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2005 Nissan Titan

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San Francisco:  The Nissan Titan is in the second year of its assault on the domestic truck market, and it seems to be an effective one. Ample power, good looks and strong towing performance all make it a good contender.  

The Titan Crew Cab features a spacious cabin that offers more room than other trucks in its class. Its cabin looks more modern and stylish than its Dodge and Chevy competitors, although the Ford F-150 probably gets the edge in quality of materials.

There's something magical about listening to Hank Williams when you're driving a pickup truck. It's like the two were meant to be together. They just feel right. And when you're driving a Nissan Titan, listening to Hank Williams via satellite radio feels just as fitting. Hank's twang and country drawl inspire the feelings of good-ol'-boy America, but you know there's something different about the delivery - something high-tech, fresh and foreign.

The Titan has been an intriguing truck ever since it was introduced in 2004, mainly because it has absolutely no heritage here. While Ford, Chevy and Dodge owners may have loyalty that spans generations - going from no radio, then AM, followed by FM and satellites - Nissan's truck was born entirely in the satellite era. It's a 20th century concept built in a 21st century mindset. That's what makes it so compelling.

Just like the trucks that built America, the Titan is all about power, freedom and simply getting a difficult job done. It looks tough and rugged because it is. The heart of the Titan, like any good truck, is its engine, and this one is plenty strong. The 5.6-liter V8 makes 305 horsepower and 379 foot-pounds of torque, enough to tow 9,400 pounds when properly equipped. That's the good news.

On the downside, only one engine is offered. There's no V6 or smaller V8 for fuel economy and no diesel engine for really serious towing, so people who like to pick an engine based on the needed workload are out of luck. The available V8 is a fantastic engine - among the very best on the market - but that doesn't mean it's a perfect fit for everybody who drives a truck.

One thing in the Titan's favor is interior space, as it has more volume in the cab than any truck in its class. There's lots of space to stretch out even for the biggest passengers.

Also, the quality of the interior is one of the best on the market. It's a close second to the Ford F-150 in my opinion, and clearly nicer than the aging styles in the Chevy and Dodge trucks.

What the Titan lacks in engine choices it makes up for in amenities, with features that can range from bare-bones to totally luxurious. The top-of-the-line crew cab model I tested came with technology found most often in expensive luxury cars and SUVs, including a DVD player, navigation system, leather seats and satellite radio. It lacked nothing in the wiz-bang department.

On the road, the Titan handles extremely well for a truck of its size, offering outstanding acceleration, steering and braking. It's not as bouncy over bumps as the Chevy or Dodge, and it feels as smooth and controlled as the market-leading Ford. The Titan also features a standard power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system, designed for greater steering and handling performance, especially during heavy towing situations.

Perhaps Titanís biggest innovation and differentiation from the competition is in its cargo bed, where a spray-in bedliner is applied at the factory. The bedliner helps prevent scratch damage and corrosion to the bed and inner tailgate surface, and it's the first offered by any original equipment manufacturer. It's also covered by the Nissan warranty.

Another innovative feature is the bedside storage compartment located behind the rear driverís side wheel. The bedside storage bin is designed to hold common truck items such as work gloves, chains, rope, road flares, first aid kit or a hitch ball. The compartment is double-sealed to help prevent the intrusion of water and dust. It also uses the Titan ignition key for unlocking.

It looks and drives great with the performance to match. It's also a good value considering how pricey trucks are getting these days, and its cabin can be outfitted with lots of luxury goodies. Overall, assuming you want the standard V8 engine, it's hard to find anything to fault in the Titan.

Why buy it? It looks good, drives well and performs like a champ. And it's sure to be keeping some folks in Detroit awake at night.  By Derek Price  © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

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Byline:  Syndicated content provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Column Name: 
 Titan a serious contender
 The 2005 Nissan Titan
Word Count:  
Photo Caption: 
 The 2005 Nissan Titan
Photo Credits:  
Nissan Internet Media
Series #:   2005 - 47

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