One reason full-size pickup trucks are so popular is their all-around versatility. Whether you’re looking for an entry-level truck for work or a more luxurious truck to haul a camper and your family in comfort and style, these big trucks are able to get any job done. Looking to offer a more complete full-size truck line, the second-generation Nissan Titan launched last year and has since grown to include three cab configurations (Single Cab, King Cab and Crew Cab) and two distinct engine offerings. Our previous two test drive reviews of the Titan have been with the top-of-the-line Platinum Reserve trim level, but this time around we test out the 2017 Nissan Titan SL Crew Cab 4×4.
2017 Nissan Titan Exterior:
Every aspect of the 2017 Nissan Titan shows how much effort Nissan put into this truck, and that starts with its bold and burly design. One of my favorite design elements on the new Titan is the fender design that starts at the headlight and rolls back into the front doors; this effect is mimicked in the rear fenders as well. While I am not particularly a fan of the fake fender vents, the rest of the chrome trim adds a nice touch including the Titan name stamped into the grille. Unlike the Toyota Tundra that I drove around the same time as the Titan, the proportions of the Titan Crew Cab give this truck a more balanced profile.
The SL trim level comes standard with chrome running boards, LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED lighting in the bed including the cargo light and four lights built into the underside of the bed rails and a factory spray-in bed liner. For improved access to the cargo bed, this truck also had a nifty fold-down rear bumper step, and the only options on this truck were included with the $360 SL Towing Convenience Package that adds extendable and folding heated mirrors as well as some other features. Surprisingly, the 20-inch wheels actually look a bit small on the Titan, but the two-tone, six-spoke design adds a sharp look. Speaking of the wheels, painted inserts almost perfectly matched this tester’s Gun Metallic paint job, which added another stylish touch to the truck.
2017 Nissan Titan Interior:
Decked out with the SL trim level, the 2017 Nissan Titan brings numerous luxurious touches to the cabin, but it does so with a little more restraint than the Platinum Reserve trim. While the top trim level has a wood-grain steering wheel, two-tone quilted leather seats and gloss black center console accent, the SL still looks the luxury part with matte-finished wood trim and soft leather on the seats and steering with contrasting stitching. The SL also includes features such as the power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, 12-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system with a seven-inch touch screen, navigation, remote engine start.
Regardless of whether you’re hauling your family or your gear, there is plenty of space inside the Titan Crew Cab and lockable compartments hidden under the rear seats. After driving the 2017 Toyota Tundra recently, I noticed that it offered few charging options, but the same can’t be said for the 2017 Nissan Titan, which has a three-prong outlet for the rear seat and a 120-volt power outlet in the cargo bed. The overall passenger experience is impressive inside the Titan SL thanks to its plush interior and all of the standard features.
2017 Nissan Titan Powertrain:
All 2017 Nissan Titan models (not the XD, mind you) are powered by Nissan’s 5.6-liter Endurance direct-injected V-8 laying down 390 horsepower and 394 lb-ft of torque. This engine is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission, and all models (4×2 and 4×4) have the same EPA-rated fuel economy estimates of 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. During my week with the big truck, I saw an average of close to 19 mpg in mixed driving conditions**.
Being a full-size truck with a conventional suspension and 20-inch wheels, the 2017 Nissan Titan has a great ride quality. On the streets it is extremely smooth and comfortable, and it even handles well on washboard roads without too much fuss. I took the Titan out on some light off-roading, and the truck performed great even with the all-season P275/60R20 Goodyear Wrangler SR/A tires. The shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive system and two-speed transfer case were easy to use, and the truck’s plentiful ground clearance made it simple to go over obstacles. One area I wasn’t able to test out the 2017 Titan was towing, but this 4×4 model does have a 9.230-pound towing capacity (9,400 for 4×2 models), and the aforementioned SL Towing Convenience Package also includes a trailer brake controller and Nissan’s innovative trailer light check function.
2017 Nissan Titan Safety:
All 2017 Nissan Titan Crew Cab trucks are equipped with six standard airbags, anti-lock brakes, Vehicle Dynamic Control, traction control and tire pressure monitoring, but the SL trim adds Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert as standard equipment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Titan Crew Cab 4×4 a four-star overall crash rating (including a five-star side impact rating), while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it “Good” ratings in everything but the small overlap front crash test.
2017 Nissan Titan Overall:
Nissan hit the nail on the head with the 2017 Nissan Titan with bold styling, two powerful engines and expanded body and trim choices. The 2017 Nissan Titan is priced starting at $29,580* for the Single Cab, $32,550* for the King Cab and $35,230* for the Crew Cab. The Titan SL 4×4 Crew Cab starts at $49,910*, and this particular truck had an as-tested price of $51,915. In a day and age where $70,000+ trucks aren’t out of the question, this 2017 Nissan Titan had impressive enough quality, content and luxury to justify its price.
Make sure to visit your local AutoNation Nissan dealership and test drive the 2017 Nissan Titan.
*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on 2017 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.