Spied: Small Changes Ahead--Nissan Titan

Titan spy 1 II
It's no secret the Nissan Titan is at a disadvantage with the development of its next-generation full-size pickup truck (thanks to the dissolved partnership with Chrysler that was a casualty of the automaker's bankruptcy), but it doesn't look like Nissan is sitting around licking its wounds. 

Looking at these spy shots, it looks like the automaker might be working on several short-term upgrades to help improve the look and capability of the low-volume half-ton. Nissan seems to have carefully tapep around the wheelwells to give the illusion of a bigger tire opening. This may be an attempt to hide that it's likely a new, bigger wheel and tire combination and may even have a slight suspension lift.

Nissan also seems particularly sensitive to anyone getting a close look at the tailgate area. We have three shots here that seem to show Nissan is not only redesigning the rear section, but also experimenting with different types of backup cameras or other "in-tailgate" technologies. Could there be a tailgate step or storage bin mounted in the tailgate?

You'll also notice a cover over the truck's front badge that may hint at a new truck logo for Nissan, along with the new PRO-4X font on the truck's bed. Additionally, we don't think it would be a huge stretch to think that Nissan would attempt to continue discussions with ZF about an eight-speed transmission, even after the agreements broke down regarding the sharing of a full-size platform. The new transmission would certainly be an easy way to increase fuel economy while keeping the same or smaller ring-and-pinion gears in the factory housing.

Of course, we'll keep out fingers crossed for Nissan to be the first to step out and be the first to offer a small turbodiesel for the U.S. market in a half-ton truck, but the way the single exhaust pipe is looking, it's not likely on this runner. 

Titan spy 2 II

Titan spy 3 II

Titan spy 4 II




I would think it would be the same engine and tranny but different appearance and suspension and possibly new frame. I obviously know less about what Nissan is doing than Mark Williams but why use the ZF 8-speed when the updated QX56 has the new 400hp/413lb ft at 4000rpm 5.6L V8 and 7-speed auto that gets 14 city and 20 hwy in a heavier body-on-frame vehicle?

I really hope the 8 speed tranny is only
Available to the Ram1500 atleast fora
A year or two. That way they secure more
Market first.

Back to the nissan they are in need of a
New engine and not just some little decals
And touches,

A lot of people are sensitive about others getting a close look at their tailgate areas. So that's perfectly natural.

I'm so glad their partnership with Chrapsler was dissolved.
Nissan doesn't need any of their input and my hope as a potential future titan buyer, is that nissan pays careful attention to chrysler's engineering and does the complete opposite.

Big Roy, There is a rummer the next GM trucks will have 8 speed, they will be on market in less then a year.

I too would expect the updated drive train although probably slightly detuned to not step on Infiniti's toes in terms of power. Still 14 city and 20 hwy is at least competitive with other V8's and if they price them right they'll probably sell 10k more than they have over the past year or two until an all new truck arrives.

I know two different people that like their Titans, just not the mpg's.

It would make sense if they are doing a refresh to maybe throw some new engine options in there. The VK56VD and 7 speed auto out of the new QX wold be nice on the top end and that 4 cylinder cummings diesel they are testing in this body style as the base engine would definitely get people looking with minimum cost of upgrading. They could even throw the dashboards and steering wheels out of the new NV vans just to change things up a bit. If they made these small changes I'd be willing to trade my 08 in for a new one.

As I said in the last Titan article, they should throw a diesel in this truck. The Titan does not compete with a heavy duty line-up like the big 3. So what is the hold up? I bet if they put a diesel with NO changes to the body, the truck would sell way more units.

This is dumb. Without something monumental the Titan is a completely dead vehicle. It gets blown away by both Ford and Ram offerings, and will likely be blown away within the next 12-18 months by a Chevy offering. Nissan should just go back to offering the best group of small trucks in the country.

@ Maxx you need to do a better job indicating when you use sarcasm.

I think that adding the QX56 engine and transmission is a great idea. A 4 banger diesel would do the most to breath life into the Titan. It would have zero rivals and the "diesels are best" guys would love it.

finally getting rid of that plastic cover on the tailgate

It will be interesting to see what Nissan ends up doing for the updates. I always liked the Titan and thought it was one of the toughest looking trucks on the market. Hopefully the next gen continues with the tough looks too.

I'm hoping they do offer the option of more power and gears for now as I'm sure they'll have some more options in store for the next gen.

The article states they taped up the wheel openings, but it looks to me that those are just LE moldings in textured plastic; nothing different. The wheels/tires are the current Pro-4X stuff as well. The new tailgate looks like a Chevy rip-off to me. I actually like the black "panel" on my 2008's tailgate. It's unique and looks sharp. I also agree with one of the above comments that the Titan, event lacking an real update since introduction, is one of the toughest looking trucks on the road. I've had mine for almost 2 years now and have put over 30,000 miles on it mostly towing a racecar trailer. Truck hasn't missed a beat and has been fantastic. Top notch quality and great power.

It'd be great if this had the higher power Infiniti motor with a 6 or 7 speed box. However, a small 4-cylinder diesel with great fuel economy and the ability to still tow 8000+ pounds would probably have me at the dealership in short order.

I always liked the Titan and I think it still looks good. At the very least give it some half decent updates for the time being. Spice up the inside, offer some nice incentives and change the power trains. Give it the new Infiniti V8 everyone here is talking about and have a the Frontier V6 as an entry level engine as well for price conscious buyers. It's a start anyways!

None of the cosmetic changes will matter if they don't address the fuel mileage issue. The Titan has the worst mileage figures of any full sized pickup, and that is a pretty big issue in these days of $3.50+ gas.

If the addition of a diesel didn't add $8k+ to the price, then I'd say that's a winner of an idea. And not long ago, I would have agreed that's the answer.

But in reality, Titan buyers wont pay the extra $8k+ for it as the only people that would be willing to pay that kind of money are the same people that buy SuperDoodies because they want the largest, noisiest, most unnecessarily capable piece they can buy.

If diesel wasn't more expensive in most states and less readily available, maybe and if it was a comparably priced engine, as it would be overseas, then absolutely. But that isn't the case.

@ PhillyGuy, I wasn't being sarcastic.

on the PRO-4X the wheel moldings are always black, and as mentioned, those are the existing wheel/tire combo

that tailgate looks sorta funny, seems like the Nissan logo is too high with the addition of that new plastic piece along the top

unless it is located in the rear view mirror, that would mean the addition of a navigation system across the range (i live in Canada where the navigation is only available on the LE/SV crew models, and maybe the king cab. the pro4x never received a nav screen on any model in Canada.

it would be a nice addition to have a camera, and why not install the current armada dashboard to freshen up the interior? i would assume that the size is roughly the same.

If they are finally ditching the ugly plastic mold thing on the tailgate - why don't they ditch the ugly slanted vertical things on the nose. Just man it up a little and tune it for better mpgs and a better rear end and maybe they would sell a few more.

My titan has 120 thou on it and I also pull a race trailor. 24ft enclosd and it pulls it very well.The tranny is still great and the motor still pulls great but the rearend has had alot of slop in it from about 40 thou on.

The interior has always been kinda dull compared to others but it's ok.The radio markings are hard to see when driving but the steering wheel controls help.The ac button is also hard to see in the day time.

I've had fords mostly and to be honest it isn't as tight built as the fords i've owned but the motor is top notch.Quality wise i'd say its below the fords even with the chevys i've had and way better then the two dodge trucks i've owned.

My mileage has always been pretty good. 14 around town and 18 to 19 on the rd.Its on par with the others i've owned.
I love the side tool ben and the over head compartments with the built in back seat dvd player.The rear window power option is great and a nice size.The only real big complaint I have is the seats.Rock hard no matter the settings.

I plan on trading at yrs end and i'm leaning toward the ecoboost ford.i love the fords interior but the big grill looks way out of place like a late add on.The chevy interior is awful and the truck is just to dated.I like the dodge inside and out but the quality of my two dodges makes me stay away of going down that rd again.The tundra is just plain ugly and the interior is even worse.I haven't saw anyone on the job who likes there tundra.Nice motor but the rest of the truck is just dreadful.

If the titan updates its interior and tranny/rearend i'd consider another and the q's motor and dash was a option I may buy another titan

Why Not Nissan? Their truck is outdated (But still nice) in every way. Throw a Diesel in there and People such as myself will overlook the 2004 era interior for that powertrain.

Could be a gamechanger even in the oldest bodystyle on the market.

Well, Nissan certainly needs to do something drastic. 1st things 1st. In this day and age, increase the gas mileage a lot. I don't think they should follow the old ways of keeping the same (or similar) body styles for over a decade like with the hardbody. More engine options would be good, too. But I would still get the V8.

These little changes are simply ok.

My 1st truck was a hardbody and loved it. I also had a titan and loved it until I totaled it. They are a bit pricey for what you get compared to the other full size trucks. I will wait for the next gen truck. (when ever that is)

I currently own a 2008 Nissan Titan LE Crew Cab LWB with a 37 Gallon Fuel Tank and I LOVE IT! The biggest changes I'd like to see with the Titan are more options! Engine (V6, V8, and Diesel), Heavy Duty versions, Suspension (Lift/Lowed), Axle (Dana 44, Dana 60, and Dually), Tires (18", 20", 22", or 24"), fuel tanks (30, 40, and 60 gallon), bed options (4', 6', 8', and possibly 10' for King Cab configurations), and NOT have to get one option just to get another (i.e. Mud Flaps just to get a Moon Roof)! They could possibly add a factory mild custom option like the Big 3 did with RockyRidgeTrucks.com.

I have a 2004 I bought new and love the truck with 237,000 miles. The Dana rear does not match the rest of the truck for depenability. Been through 2 rears and installed my own cooling system on same. needs larger diff. I know Nissan is capable of doing this. I will be in the market in the future for a new truck I hope they get this part right. 3/4 ton like their vans maybe? I tow a travel trailer and need relaibility.

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