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AT THE WHEEL REVIEWS: TRUCKS

 

2008 NISSAN TITAN CREW CAB LONG WHEELBASE: Tweaks refinements and bigger beds

By Frederick Staab  Cruise Control Radio.com

 

While many a pickup headline was grabbed this year by Toyota’sfull size Tundra,

Nissan has just rolled out its updated 2008 Titan with someminor tweaks and

several major new offerings to carve out its place in the pickup truck market. No

there was no official announcement of a rumored diesel or dually edition. Changes

are more in line with a mid-life enhancement to update and improve the bold truck introduced to the American market in 2004.

Don’t worry the Titan has not grown old a flabby four years into its run. It’s still built on the rugged F-Alpha pickup platform and sports the blocky and beefy cab characteristics that have been telegraphed from the likes of the Pathfinder and Xterra. For 2008 you’ll notice a revised front end treatment, larger bumper air inlets and changed up headlight and fog lamp designs. Wheels, that run from eighteen to twenty inches, have been freshened with sporty spoke styling.

LONG IN THE BED

A long wheel base model is offered on either the king or crewcab which feature eight or seven foot beds respectively and spray in bed liners are now a factory option. Yes, that small storage compartment behind the rear wheel is still part of the package. The extra length in the rear allowed Nissan to offer a tanker like supply of 37 gallons of gasoline, a largest in classfeature. With a 2008 revised EPA rating of 12 MPG

city and 17high way you’ll need all that gas and then some. If your feeling green, go ahead and pump E85 Ethanol into your tank with confidence, all Titans are now flex-fuel capable.

Our loaded LE test truck was at the pinnacle of the Titan line up which starts with XE model. New for this model year, an off road inspired PRO-4X package featuring Rancho off-road performance shocks, an electronic locking rear differential and well placed skid plates that hopefully will not remain too shiny.

 

ROLLIN ON TWENTIE’S

But serious off roading is not really the place for our luxo loaded LE tester that rolled on twenty inch spoke rims shod with Goodyear P274/60R20 out line lettered tires. I had a chance to test a bright red SE Titan a few years ago and found it to be a stiff ride and loud, as in exhaust note. I’m not complaining  by any means, it

certainly got its share of attention. The LE test model however is loaded with electronic toys, leather and other creature comforts and it strikes more of a tough guy in a tailored suit chord. Still,

the standard on LE twenty inch wheels tended to degrade the ride quality ever so slightly thanks to thin sidewalls.

Like all Titans, the 2008 model I drove was powered by the 5.6 liter

Endurance V8, with a five speed auto. Powerfully smooth,yet throaty with 317 horsepower and 385 lb-ft the Endurance V8 accelerates briskly with plenty left

over for toting friends and toys.

Ticking off the tow package option lightens your wallet by $450 dollars but

adds a class IV hitch, pre wire for trailer brake controller, a heavy duty battery

and a lower 3.36:1 rear. All that gear in concert with Titan’s muscular build

equates to a towing capacity of 9,400lbs. for the 4X4 crew cab with the long wheelbase.

But if it’s important for you to wear the highest horsepower badge you might

consider the following, Chevy, Dodge and Toyotaall come out on top in the horsepower wars.

INFINITI ON THE INSIDE

 

LE Titan owners are encased luxury with an interior that looks
like its been lifted from the pages of an Infiniti brochure. Dark wood dash and

console accents, a navigation system displayintegrated into the dash with a

sweeping bezel send signals to your brain that you must be in an upscale sedan,

but a glace in the rearview at that big bed will tell you otherwise.

For 2008 Nissan has saw fit to redesign the front seats covered in upgraded

leather appointments. Attention to detail comes in the form of revised gauge and meter clusters with crisper displays.

The revised center dashboard stack featured the newly available 350-watt, ten-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio package including Bluetooth hands free cell phone capability, as well as an XM satellite radio tuner. Nissan’s easy to use $1,800 dollar navigation system also included an option to remotely check your tire pressure.

While enjoying the upsized roof mounted $1,450 DVD theater system, crew cab rear seat passengers can stretch their legs with 40.4 inches of leg room, no more long faces for rear seaters. Titan’s 126 cubic feet of interior space is best-in-class.

With the heavy duty fully boxed frame of the F-Alpha chassis, a refined power train blended with an over the top luxury LE interior the 2008 Nissan Titan can yank your trailer trough the muck doing the day and later on deliver you to the theater in style.

Specifications for 2008 NISSAN TITAN 4X4 Crew Cab 8 Foot Bed

 

Length                                                244.2

Wheelbase                                          159.5

Cargo Bed Length                              87.0

Curb Weight                                        5,618 LBS.

Engine: 5.6L Endurance V-8 Aluminum Block, Aluminum heads

Horsepower: 317hp@ 5,200rpm

Torque: 385 lb-ft @ 3,400 rpm

Transmission: 5 Speed Automatic Over Drive

Brakes: Front 13.8-inch Disc/ Rear 12.6 - inch Disc

Suspension: Front Double-wishbone/ Rear Non Independent Live Axle with leaf springs.

Towing Capacity:  9,400 LBS.

Max GCWR: with 5.6L, CREW CAB   4X4, 7,200 LBS.

Key Options: Moon roof Package, Nissan navigation system, DVD mobile theater system, Tow package, Step rails

Rear Seat DVD,

Price as tested   $44,495 (including options and destination)

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