2008 4x4 Nissan Titan Review
Nissan engineers have gone out of their way to make Titan the most practical truck on the market.
Photos By Stephen Clark & Barry Seaton
Nissan’s flagship truck, the Titan, received some upgrades for the 2008 model year. The base Titan is essentially the same model that was released in 2004 and is still going strong as one of the leading trucks in the segment. The media was kindly invited out to Knoxville Tennessee for a combined launch of the 2008 Titan and Polaris machines. This gave us the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the Titan and learn more about its features.
New for 2008 is the Pro-4X package - available on Crew and King Cab models only with 4x4. The package is intended to appeal to off-road drivers and includes several unique features including Rancho shock absorbers, lower final gear ratio, two additional skid plates, and electronic locking rear differential. The Pro-4X also includes BF Goodrich Rugged Trail T/A P275/70 R18 tires. On the interior, the Pro 4X has some nice white-faced gauges and available Pro-4X logo embroidered leather-appointed seats with red stitching on the seats and shift knob.
Also new for 2008 is the Long Wheelbase Titan, this can be configured with either a 8’ 2” bed on the King Cab or a 7’ 3” bed on the Crew Cab. The Standard Wheelbase Titan is available in either a 6’ 6” bed on the King Cab or a 5’ 6” bed on the Crew Cab. The Standard Wheelbase is 139.8” long and the Long Wheelbase is 159.5” long, and both are the same with either bed/cab configuration.
Nissan engineers have gone out of their way to make Titan the most practical truck on the market, and it boasts several unique features that make the truck quite utilitarian. For example the bed is available with a Utili-track tie-down channel system, with five special "C" cross-section rails that are mounted in the bed (two channels in the bed floor, and one each on the bed side rails and the bed header panel) this is a very nice feature especially if you plan on hauling ATVs or dirtbikes in the bed. You never have to worry about not having a solid place to tie down to with this system - because the tie-down points can be moved very easily. A factory installed spray-in bedliner is available on all Titan models and is covered by the Nissan warranty. And there is an optional 12v power outlet on the right hand side of the bed, so if you have a low tire on your ATV you can simply plug in your air compressor to the bed and fill the tire right there. Also, behind the driver side rear wheel is a little storage compartment. I would really like this on my truck because I can never seem to find my hitch when it comes time to hook up to the trailer. If I owned a Titan, the hitch could stay in the locked compartment far away from my friends borrowing fingers.
After a short technical presentation it was time to hit the trail and experience the off-road capabilities of the Pro-4X Titan. The trails at Coal Creek OHV Park offered the ideal testing ground for the trucks, the rocky technical trails gave us plenty of opportunities to sample all the features of the truck. When it comes to off-roading the nicest feature of the Pro-4X is the additional skid plates. The skid plate under the front bumper came in handy a couple of times and prevented any damage to the nicely painted bumper and radiator when climbing rocks. Also impressive was the BFG tires, although I managed to break the traction a couple of times, I found that if you just let off the gas slightly they will bite, regain traction and roll up and over the obstacle. Although not exclusive to the Pro-4X the 4x4 low setting was very helpful because it remaps the fueling so that the truck does not require as much throttle input, and this allows the driver to concentrate more on navigating through the section of terrain. 4x4 Low also will not allow the vehicle to roll backwards which can come in handy in certain situations.
After an enjoyable trail in a Pro-4X we loaded up a Cherokee trailer with a Polaris ATV and SideXSide for the 45min drive back to the hotel. With roughly 4,000 lb in tow the Titan’s 317 hp and 385 ft-lb 5.6L V8 had enough power to pull the trailer fine on flat ground but when going uphill the transmission seemed to down-shift sharply and rev high.
On flat ground with a small load the truck has great performance but it seems like the Titan was being overworked with a 4,000 lb trailer. Aside from a slight lack of towing power the truck did very well, the brakes and handling were spot on, and the interior was spacious and comfortable with a nice exhaust tone under acceleration. Switching with another journalist for a Titan without trailer and a 600 lb ATV in the back the truck was completely different. The truck had more than enough power and passing on a two-lane road was easy. With fuel prices as they are, economy is a big question on everyone’s mind and the Titan is rated for 17 mpg Highway and 12 mpg for City, which is respectable for this class of truck. One nice feature is that the Titan can run on E85 Ethanol fuel.
The Titan line of trucks is ever expanding and boasts many class-leading and unique features. The half-ton truck market used to be ruled by the big three domestic brands, but Nissan is definitely coming in with a fight. And don’t think you will be hurting the American economy by buying a Nissan because the Titan is built in the Nissan’s Tennessee plant by American workers (Nissans engine plant in Tennessee produces over one million engines per year for the North American market). If you are in the market for a half-ton truck you would be crazy not to consider the Titan.
Coal Creek OHV