Titan a pickup of mythical proportions
"Aside from the thirst and the failure to communicate, there’s a lot to like about Titan."
The 2012 Nissan Titan lives up to its mythological Greek name. It’s big, powerful, has a fondness for drink and a certain aloofness of character.
The Titans, children of Gaia (Earth) and Uranus (Heaven), ruled the universe. There were 12 of them, but I only get to wrestle with one.
Titan has a muscular body and an aggressive stance, a chariot with big 20-inch chrome wheels and a face of gleaming chrome. Its skeleton is a ladder of steel. Its heart is a 5.6L-litre V8 with the power of 317 horses and its muscles bulge with 385 lb.-ft. of torque.
The power gets to the ground through a five-speed automatic transmission and a sure-footed four-wheel drive system which lets me select a drive mode at the twist of a dial. Simple. Effective.
Titan in all its crew cab, short-box glory stands here in my driveway, challenging me to put it to the test.
I’m up for that.
The door opens wide, urging me to make the climb into the cab. Even with the aid of chrome step bars, it’s a climb, but well worth the effort.
The interior is a spacious and although it’s not heaven, it is a comfortable space dominated by leather wrapped front bucket seats that have heat for my less-than-regal butt. Lesser mortals who ride in the rear of our chariot have a comfortable perch on the 60/40 split folding rear seat that operates easily with one hand. If I decide I want to carry some provisions back there rather than an entourage of two, flipping up the seat cushion creates a considerable space for cargo.
From the driver’s throne, outward visibility is good and the big outside mirrors all but eliminate blind spots in adjacent lanes.
Gauges are easy to read and controls quickly become intuitive. There’s one problem, Titan has a God-like aversion to listening to requests from mere mortals such as myself. It prefers to remain incommunicado.
I finally give up trying to pair my iPhone with the truck’s Bluetooth system. The voice recognition setup apparently speaks a different language, continually telling me it cannot recognize what I’m saying, adding that I should consult the owners’ manual. It’s telling me that in English, so I’m mystified.
We are not on speaking terms. I decide the gods must be crazy.
But who needs conversation anyway, I can still take Titan out into the land of the mortals where roads are bumpy.
Titan’s steering is more communicative. It’s nicely weighted, responds better than a Titan’s ear, and lets me know what’s going on under the tires. U-turns, however, require a lot of room.
The engine listens to my requests, too. It jumps to throttle input while the five-speed automatic works with a silky smoothness. There’s no shortage of power for passing other mortals.
The move from 2WD to 4WD Hi and back is as easy as twisting the dial; and, the shift delay is minimal.
It’s a good thing Titan comes with a big (106L) fuel tank because the truck’s appetite for dinosaur squeezings is prodigious. The absolute best mileage figure I hit is 17.6 L/100 km for a short distance on the highway in calm conditions. That’s nowhere near the 12.1 estimate.
I shudder to think about how fast that 106L would disappear were the short box crew cab hooked to a trailer weighing the maximum capacity of 9,400 lb.
Aside from the thirst and the failure to communicate, there’s a lot to like about Titan, including the 10-speaker audio system, power everything and the standard lockable, weather resistant storage compartment set behind the left side rear wheel well. Add the optional rear seat entertainment system and you have a pleasant, if not God-like, accommodation for getting from gas station to gas station.
2012 Nissan Titan Crew Cab 4x4
Trim level: SL
Price as tested (before taxes): $52,733
Options on test vehicle: Metallic Pearl paint ($135); Rear entertainment system ($2,000) with game capability, remote, wireless headphones.
Configuration: front engine/ four-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 5.6L V8./ 5-spd auto with tow/haul mode
Power/torque: 317 hp/ 385 lb.-ft.
Fuel (capacity): regular (106L)
Fuel economy ratings: .17.7 L/100km city; 12.1 L/100km hwy
Observed fuel economy: 17.8 L/100km over 529 km
Warranties: 3 years/ 60,000 km (basic); 5 years/ 100,000 km (powertrain)
Competitors: Chevrolet Silverado; Ford F-150; GMC Sierra; Ram 1500; Toyota Tundra.
Strengths: Strength; cargo systems; interior space
Weaknesses: thirst; failure to communicate