After spending a week driving the 305-hp Titan SE King Cab — Nissan's debut into full-size pickups — I'm hard pressed to find something I didn't like. The first time I saw the SE I was impressed with its 78.8-in.-wide muscle-bound stance, big beefy chrome bumpers and grille guard, and 18-in. alloy wheels.
Compared to my current vehicle, a Ford Ranger 4 4, the Titan looked mammoth. I wasn't sure if I would be able to climb in it, much less see well enough to drive. All worries were cast aside as I easily slipped into the driver's side captain chair and made the appropriate adjustments to the pedals and eight-way power seat to fit my 5-ft frame. The posh interior is reminiscent of a luxury sedan, but once the key turned and the 32-valve V8 revved up, there was no doubt that the ensuing rumble was from a powerfully built pickup.
Nissan makes three versions of the Titan King Cab, its base line XE, the SE model we drove, and the top of the line LE. Our 4 2 tester came with an optional big tow package featuring increased towing capacity (9,500 versus 7,400 lb standard), a maximum payload of 1,640 lb, a Class IV hitch with wiring harness, extendable tow mirrors, bed liner, and a lockable, climateresistant, bedside storage compartment behind the driver's side rear wheel.
The SE also came with a utility bed package. A must in my book, it features five “C” cross-sectioned tie-down rails mounted in the bed (two on the floor, one on each of the side rails, and one for the header panel). This Utili-track system uses four 500-lb adjustable cleats that slide into the channel, providing a wide range of attaching points for securing cargo. To outfit the bed, Nissan devised a number of Utili-track enhancements, including a sliding overhead-rack, bed divider, bed extender, and toolbox. There's also a truck bed tent, bike attachment, safari basket and net, and kayak carrier.
The Titan's highway performance is outstanding. It easily cruises at 65 mph in fourth gear at about 2,250 rpm and responds quickly when passing slow-moving vehicles.
Clocking an average speed of about 55 mph during my daily highway commute, the Titan got just under the listed highway mpg of 19 (14-mpg city).
The newly designed Endurance engine links to a five-speed automatic transmission with a tow/haul mode for better gas economy and towing capacity. The Titan also sports an independent double-wishbone suspension up front, four-wheel ABS, and a solid rear axle with multileaf springs.
Another great feature is the rear doors that swing open about 170°. This, coupled with a 60/40-split fold-up rear seat, fold-down passenger seat, and flat floor, provides an easily accessible and more than ample storage space.
In addition to the eight-way power driver seat and adjustable pedals other optional equipment includes a six-disc (in-dash) stereo with steering-wheel controls, auto-dim rearview mirror with compass and temperature displays, and a universal garage door opener. For safety there's dual-stage supplemental air bags, front air bag with occupant classification sensor, and three-point passenger seat belts.
The optional equipment, which includes $100 splashguards, boosts the price of the Titan King Cab SE from its $24,400 base to $27,450.