5 Things Nissan Can Do To Get The Titan Back In The Game

5 Things Nissan Can Do To Get The Titan Back In The Game

With last week’s announcement that Nissan and Chrysler were scuttling their deal to build the next-generation Titan off the Ram 1500 platform, the question arises: What does Nissan do now?

It’s not an easy answer. Designing and delivering an all-new Titan could take up to three years, but the Titan clearly needs help ASAP. Its sales are off 56.3 percent, year-to-date. Only 11,805 have been sold in 2009. So, if Nissan wants to make a go of the Titan until an all-new Titan arrives, here are 5 things Nissan can do to get the Titan back on track:

No. 1. Employ the Cummins 5.0-liter V-8 Diesel Engine: As Chrysler waffles about whether to use this engine or a Fiat mill in the Ram 1500, and while Ford, GM and Toyota have suspended their light-duty diesel efforts, Nissan should take the opportunity to build a half-ton diesel pickup. The Cummins name is synonymous with capability. Plus, Nissan has rights to this motor for its upcoming line of light commercial vehicles. Bonus: Pair it with ZF's new PowerLine 6-speed automatic transmission to boost efficiency.

No. 2. Add Quadrasteer As An Option: Developed by Delphi for General Motors, the four-wheel steering system revolutionized trailer towing and low-speed maneuverability in full-size pickups but GM's pricing was outrageously high and the company dropped the option because of the low take rate. Sources inside Delphi tell us that Nissan was testing Quadrasteer for the Titan when GM killed the system. It's time to resurrect it as an option and make it a market differentiator.

No. 3. Borrow the Nissan Frontier's V-6: The only engine choice for the Nissan Titan is its 317-horsepower 5.6-liter V-8. Take the 261-hp 4.0-liter V-6 and make it the standard motor for two-wheel drive King Cab models. Oh yeah, and cut the price on that configuration by at least $1,000.

No. 4. Make a Regular Cab: The Titan is only available in King and Crew Cab configurations. Chop off the back of the truck and make an entry-level regular cab work truck version using the V-6 from No. 3.

No. 5. Take a Cold Shower: It's time to wake up the truck marketing and product planning team behind the Titan. Nissan can't get the Titan back in the game unless its truck team has its head there first. The Titan may be the oldest half-ton pickup in the segment but it can still hold its own in key areas. For example, The Titan's 5.6-liter V-8 with 317-hp and 385 pounds-feet of torque is more powerful than the 5.4-liter V-8 in the F-150 with 310 hp and 365 lbs.-ft. of torque. Start marketing the Titan again so we’re reminded that it still exists.


The Titan needs: Diesel/ 6speed combo, 6 cyl option, a regular cab option, a more economical powertrain ( 5.6 endurance / 5 speed auto have great power but fuel economy lacking) , maybe go with coil springs in the rear like the dodge for improved ride/handling, update the interior with more soft touch materials and less hard plastics, and lastly .... they need to advertise a bit showing their strengths vs the competition. Most people don't even know what a good truck the Titan has become because of lack of marketing from Nissan.

I agree with all that except the Quadrasteer, It didn't sell at GM and it won't sell at Nissan, its just more parts to break and it looks stupid with the Rear wheels having a wider track then the front wheels.

I think Nissan should just let the Titan fade away and start making more configurations of the Frontier instead , full size truck sales are slowly dying anyway at least for Toyota and Nissan , they both need to get back to there roots and start making trucks like the 80,s small fuel misers . my parents have a hand me down first year Hardbody and it wont die , and its fun to drive because its so small and agile .

Nissan and Toyota are both down because they have the oldest designs out thier, Ford, Dodge are brand new for this year so naturally their not falling as much. If Nissan were to bring out a new model it will would help sales tremendously, although they never will sell what Ford or GM does but thier not trying to beat them in sales anyway.

The Titan needs a real, heavy duty rear differential. Not that tiny toy they use now.

The diesel option would sell me. I have been waiting for a light duty half ton as a tow vehicle but they all seem to be fading away. I will buy whoever gets to market first.

All the other suggestions are good too. The four wheel steering is a nice concept but the price would have to come way down.

Agree with the differential and a V8 that is tuned to use less fuel. Then there's the matter of it being kinda odd looking. So new sheet metal and a new grill is a must. There you go Nissan.

Beef up the rear end, don't mess with the styling much though, I love the current look, just freshen it up a bit and add a few more horsepower, six speed and MDS.

We don't need another full size truck. I have a 2002 tundra and like it's size. That size truck and diesel would make an ideal vechile.

1. updated sheetmetal. It doesn't need to be all new. Look at the Ford Super Duty, those door skins have been around since 1998.
2. Make it look a little newer, tougher and edgier.
3. Up the 5.6 V8 to 5.8L around 380+HP/420+lb-ft.
4. Fit a 6 Speed Auto.
5. Offer longer bed on crew cab.
6. Export in LHD & RHD, offer 4.0L V6, 4.8L V8 (see 2010 Nissan Patrol), 5.6 V8, 3.0 V6 diesel, 5.0 V8 diesel globally.

SHOW ME THE DIESEL!!! I know...im a broken record. I would still prefer 3/4-1 ton trucks (I also need that much capability), but a half-ton with a diesel would certainly get me interested in them. A Cummins is a Nissan sounds weird, but any vehicle with a diesel engine is a vehicle I like :)

On #3, check the news. GM is taking over Delphi's steering division.They are not going to help Nissan sell trucks.

A reg cab or king cab and a diesel and I'll get rid of my Sienna today..you may laugh but I use it as a pick up and hauls around waht I need yes even 12" sheetrock

Wow Roger, you haul a whole foot of sheetrock?

August Titan sales=1500? Pathetic. Time to give it up.

August Tundra sales=7000? Slightly less pathetic.

I thought Toyota was gonna school Ford and GM on how to sell trucks? HA HA HA!!!

Nissan makes little trucks. I'm not interested in buying a full size from them and won't look.

Quadrasteer was a great idea, but bundled and marketed terribly. They bragged about how it improved towing manuverability, but offered it with 6.0 not the Duramax or the 8.1. The system should have been designed to be robust enough for 1 ton single rear wheel diesel applications and marketed on crew-cab long beds, which could really use a reduction in turning radius.

The other problem with only offering it with the 6.0 is it is taking the entry level engine option and making it as expensive as a diesel. Given the choice between the Duramax and the 6.0 with Quadrasteer, most people interested in towing will take the Duramax. If it had been offered with the Duramax, they would have sold many, many more trucks with Quadrasteer.

Don't say that the Quadrasteer concept is not stout enough for a diesel, Unimogs with twice the GVW were sold with four wheel steering 10 years before Quadrasteer came out.

Dodge is making the same mistake with the Power Wagon, over 75% of the HD Rams are sold with Cummins motors. Only offering the Power Wagon with the Hemi is costing them lots of sales. There are many potential buyers hoping that Dodge will offer that package with a diesel.

Titan was never in the game. dont be fooled.

Have to agree, Nissan is not in the full size truck game. Poor styling, limited configurations. Probably best to leave this market. Cost too much to be competitive on their own, a Ram based Titan was their only hope.

6th: give up and leave market space for better pickup-truck makers! Titan's front end is really awful.

Jule, you took the words right out of my mouth. Agreed.

I like all the options except Quadrasteer. Not sure that's worth spending the money on. My question is based on the comment early in the article about "taking 3 years" to develop a newly designed titan. Would it really take that long? I've got to think that some design plans and thoughts were well in the works b/c of the possible ram/titan deal. From what I understood, nissan was designing about 80% of that truck. Just taking the frame and cab shape or something pretty basic, but doing everything else. Well, whatever happens, I agree that the Titan COULD still be very competitive. People just needs to know about it. I had a 2005 Titan for several years and absolutely loved it (sold it b/c we were in a financial crunch; had to keep the wifes 30 mpg car). Come on Nissan, stay in the game!

I am sick of all of the Nissan haters. What is your problem? Nissan has been here with the titan for a long time! They have made great trucks for a long time now and you insist on hating what they do. I can tell you that In my family we have owned Nissan Trucks and Dodge diesels. My dad wants to get away from a diesel and the only choice he feels comfortable with is Nissan Titan.

Put away your childish attitude about Nissan and just respect what they do. If they want to get into the game again (Ihope they do) then that is their right. Just because you are a ignorant doesn't mean that you are right.

I want to remind you once again of a few of the thigns that Nissan has done in the truck industry that we all should thank them for. 1 Crew cab. They were the first to come out with a crew cab light duty truck. That was in the nissan frontier. Yes you could get heavy duty trucks like that but never in a small truck. 2. Utilitrack system. Toyota has copied it very poorly but it is a great way to hold cargo. 3. storage cubbies under the fenders.

They are creative and quality so stop talking about things you do not know.

Oh, and I guarantee my dad would jump all over a Titan if they offered a diesel.

I don't think Nissan was going to design 80% of the Dodge, more like 20%. I read somewhere a long time ago that Nissan had the second gen Titan underway until the economy tanked and they decided to just go with Dodge, don't know if its true or not but it makes sense, maybe they just need to get thier old plans back out.

-new differential/bigger axles
-more power, but a 6th gear in the tranny would be nice
- MDS is useless over 110km/hr in most vehicles, so it's a waste of time for real world highway driving
-more break feel, breaks are good, but the peddle mashing to the ground isn't comforting
-freshen interior - my pro4x is all black, and looks damn good- but softer touch materials would be nice..seats are great, because im a stereo junkie, alittle more pop would be nice
-restyle- i love the look of the titan- looks are a personal thing - they will do what suits their vehicle line
-engine options, diesel, frontier v6- even the v8 from the infiniti fx could maybe be tweaked?
-advertising - gotta spend money to make money

1: Upgrade from JATCO's 5 speed automatic to the 7 speed automatic.
2: Have transfer case parity or superiority. Match the NVG246 that is used by GM/Dodge (or get one with a center differential, say the 38/62 use in the Porsche Cayenne Turbo)
3: Engine technology upgrades: Variable exhaust valve timing for 4.0 V6 & 5.6 V8 (and dual length intake manifold for V8) maybe direct injection also?
300hp V6 & 400hp V8 sound about right.
4: Independent (optional) rear suspension, or a derivation that is something like the Avalanche/SporTrac
5: Dualie?

"Titan was never in the game. dont be fooled."

all these comments are pretty good on the 5 things that could make Titan better. however, no. 2 is not going to work because if a person who wants a truck to tow a trailer, they should know how to back one up. also, nobody ever thought of making it be able to plow snow (certain markets), this would involve of course scrapping the plastic bumpers in the front for some good steel ones. diesel is a good option, so is the v6. the crew cab model (four door) already comes with the longest avalable bed (@7 feet, look into it) in the industry. and i agree that transmissions should change. some of you have said that Titan should get coil springs in the back, bad idea, it might improve the ride and handling, but the payload will go down (like Dodge), then it will become just a show truck and not a work truck. Titan should definatley keep the frame boxed (they started right in that respect), maybe add longer bed bolts and do some more welding on the cross members, and some some aluminium to the front undercarriage. in short, screw Dodge, if Nissan was to team up with any car company the first choice should be Ford (truth about trucks...it's on Utube). but i think that Nissan could do it on their own, they just need to think more clearly about what a truck is.

fior those of you that refuse to even look at a Titan you dont know what your missing. I have had mine since 06 and love it. the thing is way more comfortable that any of the big 3 and drives like a much smaller truck than it is unlike the big 3 that take an acre to turn and untill recently with ford and the rest closing their mexican and canadian plants my titan had more of an american parts content and was assembled in this country. The power is there box stock my titan would regularly walk all over Dodges hemi ram and could walk away from a v8 F150 even with over 1000# in the bed. for those that think Nissan cant build a fullsize go drive one for yourself you will change your mind.

The pickup market is too sick to justify much development money right now.

So any idea that's going to take much design investment or new tooling isn't going to happen. New body styles, new transmissions, new motors, forget it.

Take the 4.0 V6 they already have and offer it with the King Cab for better mileage. Can't imagine why they didn't do this 4 years ago.

Give the Pro 4X a 4" lift and bigger tires and send it out to all the magazines to run against the Raptor. Yeah it wouldn't even be a contest. But it'd get the Titan some attention. Being a punching bag is better than being invisible.

The reason Nissan hasn't put the 4.0 in the Titan is because it gets two miles per gallon better in the lighter Frontier, whats it going to get in the Titan, exactly what the 5.6 gets. I think a more efficiant V6 with econoboost technology would be a better choice such as Ford is going to use in the F-150 next year.

You forgot to mention that the mpg needs to be kicked up just a tad. I realize the Titan is a full sized truck but come on guys 14-15 mpg it has to be able to get closer to the 20 mark.

Nissan has stated more than once that it never intended the Titan to compete in sales with the Big 3. In fact their sales goal was 100,000 units. Nissan is not a gigantic manufacturer here sales wise. Ford sells as many trucks in a year as Nissan does total vehicles. The Titan was brought to market to fill out Nissan's line up and the chassis design is used on all Nissan's trucks. BTW Toyota and Big 3 fans, ever notice how AFTER the Titan debuted the rest suddenly had higher up engine offerings appear? I don't think that was coincidence.

Amen Keith. When I bought my Titan in '05, it had the most horsepower in its class (minus the hemi). It was also the only truck with utilitrack bed rails and rear doors that open nearly 180 degrees. Chevy copied both a couple years later. It was the only truck to offer a tool box in the bed. It took Dodge three years to copy that one.

Nissan has been in the market for sometime now and their vehicles are just as great. I do not agree on the idea that the new Nissan Titan should be based off of the Dodge Ram. Doing so will make Nissan look weak truck wise. Nissan has talent. Come on Nissan, you do not need Chrysler's help, Nissan has better vehicles than Chrysler. By owning Nissan vehicles myself, one for fact, Nissan has the smarts for this competitive business. Nissan should gather their people and come up with the new Titan. The new Titan should be based of Nissan itself, not Nissan/Dodge.

In order for the new titan to step up in the game, I believe they should do the following:

1. Refine the 5.6 by making it more advance in technology, power delivery, efficiency and reliably.

2. Add the diesel engine as an option, perhaps an 8 cylinder.

3. Add a heavy duty axles for heavy duty use

3. Refine the transmission.

4. Totally redesign the exterior and interior, to make it competitive.

5. Keep the exhaust system note.

6. Improve audio sound quality.

7. Improve the Technology overall.

8. Make a locker differential, standard on all trims.

I know these suggestions are from my personal likings, just wanted to share my 2 cents. Good luck Nissan.

I'll buy a regular cab 8' bed V6 manual transmission Titan. Come on Nissan take the 4.0L and the 6-speed manual from the Frontier/Xterra and I'll grace your local dealership. If ANY manufacturer will offer a reg. cab v6 manual tranny 8' bed truck I'll bite.


The Titan is going to get a detuned version of the upcoming 430-440 horsepower Infiniti M56 V8 engine so that it can produce more low end torque and run on regular fuel. It will be coupled with the currently available Nissan/Infiniti 7 Speed Automatic.

That said, the powertrain portion is covered. Right now Nissan is trying to figure out the rest of the truck.

I can't reveal my sources, but I can assure you that this much is solid.

In recent-ish history, I've owned the following:

1996 Ford F-250 XLT 4x4 5.8L
1997 Dodge Ram 2500 SLT 4x2 Cummins
2005 Nissan Titan SE 4x4

I traded the Ford in for the Dodge when it had 40k miles on it and was already developing problems. I bought the Dodge in 2000 and got rid of it with over 160,000 miles and less than $150 in repairs.

I bought my Titan in 2006 with 50 miles on it, it's been the best truck out of the bunch when it comes to meeting my needs as well as being fun and reliable.

Now, 3 years later, I'm looking to go back to Dodge for a 1-ton diesel truck because I need the tow capacity and a larger bed.

If Nissan wants to up the ante then they should be looking at 3/4 and 1-ton trucks, limiting themselves to compact and 1/2 ton trucks is fine but nobody will really take them seriously unless they bring the beef. Give me a 3/4 or 1-ton Titan with a Cummins diesel and I'd be all over it. Without one, my money goes back to Dodge.

The Titan's a great truck for what it is, but Nissan can give us so much more.

to many noobs comment, dont be fooled titan was never a game contender,.

fire the whole design crew.

I think the 6 cylinder is wrong. Diesel Maybe! I like the engine I have No Problems So far. My 2007 Titan has 75,000 miles on it now, I travel from Ohio to New Mexico,All the Miles are work miles no luxury! I'm Building a house, I hand harvest the stone for the house. 1 Ton at a time you should see the bed of the truck,I Pull a 14 ft trailer always loaded at least 5000 lbs. But the Evac canister is full of Mud and water from my Arroyo $600 to replace (dumb design). I have put 3 Dodge Rams in the ground and a Land Rover. Nissan Build me a TRUCK that can work for Real. I don't buy trucks for Luxury!!!!

New generation for pickup, brawny styling, bold look, exterior, sheet metal body bulges, dimentional, very sharp deep body lines. Muscular steel wheel arches not plastic. Nissan Titan front windshield pillars V shape at the bottom do not change this is what makes the truck stand out. Reinforce rugged brawny muscular styling. Nissan Live up to the name TITAN
1. 3/4 ton rear axle on half ton truck option
2. Super crew option
3. No coil springs
4. Imposing hood, dimentional or deep rib
5. Maximum width of truck national standard lets go there
6. Reinforce sheet metal roof line ribbed

I Love my 2007 titan SE, there arnt to many trucks out there that have the engine technology that the titan has .Ford, chevy and dodge lovers would love to have this technology stock ,how many have an all aluminum block ,dual overhead cams 32 valves, forged crank,6 bolt mains , an this honest high horsepower and torque without a turbo or blower . I would buy another one, no question.

i just saw this and i agree with some body changes and a larger stronger diff is a must. i have been a ford guy for some many years since i sold my 85 B720 king cab ( 289,873 millage ) with not so much as a hicup. But if Nissan made a reg cab with the same features as my reg cab xlt i would trade it in a heart beat. as many reg cab pickups on the road now i thnk nissan would do great in that market, even with high as prices and a slower big truck sales

Why does Nissan go with Chrysler why not Toyota they're the ones what pulled back the enterprise

make a titan single cab!

Nissan Announced a Titan Coming in 2015 with a 4.0L Cummins Diesel Engine with pared with a 8 speed Auto.
Also a New Nissan Frontier with a Cummins Turbo Diesel Engine with pared with a 8 Speed Auto. We do not know when the Frontier Diesel is Released to the Public

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