Nissan's new full-sizer is more than half a foot longer and at least three inches taller and wider than the Toyota Tundra. The Titan will hit the ground running with half-ton models available in four levels of trim and in two cab configurations: extended four-door King Cab and four-door Crew Cab. Because all Titans share the same 139.8-inch wheelbase and 224.2-inch overall length, the longer Crew Cab with its four full-size front-hinged doors comes with the shorter 5-foot 7-inch bed, and the comparably shorter King Cab features the longest available 6-foot 7-inch bed.
On the Crew Cab, big rear doors open to a generous rear seat that offers roughly eight inches more rear legroom and about an inch and a half more rear headroom than the already spacious King Cab. Aiding ingress/ egress in the King Cab are rear-hinged rear doors that even a contortionist could love; the doors pivot nearly 180 degrees to allow unfettered access from the rear, ever handy in tight parking spaces. They're an industry first.
The Titan's bed may not be the largest in truckdom, but it does do tricks. Rails built into the bed floor and sides can be fitted with an optional divider, tray, or toolbox (or any combination of the three) that slide fore and aft to make work and play easier. Other accessories include a flip-out bed extender and overhead ladder racks. Nissan will also build Titans to order with a factory-applied spray-in bedliner.
Say what you will about the Alpha T-inspired blistered fenders, snaggletooth grille, and domed hood, the Titan goes its own way in the styling department. It also packs such features as an optional Rockford Fosgate 10-speaker sound system, DVD-based navigation system with a Leno-like pop-up screen, bi-plane side mirrors, and lockable bedside storage compartment. Other neat touches include an available switch-on-demand, electronically locking rear differential, optional Rancho Performance shocks, and Vehicle Dynamic Control with traction control. A tire-pressure warning system is standard, as are large four-wheel discs with ABS, electronic brake distribution, and Brake Assist. The Titan will tow up to 9400 pounds, 2200 more than a Tundra.
Nissan knows it's taking on the lions--in this case, the Dodge Ram, the GM twins, and the new-for-'04 F-150--in the lions' den: America. Pickup buyers are a fiercely brand-loyal lot; they go with what they know and what they like. But today's consumer will acknowledge innovative, well-executed products with his purchase dollars. Based on this poke, prod, and drive, we suspect the Titan will score significant market share and keep the segment leaders on their toes.