2010 Nissan Titan King Cab PRO-4X Road Test Review

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Published on October 15, 2010

The full-size Titan offers loads of space and style galore. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)

Published on October 15, 2010

Fully capable on or off the road. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)

Published on October 15, 2010

Load 'er up! Plenty of dealer-installed extras make the Titan an excellent work or play truck. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)

Published on October 15, 2010

Clam shell-like rear-hinged doors aren't optimal, but they allow for great access when there's enough room to open them. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)

Published on October 15, 2010

High-quality interior is a step above some in this class. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)

Published on October 15, 2010

Attractive centre stack is filled with features. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Published on October 15, 2010

Breaking into the full-size pickup truck segment has been an arduous task for the Japanese, but you've got to hand it to Nissan for not only bringing a great looking, well made, tough-as-nails workhorse to market, but for hanging in there while dyed-in-the-wool domestic pickup buyers watch from a distance to see how well the new truck fares.

Well folks, despite a depressed truck market and a drop in sales since its initial market strength, the Titan has fared pretty well after seven model years, and has garnered its fair share of fans in the process, evidenced by sites like titantalk.com. Those fans will be happy to hear that Nissan's largest retail vehicle will not only continue on after some speculation of whether or not the automaker would reinvest for an updated model, but that a heavy duty variant based on the new NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD commercial vans will arrive in 2014.

The Titan 2500 HD and 3500 HD models, as I expect them to be called, certainly won't need an engine transplant in order to get motivated off the line. My 2,430-kilo (5,357-lb) King Cab's DOHC, 32 valve 5.6-litre V8, the only engine offered, moved from standstill briskly thanks to 385 lb-ft of torque, fully available from 3,400 rpm but still offering good thrust from lower down the rev range, while its 317 maximum horsepower at 5,200 rpm was up to snuff when it comes to passing duties. The engine is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission that shifts quickly yet smoothly, a package that allows for a competitive 16.5 L/100 km city and 11.3 L/100 km highway in standard 4x2 guise or 17.7 L/100 km city and 12.0 highway as a 4x4, all on cheaper regular fuel.

My tester, as noted initially, was the four-wheel drive equipped PRO-4X, a specially tuned truck that goes way beyond mere cosmetics. Certainly the visual upgrades look great, with items like body-colour bumpers and a colour-matched grille surround, plus a chrome tailgate badge, new for this year, and a raised profile thanks to high-performance Rancho gas shocks adding eye candy, but its locking differential join those shocks for improved off-road capability and slightly wider P275/70R18 tires give it more traction. The PRO-4X also gets fog lamps for seeing its way through the deep, dark woods, as well as automatic headlamps, two-ton cloth seats and WMA stereo capability to go along with the upgraded Rockford Fosgate six-CD, MP3 compatible audio system with satellite radio and auxiliary input, which also comes standard with the SE model.

Also like the SE, the PRO-4X gets a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an eight-way power driver's seat, power windows, power locks with keyless entry, heated power mirrors, colour-keyed fabric door trim, illuminated vanity mirrors, and a security system. And the truck's interior quality is modern-day Nissan, meaning extremely good when compared to some of its competitors.

It would have been nice if my tester included the $2,300 PRO-4X option package, the only extra you can get with this trim level, which includes leather seats and trim, front seats that are also heated and feature driver-side memory for the seat, mirrors and power adjustable foot pedals, a four-way powered passenger seat, a power glass sunroof, and an in-cabin microfilter. Just the same, the cloth seats are two-toned, black with grey inserts, and feature sporty red stitching that matched the exterior paint ideally.

I should also mention that the Titan comes standard with some impressive features, such as 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in P265/70R18 tires, air conditioning, a fabric-covered 40/20/40 front bench seat, a CD player, and cruise control. Move up to the Crew Cab XE and you'll also get powered windows and locks.

All Titans come standard with ABS brakes plus traction control and vehicle stability control, as well as side-thorax airbags, optional last year, and curtain-type airbags. Of course, it's a truck and is therefore designed for work as well as play, so new this year is an "easy-clean" vinyl floor covering instead of carpeting in the base King Cab XE.
 
My PRO-4X tester was in King Cab guise, and like all Titan King Cabs uses rear-hinged, reverse-opening half-doors to access the rear which open to 168 degrees, and being that the front doors must open first they create a clamshell effect that can be a bit awkward when parked closely to another car, fence or wall. Fortunately you won't feel like you're in a clamshell when riding in back, although you'll be a lot more comfortable in the larger Crew Cab that features four regular doors.

The King Cab only comes in short-wheelbase guise as of 2010, while the Crew can be had with a long box when SE trim is specified, and that makes for a massive half-ton truck at 6,204 millimeters (244.3 inches) in length; the shortest Titan measures in at 3,550 mm (139.8 inches). A rundown of configurations shows that the Titan King Cab XE only comes in rear-wheel drive (4x2), whereas the upgraded SE is available as a 4x2 or 4x4. The PRO-4X lives up to its name and only comes as a 4x4, as does the top-line LE.

While I'm partial to the sportier PRO-4X, I'm guessing that a lot of LE models go out the door. Nissan's luxury truck gets a lot more chrome, especially up front on the grille, while new 20-inch chrome-clad alloy wheels circled by P276/60R20 rubber and new chrome step rails add to the brightwork. Chrome mirrors give it more of a custom truck look too, while inside dual-zone automatic climate control and automatic headlamps come standard, as do the heated leather seats, driver's side memory, four-way powered passenger seat, fog lamps, and six-CD Rockford Fosgate audio system, all features that are optional with the PRO-4X.

Off-road capability is good thanks to a well-proven part-time four-wheel drive system and excellent ground clearance at 259 mm (10.2 inches) for the King Cab and 264 mm (10.4 inches) for the Crew, while the ride is decent enough not to beat you up during ventures into the wild unknown. 

While some might never go off-road, most truck owners buy their trucks for hauling and/or towing purposes. To that end the Titan can carry a minimum of 712 kilos (1,570 lbs) when trimmed out as a Crew Cab SE 4x4 long-wheelbase, or a maximum of 911 kg (2,009 lbs) in XE 4x2 guise. My King Cab PRO-4X tester is good for 817 kilos (1,801 lbs).

Towing capacity ranges from a low of 2,948 kg (6,500 lbs) when a trailer is hooked up to the King Cab XE 4x2 or Crew XE SWB 4x4, to a high of 4,309 kg (9,500 lbs) when towed by King Cab SE 4x2. The King Cab PRO-4X can tow 4,218 kilos (9,299 lbs), while all other models can tow well over 4,000 kilos or 9,000 pounds.

Even when loaded the Titan handles well, but when less weight is in back it moves like a veritable sport-truck, living up to Nissan's performance-oriented image. And that's a good thing as the best way to stay safe while driving is to avoid an accident altogether. Just in case one occurs, you'll be glad to know the Titan fares pretty well in IIHS crash test results, getting a "Good" score, their highest rating, in the frontal offset test. Its side-impact test results aren't quite as strong with a "Marginal" rating, but better now that side-thorax bags are standard; previous Titans without side airbags fared poorly in side-impact tests.

Lastly, the Canton, Mississippi made Titan gets a 3-year or 60,000 km comprehensive warranty and a 5-year, 100,000 km powertrain warranty, which is about average for the class. Nissan's dependability, however, is above average, so therefore the Titan should provide hassle-free duty day in and day out.

Overall Nissan has fine-tuned the Titan over its seven-year tenure into one mighty fine pickup truck. It's certainly worthy of your attention, especially if you want something unique. I particularly like the lockable lower-rear compartment that gave the truck notoriety when first introduced, and its soft-dropping tailgate is a nice touch too. As mentioned, its ride and handling are excellent and build quality first-rate. And my guess is that you'll get a steal of a deal on one too, cutting a fair chunk of change from its $33,448 base price or, in the case of my King Cab PRO-4X tester, $42,448.


©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Pickup, Nissan, 2010, Titan, $30,000 - $39,999,

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