2018 Nissan Titan Expert Review

3.9 Overall Score
Performance 3.9Comfort 4.0Styling 4.0Value 3.9

Editor's Overview

The 2018 Nissan Titan offers bold looks and a standard V8 engine, not to mention the best full-size truck warranty in the business. However, while the Titan offers some innovative features and competitive pricing, it lacks the sophistication, towing and hauling abilities of rivals like the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado.

You'll Like The 2018 Nissan Titan If...

If you’re looking for a truck with a great warranty, the 2018 Nissan Titan’s 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage is standard for both individual owners and fleet sales. The Titan also carries a “Made in America” stamp.

You May Not Like The 2018 Nissan Titan If...

While it may look big and bad, Nissan’s half-ton pickup still can’t match its rivals in the area of features, technology, fuel economy or towing. Unlike the Ram, the Titan doesn’t offer a diesel-engine option, although you can get one in the larger Titan XD (reviewed separately).

What's New

Following last year's introduction, the 2018 Nissan Titan carries over largely unchanged. The promised V6 engine never materialized, leaving owners seeking better fuel economy to look elsewhere. A new Midnight Edition package is offered on Crew Cab SV and SL grades.

Interior Features

The interiors for the Single Cab, King Cab and Crew Cab are similar in design, but vary in their passenger accommodations. Lower trims can seat up to six passengers thanks to a 40/20/40-split front bench, but most buyers will opt for a pair of front bucket seats, lowering total capacity to five. Interior materials and amenities range from a cloth-and-vinyl basic work truck to the plushness of a luxury car. The top-line Platinum Reserve Titan features supple leather, heated and ventilated front seats and open-pore wood finishes. The 60/40-split rear seats can be flipped up to create a secure, wide and tall space in the rear of the cab.

Exterior Features

Compared to the first generation, the 2018 Titan seems bigger, bolder and brasher. From the honeycombed grille to the headlight housings and mirrors, everything seems to have gone up a size -- or three. It should be obvious that the Titan is a substantial rig. The half-ton Titan is 228.1 inches long -- which is still over a foot shorter than the Titan XD that is built on a different, more robust chassis. The Crew Cab models feature a standard 5.5-foot bed, while the King Cab and Single Cab variants offer bed lengths of 6.5 and eight feet, respectively.

Driving Impressions

Powered by a 390-horsepower, 5.6-liter V8, the 2018 Nissan Titan pickup feels powerful and confident. Nissan has done a good job of insulating the Titan’s interior from road and wind noise, although punching the accelerator does allow the V8’s satisfying growl to penetrate the cozy cabin. The Titan’s 7-speed automatic does an excellent job of maximizing power and fuel economy, and we had no issues with its timing when it came to choosing the right gear for the right situation. Regrettably, in the areas of handling, maneuverability and steering effort, the Titan falls short of the benchmarks set by the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500. And, while the V8 engine is more than up to the task for hauling and towing, in actual everyday work situations we found the 5.6-liter engine didn’t feel as effortless as the twin-turbocharged V6 in the F-150.

Pricing Notes

The 2018 Nissan Titan Single Cab 2WD has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just over $31,000 for the S model, while 4WD models start just over $34,000. The base King Cab starts around $34,000 and adding 4-wheel drive raises the price to around $39,000. The Crew Cab runs from a low of $36,725 to just over $57,350 for the top-line Platinum Reserve edition. Crew-cab versions of the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 begin slightly less, but come with a V6 as standard vs. the Titan's V8. A crew-cab Chevy Silverado with a V6 starts slightly above the Titan. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. Initial resale values after the first year suggest the Titan will remain competitive with the Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado, but fall well short of the values held by the Toyota Tundra.

Notable Equipment

The 2018 Nissan Titan half-ton truck is available in five trims: S, SV, PRO-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve. The least expensive S version is pretty basic but does include cruise control, air conditioning, power windows, manual-sliding rear window and a 6-speaker audio system with 5-inch display with Bluetooth connectivity and USB input. Most buyers would do well to step up a trim or two. SV versions provide the option for front bucket seats, which also allow for height adjustment. They also include trailer-sway control, power-adjust mirrors, upgraded cloth interior, SiriusXM satellite radio and chrome accents.

Notable Options

Keep moving up trims and you can get a leather interior, climate-controlled front seats, safety features like blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, upgraded 7-inch infotainment system with navigation, Rockford Fosgate premium audio system, sonar-based front and rear parking assist, and the helpful AroundView bird's-eye-camera system. Off-road enthusiasts might dig the PRO-4X model that includes Bilstein shocks, all-terrain off-road tires, electronic locking rear differential and skidplates. Midnight Editions gain 20-inch black wheels, charcoal interior and various body-color and black-finished trim pieces.

Favorite Features

DAMPED TAILGATE
The Titan’s dampened tailgate is standard on every model. The design keeps the gate from slamming down as it nears the full open position, then assists when raising the tailgate to the close position.

WARRANTY
The Titan’s 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty is the best in the industry, at least when comparing it to other gasoline-engine warranties. The additional time and mileage coverage may prove irresistible to fleet managers as well as individuals who tend to quickly put a lot of miles on their trucks.

Under the Hood

The 2018 Nissan Titan offers just one engine -- a stout 5.6-liter gasoline V8. This big V8 is connected to a 7-speed automatic transmission and can be had in standard rear-wheel drive (2WD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD). The engine makes a hearty 390 horsepower, but beware of its thirst. Titan 4x2 models are rated to tow up to 9,740 pounds, while 4-wheel-drive versions max out at 9,560 pounds.

5.6-liter V8
390 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
394 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 mpg (2WD & 4WD), 15/20 mpg (PRO-4X)

Editors' Notes

After a successful launch last year, the larger, more powerful 2018 Nissan Titan pickup continues to make inroads in a market largely dominated by the domestic manufacturers. Offered in a variety of configurations including Single Cab, King Cab and Crew Cab, the Titan looks to lure buyers away from the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Chevy Silverado, as well as the aging Toyota Tundra. A powerful V8 engine remains the only powertrain choice, putting the Titan at a bit of a disadvantage when compared with the Ram’s diesel-engine offering or the F-150’s available turbocharged V6 engines. However, the Titan does offer a number of innovative features, the popular off-road PRO-4X trim and the best full-size pickup truck warranty in the industry.

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