Nissan Offers Peek at 2016 Titan

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In advance of Nissan's debut of its all-new full-size pickup truck at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, Nissan let us know this is a big deal. To emphasize the importance of the pickup, the truckmaker will be sharing videos that provide behind-the-scenes looks at the kind of testing and priorities it has in mind for the new pickup. So we're sharing the note we got from Rich Miller, director of product planning for trucks and SUVs at Nissan North America, explaining what Nissan is doing and why. We've posted the letter in its entirety here, along with the first "truckumentary" video. More to come. 



Hi folks,

Rich Miller here, Director of Product Planning for trucks and SUVs at Nissan North America. I've been involved with Nissan's truck program since 1995 when I was first hired by the company's Arizona Technical Center to handle durability testing and Vehicle Evaluation and Quality.

In addition to my job as a Director in Product Planning, I am also the Chief Product Specialist for Titan. In this role, it's ultimately my responsibility to stand for both the customer and the integrity of the product.

The debut of the next-generation Titan is right around the corner at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January. To celebrate this new truck, we want to take you behind the scenes to witness some of the milestones of Titan's development, meet the team that works on the vehicle and even get a glimpse of Nissan's larger truck heritage which goes back more than 55 years in the U.S.

Over the course of the next year, we'll be putting out a series of videos on, and other places under the title of "Nissan Titan Truckumentary."

The "Truckumentary" is not meant to be the all-encompassing last word on Titan — rather it's the story of the vehicle's evolution and also of Nissan's evolution as a truck maker.

I think it's important to remember where we came from as a brand. With this in mind, we'll be showing you some things you maybe didn't know about Nissan. For instance, the first vehicle we sold in the U.S. under the "Datsun" nameplate was actually a pickup. The first vehicle of any type that we built in the U.S. more than 30 years ago was also a truck.

Taking us back to the present, a tight-knit group has been working on the next-generation Titan for several years now, and you'll get a close look at them through the "Truckumentary." The team is spread throughout the country, from our design studios near San Diego, to our proving grounds in the Arizona Desert, engineering operations in suburban Detroit, engine plant in Decherd, Tennessee, manufacturing plant in Canton, Mississippi, our North American headquarters outside of Nashville, and Cummins in Columbus, Indiana. The latter developed the new 5.0-liter Turbo Diesel V8 specifically for the Titan.

I've been on Nissan's truck program with many of the people that you'll meet in the coming weeks for nearly 20 years. Some of us literally grew up together on Nissan's truck team. We even attended engineering school together, and we still hang out outside of work. As I write this, I'm currently chasing pheasants across the chilly plains of Kansas with some of the folks from our group.

The unifying link between us is that we pretty much all grew up as truck people. Many of us were raised in families where trucks were a given — we've never known life without a truck in the driveway.

The great thing about trucks is that they're multi-dimensional vehicles. They can get you to and from work, but they can also tow trailers, haul campers, sofas, furniture, etc. You can drive them down to the lake or off-road and generally take them places that cars would never go.

This is our guiding philosophy as we've developed and continue to develop the next-generation Titan, and I hope this comes through as you watch the "Nissan Titan Truckumentary." The first chapter debuts in mid-December, with more than a dozen additional chapters coming over the next year.

We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we've enjoyed bringing this new truck to life.

— Rich




Nice power train but that ugly nose is going to be it's downfall.

@MP if ugly noses actually hurt car and truck sales there would be no Dodge or Plymouth cars at collector shows. I know that Edsel had the worst, but the mopars of the 1960s had some nasty snoots and they were mostly popular.

@ papa Jim
What I mean why do they have to put such a huge grille on it?
It's not like it has a 7 plus liter diesel!

This one in the picture is just the mule, with the current hood and an NV front grill and bumper, their were better pics out a few weeks ago that should the basic shape of the front end.

This is the actual model, it has the diagonal bars in the grill over all the way to the sides against the headlights and it has a hood with slightly dropped down fenders like Dodge and now Ford.

Can't wait, this is going to bring some tough competition (no pun intended) to the segment. Nissan should make the Titan a global product. They should also use the ISV in the NV3500, Patrol, Armada, and QX80.


If they offer a stripped down regular cab, they have a chance at success with this thing. The other companies have just been trying a lot harder than Nissan has, it's hard to imagine that they'll be able to compete with the Ram and new F150.

"...Nice power train but that ugly nose is going to be it's downfall."

If that were true no current truck would succeed except for maybe the Ram.

Coming from a 2005 Titan to a 2014 Ram I can say that Nissan can diffidently compete, they just lack the interior technology along with some fuel saving technolgy but my 2005 could hold its own against anything out there and I test drove all the trucks. The 2004 Titan was a game changer and well ahead of its time when it came out.

Information on this truck is very scant, maybe to whet the appetite of many.

I do think Nissan's plan of having a slightly larger "1/2 ton" and a small midsizer will pay dividends.

It might appear to be a niche, but it might be a little larger than most suspect.

How many people buy a lighter HD with a diesel to tow? How many would want a smaller midsizer?

This will leave Nissan with a larger variation between it's truck sizes. Current midsizers really do compete with full size trucks quite a bit.

I do expect the next Titan to have many Patrol parts in it, this will mean it will also be an expensive truck.

I've put 150k miles or more on an F150, Sierra and a Titan, with regular towing near capacity throughout. People can knock the Titan all they want, but in my experience it held up the best by far. The day before I sold it the engine was still as strong as the day I bought it and the entire truck never once gave me a single problem of any kind. Regular maintenance only. It was bulletproof.

If Nissan had done this re-design earlier I might have bought another, but now its too late. Bought another Ford and its been awesome. I definitely have a lot of respect for the Titan and would have remained a brand loyal customer had Nissan put as much effort into full-size trucks as the other manufacturers. However, I refused to spend my hard earned money on a truck that had remained unchanged for 9+ years. Nissan lost my business for that reason only and I suspect there are many like me.

I'm pulling for them. I hope they did their homework and the reliability is good, drivetrain is up to date, fuel economy is competitve, the interior is well thought out, and it does well with crash tests. There gonna need at least an 8 speed tranny with polished gear selection. The competition is tough.

GM's 2001 Duramax was nice when it came out but in hindsight it was pretty unrefined. Fortunately the competition wasn't very stiff. That was then, this is now.

Nissan has an opportunity to be the first Japanese car maker to step into the HD truck arena. While going toe to toe with the big boys might be a little premature, offering something that blurs the lines a bit could be in the cards. The ISV will have plenty of power. Since they're already doing higher axle-weight trucks in the NV3500 line, they could move into 3/4 ton territory.

It's been said by a carshow radio host in these parts the Titan was the worst of the 5 or 6 even when it was new. I believe.

I'd never buy any Nissan
way too many problems

I loved the Titan in 2004 wanted one just couldn't afford it. Now 11 years later it's not as good new as many 4 year old used trucks from the competition. I'm sure the new truck will be very nice and the diesel will have a following. They still won't be able to sell 50K a year. It won't pay the mortgage.

PS Toyota, you're heading the same direction.

Need a bench seat up front (console) on all trim levels. Test drove a Ram, Ford the Canyon and Colorado. I loved the size of the Colaroado, but I have 4 kids. Wife has said that ANY vehicle I look into, will have to seat 6. since the Colorado/Canyon did not do a bench (a la Dakota), they can no longer be considered. Listen up Nissan ... I need to seat 6 and my wife likes many of the perks of the higher trim levels. Ford, Chevy, and Ram have screwed up ... in my price favor, by only offering 5 seats in their "premium" models. Wife was not too happy with it. Allow more mixing and matching ... I will be buying a NEW truck next year, the question is which one. Growing up, my family had Datsun trucks ... so this would be recapturing a client as I have no brand loyalty.
BTW, my truck will be Diesel!. my current vehicle is 2001 and over 300K on the odometer. I was waiting on the baby diesels (midsize) but now I am looking at full size 1500 trucks since I do not haul like a farmer/rancher, but I am in construction.

When are they going to update the pickup that sells more - the Frontier?

The Frontier will be updated next week.

I agree with the earlier poster in that I LOVED my titan 145000 trouble free towing and working miles but I gave up waiting on them to update. The look of current truck is not bad but why buy a new truck that looks exactly like the 04 model. Titan was so far ahead of other companies it's a shame they did not even mildly refresh truck in 10 years. I wish them best with new truck

"Cummins in Columbus, Indiana. The latter developed the new 5.0-liter Turbo Diesel V8 specifically for the Titan.". From what I recall Cummings had already developed the engine and was shopping it around to the different truck manufacturers. Isn't the rumor that Toyota is also considering using the engine?

Yes Tim, the 5.0 has been in development for a long time. It started out as a 4.2 V6 and 5.6 V8. That never happened and the 5.6 was destroked to 5.0. Just look for old articles on the 4.2 and 5.6 and you will see how old it really is.

Non Union made trucks are junk, especially the Nisson with Tundra right behind it. Nissan still has hundreds of engineers from Japan trying to teach the non union rednecks how to put things together. If it isn't union made it is junk!

I like the nissan titan I remember the reviews when they came out in 2004. It had the most powerful engine..more than the big 3. I had a pathfinder then and loved it .I wanted to stay loyal to nissan but the new pathfinder was such a turn off to me. Its looking more like a mazda cx9...the only suv with that tough offroad appearance is the jeep. I went for the infiniti qx56 instead. An 08..I love this truck. Now im just curious to see what this new titan looks like...

@TJ540045, Unions are the downful of the US automakers, its way they needed bailouts and why the US is behind. Also Union workers aren't held accountable and they are almost unfireable thats why half of them are drunk on the job. I have a buddy that works at the Ford Transmission plant, said he'd never buy a Ford because he knows how they are assembled.

Unions are in it for themselves and nobody else. Anyone who believes otherwise is a complete idiot and shouldn't be hired anyway.

@Big Al

the true cost of a truck is measured in cost per mile. Let's see if a Nissan V8 diesel half ton cuts it in that analysis. There is no sense in having a big truck in the yard if you can't afford to drive it. I like what they're doing with the Titan in this regard.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I like the Nissan Titan.

I sold a lot of them.

Its a good truck, with good capabilities, very durable at a very good price.

Its just VERY dated in too many ways. (I also like the F150 and Ram better). When introduced in 2004 it was AHEAD of the completion in many ways... Only V8, No reg cab, 4 wheel disc brakes, and extended cab doors that opened beyond 90 degrees. Over the last decade the competition has closed the gap and left it behind. Not offering a reg cab or a V6 turned out to be mistakes and the serious lack of refinement (beyond correcting the rear end issues) in engine powertrain styling and interior borders on a automotive crime and in the truck industry is a felony.

Im glad they aren't giving up. But I am not seeing what I need to see of the Titan for it be a success. The glimpse in the video did not strike me as attractive. A 5.0 cummins V8 is far more power and added cost than any half ton truck needs without furthering mileage. It would probably be a SMASH in a 3/4 ton. Im not hearing anything about a new V6, a new V8, a new tranny, a new rear suspension, a new front suspension, aluminum body, start stop, turbos, small diesel, grill shutters, or any cutting edge tech. ALL of which this truck will NEED to make the kind of splash it NEEDS to make if its serious about taking some market share.

I wish Nissan good luck but have a pensive feeling about the success of this vehicle.

The problem with the Titan is engine choice and fuel economy.
The current 5.6 need a oil well to keep running if Nisssan want to get some sale they must adress this problem first.
As for the look of any pick-up it`s a matter of personnal taste some like Dodge truck some don`t same with the other makes.

All these "wants and should haves" and yet a guesstimate 90% of the people who buys pickup trucks still use it only as a daily driver. Go figure.

@papa jim,
You have a great Thanksgiving and I wish you and your family well.

My mother rang last night our time or Thanksgiving morning your time. The family will be getting together.

I should be back Stateside in less than two weeks to spend Christmas with the family. It will be good to see them again.

I'll also go out and look at pickups again.

The Titian Cummins 5.0 needs to get better fuel economy than the Ram Ecodiesel or it won't win any 1/2 ton diesel shootouts.

People are aware of the context of being ahead of its time. In 04, Nissan launched a rotten truck with a decent motor.

They completely and totally misjudged the market. They had the most unrealistic sales expectations, they had a most unrealistic range of cab/bed configurations, and they completely underestimated their competition.

I don't know how you can consider the Titan to be anything other than a failure. It did not live up to Nissan's sales expectations in its first year, and it hasn't come anywhere near them ever since.

Furthermore, revenue from the Titan has not funded its ongoing development, Nissan has had to once again take money from elsewhere in the company to basically relaunch the Titan.

Will it be any better?

Why would you think it would be? What evidence is there? What demonstrated level of competence has Nissan shown in this market? They misjudged the market in '04, and have done nothing since then. How could anyone look at that and think, "Hey, it's very likely that the next Titan will be much more successful"?

@Lou, the ISV won't get better fuel economy. But it will offer a unique blend of power, capability, and fuel economy. More capable than other half-tons, but not 3/4 tons. and I suspect it will get a decent 25mpg highway. I believe that engine offers a jake brake too.

"...and Cummins in Columbus, Indiana. The latter developed the new 5.0-liter Turbo Diesel V8 specifically for the Titan." -Rich Miller

Interesting statement, considering that very engine had a Chrysler option code in 2009 before the bankruptcy forced Chrysler to cancel.

@Alex - yup. I was being sarcastic in light of Ram's recent Motor trend win.

Maybe Chevrolet can rebadge it like Nissan vans. It would make for a higher quality and better looking Silverado.

Maybe Chevrolet can rebadge it like Nissan vans. It would make for a higher quality and better looking Silverado.

- lol! Pretty sure Chevy will stick to rebadging and de contenting GM-GMC trucks. Chevrolet is the toilet water of trucks now. Outside, inside and under the hood. I'll stick with the real GM trucks instead.

The fake brand 'chevrolet-chevy' needs to die already. It's a joke. Glad to see real GM-GMC trucks in yesterdays Thanksgiving parade! The world watched that. Maybe GM is finally seeing fit to kill chevy.

@Lou, sorry my sarcasm detector didn't go off :)

I love how they brag about being a truck company at their roots. They've ruined the Pathfinder and probably will neglect a hidden gem in the Xterra as well. The entire direction of marketing has shifted to target that mass of people who aren't really passionate about vehicles. How many crossovers do you need in one lineup? Their statements and their actions as a company do not coincide. I'm starting to lose faith. If they ditch the Xterra and this Titan and the Frontier are flops, or appear any softer, i will never buy a Nissan again

I think that guy that thinks it has an ugly nose either tested real low on intellegence test scores in school or needs glasses if I was finnancially secure I'd purchase one with four doors and adiesel 4wd

@Chevy builds

So you have three YouTube videos and label the Titan as having too many problems? Have you searched for Silverado issues? Nevermind the 40 million recalled GM vehicles GM should start working on their rusty brake lines. Google is your best friend.

Ugly nose. All Nissan and Infinity products fall being is styling compared to the competition.

Ugly nose or not, they won't sell many.
This has been covered before.

as a new owner of a titan bought back in feb. 2014...I will say I am very pleased. Even though I was never a fan of the exterior style, I bought it because of the value it represented. Fully loaded minus one feature...electronic climate control I paid $37,500. All of the competition comparably equipped were at or just below $50K. I'll take my bad MPG and $12K I saved to the bank.

The redesign should bring life back, but make no mistake it will never outsell an American Truck. What it will do is have the Big 3 rethink their profit margins.

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