2019 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve Is Low-Buck Luxe Truck

2019 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve Exterior

Cars.com photos by G.R. Whale

By G.R. Whale

You won't find every gadget and doodad on the 2019 Nissan Titan's top Platinum Reserve trim, but you also won't find a price that begins with a "6" or "7" like other luxury pickup trucks. At an as-tested $59,820 with four-wheel drive, my Platinum Reserve crew-cab test truck undercuts other top-tier half tons, like the almost $75,000 F-150 Limited I just drove, by $6,000 to $14,000.

Related: Find a Nissan Titan for Sale Near You

Whether it is the best "luxury pickup" depends on which boxes on your list are most important. However, where some other luxury pickups seem intent on replacing a luxury car with the addendum of a box, the Titan Platinum Reserve feels more like a pickup infused with a dose of luxury.

The sole engine, a 390-horsepower, 5.6-liter V-8 shared by Infiniti's QX80 flagship SUV but tuned for regular gas, is smooth, responsive, potent and makes appropriate noises. Not silent, the V-8 settles into a background tenor cruising and is paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission unique in its lack of urgency to shift into the tallest available gear at first chance only to shift again a second or two later. It also rev-match downshifts, often automatically, earlier than most without using Tow/Haul or needing a Sport mode.

2019 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve Side Mirrors

2019 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve Headlights

Other truck-first hints include:

  • Standard side mirrors with separate wide-angle elements
  • A cargo tie-down system that locates tie-downs on four of five bed panels,
  • Heavy rubber floormats with carpet inserts rather than plush mats,
  • A split rear seat that folds cushion-up or backrest down with individual locking bins beneath and an easy-to-access jack
  • Driver adjustable vertical headlights aim to bring the beam pattern out of the trees and oncoming traffic when carrying a sizable load
  • Tactile switches that don't require touchscreen menu-drilling
  • Indirect lighting beneath the mirror and side steps rather than on them
  • An identical spare tire on a full-size aluminum wheel.
  • Rear riders get dual USB ports, dual pockets in each seatback and requisite six cupholders

2019 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve Full-Size Spare Tire

2019 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve Folding Rear Seats

Ride comfort can't match a new 2019 Ram 1500 regardless of suspension — no full-size pickup does. Yet the Titan is well-damped, remains controlled and even at this trim can carry nearly 1,400 pounds — gross vehicle weight rating of 7,300 pounds (found on doorjamb) minus an as-tested scale weight of 5,930 pounds. You can also spend $245 on an Off-Road Package that includes 18-inch wheels and Bilstein dampers if most of your driving will be on marginal roads where softer equals better. Maximum towing may appear light at 9,240 pounds, but the bane of many lux half tons is tongue weight that eliminates being able to carry anything beyond a driver, whereas a 10 percent tongue weight on this Titan at least yields 476 pounds for occupants and towing hardware (shank, ball, pins, etc.). The F-150 Limited's max tow rating is 9,400 pounds, so allowing for 20 pounds of hardware made its effective payload 1,150 pounds, leaving 210 pounds, meaning the Titan could carry a second person at its maximum trailer weight.

Related: What's the Best Half-Ton Truck for 2018?

2019 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve Switches

The Nissan Titan's infotainment has been updated for 2019, now including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and while graphics rank mid-pack, screen size is limited. To my eyes the wood steering wheel trim looks faux, and I can't remember the last time I pushed a rocker switch bottom to engage it rather than the top; remember that if your knee bumps the cargo light switch getting in.

2019 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve Front Seat

Standard features include robust leather upholstery, a blind spot warning system, heated/ventilated front seats, driver memory system, surround-view cameras, integrated trailer brake controller and so on — it's not third-world work truck in here.

2019 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve Dashboard

What you won't find in a Titan Platinum Reserve that other, often pricier, pickups offer: automatic 4WD for on-highway use in inclement weather, forward collision warning and/or collision mitigation braking, power tailgate, a suedelike headliner, a huge moonroof, center rear headrest, trailer backup or self-parking assistants, adjustable pedals or lighted doorsill plates. The Titan also does not offer the breadth of packages or a la carte options of the Big Three.

What you will find in a Titan Platinum Reserve is a perfectly useful, quite comfortable truck with a window sticker that is mostly good news. The closest matches on features and engine (prices include destination charges, no incentives) I could make were a $62,935 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ 5.3, a $63,370 Ford F-150 Platinum 5.0, a $54,500 Toyota Tundra Platinum 5.7 and a $56,760 Ram 1500 Laramie 5.7 (no eTorque). Bear in mind these are as much a function of equipment, packaging and available features as they are comparable prices — you simply can't do apples to apples.

Combined EPA fuel economy of 18 mpg (15/21 mpg city/highway) is 1 mpg less than the leaders and it's less expensive than most luxury pickups. The Titan was the only pickup in the top 10 of the most recent J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, and its five-year/100,000-mile warranty is better than any competitor.

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