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2018 Nissan Titan

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Overview (Final Score: B)

The 2018 Nissan Titan is the continuance of the new-generation pickup truck that Nissan hopes will give it a strong foothold in the North American truck market. The Titan comes in two formats, the standard Titan full-size, half-ton pickup reviewed here and the bigger Titan XD, a heavy-duty half-ton truck reviewed separately.

The 2018 Titan hasn't changed much from its 2017 model year, but Nissan added a few key options, including a new King Cab body style with a long bed. This adds a much sought-after extended cab option that doesn't get as big as a four-door crew cab, but adds some space to the standard two-door cab. Also added are some appearance packages, including a cool new Midnight Edition that brings a blackout option for the Titan.

The Nissan Titan is competitive in pricing, basic capability and good looks. It offers another alternative to the usual suspects in the full-size pickup truck market.

The 2018 Titan is offered in five trim levels with multiple cab configurations and bed lengths, depending on options. Only one engine and transmission are offered, but both rear-wheel and four-wheel drive are available for the Titan in most of its renditions.

What We Love About the 2018 Nissan Titan:

  • Great exterior design with solid appeal

  • Basic capability covers the bases for most buyers

  • Industry-leading warranty


What We Don't Love About the 2018 Nissan Titan:

  • Interior is hit-and-miss with some definite flaws

  • Fuel economy not as good as we'd like

  • Infotainment is sub-par compared to the segment



Exterior View (10/10)

As befits its name, the Nissan Titan is a big, burly-looking truck with a lot of emphasis on its size and strength. Its exterior design focuses on muscle and features a wide front grille, big headlamps, a well-defined, large bumper and a flat hood. This fascia creates the start of what is the Titan.

Front fenders on the 2018 Nissan Titan are thick, bulging out to emphasize strength. The raked windscreen and squared-off rear window are classic pickup truck elements that go with the large side mirrors and tall bed sill. Rather simple lines along the bodywork help to emphasize the bulge points of the front and rear fenders, and the high ride height of the Titan.

At the rear, the Titan's tailgate dominates the design elements from the back. A large aero-tweak to the tailgate sits atop a square-cut, relatively flat and unadorned rear. Rear tail lamps are tall and thin, with a slight bulge for the backing lights accommodating a diamond cut and added vortexes for more air movement control. A solid bumper with a simple center step cut finishes the look.

The Titan is a good-looking truck with a signature appeal that makes it stand out in the full-size pickup truck market.

2016 Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X 9

Interior Comfort, Quality, Ergonomics (7/10)

The interior of the 2018 Nissan Titan has elements expected from any full-size pickup truck. It's large and roomy, with a big dashboard and huge seats. Where the Nissan differs from other brands is in its less truck-like design features inside, such as the smaller knobs and switches, smaller steering wheel and a less "big and bulky" overall feel of the cabin.

The Titan's interior design is more akin to a crossover than a pickup truck. That should appeal to buyers moving into a pickup without wanting traditional truck-based heaviness to the interior. For most buyers, as sales figures have shown, that's not the case, and the Titan's interior may be a turn-off instead.

We like most of the interior elements in the 2018 Titan. The small steering wheel is good for added leg and knee room, and makes the Titan easier to maneuver. The small switchgear is not as good, as it makes finding the right switch on the massive dash and using the knobs while driving more of a distraction. Add in cold fingers or gloved hands, and working the switches can become impossible.

The 2018 Titan's front seating is very comfortable and nicely done. The infotainment screen is a bit small for the truck, but the huge shifting handle is intuitive in its use. A few annoyances are downsides, though. The small switchgear, as mentioned, can be a problem. So can the fact that the gear lever, when in Drive, almost totally blocks out the defrost buttons - items normally used on the fly. We'd also like to see an easier option for shutting off the infotainment screen at night to lessen the glare in the cabin.

We really like are the aforementioned roomy seats, which are also plenty big in the back when the larger cabs are chosen. Materials quality is good and generally befits what should be in a truck. The robust nature of a pickup truck and its intended use should translate into solid, quality materials within its cabin and the Titan definitely has that.

Our general overall impression with the 2018 Nissan Titan's interior is that it was designed to be something that should work, but that just doesn't quite translate to the real world once consumers get a hold of it. Some of the basic elements of a pickup truck's interior expectation are there, but others seem a little off.

Technology (8/10)

The 2018 Nissan Titan has a decent but dated infotainment system. The screen is a bit small for the truck's size and the graphics quality is below par by today's standards. Compared to other trucks' infotainment, the Titan's seems a bit dated.

Functionality for the Nissan system is good and offers most of the very basic things buyers on today's market would expect. One glaring exception is Android Auto, which is not included and Android devices cannot stream via USB plug-in either, only via Bluetooth. That annoyance is compounded by what can only be called glitchy Bluetooth audio streaming connections in any Nissan vehicle, including the Titan.

Yet most of the technology in the 2018 Titan is good enough that most won't consider it a deal breaker. The simpler interface also means a simpler learning curve, we note.


Fuel Economy (8/10)

The 2018 Titan has has no V6 engine option, being powered solely by a big V8. That eight-cylinder is EPA-rated at 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. These estimates are slightly below par for the segment, but are realistic numbers for most everyday drivers doing normal things in their trucks. Our average after a week in the big Titan was just over 18 mpg.

Predicted Reliability, Initial Quality Ratings (9/10)

The 2018 Nissan Titan scored "About Average" on the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study. This would normally be a larger knock on our scoring, without the Titan's industry-best warranty for pickup trucks at 5 years or 100,000 miles bumper-to-bumper. There have been no safety recalls, as of this writing.

Safety (8/10)

The 2018 Nissan Titan has done well on some crash tests and good on others. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rated the 2018 Titan with a 4-Star overall safety rating, awarding four stars each for frontal crash and rollover tests, and five stars for side impact tests.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2018 Nissan Titan top marks of "Good" across the board for all crash tests conducted. This makes the Titan one of the safer trucks on the road by their testing.

Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X - 9

Performance (9/10)

Power in the big 2018 Nissan Titan comes from a well-designed 5.6-liter V8 that outputs 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission is the only option, but either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive are available. The V8 in the Titan outputs power smoothly and with growling force when pressed. This smooth delivery means a long, strong powerband that's great for both everyday driving with predictable results and pulling loads.

In all respects, the Titan offers a great mix of usability and strength in its performance metrics. Nothing is best-in-class and, in fact, towing and hauling are actually lower than the norms for the current half-ton pickup truck segment.

Maximum towing capacity for the 2018 Titan is 9,740 pounds and maximum payload is 1,950 pounds. Yet these are more than most will do at any given time, so we don't fault the Titan much for having lower specs than many competitors. We do fault Nissan for having trailer sway control and trailer brake controls as options rather than coming standard with a factory tow kit. The Titan does often feel overbuilt when pulling or hauling, giving it confidence when under a good load.

Another surprising point is how quiet the 2018 Nissan Titan is on the highway. The Titan has luxury-level sound dampening inside. Most trucks have a fair amount of interior noise, especially in their lower trim levels. But the Titan is smooth and quiet as it glides along, with only occasional engine noise when the throttle is pressed, as indications of the outside world.

The Titan is also surprisingly easy to drive, especially if you're used to a car or crossover. The smaller steering wheel and responsive steering offer an almost sedan-like feel. The bulk of the truck is still obvious in its wide turn radius and high seating level, but the steering feel is amazingly car-like and easy. That's definitely a high point.

Off the road, the 2018 Nissan Titan is as capable as any good 4x4 truck should be. Add in the Pro-4X packaging and it becomes a solid contender for general off-roading and dirt digging.

The 2018 Titan is a likable truck with surprisingly good handling characteristics. For most buyers in the full-size truck market, the Titan will be an enjoyable surprise when cross-shopped as a daily driver.

Pricing and Value (8/10)

The 2018 Nissan Titan has a nice array of cab styles, bed lengths and options packages. It's held back by the single engine choice available, but offers some good value as a general-use pickup truck.

We see maximum value in the Titan SV with the Convenience package added on. Similarly, the next-up SL is also a good buy for the same reasons. We recommend the factory towing package, which adds a transmission cooler and spray-in bedliner. Both of these add resale value over time and raise the Titan's versatility.

For those who go off-pavement or live where the environment can get wintry, we'd also recommend the solid 4x4 upgrade. Serious off-roaders might consider the Pro-4X. For 2018, the recommended SV package includes the Midnight Edition option, which adds popular blackout trim to the truck.

2016 Nissan Titan half-ton-barn

Total Score and Competitive Comparison (67/80, 84%)

The 2018 Nissan Titan competes in a well-established arena of full-size pickup truck options. It most closely competes with the Toyota Tundra, which has similar capability and general usability, but a more loyal following of owners and a better-established reliability track record.

The best-selling pickup is the Ford F-150, which comes in a dazzling array of shapes, sizes and options with plenty of well-known credibility behind it. Similarly, the Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado have established buyer bases and much more capability than the Titan.

The choice to buy a Nissan Titan largely comes down to expectation and price. Most truck owners never really use the maximum ratings their trucks are built for, but many are loyal to a brand or ideal. This has made it difficult for Nissan to get a stronger foothold in the segment. Yet the 2018 Titan offers a simple and well-done everyday pickup truck package that many should consider.

Trim Style Engine Drive Train MSRP
Crew Cab - 4WD
S 4x4 Crew Cab S 8 Cylinder 4WD 38960
SV 4x4 Crew Cab SV 8 Cylinder 4WD 42100
PRO-4X 4x4 Crew Cab PRO-4X 8 Cylinder 4WD 46170
SL 4x4 Crew Cab SL 8 Cylinder 4WD 50860
Platinum Reserve 4x4 Crew Cab Platinum Reserve 8 Cylinder 4WD 56800
Crew Cab - RWD
S 4x2 Crew Cab S 8 Cylinder RWD 35930
SV 4x2 Crew Cab SV 8 Cylinder RWD 39070
SL 4x2 Crew Cab SL 8 Cylinder RWD 47780
Platinum Reserve 4x2 Crew Cab Platinum Reserve 8 Cylinder RWD 53710
Extended Cab - 4WD
S 4x4 King Cab S 8 Cylinder 4WD 36280
SV 4x4 King Cab SV 8 Cylinder 4WD 39660
PRO-4X 4x4 King Cab PRO-4X 8 Cylinder 4WD 43990
Extended Cab - RWD
S 4x2 King Cab S 8 Cylinder RWD 33250
SV 4x2 King Cab SV 8 Cylinder RWD 36630
Regular Cab - 4WD
S 4x4 Single Cab S 8 Cylinder 4WD 33310
SV 4x4 Single Cab SV 8 Cylinder 4WD 36640
Regular Cab - RWD
S 4x2 Single Cab S 8 Cylinder RWD 30030
SV 4x2 Single Cab SV 8 Cylinder RWD 33610

Comparison of 2018 Nissan Titan with Similar Cars

2018 Nissan Titan MSRP Invoice
2018 Nissan Titan $30,030 $28,884
Similar Cars to Consider MSRP Invoice Compare
2018 Ford F-150 $27,705 $26,320 Nissan Titan VS Ford F-150
2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 $28,300 $27,027 Nissan Titan VS Chevrolet Silverado 1500
2018 GMC Sierra 1500 $29,000 $27,695 Nissan Titan VS GMC Sierra 1500
2018 Ford Super Duty F-250 $33,150 $31,328 Nissan Titan VS Ford Super Duty F-250

Car Rankings

Interested to see how the 2018 Nissan Titan ranks against similar cars in terms of key attributes? Here are the 2018 Nissan Titan rankings for MPG, horsepower, torque, leg room, head room, shoulder room, hip room and so forth.

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