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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
brakes are among the Titan's high points: They're powerful but easy to modulate for smooth stops
relatively easy to drive and nimble
Reviewers love the 2009 Nissan Titan's V-8 engine and five-speed automatic transmission, but not the fuel it requires.
ConsumerGuide proclaims that the "smooth, powerful V8 puts Titan among [the] quickest large trucks off the line...[and] passing punch is ample." Reviewers like that the V-8 engine is standard in the 2009 Nissan Titan. Edmunds reports the 2009 Nissan Titan V-8 is "rated at 317 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque." They say it is "tractable" and "delivers plenty of muscle, right from idle [and] it sounds great, too." Cars.com notes the ability to run on E85 is a "no-charge option." The engine allows the Nissan Titan to tow 9,500 pounds or 9,400 pounds on the Crew Cab model, according to Edmunds.
Cars.com is not a fan of the five-speed automatic transmission that comes standard on the 2009 Nissan Titan: "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 says 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."
Advanced four-wheel-drive systems earn a good reputation for Nissan; 2009 Titans so equipped "employ a part-time transfer case with separate high and low gears...which switched seamlessly from one setting to the next," states Cars.com.
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. ConsumerGuide tests average (in a Nissan Titan 4WD) "12.1 mpg in all-city driving and 14.2-14.5 in [mixed] use." According to FuelEconomy.gov, 2009 Nissan Titan 2WDs achieve 12 mpg city/17 mpg highway on gasoline, 9/13 mpg on E85; 2009 Nissan Titan 4WDs achieve 12/17 mpg on gasoline and 9/12 mpg on E85.
For a big, heavy pickup, the Nissan Titan handles like a smaller vehicle. ConsumerGuide says "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." Edmunds notes that the "2009 Nissan Titan's precise, linear steering and nicely weighted effort make the truck relatively nimble and easy to drive quickly on pavement. 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.
The 2009 Nissan Titan's standard V-8 should make most drivers happy—provided they have an adequate fuel budget.