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