C&D Preview - 2004 Nissan Titan.

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Jun 11, 2003.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    The battle of the pickups picks up.

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    BY BARRY WINFIELD
    July 2003

    With its 2004 Titan, Nissan will launch an all-out assault on the full-size-truck market. From the look of it, the Titan was designed to take on the American truck makers on their own terms. After assessing the particular strengths of domestic-brand trucks, Nissan’s engineers targeted those aspects and then set out to best them.

    No single vehicle was used as a target, says Larry Dominique, Nissan’s chief product specialist for the Titan. Thus, when Nissan invited us to drive an early-development Titan mule, the company had on hand a Chevrolet Silverado, a Ford F-150, and a Dodge Ram for comparison. And when we had driven all the vehicles back-to-back, we could tell, for one thing, that the Titan’s throttle response and engine power were modeled pretty directly on those of the Chevrolet Silverado, which has an aggressive throttle tip-in and vigorous launch to attract younger drivers.

    When we brought up that subject with Nissan’s assembled engineers, they conceded they’d had to come up with a separate—and more sedate—throttle map for low-range four-wheel-drive use. But regardless of personal throttle-response preferences, there should be little criticism of the, 5.6-liter Endurance V-8 (its output wasn’t finalized at press time) used throughout the Titan line.

    With more than 90 percent of its 375-plus pound-feet of torque available from 2500 rpm, the big four-cam V-8 is almost guaranteed to find lifelong devotees among truck owners—particularly as the five-speed automatic it is teamed with offers perhaps the quickest kickdown response and smoothest shift transitions in the field.

    Capable of towing up to 9400 pounds when appropriately equipped, the Titan’s V-8 revs like a high-performance car engine, yet it burbles throatily at low rpm so the folks in the parking lot can appreciate its big-bore bent-eight truck credentials. Despite the all-aluminum overhead-cam design, the Titan’s Endurance V-8 feels and sounds like the granddaddy of all truck engines. Whereas Toyota’s Tundra is a seven-eighths-scale truck with subtle, almost feminine sensibilities, the Titan is thoroughly butch.

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    Tall people will fit easily in the big passenger compartment. In the case of the crew cab (there is also a smaller King Cab), four or five big guys will find a surprising amount of space, since front and rear legroom dimensions are almost identical. Nissan deliberately designed the cab so the floor would be flat, with minimal intrusion from the rear bulkhead. When the rear seats are not in use, they fold up against the bulkhead, providing a generous and unobstructed interior cargo area.

    Everything about the Titan is big and bold. The ladder frame has large cross-section, fully boxed longitudinal side members. Beefy steel control arms suspend the front wheels, and dual-stage leaf springs with shackles mounted on the frame sides for better off-road clearance control the excursions of a solid rear axle.

    As it is, the ride proved flat and reasonably supple at Nissan’s Arizona proving ground. Body motions were well controlled, and the Titan resisted seesawing over the rough-surface section where most of the rivals did not.

    Fitted with rack-and-pinion steering isolated from the body by three rubber mounts, the Titan steers with noteworthy precision for a big truck, and its four-wheel discs and ABS provide strong and stable retardation with a solidly communicative pedal feel.

    Titans outfitted with a shift-on-the-fly part-time four-wheel-drive transfer case (providing two-wheel-high, four-wheel-high, and four-wheel-low operation) employ an electronic torque-transfer system that works with a brake-activated traction-control system for optimal grip in the rough.

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    Inside the truck, you find the usual plethora of options, including a choice of bench or bucket seats, upgraded audio systems, adjustable pedals, and DVD navigation and entertainment systems. A security system with an immobilizer is standard. There are supplemental safety systems such as side and curtain airbags and rear-parking proximity sensors. And there will be three functional options packages: Off-Road, Tow, and Utility Bed.

    The Utility Bed package offers a factory-supplied spray-in bed liner, designed to circumvent the corrosion problems sometimes associated with drop-in bed liners. Included also is the Utili-track tie-down system, comprising five C-channel rails mounted in the bed floor, side rails, and header. Removable cleats fit into the channels to provide multiple attachment points for securing cargo. Then there’s the side-storage bin in the bed behind the driver’s-side rear wheel that is double-insulated against the elements. It locks and unlocks with the ignition key.

    With a great powertrain, a choice of cabs, two- or four-wheel drive, various trim and equipment levels, and a comprehensive list of premium options, the Titan has, seemingly, something for everyone in the personal-use market (no eight-foot-box, regular-cab, or work-truck versions are planned). But as good as it is, the Titan has to contend with resolute brand loyalty in the pickup-truck market. That’s why Nissan is starting with just 100,000 units a year. So, unless you’re besotted with the bow tie, the blue oval, or the ram’s head, here’s a chance to be in the vanguard. We don’t think you’ll regret it.

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    Vehicle type: front-engine, rear- or rear/4-wheel drive, 5–6-passenger, 2+2- or 4-door truck
    Estimated base price: $27,500–$32,000
    Engine type: DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, Nissan engine-control system with port fuel injection
    Displacement: 339 cu in, 5552cc
    Power (mfr’s est): 300 bhp @ 5000 rpm
    Torque (mfr’s est)v 375 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm

    Transmission: 5-speed automatic with lockup torque converter
    Wheelbase: 139.8 in
    Length: 224.2 in
    Width: 67.5 in
    Height: 74.4–76.0 in
    Curb weight: 4700–4950 lb

    C/D-estimated performance (rear-drive):
    Zero to 60 mph: 7.0 sec
    Zero to 100 mph: 21.2 sec
    Standing 1/4-mile: 15.5 sec @ 91 mph

    Projected fuel economy:
    EPA city driving: 15 mpg
    EPA highway driving: 19 mpg

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  2. tun

    tun Active Member

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    tun dot com, HomosexualThug69, jaydub, IBPpassat, BLoG

    Oh and IBHisXLNC
     
  3. JoeyCrack

    JoeyCrack Active Member

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    yep its ugly
     
  4. e-thug

    e-thug CBR600RR

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    300HP is a lot of power for an Japanese import. :cool:
     
  5. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    ibizero claims it doesn't suck
     
  6. iZero

    iZero Guest

    You're just angry it's faster stock than your "sport truck" was. That and you can use it as a real pickup.
     
  7. d0nk3ypunch

    d0nk3ypunch New Member

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    They're building that right down the road from me :cool:

    I'd pimp it
     
  8. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

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    translation: Nissan is finally catching up to where the domestic trucks were YEARS ago.

    btw: my truck can do ANY on-road task as well as any other fullsize halfton. Better than most, too.
     
  9. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    I still have a feeling the next F-150 will be the class leader, but we'll see.
     
  10. Mugatu

    Mugatu Ask me about market research. OT Supporter

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    is it me or do full-sized Japanese trucks still look like small trucks :dunno:

    not in person but in pictures
     
  11. Sideways

    Sideways Do I look like I give a damn?

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    There is going to be no battle, we already know Ford is going to smoke their ass.
     
  12. Agave

    Agave God bless America, and no place else.

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    If I were in the market for a gas powered truck, I'd buy the nissan.

    That said

    Ford Powerjoke and GM Duramax diesel > *
     
  13. LBKornhusker

    LBKornhusker Muscular cyborg German dude dances with sexy Frenc

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    Maybe so, but it's not a bad attempt at their first fullsize truck. I think it's pretty sweet actually, prettier than the Frontier anyways. :bigthumb:
     
  14. Johnny*MacBlayze

    Johnny*MacBlayze wassup? shut up!

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    titan interior > all others in its class
     
  15. colebuchanan

    colebuchanan Guest

    I think the new f-150 anted up soooo much that this new nissan titan will not stand a chance
    I can't wait too see fords new 5.4, 3v per cylinder motor,
    I bet the power curves willl be a hell of alot better and power in general

    whats do yas think
     
  16. Brewer

    Brewer Guest

    How much $$$? I'm getting ready to buy a tow rig. Prob get a 3/4 ton, but this might be something to consider.
     
  17. dragon1976

    dragon1976 Guest

  18. HisXLNC

    HisXLNC ๑۩۞۩๑ Hot ๑۩۞۩๑

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    I'm looking for room to put a supercharger to shut BLoG up. :fawk:



    I don't see the room. :(
     
  19. dragon1976

    dragon1976 Guest

    Can you name me a domestic equivalent of the Nissan Patrol or Nissan Skyline?

    It sounds to me that the domestics have alot of work to do to catch Nissan.
     
  20. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Sounds like foreign car buyers when it comes to sedans.
     
  21. dragon1976

    dragon1976 Guest

    Now that we opened the whole domestic vs import debate...

    Why don't we see import manufacturers in NASCAR? Does Ford/Chevy have a monopoly there? What would happen if Toyota/Honda/etc joined in? (yes, I know that Toyota is joining in the NASCAR truck series - thats a start at least)

    Personally, I would like to see more imports in NASCAR, and more domestics participate in Dakar, WRC, Lemans, etc. Put them all in the same field, and then finally settle the question of which is really better.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2003
  22. dragon1976

    dragon1976 Guest

    I will admit that I have a japanese import biased (I am talking about sedans). Mostly cause I have owned GM, Dodge, Honda, Mazda, Toyota, and Nissan. Just from my experience, the imports are good for 200,000 miles with little more than regular maintenance. The cars show normal wear and tear from being around that long, but for the most part they hold up very well.

    On the other hand, the GM's/Dodge's/Fords that I have driven which are the same age are totally falling apart. The door handles are falling all, the dash squeaks, fluids are leaking everywhere, it probably had some major engine, transmission or computer work done to it before 100,000 miles.

    I will admit that I am biased, but its not without some experience to base my biasedness on.

    GM already admits that they used to make crap: http://www.freep.com/money/autonews/gm29_20030529.htm

    Things are changing for the domestics, and they are finally spending more $$$ on quality, cause they know their reputation is on the line.

    Domestics have always made GREAT trucks though, and the imports are now getting into that segment, so watch out.
     
  23. Wolvrin704

    Wolvrin704 Guest

    I don't forsee any domestics outselling Ford anytime soon. Ford has been the #1 light truck seller now for 26 years straight. In fact they almost outsell Chevy/GMC by 2-1. Last time I checked the F150 was also the best selling vehicle in the USA.

    That being said the Titan is a nice looking vehicle but I don't forsee it ever taking the #1 spot, at least not in the forseeable future.
     
  24. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    I've never had any of those problems with any of my American cars except for my old Dodge Shadow (which was half Mitsubishi). My 1992 LeSabre has 175k on it and drives like a brand new car, all of the Buicks and Oldsmobiles we've had were the same way.

    I really can't help it if you base your experiences on the likes of Tempos and Cavaliers, and use the lowest common denominator from 15 years ago as the quality gauge for an entire line of products from the same manufacturer.

    That's very flawed.
     
  25. dragon1976

    dragon1976 Guest

    Who said anything about Tempo's and Cavalers? You made an assumption - a wrong one. Who's flawed now?

    I was driving Dodge Ram vans, Ford Econoline vans, Pontiac Grand Am's (low end I know), Chevy Celebrity Euro Sport, Chevy s-10 pickup, Buick Regal, Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme to name a few. To be fair, none of those are "top quality". I realize that these are all low to middle end vehicles.

    On the Import side, I have driven Honda Civics, Mazda GLC's, Honda Accords, etc. Its not like I am pulling up in a Lexus or BMW. I am comparing import models to their domestic counterpart. I am comparing apples with apples, low end models with other low end models.

    I remember when the Oldsmobile Achieva (or whatever its called. They dont make it anymore, and I don't exactly remember the name) first came out. GM tried very hard to market it as being "just as good as a Honda Accord". Back then, I gave GM the benefit of a doubt, and thought that it probably was as good as a Honda or Toyota. Now, 10 years later - I see many late 1980's Honda's and Toyota's driving around and they look pretty good. All the Achieva's I see are sagging, rusting, missing fenders, putting out black puffs of smoke, and making horrible screeching noises. Its likely that Honda/Toyota owners just take better care of their vehicles - and that Achieva owners abuse the crap out of theirs. Or its likely that the Accords/Camry's of that period, just plain hold up better than the Achieva - even though GM was advertising it as "just as good as.....".

    My dad is a GM loyalist. His current car is a 2001 Buick LaSabre. I think its a great car. It has a lot of cool features, rides smooth, and has more than enough power. It seriously looks like GM has improved on their product from what they were putting out in the 80's and 90's. GM even admits they built crap back then. (See article in previous post)

    Do people have an import biase (we're talking sedans)? Yes they do. Did GM build crap for nearly 20 years to scare people away from their product? Yes they did.

    edited to say: I do not have a blind allegiance to imports. I am just making a judgement on my own experience. I realize that there are thousands and thousands of others who have had very good experiences with domestics - more power to them. I base my opinions on what I have seen first hand.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2003

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