Nissan have been playing second fiddle to their North American counterparts with their pickups for years now.
It wasn’t until the second generation of Titan that debuted at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, did the competition sit up and take notice.
They eventually saw Nissan as a legitimate contender in the market place – after all the Mississippi built Nissan Titan has possibly more North American pedigree than some of its counterparts’ claims.
The Titan XD
was the first to hit the market with its 5.0-litre Cummins diesel. Nissan quickly followed up with half-ton version that comes in five trim levels; Platinum Reserve, SL, Pro-4X, SV and S, with three cab configurations Crew, King and Single-cab.
The vehicle I was testing was the middle of the pack, off-road purposed Pro-4X crew cab that comes with the optional luxury package.
Although the Pro-4X Crew Cab only comes with the 5.5-ft. bed, it makes it aesthetically more appealing than its longer XD counterpart with the 6.5-ft bed and tidies up the look of the truck and makes it appear more proportional.
The same 5.6-litre, V8 Endurance gasoline engine that it shares with its SUV brother the Armada
pulls the Pro-4X along. It produces a hefty 390 hp with 394 lb/ft of torque and is matched up to a very responsive seven speed automatic transmission.
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The Pro-4X differentiates its self from the other trims with the addition of Bilstein off-road shocks, front stabilizer bar, skid plates, 18-inch dark finished alloy wheels with all terrain tires, two-tone paint and gloss metallic black grill.
It also comes with hill start assist, hill descent control, four-wheel ABS, electronic rear locking differential as well as a standard towing package.
Internally the cabin was enhanced with the optional luxury package which includes a number of additions including heated and cooled leather seating with the Pro-4X embroidery, heated steering wheel and four way power passenger seat.
Most of the other conveniences come as standard such as a powered eight way drivers seat, seven-inch touch screen display, rain sensing wipers, rearview camera with front and rear parking - just to mention a few.
The first thing I noticed when getting in was the lack of a step rail. Now I do understand that this is the off-road version and things like this can get caught up, but without it, with the higher than average cabin, it is difficult entering and exiting the truck - especially when the sides are covered in mud.
The cab is noticeably spacious with better than average all-round visibility. The black leather with white stitching is both pleasant to the eye and touch.
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The dash layout is appealing with all instrumentation easily read with all controls within easy reach. The seats are comfortable and offer more than adequate support. The rear bench seats have ample leg and headroom and offer as much seat comfort as in the front and can be easily and quickly folded up for additional internal storage.
On the road the big V8 engine pulls the truck along without any considerable effort with the smooth seven-speed transmission assisting in its acceleration up to road speeds.
Thankfully the deep throaty tone of the exhaust can still be heard even through the acoustic glass used in the side windows and windscreen. This has managed to eliminate a lot of the external road noise.
Road handling isn’t usually a high priority for a working truck, but the Pro-4X’s upgraded Bilstein gas-pressure shocks worked flawlessly especially when driving along in some of the best pot-holed roads Ontario has to offer.
The addition of two hydraulic cab mounts help stifle the judder that is inevitable when driving on bumpy roads, making the handling tighter with a far more comfortable and quiet ride.
The Pro-4X includes a towing package as standard with a receiver hitch and both four and seven pin wiring harness connectors.
It also has the extending towing mirrors as standard as well.
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Also included is the spray on bed liner with the utility track tie down system and four tie down cleats. The Titan half-ton has a towing rate of 4,182 kg (9,220 lb) and can comfortably handle a load of 730 kg (1,610 lb)
On top of all the included extras, Nissan offers the best warranty in the pickup market with a five-year, 160,000-km bumper-to-bumper warranty. This just proves how seriously Nissan are taking their place in the pickup market.
This new Titan Crew Cab Pro-4X has proved to me that it can go head-to-head with any half-ton on the market today and in most situations will match if not surpass most of the segment leaders.
2017 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Crew Cab
: Half-ton body on frame pickup truck.
Seven-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive with locking rear differential.
5.6-litre, 32- valve V8 (390 hp, 394 lb/ft)
(Regular) 16.0/12.0L/100 km city/highway
730 kg (1,610 lb)
4,182 kg (9,220 lb)
2,578 kg (5,684 lb)
$64,000 excluding freight and PDE