$15,395 - $22,717

2013 Nissan Titan Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Nissan Titan was new.


Performance: 7.5

Reviewers say that a powerful V8 engine, precise steering and strong brakes make the 2013 Nissan Titan an enjoyable truck to drive. However, they also write that the Titan can’t match the fuel economy ratings of other full-size trucks.

  • "Driving the 2013 Nissan Titan is a satisfying experience thanks to the robust V8, nicely weighted steering and strong brakes. The trade-off for all this muscle is disappointing fuel economy, even by big pickup standards." -- Edmunds 
  • "In Consumer Guide testing, 4WD Titans averaged an unimpressive 13.7-14.5 mpg in city/highway use." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The Titan's road manners are what truly distinguish this pickup from the old guard. Grab the wheel, and the road grabs back." -- Automobile Magazine (2009)
  • "Steering is notably more communicative than the full-size truck norm. You can pick a line and hold it, without sawing back and forth in search of an elusive on-center feel." -- Motor Trend (2004)

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Nissan Titan comes with a 317-horsepower, 5.6-liter V8 engine, which is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. The EPA reports that the 2013 Titan gets up to 13/18 mpg city/highway, which isn’t particularly good, even when compared to the fuel economy of other full-size trucks. Competitors like the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 both use less fuel. When properly equipped, the Titan can tow up to 9,500 pounds, which falls short of the F-150’s maximum towing capacity of 11,300 pounds.

While the Titan’s engine isn’t as powerful as other V8s in the class, test drivers still say that it offers good acceleration, as well as enough power to haul a heavy load. A few reviewers note that the automatic transmission doesn’t downshift as quickly as they’d like when more power is needed. However, one critic writes that it does shift smoothly.

  • "Titan's V8 delivers surprisingly strong power at any speed despite having one of the lowest horsepower ratings in the class. The transmission shifts smoothly, though coaxing a downshift can take a deep stab of the gas pedal." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The 2013 Nissan Titan's engine isn't the most powerful V8 in its class, but still offers more than enough oomph to get the job done, whether that's passing slower traffic or hauling cargo uphill." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "The five-speed automatic lags a bit in kick-down response, and its shifts are on the slow side. Fortunately there's enough power that the laziness rarely detracts from the driving experience." -- Cars.com (2008)

Handling and Braking

The 2013 Nissan Titan is available with rear-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive. The PRO-4X trim adds a locking rear differential, upgraded shocks and larger tires, which help make the Titan more capable off road. Reviewers praise the 2013 Titan for its quick, precise steering, saying that it helps make the Titan feel fairly agile for its size. Most test drivers also say that the Titan offers a smooth ride. However, one critic notes that long-bed Crew Cab models can have a rough ride when the bed is empty.

  • "Titan is relatively easy to drive for a big pickup, save of course, for the gigantic Crew Cab long bed body style. The rear end tends to hop through bumpy corners when the cargo bed is empty. Steering feel is accurate, and the brakes deliver smooth stops." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The rack-and-pinion steering makes the Titan feel relatively nimble for its size." -- Edmunds 
  • "In our tests, we sensed some vibration coming through the steering wheel, but overall the Titan exhibits a smooth, controlled ride with better-than-average steering and handling." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "Damping is tight enough to take the willies out of sharp maneuvers without inflicting stiff-leggedness over bumps and heaves." -- Automobile Magazine (2009)

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