2010 Nissan Titan Review

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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.

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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.

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