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As the rest of the segment continues to release next-generation models of their full-size pickups, the 2014 Nissan Titan has fallen to the back of the pack in practicality, safety, design and technology. With that in mind, this decade-old truck remains one of the most distinctive-looking, distinctive-sounding options on the market.
Nissan hasn't felt the need to make many changes to the Titan over its 10 years of production, either. We're ok with that in terms of exterior design–it's one of the most aggressively-styled trucks in the segment. However, hard plastics and cheap-feeling textures have aged its interior, especially when every other truck has received at least one major modernization in recent years.
There are essentially two different body styles for the 2014 Nissan Titan--King Cab and Crew Cab--and between them as well as the four trim levels, there's a wide range of equipment, comfort, and luxury for pickup drivers. Although interior appointments vary, what all these models have in common is a lot of usable space inside--which almost makes the plasticky interior forgivable. We much prefer the four-door Crew Cabs, with their wide, nicely positioned seats that seem to be more of a climb to get into than in some of the competitive trucks. The Titan is available with a factory-applied spray-in bedliner and lockable storage bins built into its bed fenders. Those features, and a channel-based cargo-cleat system, make the Titan better than most for the sort of weekend hobbyist-hauler tasks you might have--like picking up furniture, or an outboard motor.
The 2014 Nissan Titan has just one performance flavor, and it's for the most part a good one: The 5.6-liter V-8 that's under the hood of the Titan sounds ripped and ready--and it is. That NASCAR-ish sound quality remains appropriate for this Mississippi-built truck. And while its numbers, of 317 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque, are no longer near best in class, the Titan's always on its powerband, and aided by a transmission that feels like it was (and it was) designed as a willing companion to it. Considering the Titan's size and heft, it handles quite well (at least compared to other large pickups) and it feels smaller and nimbler than it is, with good low-speed maneuverability.
PRO-4X models are only offered with four-wheel drive, while the rest of the lineup can be had in either rear- or four-wheel drive. If you're considering the PRO-4X, keep in mind that its suspension tuning is very firm--to the point of being skittish on some surfaces. But with ten inches of ground clearance and various upgrades like skid plates, the ability is there.
Towing capacity for the Titan is impressive--up to 9,500 pounds with the King Cab and 9,400 pounds with the Crew Cab--although in this age of ever-burlier trucks, it stands well behind the F-150's top 11,700-pound rating.
If safety if one of your chief concerns, you can probably do better with one of the alternatives to the Nissan Titan. Stability control and anti-lock brakes are standard; rear parking sensors are an option; and now for 2013 a rearview camera system is either included or available on most of the lineup. But most of the full-size truck arena gets better safety ratings.
The Titan is aimed at recreational or casual truck users more than the work crowd, so it doesn't skimp on the comfort and convenience features. PRO-4X and SL models especially cater to those who don't want much compromise versus a luxury SUV. The PRO-4X brings with it a special set of features keyed directly at trailblazers of all kinds--with tow hooks, off-road tires, Rancho shocks, and a locking tailgate and locking storage box. And at the top of the lineup, the SL is as you would guess, a loaded, dressed-up street truck ready for a night out. On various models, Bluetooth hands-free phone capability, Rockford Fosgate premium audio, heated/leather seats, and a DVD entertainment center are all available.
- Handles well for a truck
- Cargo-friendly bed
- Strong, responsive engine
- Sounds fast
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- No V-6 option
- Safety ratings
- Irrepressible engine note
- Guzzles gas, faster than other V-8 trucks