I sometimes forget how huge Nissan and its Alliance is. The huge breadth of products and technologies are clear signs of massive resources but it’s the fact that despite all the obstacles and the nature of the segment, offering a full-size pickup requires a huge commitment, and deep pockets.
The Nissan Titan is the exact opposite of the Frontier where it’s recent, loaded with kit, some technology and capabilities. Nissan truly went out of its way to position the Titan as a large in-between-er in order to capture the attention of truck lovers. The resulting product is good but should you skip RAM, GM and Ford and head to Nissan for your next truck? Read on.
Why you should buy a 2018 Nissan Titan:
- The Titan’s 5.6-litre V8 is powerful and willing to rev. The adjoining 7-speed automatic transmission is equally eager to please
- The Titan features distinct and unique styling cues. The tested Midnight Edition is cool. The PRO-4X, even more so
- The most basic Titan can tow nearly 10,000 lbs and haul close to 2,000 lbs right out of the box
- Handling wise, the Titan can hold its own. In fact, it’s surprisingly stable and surefooted
Why you should not buy a 2018 Nissan Titan:
- On pricing, incentives, deals, you name it, no matter how aggressive Nissan may be, it is next to impossible to get as crazy a deal on a Titan as you might on a Silverado or F-150
- Base pricing for the Nissan Titan is considerably higher than the competition. It might feature a standard V8 but in this respect, it excludes itself as a regular work truck
- Compared to the Ford, GMs and the RAM, the Titan’s interior is prehistoric
- While refinement and comfort are high on the aforementioned trucks’ list of high points, the Nissan Titan behaves more like the Toyota Tundra. The Tundra is unapologetically rudimentary and truck-like while the Titan attempts to mask is elementary roots with partial success
The Nissan Titan has everything going for it. Everything, except what truck buyers want. They long to belong to one of three well-established, long-running, deeply-rooted camps that are the RAM, F-150 or Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra.
For the price of the tested $58,498 2018 SV Midnight Edition, you can purchase a 2018 Ford F-150 Lariat with the Special Edition Package and the 5.0-litre Coyote V8. The Nissan might include a few extra features but none of them will convince a truck buyer to not leave the dealership with the Ford.
In North America, the Nissan Titan is dead-last in sales, and by a huge, insurmountable margin. In the US, nearly 20 F-150s are sold for one Titan. In Canada, it’s roughly 30 to 1.
These numbers are not meant to say that Nissan’s Titan is not good enough to hold a spot on your shopping list, because it could. The sales result simply indicate that truck buyers find what they want/need, and within their budget, at one of the ex-Big-3 automakers. And this, no matter the efforts and resources put forth by Nissan.
The bottom line is that no one can out-full-size-pickup the American brands.