Better in Every Way: 2017 Nissan Titan Half-Ton Pickup Truck [First Impressions]

2017-nissan-titan-light-pro-4x
Waiting for the embargo on driving impressions for the 2017 Nissan Titan half-ton pickup truck to end was rough. I was chomping at the bit to tell you about this gem. It is a much better truck than the one it replaces and it’s much more logical to drive (for most consumers) than the heavy Nissan Titan XD.

It’s unfortunate that I can’t tell you about its towing abilities or about the regular cab, but both of those impressions will be served to you via TFLtruck in the (very) near future. I can tell you about its driving manners and its off-road behavior.

On road, the 2017 Nissan Titan 1/2 Ton is about 500 lbs lighter than the equivalent Nissan Titan XD. So, you would think it has a less poised ride – right? Wrong. It glides down the highway with very few jitters coming from the empty bed. The steering feel must be best in class as the weight is ideal and there is more feedback than from any of the Big 3’s 1/2 tons.

2016-nissan-titan-xd-gas-v8The real gem is the aluminum, direct injected 5.6 (5,552 cc) V8 that makes 390 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm and 394 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm. The 7-speed automatic transmission, standard on all Titan 1/2 ton trucks, comes with a
electronic locking rear differential on the PRO-4X. While the off road ability of the Nissan Titan 1/2 ton feels better than the heavy XD, it performs about the same as other trucks (Z71, TRD  Off-Road, and Rebel) in its class.

The disc brakes felt great, but (once again) I have not tested them hauling or pulling a load.

Perhaps one day, Nissan will build an off-road truck that can take on the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Ford F150 Raptor and Ram Power Wagon. Between the Nissan Titan 1/2 Ton and XD, we know Nissan has the tools to makes something outstanding. Still, given its mandate of being a daily driver that can venture off-road, the Nissan Titan 1/2 Ton Pro-4X is just as capable as the competition. There is a caveat: the engine, transmission and steering are outstanding.

The suspension setup works great on the road. Dampening reminds me of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71, but with better cab isolation. Mix that with the excellent empty-bed smoothness, it feels like a coil-spring Ram 1500 on the highway. Body lean and unwanted motions were minimal too. I pushed it pretty hard on and off road to see if the Nissan Titan 1/2 Ton would show cracks in the armor – nope, it kept surprising with an excellent ride.

Once again, a truck is meant to haul and by NOT hauling, I have no input on how it would perform.

2017 Nissan TITAN Crew Cab
While not having any load to stress the truck was a slight issue, the interior was a bit of an issue too. If you want to go head-to-head with Ram, Ford and Chevrolet – you need to have a great interior too. While there’s nothing terrible inside, the plastics, switch-gear and overall design already feel a bit dated. Still, the seats are very comfortable and the ergonomics are pretty good. I would have preferred larger nobs, buttons and switches.

Exterior styling is something I’ve kept away from. Even the 2017 Nissan Armada’s looks I stepped away from as it looks too much like an Infiniti QX80. Just like the XD, the Nissan Titan 1/2 ton looks too much like a Ford F150. It’s not ugly, I like the nose and tail, but how could you green-light something that’s so similar to the competition?

Would I own one based on my 2 & 1/2 hours driving on and off road? So far, so good. I would indeed consider it – especially with the final embargoed detail: the new warranty! The new warranty is 5-year/100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper – that includes the powertrain warranty. This new warranty covers all 2017 TITAN Endurance® V8 gas and 2017 TITAN XD Cummins® diesel and Endurance V8 gasoline-powered models.

2017-nissan-titan-axle-articulationIt is the best standard truck warranty currently available in the United States.

While more research is needed, (and needing to drive the Regular Cab & King Cab), my initial impressions of the 2017 Nissan Titan 1/2 Ton are very good. I think it’s what Nissan should have led with in the first place (over the Nissan Titan XD) as it’s a much more logical truck for a vast majority of consumers.

Here’s pricing:

BASE VEHICLE 2017 TITAN 1/2 ton Gas Crew Cab

S CC 4×2 5.6 Liter V8 A/T $34,780
SV CC 4×2 5.6 Liter V8 A/T $37,670
SL CC 4×2 5.6 Liter V8 A/T $46,380
PLAT CC 4×2 5.6 Liter V8 A/T $52,310
S CC 4×4 5.6 Liter V8 A/T $37,810
SV CC 4×4 5.6 Liter V8 A/T $40,700
PRO-4X CC 4×4 5.6 Liter V8 A/T $45,020
SL CC 4×4 5.6 Liter V8 A/T $49,460
PLAT CC 4×4 5.6 Liter V8 A/T $55,400

FACTORY INSTALLED OPTIONS 2017 TITAN 1/2 ton S, SV, PRO-4X, SL, PLAT
S Convenience & Utility Package $800
SV Utility Package $1,120
PRO-4X Utility & Tow Package $1,820
PRO-4X Convenience Package $3,520
4×4 Off-Road Package $400
Platinum Reserve 4×4 Off-Road Package $200
SV Comfort & Convenience Package $2,040
SV Towing Convenience Package $470
SL Towing Convenience Package 4×2 $410
SL Towing Convenience Package 4×4 $360
SV Leather Package $860
Pro-4X Luxury Package $750
Platinum Reserve Rear DVD Entertainment Package $2,190
Accessory Wheels $1,390
Platinum Reserve Bed Utility Package $750
Monotone Paint
Floor Mats – Carpet $200
Floor Mats – Carpet $200
Floor Mats – All Season $145
Premium Paint $395

PORT INSTALLED ACCESSORIES 2017 Nissan Titan 1/2 ton S, SV, PRO-4X, SL, PLAT

Titan Box – Inside bed storage w/ new cleat $985
Splash Guards $235
Splash Guards $235
Running Board Lighting $370
Running Board (Step Rails) Lighting $370
Electronic Tailgate Lock $345
Accessory Grille $290

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.