$18,765 - $51,033

2017 Nissan Titan Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Nissan Titan was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 8.7

Whether you plan to use the 2017 Nissan Titan as your work truck or just as your daily driver, it is up to the task. The V8 engine delivers forceful acceleration from a stop and on the highway, and it has enough power to tow heavy loads without feeling strained. The Titan doesn't have the highest towing capacity in the class, but the heavier-duty Titan XD is in the same ballpark as many competitors when it comes to towing and hauling capacities.

Despite being a large truck, the Titan has fairly docile road manners. It provides a smooth ride, and it feels stable when taking turns. The brakes are sturdy, and the sharp steering gives the Titan a surprising degree of maneuverability. The Titan acquits itself well in off-road situations, particularly the Pro-4X trim.

  • "What I discovered is that no matter how similar the half-ton Titan and Titan XD look, the fraternal twins are distinctly different to drive. You notice it right away, from the half-ton Titan's delightful steering feel as a result of carrying less weight over the front tires to the gasoline V8 engine's smoothness at idle and when revving. The 5.6-liter V8 never lacks for power, and delivers a savory aural aftertaste in the way it sounds when revving to redline." -- New York Daily News
  • "'Truckie' used to be a pejorative adjective that described what it was like to live with a pickup, feeling every bump, wrestling it down some roads. Not anymore. Mind you, this is still a truck, but steering effort, response, and such are at a level that you can actually enjoy the Titan on a curving road. Again, it's not a sports car, but it's not a struggle, either." -- Automobile Magazine
  • Maybe the biggest complement we can pay the new Titan half-ton is that it feels competitive. Nissan's previous Titan always drove and felt a bit on the light-duty side of things, despite its brawny looks; that impression -- accurate or not -- has been exorcised." -- AutoWeek

Acceleration and Power

The Titan features a 5.6-liter V8 engine that puts out 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. There is plenty of power for any driving situation, and the truck's strong acceleration may surprise you. The transmission is a nice complement; it delivers smooth shifts and doesn't hesitate to downshift when you need more power.

Fuel economy isn't the Titan's strong suit. It gets an EPA-estimated 15 mpg in the city and 21 on the highway, which are slightly worse estimates than many V8-powered rivals. For now, the V8 is the only engine available with the Titan, but Nissan claims that a V6 will be available later in the model year.

  • "Titan fares well on the road. The V8 provides strong acceleration, and the transmission kicks down quickly when the throttle is pressed." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The 5.6-liter V8 never lacks for power, and delivers a savory aural aftertaste in the way it sounds when revving to redline." -- New York Daily News
  • "The best traits about the V8 Titan half-ton are its powerful and quiet ride. That first characteristic didn't come as much of a surprise, given the 390-horsepower/394 lb-ft torque ratings from the 5.6-liter V8. We found this engine to effortlessly move the Titan XD. In the half-ton version of this truck, which rides on a completely different chassis that is both lighter and shorter, this is even more the case. Traveling over all manner of roads and highways near Monterey in Northern California, the new Titan always seemed to have power to spare. Matched by a new, 7-speed automatic transmission, the powertrain proved smooth, capable, and even sounded good: This V8 emits a distinct and satisfying roar when you put your foot into it." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

Rear-wheel drive is standard on the Titan, and four-wheel drive is available. The Titan is agile enough that it feels smaller than it really is, and it handles corners without complaint. While some trucks' rides are reminiscent of an airplane during turbulence, the Titan's ride remains cushioned over most road surfaces. The steering is sharp as well, so the Titan even has pretty good maneuverability in crowded areas such as parking lots.

  • "Steering never felt labored, and the vehicle felt stable even as I (often unintentionally) took turns at high speeds." -- Forbes
  • "Steering is far more direct than the heavy-duty system in the Titan xD we tested a few months ago, and makes this large pickup easy to place on the road and maneuver in parking lots." -- AutoWeek
  • "What impressed us the most, however, were the 2017 Nissan Titan's road manners. The steering is good (not just good for a truck--good period) and the ride is excellent, but the real key to the Titan's confidence-inspiring nature is that it doesn't feel like it's as big as it is. The brakes, in fact, were so good that they actually spoiled us." -- Left Lane News

Off-Roading

You may not intend to take the Titan off-road, but if you get the urge, the Titan can handle it. The real gem of the lineup is the Pro-4X trim, which features plenty of useful off-road features, like skid plates, a locking rear differential, and hill descent control. With those tools at its disposal, the Pro-4X can handle just about any terrain you dare to tackle. Four-wheel drive is optional on the Titan.

  • "Finally, note that if you go off-roading with any frequency, consider the Titan Pro-4X model, which comes with knobbier all-terrain tires, skid plates, off-road shocks, an electronic locking rear differential, and a hill descent control system. The stance is also slightly wider and taller, and this version of the Titan features steeper approach and departure angles. Briefly, I tested this truck's capabilities in the dirt and came away impressed." -- New York Daily News
  • "We didn't do any towing or hauling clinics, but we did still get to take the 2017 Titan off-road. Nissan's engineers set up a course that allowed the Titan to show off its chassis articulation, its approach and departure angles, and its hill descent control. As is often the case in any scenario where the course has been hand-crafted by the engineers, the 2017 Titan performed flawlessly. We still love the front-wheel camera feature when wheeling. It's one of the Around View system's coolest ‘hey, neat’ touches. If you've never done low-speed off-roading, this may not seem like a huge deal to you, but having eyes in that corner of the truck eliminates a monumental chunk of guesswork, especially in a beast as big as this one." -- Left Lane News
  • "Otherwise, a lot of small things add up to a competent truck, from the damped tailgate with upward assist to the available Utili-track tie-down system and a multi-camera system that helped us navigate an off-road course -- our PRO-4X test model all but yawned as it skillfully climbed and descended steep dirt hills." -- Kelley Blue Book

Towing and Hauling

When properly equipped, the Titan has a maximum towing capacity of 9,390 pounds and a maximum payload of 1,610 pounds. Those estimates trail those of most class rivals, such as the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500. However, the larger Titan XD has capacities that hold up better against the competition. It will tow up to 12,314 pounds and haul up to 2,594 pounds.

The Titan's powerful engine lets you tow even heavy loads without feeling like they're holding you back or that the engine is strained. And strong brakes give you plenty of stopping power – a must when you have a multi-ton trailer hooked up.

There are some features that make your life easier when pulling a trailer. Trailer Sway Control is standard on all but the base trim, and Trailer Brake Controller is available. Both of these features help you keep your trailer safely in check under a variety of road conditions.

  • "The company wasn't kidding about the Titan's tweener capability, as it felt totally comfortable towing our trailer or hauling a payload. The payload wasn't even obvious when driving around, and engine performance barely degraded even when towing our loaded-up 24-foot car hauler. The massive front and rear disc brakes were up to the task of keeping the Titan under control. We must admit, though, that we barely scratched the surface of the Titan's skills, and we should have brought it to a long highway grade to give it some real-truck exercise." -- Truck Trend (Titan XD, 2016)
  • "But we can say for sure that the Titan XD can pull a 9,000-pound trailer up a six-percent grade with confidence, because we hooked exactly that much weight to the hitch of the XD to test it for ourselves." -- Autoblog (Titan XD, 2016)

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