2009 Nissan Titan Expert Review

You'll Like The 2009 Nissan Titan If...

If you're looking for a big, powerful truck that's out of the mainstream in both style and features, has a really nice interior, a stump-pulling V8 engine and a host of innovations designed around real pickup-truck functions, take a look at the 2009 Nissan Titan.

You May Not Like The 2009 Nissan Titan If...

If you like the more conservatively-styled trucks from Chevrolet and Ford, the Titan may be too flashy for your taste. And the option list does not include dual rear wheels or the choice of a six-cylinder or diesel engine.

What's New

Changes for 2009 are limited to some new option packages, a matte-black grille and front bumper on the XE trim and the addition of an auto-door locking feature.

Interior Features

The Titan's interior is bold and forward-thinking in its design. On certain models you can opt for a center console with a gated shifter (the shift lever moves through a slotted path) for better control when shifting gears. Seating is offered in bench or Captain's Chair style buckets and offers good support and long term comfort. Drivers over six feet, however, may find themselves staring out through the windshield's tint band. Some drivers also felt the seat bottoms could do with a sharper upward angle to better support their thighs. You'll find the Titan's instrumentation to be clear, legible and easy to view, but the placement of the power window buttons atop the door's edge makes them vulnerable to outside elements when the windows are down.

Exterior Features

Nissan offers the Titan in two body styles, King Cab and Crew Cab, with two wheelbases and four bed lengths. An optional spray-in bedliner applied at the factory helps protect the entire cargo bed floor and walls, while the available built-in channel system with moveable cleats is designed to provide multiple tie-down points. Outside the bed, Nissan has placed a clever lockable storage bin just behind left the rear wheel, and on King Cab models the rear door can swing open a full 168 degrees to aid with loading. Off-road enthusiast will appreciate the PRO-4X's ground clearance, which is among the best in its class with over 10 inches measured at the rear axle.

Driving Impressions

We found the Titan's V8 engine felt strong at all speeds, with loads of power on demand. The five-speed automatic transmission shifted smoothly and the gated shifter made it easy to move between first and second gears whenever we needed to apply engine braking. There is some vibration telegraphed through the steering wheel, and there is a noticeable exhaust note upon application of the throttle. Still, the Titan delivers a smooth, controlled ride and exhibits better-than-average steering and handling response.

Pricing Notes

The Titan King Cab XE has a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $27,000, while a fully loaded PRO-4X Crew Cab tops out around $47,000. To make your best deal on a Titan, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price, which shows the typical transaction price paid for the truck in your area. Kelley Blue Book expects the Titan to maintain an average resale value over a five-year period, holding a better value than the Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab, on par with the Ford F150 Super Cab and slightly below the Chevrolet Silverado Extended Cab 1500.

Notable Equipment

The Titan XE has a 317-horsepower 5.6-liter V8, five-speed automatic transmission with a Tow/Haul mode, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), air conditioning, full gauges, exterior cargo light, dual manual side mirrors, full bench seat, a rear 12-volt outlet, AM/FM stereo with CD, fuel tank skid plate, cruise control, tilt wheel, tire pressure monitor and 18-inch steel wheels. The XE Crew Cab, SE, LE and PRO-4X add even more standard features including power locks, power windows, remote keyless entry, dual heated power mirrors, a sliding rear window and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Notable Options

Options vary by trim and include four-wheel drive, front side and head-curtain airbags (covering the front and rear seats), tow package, Bluetooth Hands-Free Phone System, Rockford Fosgate audio, spray-in bedliner, eight-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, rear-seat DVD entertainment system (on the Crew Cab), navigation, a limited-slip rear differential, bed extender and a Homelink Universal Transceiver.

Favorite Features

Wide-Swinging Rear Door
The hinged rear door on the King Cab model swings back 168 degrees to create exceptionally convenient interior access.

Exterior Storage Box
The Titan's exterior storage box (located behind the left rear wheel) is perfect for storing such items as jumper cables or muddy clothing.

Under the Hood

Unlike many of its competitors, the Titan offers only one engine choice, and it's the most powerful V8 Nissan builds. The 5.6-liter V8 produces an abundance of power, but it cannot reasonably be expected to deliver the best fuel economy.

5.6-liter V8
317 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
385 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/17 (2WD, gasoline), 13/18 (4WD, gasoline), 9/13 (2WD, E85), 9/13 (4WD, E85)

Editors' Notes

The 2009 Nissan Titan full-size pickup is a worthy competitor to long-established rivals from Dodge, Chevrolet and Ford. Although the Titan is available only as a half-ton model, its powerful engine, numerous configurations and lengthy list of clever features should appeal to most light-duty pickup owners. Designed for the urban pickup owner, the Titan is as adept at carrying bikes, kayaks and ski gear as it is hauling plywood, concrete and dirt. Introduced last year, the PRO-4X model suits the needs of serious off-road adventurers, while the long wheelbase model and E85 flex fuel capable V8 helps expand the Titan's appeal.

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