves—especially since the fan settings are now arranged in seven or eight separate buttons instead of a single knob, as they used to be," the reviewer remarks. ConsumerGuide feels "some switches are mounted too low for quick access while driving," and Kelley Blue Book thinks "the placement of the power window buttons atop the door's edge makes them vulnerable to outside elements when the windows are down."

Although the engine note is a bit too loud for some tastes, the Titan rides comfortably for a truck, with very little road or wind noise. Edmunds says that the "booming exhaust note can grow tiresome," and ConsumerGuide reports, "Road, engine, and wind noise are nicely muted, but Titan's constant exhaust rumble gets tiring on long drives."

7

2010 Nissan Titan

Safety

The 2010 Nissan Titan has good occupant protection, but side airbags and stability control are still optional, whereas they're standard on other trucks.

A full range of airbags is available on the 2010 Titan, along with anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control. The Titan gets "good" crash-test ratings in frontal tests from the IIHS, but achieves only a "marginal" rating in side impact and an "acceptable" rating in rear impact; additionally, it gets four- and five-star frontal ratings from the federal government.

With its high stance, the Titan offers generally good visibility, provided you're looking ahead or to the side. ConsumerGuide points out, "Most controls are generously sized and close to the driver, but they're not always easy to see." Kelley Blue Book notes that "drivers over six feet [tall] may find themselves staring out through the windshield's tint band."

8

2010 Nissan Titan

Features

The 2010 Nissan Titan offers utility options, along with a tough off-road model, that should please most personal pickup needs.

Two cab styles, two bed lengths for each cab, 2WD or 4WD, and four trims are available on the Nissan Titan: XE, SE, PRO-4X, and LE. The SE has a long list of popular equipment, including voltage and oil pressure gauges, transmission temp gauge, body-side molding, remote keyless entry, cruise control, overhead center console, metallic interior trim, XM, and a six-disc CD changer with aux input, a trip computer, and an anti-theft alarm with a vehicle immobilizer.

Especially of interest is the off-road-focused PRO-4X, which includes heavy-duty components, tow hooks, Rancho shocks, off-road wheels and tires, a lockable storage box and locking tailgate, and a full-size spare. Options include a Bluetooth Hands-Free Phone System; an XM Satellite Radio tuner; a heated, leather-appointed bench seat; a revised center stack; and a larger, 8.0-inch DVD screen (up from 7.0 inches). An available Max Utility Package combines towing and bed-utility features, and for 2010, there's a new SE Value Truck Package that adds Bluetooth, captain's chairs, a power driver's seat, and fog lamps.

Kelley Blue Book points out that "an optional spray-in bedliner applied at the factory covers the entire cargo bed floor."

Cars.com notes that the cargo options include "a 12-volt power outlet in the bed and a tie-down system with C-channel rails along the floor and walls. The rails carry movable cleats, each rated to hold 200 pounds."

Key features of the top-of-the-line LE model include a cargo light, sonar backup assist, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control, cabin air filter, a rear 23-volt outlet, HomeLink, power-adjustable pedals and leather captain's chairs, heated front seats, and a rockin' Rockford Fosgate stereo.

Continue Reading

The Car Connection Consumer Review

Rate and Review your car for The Car Connection! Tell us your own ratings for a vehicle you own. Rate your car on Performance, Safety, Features and more.
Write a Review
Compare the 2010 Nissan Titan against the competition
Compare All Cars
Looking for a different year of the Nissan Titan?
Read reviews & get prices
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
See More Used