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Roadfly Long Term Road Tests

Cargo floor and interior storage in Nissan Titan proves very useful

Filed under: 2006 Nissan Titan,4x4s/Off-roaders,Nissan,Trucks/Pickups
Written by Laura Burkholder

Nissan Titan cargo floor storage area

Nissan Titan cargo floor interior storage cargo area

The back seats or cargo area, depending on your preference, comes with a few surprises.

First to the standard aspects, the seats come up with the ease of a handle and the mats are removable for easy cleaning. However, you don’t need to worry about calling shotgun in this car because the seating does not wedge you in the back of the car; the Nissan Titan actually gives you ample leg space for a truck. The rear seating is split bench style seating so if you have three passengers and luggage on a rainy day, you won’t have to worry about your luggage getting soaked in the bed of the truck since you can fold the rear seat in sections.

Usually, trucks are advertised as manly, built tough, and used for hauling lumber and tools, not groceries. This time, Nissan did not forget the women. The feature that had me excited was the hooks on the bottom of the seat that become accessible when the seats are folded for full cargo floor access. The hooks are designed to hold bags upright and in place during travel, something that I greatly appreciate after coming home from a trip to the grocery store only to find that my purchases are all over my car and nothing is left in a bag. This simple idea will surely be a hit. Convenience to help make a trip to the store as non-stressful as it is meant to be.

October 2, 2006 , 11:57 am |

Nissan Titan’s Fold Flat Front Passenger Seat

Filed under: 2006 Nissan Titan,4x4s/Off-roaders,Nissan,Trucks/Pickups
Written by Ross Rapoport

One of the full-size truck market’s most reliable customers is the contractor – that guy who practically lives in his truck, carrying a mix of business and personal items (tools and toys), and often a variety of people. The contractor demographic helped make the four-door pickup a household item, and as contractors grew more affluent during the American construction boom, amenities and creature comforts began to appear in their trucks that had previously only been available to luxury-car buyers.

The driver’s seat of a contractor’s truck is often his office chair. From this post, he commandeers projects, makes phone calls, and writes all manner of communiqués. The passenger seat then becomes his desk, albeit a soft and uneven one. Not so in the Nissan Titan. The Titan’s passenger seatback folds down completely flat with the pull of a handle, and offers the driver a completely flat, hard surface resembling the tray table on a passenger jet. Since it’s set into the back of a car seat, it’s obviously much sturdier.

The seatback is perfectly positioned for the driver to write on and show the workers standing on the passenger side exactly what he means. We’ve remarked before about little things making a big difference in reference to this truck, and it holds true here as well. This is one of the most butt-kicking features we have ever seen, and Nissan deserves credit for executing it in a most convenient fashion.

Flat Folding Front Seat

Nissan Titan Front Passenger Seat

Contractor Work Space Front Seat

Nissan Truck Front Passenger Seat

September 25, 2006 , 2:14 pm |

Sporty Steering Wheel in the Titan

Filed under: 2006 Nissan Titan,4x4s/Off-roaders,Nissan,Trucks/Pickups
Written by Ross Rapoport

In keeping with the theme of little things making big differences, we feel that our long-term Nissan Titan deserves praise for its steering wheel. Why does a truck need a cool steering wheel, you ask? Well, grip the Titan’s wheel and find out for yourself. It’s thick all-around, and has those nifty bumps at ten’o’clock and two’o’clock, usually a hallmark of serious sports cars. Apparently the folks at Mazda aren’t the only ones capable of injecting sporting DNA into every vehicle they build.

The sportiness of the wheel is in keeping with the character of the Titan, with the floor-mounted shifter contrasting with the schoolbus-style steering-column mounts of some trucks and SUVs. Even for some of our more diminutive writers, getting comfortable in the Titan is a snap. The armrest is perfectly positioned to allow you to rest your elbow on it while holding the shift knob. Although holding the shifter is mostly a formality with an automatic transmission, it is a familiar ergonomic touch for those of us who are more inclined towards sports cars with manual gearboxes. Nissan surely realizes that a good number of the Titan’s buyers will be speed demons looking for a tow vehicle for one of their money pits. So, hats off to Nissan for making us – er, those crazy guys comfortable behind the wheel of their truck.

Thick Sporty Nissan Titan Steering Wheel

September 21, 2006 , 1:57 pm |

The Nissan Titan’s Side View Mirrors Increase Visibility

Filed under: 2006 Nissan Titan,4x4s/Off-roaders,Nissan,Trucks/Pickups
Written by Ross Rapoport

Given the superlative terms we heaped on our long-term Nissan Titan’s liftgate mechanism, we hesitated to use another “best-on-the-market” line for fear of lessening the effect. But the Titan is really just that good, and is a rolling example of all those proverbs about little things making a big difference.

The side view mirrors on the Titan are without a doubt the best on the full-size truck market. The standard mirror for every Titan is a huge, box-shaped regular mirror, accompanied by a rectangular convex mirror on the bottom. The top portions are power-adjustable, and the convex mirror is just poke-adjustable. That’s fine with us, since it offers the driver such a wide field of vision that you may never need to adjust it at all.

The only mirror that really compares to the Titan’s is found on the Ford F Series trucks. For trucks that you can fit into a standard garage, the Titan is “king of visibility.”

Nissan Titan Side View Mirror

September 15, 2006 , 4:26 pm |

Tight Turning Titan is Tops

Filed under: 2006 Nissan Titan,4x4s/Off-roaders,Nissan,Trucks/Pickups
Written by Max Farrow

When you’re talking trucks, the figures and stats that normally would get your heart racing-slalom times, cornering forces, etc.–suddenly become less important, compared to numbers that car-guys generally consider mundane. Turning Radius, for example. A low-slung, Italianate exotic with nine-inch-wide wheels isn’t going to have the tightest turning radius, but that’s not going to keep the lottery winners out of the dealership, either. But on an everyday-use pickup, little things like the turning radius become very important indeed. It’s one thing to have to make a 53-point turn on that rare occasion when you’re out in your Lamborghini; it’s entirely another when that same contortionism is required every time you head to the hardware store.

We’re handily impressed with the turning radius on our long-term Nissan Titan. For a full-size truck, this thing seems as light on its feet as a ballet dancer; easy to slot into even the narrowest of alleys or parking spots with a minimum of back-and-forth fuss. We have yet to run the numbers, but we’d be willing to bet that the Titan’s turning circle is the shortest out of any competitor on the market today. We’ve driven them all, of course, and our seat-of-the-pants impression is that Nissan has them all beat. It makes driving the Titan just that much easier.

September 3, 2006 , 10:16 am |

Nissan’s tailgate Dampening Assist is a winner – drop your tailgate.

Filed under: 2006 Nissan Titan,4x4s/Off-roaders,Nissan,Trucks/Pickups
Written by Ross Rapoport

After spending lots of quality time with our 2006 Nissan Titan long-term tester, we’re prepared to say that from the C-pillars back, it’s currently the most innovative full-size truck on the market this side of a Chevy Avalanche.

In addition to the unique Utili-track system in the bed, which makes tying down motorcycles a snap, the tailgate is just the best we’ve ever seen. It’s lockable, and can be opened with one hand, both commendable attributes. But the clincher is what Nissan calls “dampening assist” – basically a spring-loaded mechanism that eases the tailgate down without drama, regardless of how hard you drop it. So if your hand slips, or is just too weak to handle the tailgate on a full-size truck like this, have no fear. Dropping the gate on any other truck ensures a loud bang and startled bystanders, but the Nissan Titan produces only a slight hissing noise – and inevitably, double takes from your buddies.

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August 26, 2006 , 10:41 am |

The Titan’s Sirius satellite antenna is nicely hidden

Filed under: 2006 Nissan Titan,4x4s/Off-roaders,Nissan,Trucks/Pickups
Written by Ross Rapoport

One other thing we feel compelled to mention about our Titan test truck is the common-sense approach Nissan has taken on the issue of satellite radio. Most manufacturers have elected to plop strangely-shaped, body-colored antennae on the roofs of their cars. However, the Titan’s Sirius antenna is located inside the car, tucked in next to the rear-view mirror’s mount on the windshield where a parking-garage transmitter or SmartTag might go. It’s still a big ugly box, but it’s the best solution that we’ve seen to this aesthetic issue. Hats off to Nissan for addressing what is admittedly a strictly aesthetic, car-guy nit-pick.

Nissan Titan's Sirius Satellite Antenna

August 25, 2006 , 4:11 pm |

Utili-Track System provides a ton of utility.

Filed under: 2006 Nissan Titan,4x4s/Off-roaders,Nissan,Trucks/Pickups
Written by Alan Riley

One of the features of our Nissan Titan that we have found to be unexpectedly useful is the Utili-track bed system. With a name like Utili-track, you might think that this is simply one of a long list of features attached to the window sticker of a truck by some marketing type.

Wrong. The Utili-track bed system is something we wish would be on every truck. It is a sliding rail system accomodating a variety of OEM and aftermarket accessories which can lock into the four lengthwise rails and one horizontal rail. Rather than having to stretch bungee cords to the far corners of the truck to tie something down, we can just slide the Titan’s adjustable cleats to where we need them, lock them down, and have a secure tie down in minutes.

Even better are the plethora of items which have been made to work with this system. From bicycle fork mounts to sliding floor trays to toolboxes to motorcycle wheel chocks to bed extenders, the myriad of possibilities for the Utili-track system continue to impress us.




August 15, 2006 , 2:57 pm |

Welcome the 2006 Nissan Titan Crew Cab to the fleet.

Filed under: 2006 Nissan Titan,4x4s/Off-roaders,Nissan,Trucks/Pickups
Written by Charlie Romero

Nissan is a gutsy brand, overall–willing to take chances that other automakers would have rejected as too risky within the first committee meeting. Look at the 350Z, the Spec-V sedans, or even the alternatively-styled Quest minivan. We credit this audacious attitude with starting the V6 horsepower wars in the midsize sedan class–which we’re all reaping the benefits of, now. Remember, it was the Altima’s 240-horse 3.5-liter that started it all, forcing Honda, Mazda, and even staid Toyota to follow suit by stuffing muscular sixes into their previously bland bread-and-butter cars, just to compete.

Nissan showed the same sort of cojones when they brought the Titan to market. The last bastion of “Big-3”-style Detroit domination, the full-size truck market had been looked upon by pretty much everybody as domestic-only territory. Toyota had made a half-hearted effort earlier, but wasn’t having much success. The conventional wisdom held that nobody here would buy a “real” truck built by foreigners, and that the Japanese didn’t have the experience in the field anyway.

Nissan solved that first problem by building the Titan in Canton Mississippi, with American labor. And the second problem? They licked that one by building one heck of a truck.

Faithful readers will recall our previous encounters with the Nissan Titan. We gave it the usual once-over back in 2004, and found it impressively competent. Then, several months back, we flogged several 4×4 Titans through one of the most challenging off-road courses in the country, and came away doubly impressed with its capabilities. Now, we’ve added a 2006 Nissan Titan SE 4×4 Crew Cab to our long-term fleet, to see how it handles the really rough stuff–living with us. As seriously discerning automotive experts, we’ll be putting this puppy through its paces, and reporting back to you on it all.

Follow this link to read the full review of the 2006 Nissan Titan.

Nissan Titan Crew Cab 4X4 SE Truck

August 14, 2006 , 9:17 am |

Welcome to the Roadfly Long-Term Road Tests

Filed under: Etc.
Written by Charlie Romero

Certain cars, trucks and SUVs are just too important, interesting, or plain good to cover comprehensively in our standard one-week test format. That’s why Roadfly is establishing a long-term fleet–with the gracious cooperation of the manufacturers. We’ll be subjecting these vehicles to a full year of real-life assessment, evaluating how they perform when the novelty wears off.

We’ll be living with these long-term testers as if they were our own, and bringing you updates on their performance, functionality, and reliability every couple of weeks.

August 14, 2006 , 9:02 am |