In the 1970s, pickups began to displace cars as the average American's vehicle of choice. In the subsequent decades, sales of light trucks have exceeded all expectations and despite blips on the radar (namely fluctuating gas prices), your average half tonner still outsells most rival cars by around two to one, something that Japanese manufacturers, as they made in roads here in North America, became only too aware of.
While it wasn't long before they got the small car segment licked, building a full-size pickup was an entirely different proposition. Toyota's first effort, the 1992 T-100 was a disaster: too small, underpowered and expensive (though it was well made). Its second, the Tundra, was still ¾ size, even though it finally offered a V8. But it was rival Nissan, which can be credited for launching Japan's first true full-size pickup. Aptly named the Titan, it debuted for the 2004 model year. Critics were stunned. Here was a 224-inch long truck, weighing over 5,000 lbs and powered by a 5.6-liter V8.
Built at Nissan's facility in Canton, Mississippi, it appeared, on paper, to offer everything that GM, Ford and Dodge did with their half tons. However, while newer designs, from Toyota and also the Detroit three have debuted since then, the Titan has soldiered on largely unchanged.
Currently the future of the Titan is uncertain, with a deal to share a platform with the current Dodge Ram having fallen through and Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn saying the automaker will go-it-alone in building a replacement. With a timeline for a second generation Titan uncertain, we at AutoGuide felt it was time to revisit this pioneering Japanese full-size rig to see how it compares in today's marketplace.
More: 2010 Nissan Titan Review on AutoGuide.com