New Car Previews

Preview: 2017 Nissan Titan

The 2017 Nissan Titan, a gasoline powered, non-fraternal twin of the Titan XD diesel unveiled in New York last week further expands Nissan's toehold in the truck market.

It may share the same aggressive styling as the XD, but under the skin they are very different vehicles.

"The Titan XD helped bring attention and street cred to our truck lineup," said Fred Diaz, Nissan Vice President and General Manager of Trucks. "We now have 85 percent coverage of the total light truck market, up from 50 percent last year."

The original Titan, launched in 2004, never really resonated with the public. Detroit's big three are formidable opponents, and the Titan just didn't offer enough variety, technology, nor capability to take on those competitors.

But with the comprehensive lineup offered by the "tweener" Titan XD, a light-duty sized, diesel powered pickup, built on a heavy-duty frame, and now the revised gasoline only Titan – Nissan is in a better position to go head to head in a very competitive market of brand-loyal buyers.

"Our plan from the beginning was a slow and steady ramp up, to ensure that we give truck buyers what they need."

Built on a completely different chassis than the XD, the Titan is 14.7 inches shorter than its diesel-powered sibling. It may share the same aggressive styling, but under the skin they are very different vehicles.

"It doesn't even share a lug nut," said Dias.

Although the Titan XD attracted the lion's share of attention – Diaz spoke of dealers being followed by curious truck fans – Diaz believes the Crew Cab Titan will be the volume seller. "I'm thrilled to be getting this truck into the lineup as an option for fleets, as well as the personal-use buyer."

The Titan enters the "heart of the pickup truck market" the full-size, light duty, where it will compete against the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150 and Ram 1500.

Titan XD targets a different buyer – one who's torn between the capability of a heavy-duty truck, and the less expensive, more manageable light duty.

The Titan will be available in either 4x2, or 4x4 configurations, three bed lengths (5.5, 6.5 and 8 feet) and like the XD, five trim levels; S, SV, PRO-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve.

Underhood is Nissan's 5.6 litre V8 gas engine with 390 horsepower– mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Reportedly, there's a V6 engine in the works, but no details are available at this time.

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Arriving this spring is a gasoline powered version of the Titan XD. It will share the same 5.6L V8 that's in the Titan and Armada, and will be mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Nissan announced pricing for the Titan XD gasoline version, which will begin at $44,900 Canadian for the S trim Crew Cab 4x4, up to $66,600 for a Platinum Reserve Crew Cab 4x4.

The Titan XD is just rolling into showrooms now, and the new Titan will go on sale this summer.

Titan will originally launch as a Crew Cab model, with single to follow later in the year.