2009 Nissan Titan

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2009 Nissan Titan Crew Cab PRO-4X 4x4

The Nissan Titan had the most aggressive four-wheel-drive setup of the trucks we tested. The PRO-4X package was introduced last year, slotted between the mid-tier SE and the high-level LE. It adds body-colored front and rear bumpers, white-faced gauges and PRO-4X themed seats to the Titan’s optional offroad package, which includes GKN’s electronic-locking rear differential (that’s the same company that supplies an e-locker to Ford for the 2009 F-150 FX4 and the 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor), Rancho shocks, 18-inch tires and BFGoodrich Rugged Trail tires, plus two extra skid plates.

The Titan has just one engine option: a 5.6-liter Endurance V-8 rated at 317 hp and 385 pounds-feet of torque. It’s paired with a five-speed automatic transmission.

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Although Nissan updated the Titan’s interior layout and materials for the 2008 model year, our Titan was challenged with fit-and-finish issues around the glove box and somber black and gray colors across the dashboard. The white gauges and orange needles looked sporty, though. We really appreciated the Titan’s transfer case and gated shifter placement, which we felt allowed the driver to adjust its offroad switchgear the quickest of any of the trucks we drove. We also felt the gated shifter had the best layout. Powertrain feel in the Titan was excellent during acceleration, always providing lots of power and early torque both around town and on the freeway.

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Nissan doesn’t offer an integrated trailer brake controller option for the Titan and, unfortunately for our hands, it was the hardest pickup to connect an aftermarket trailer brake controller to. It was plagued with very-sharp plastic near the wire pigtails that the controller plugged into.

Similar to the F-150, hooking up trailer safety chains was difficult. At least the trailer connector sockets were right-side up.

Unloaded, the Titan allowed high levels of road noise to make their way into the truck. Each bump the truck hit transmitted sounds right through the wheel wells. As anticipated due to its offroad-centric hardware setup, the ride was harsh when the truck was unloaded. This isn’t a truck we’d drive empty across the country.

What we did like was the feel of the Titan’s powertrain. Its five-speed automatic transmission seemed better matched to its engine than did the Ram’s similar setup.

Towing a trailer improved the Titan’s road manners considerably, but, similar to the Ram, we felt like we were towing close to the truck’s maximum capability.

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The Trucks: Chevrolet | Dodge | Ford | GMC | Nissan | Toyota

 

Comments

I own a 2007 Titan 4x4 extend cab w/ offroad package non-big tow. This truck has been hit for miss for most and has a spotty quality rating. Me personally I've owned Ford, Chevy, and Dodge pickups all of which were great trucks and had their fair share of problems. The Titan is nothing different...I do love this truck there are several things about this truck I love more than my older predecessors but Nissan has some serious things they need to work out on this truck before it can really compete with the big 3. First off this truck has cheap paint it will scratch and chip very easy…and the factory pant job has that aftermarket cheap paint looks…like an orange peel. Second this truck is notorious for the bad rear ends. Some say the diff is just too small to handle the torque delivered by this truck and I would have to agree…there is major problem with the rear seals leaking diff oil all over the break etc…and if you don’t notice this earlier can lead to brake problems and possibly the axle fluid draining out and damaging the rear diff. Third this truck is a noisy bucket of bolts this thing will clank and clunk over every bump and sound like my ’72 Chevy running across the pasture. I still love this truck though its got excellent power and its handles excellent off-road. I’ve done several thousand dollars worth of mods to fix most of the leaf spring noise etc… If you’re a truck enthusiast looking for something different to mod out this truck is a good choice as along as you put in the work in your going to have this truck for a long time it will last with proper care. But if your someone that is looking to buy a quality truck and drive it and forget about it then you should look elsewhere …the Titan still needs a lot of work…

Better late than never, but it should be noted (vs. Robert Wilson's comment) that Nissan strengthened the rear diff and gave it heavier axles along with a larger payload capacity.

Data was/is scarce regarding failures of the newer rear end.



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