|Positives: Strong V8 engine, solid cabin storage, great seats, good maneuvering abilities, basic seating is wide and supportive, easy ingress/egress.|
|Negatives: No backup camera for something this long and tall, rudimentary infotainment system is hard to use.|
|Bottom Line: The Titan S is an interesting blend of the basics and seemingly non-sequitur features in a capable work truck that's both comfortable and rugged.|
|View Our 2017 Nissan Titan Overview|
A large pickup truck is expected to feel like a lumbering ox when it comes to driving dynamics. It's par for the course. But the Titan S drives smaller than it is.
Ride Quality: Firm but comfortable. For a work truck, it rides very well. Not spongy and not harsh.
Acceleration: All gas-powered Titan's get the same potent 5.6-liter V8 that delivers progressvie and authoritative acceleration. It's one of the best things about this truck.
Braking: Good, progressive brakes with no mushiness or dead spots in the pedal.
Steering: Steering is light and on the vague side, but it's predictable and allows you to place this big truck well, even in traffic and parking lots.
Handling: Body roll is noticeable, but it's manageable.
Towing: In S trim single cab, long bed, 4x4 configuration, the Titan can tow 9,560 lbs. It's not class-leading, but there's enough power for most jobs.
These days, even work trucks need some kind of infotainment interface. The Titan's feels pretty bare bones, and its execution isn't as good as the competition's. The fact that it has manual side mirrors but push button start seems weird to us.
Infotainment System: The 7-inch screen is really basic. Though it's legible, it's not intuitive nor attractive, and it's a bit awkward to use.
Controls: The infotainment controls are difficult to use. Small chrome buttons are hard to actuate when driving. There's no "home" button, and it takes a while to figure out the rather antiquated system.
The Titan S is a bit of an odd duck in terms of looks because it's essentially looks chopped (the crew cab Titan came out first). It looks a bit like an afterthought, but it doesn't matter all that much since this truck will mostly be used for commercial/work purposes, anyway.
Front: The big fascia is prominent, and there's a lot of real estate here. The grille and lower fascia/bumper are clad in black and occupy most of the front end. There are no fog lights or chrome (except for the badge), so it looks pretty dressed down.
Rear: Probably the Titan's best angle with slightly dramatic taillights that incorporate and inwardly descending angle at the bottom of the backup lights. The bed door has some nice contours in it for character.
Profile: This angle is a strange one. The greenhouse looks incomplete because of its abbreviated nature. Big haunches in front and rear and the side window cutout at the side mirror add some visual drama.
Cabin: The interior is very basic but not unattractive. Just a lot of grey and black plastic and a rather underwhelming center stack. But again, this is about functionality rather than styling since it's a work truck.
These trucks are meant to be driven a lot, and there tends to be a lot of seat time. The Titan S is basic, but it's actually a pretty comfy cabin in spite of the occupant number limits.
Front Seats: The cloth Zero Gravity seats might look painfully basic, but they're very comfortable and can stand up to long haul driving. The bench style middle position isn't too bad, either.
Rear Seats: N/A
NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): The tires have low rolling resistance compared to off-road tires, so road noise is kept fairly quiet. The cabin has no rattles, either. The only noticeable sound is the burly V8 when it's pushed, but that's a good sound.
Visibility: It's a tall beast with a long bed, but placing it while in forward motion is pretty decent. This sucker really does need a backup camera, which isn't even optional in the S.
Climate: The climate system is manual, but it works just fine, blowing cold and warm air well throughout the cabin.
Aside from the basics like traction control and airbags, there's not much more to the Titan's safety repertoire. It's test scores in crashes are about average for the segment.
IIHS Rating: The Titan misses top scores in safety but manages to pull off "good" scores in all categories except for the driver's side small front overlap and headlights, where it attained a "marginal". There are no child safety LATCH points since there was no second row.
NHTSA Rating: The Titan S in Single Cab has not been tested, but the Crew Cab attained four stars in crash testing.
Standard Tech: The S comes standard with Active Brake Limited Slip and tire pressure monitoring.
Optional Tech: None.
Other than the bed of the truck, there's no real room for big items in the cabin. But the gear stowage cubbies are plentiful and large.
Storage Space: The cabin is full of nooks and bins to keep all of your workday gear in place. The center armrest that also folds up to seat an extra passenger is huge and well-divided. There's also a large space/tray under the center stack, just above floor level and room behind the seats for small bags.
Cargo Room: There's 74 cubic feet of storage in the truck bed.
When your truck has a big displacement V8, don't expect to get great mileage, and the Titan S is about on par with the competition. We're not sure if the active grille shutters make all that much of a difference at highway speeds.
Observed: 12.6 mpg
Distance Driven: 186 miles
Driving Factors: Mostly local and highway miles. Our driving habits were somewhere in the middle... not too aggressive and not too conservative.
The basic 6-speaker audio system is pretty much average and about right for this type of vehicle. At least the sound is clear, but the sound lacks fullness and bass. There's no room for passengers in the back, so a booming system isn't really important, anyway. Though there's no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, at least there's Bluetooth streaming that works just fine.