Being the first Japanese pickup to appeal to the US market, the Nissan Titan was manufactured as an alternative to the Big Three Detroit Trucks. It successfully captured the American buyers’ fancy when it comes to full-size trucks. Its debut in 2004 marked its first step in penetrating the US market, taking pride over the Titan’s dimensions and capabilities that are very similar to those of domestic full-size pickups.
2004 – 2007: Nissan Titan’s first trip to the west
A 32-valve 5.6-liter engine came standard in all Titan models, which offered users 317hp and 385 lb-ft of torque. With its fully-boxed ladder frame, the Titan was available in either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive matched with a 5-speed automatic transmission.
Pickup enthusiasts could choose from four Titan trim levels: the S, SV, Pro-4x, and SL. The base model was the S, while the feature-packed, mid-level trim was the SV. On the other hand, the PRO-4X was more inclined to off-roading functions. The SL, being the top level one, offered users high-end luxurious features. With these highly functional attributes, the 2004 Titan was listed as the Best Full-size Truck by Edmunds.com and was even nominated for the North American Truck of the Year for 2004.
2008 – 2009: More bed options for more diverse users
Since its introduction in 2004, the Titan had been equipped with different features, including a navigation system, optional side airbags, rear sonar warning system, and 168-degree king cab rear door openings. However, in 2008, the Titan experienced major changes. These updates include interior and exterior restyling, and the addition of a long-wheelbase model.
Aside from its Brutish power, the 2009 Titan boasted its strong flex-fuel V8 engine, cargo bed utility features, 10-speaker audio system, and an auto door-locking system. The two cab, three bed configuration was made available since the 2009 model year, but there was still no regular cab version or 8-foot bed Titan offered.
2010 – present: Increased power through a stronger V8
The previous Titan model years, from 2007 and earlier, were limited to one wheelbase length only, making the 2010 Titan distinct from its predecessors. Lacking the two different bed lengths for each body style, users of the older Titans had to deal with a reduced maximum payload. Aside from its bed length, the 2010 model year had only a few updates, especially in terms of safety features.
It was only in 2010 as well that side curtain airbags were made standard on all Titans. In addition to this feature, the new Titan came with a factory spray-in bedliner, which gave extra durability to the truck bed. In 2011, all 4WD Titans received new “4x4” tailgate badges. A year after, the 2012 Titan came standard with a V8 engine and a choice of either a RWD or 4WD drivetrain.