Are you planning to purchase a used Nissan Titan and you are looking for the Nissan Titan years to avoid? Well, if this is the case, then you are at the right place because this article will be all about the Nissan Titan and its key features and common problems.
Performing thorough research is something that you really want before you decide to purchase a pickup truck or any type of vehicle. This is the case because on the market there are dozens of brands and hundreds of models. And each of these models has different generations. And each generation carries something new when it comes to specs as well as when it comes to common problems.
There could be a perfectly good generation of a certain model that is almost bulletproof and people talk about it like this is the best car ever. And with the second generation, the carmaker is introducing some new parts like a new transmission for example that is prone to issues, and then you have a ton of problems all of a sudden. Not an ideal thing. This is why you need to put up your sleeves and investigate the model and each generation separately. And we are going to help you out with that.
First, we are going to introduce ourselves to the Nissan Titan and learn more about the core concepts of this model. After that, we are going to cover the last two generations of the Titan. We will cover the main specs, common problems, reliability, best years, and also the Nissan Titan years to avoid. So, if you want to learn more about the Titan, follow along.
What Is The Nissan Titan
Now before we start discussing more about each particular generation of the Nissan Titan and their specs, as well as the Nissan Titan years to avoid. Let’s introduce ourselves to the topic and learn more about the core concepts of this model. What is the Nissan Titan? Let’s explain.
The Nissan Titan is a model produced by Nissan only for the US market. So, you will never find a Nissan Titan sold elsewhere, except for the North American market.
The Titan name refers to the Greek mythology in which there were powerful creatures known as Titans. And immediately after you hear the Titan name, it probably associates you with something really strong and powerful. But is that the case with this model?
Well, more or less yes. Even though the first generation was a bit reserved when it came to the exterior looks, the present second generation of the Titan is all about the presence on the road. With the huge chrome grille at the front and a big chrome bumper, it really stands out from the crowd and looks particularly good and attractive to buyers.
But even though this model has very attractive exterior looks, most buyers still rather go for a Chevy, GMC, Ford, or RAM model.
The Nissan Titan is averaging 30,000 units sold in the US, annually. Which is not a lot, to be honest. The F-150 in the contrast sells about 800,000 units annually. So, you get the idea why these numbers are not high at all. But this does not mean that the Titan is a bad pickup truck. This model has its positives and negatives like the Nissan Titan years to avoid. And more on that we are going to cover next.
Nissan Titan Generations
Now let’s take a look at the different generations of the Nissan Titan. As we mentioned previously, the Titan has two different generations that were introduced to the market. Nissan might not introduce a new model every few years but still tries to refresh the lineup constantly and allow new features to be implemented.
This is why first we are going to cover the Nissan Titan specs and we are going to learn more about the numbers that this Titan delivers. Then we will cover the common problems, reliability, best years, and also the Nissan Titan years to avoid for each of these generations. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
First Generation Nissan Titan (2003 – 2015)
Before we dive into the Nissan Titan years to avoid, let’s introduce ourselves to the model. The development of a full-size pickup truck was in the works since the 90s at Nissan. Nissan wanted to create a product that will complement the mid-size Frontier in their lineup and will offer more to Nissan buyers who wanted more towing capability as well as more cargo space.
And the first prototype, the Alpha T concept debuted in 2001 at the Detroit Auto Show. But the real production began in 2003 and lasted up to 2015. This truck had a really long production stint, probably most than any other pickup truck on the market. The model was assembled in the US. Namely, in the Nissan factory in Canton, Mississippi.
This new model as we noted is a full-size pickup truck. It had a wheelbase between 139.8 and 159.4 inches, depending on whether you opted for the short wheelbase or a long wheelbase. The overall length of the model is 244.3 inches.
The overall weight of the Nissan Titan is about 5,038lbs and it has a towing capacity of 9,500lbs. And this is not quite like the more capable models of the F-150 and the RAM 1500.
In terms of cabs, there were three cabs available, a standard Single Cab, King Cab, while the biggest was the Crew Cab.
The model overall has a lot of features that really depend on how well optioned was the truck when purchased new. But these include a sunroof, XM Satellite radio, leather interior, lockable storage box, automatic windows, satellite navigation, etc. But what about the Nissan Titan years to avoid? More on that we are going to cover in a bit.
Engines & Transmissions
In terms of engines, we can say that there was only one engine available for this model. This engine was a VK 5.6L naturally aspirated V8 engine produced by Nissan.
The Titan used the VK56DE version of the VK engine. For this application, this engine produced between 305 and 315hp, and when it comes to torque, it produced about 385lb-ft of torque. Some of the Titan models are flex-fuel approved, which means that they can run on E85 fuel.
In terms of transmissions, this model ran only one transmission during its production stint. And this was a 5-speed automatic. But what about the Nissan Titan years to avoid? More on that we are going to cover in a bit.
The fuel economy of the Nissan Titan was pretty average as for most of the other pickup trucks at the time. The Titan got 12 mpg in the city, 17 mpg on the highway, and 14 mpg combined.
For 2022, this is relatively poor fuel economy considering that the numbers of the 2022 model are much higher, especially for the diesel variant. But more on that, we are going to cover later on in the article when we are going to discuss the second generation. Now before we dive into the problems and the Nissan Titan years to avoid, let’s talk about safety.
The safety of the Nissan Titan was quite good. It was tested in 2004 by the IIHS and performed quite well and got Good scores on most of the tests.
But remember that this is a model that was introduced in 2003, so things have changed during all these years and safety has tremendously improved. So, if you are looking for something more up-to-date with the modern demands, you might want to check the second generation of the model. But what about the Nissan Titan years to avoid? More on that we are going to cover in a bit.
Nissan Titan Problems
Now let’s talk about the common problems that the Titan has. As with every other vehicle, the Nissan Titan has its fair share of issues. So, let’s elaborate on them before we cover the Nissan Titan years to avoid.
The first production year of the Titan was the most problematic. There were many differential failures on this model that were reported on carcomplaints.com.
In addition to the differential issues, there were problems reported concerning the radiator. The radiator was very prone to leaking.
Also, there were reported issues with the exhaust manifolds. They tend to crack and develop problems for the owner.
The second year also has the same issues as the first production year. Also, another problem that occurs during the first years is the situation when the coolant gets into the transmission and this causes a transmission failure. This was a common problem with the Frontier. But as we can see, the problem is present on the Titan as well. So, the models built between 2004 and 2008 are rather problematic.
Also, there were issues with the heater core. This caused clicking noises as well coming from the rear dash. Other problems reported were concerning the windows, brakes prematurely wearing out, and other smaller problems. But what about the Nissan Titan years to avoid? More on that we are going to cover next.
Nissan Titan Reliability
When it comes to the reliability of this model, we can say that it is a fairly reliable vehicle. But the first four years the model is not as reliable as you would hope so.
Namely, because of the issues with the differentials. This was Nissan’s first entry into the full-size truck segment and they underestimated the demand for the drivetrain a little bit I guess. So, there are problems with the differentials.
Also, there are problems with the coolant ending up in the transmission causing the transmission to fail in the process.
We can say that up to 2008, the reliability is questionable. But after this model year, starting from 2009, problems more or less have gone away and the Titan is a mostly reliable model. But what about the Nissan Titan years to avoid? More on that next.
Best Years For Nissan Titan
Now before we discuss the Nissan Titan years to avoid, let’s cover the best years for the Nissan Titan. Which model year is the best all-around model?
Well, when it comes to the best model year, we would say that you should go for a 2012 model. Or a model after 2012. These are the most polished models with the least problems. Also, if you cannot afford a newer model.
Anything after 2008 will be a good purchase. Since this is the point when the model got a major refresh. But what about the Nissan Titan years to avoid? More on that, we are going to cover next.
Nissan Titan Years To Avoid
When it comes to the Nissan Titan years to avoid, we would definitely recommend that you should avoid 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008.
These are the most problematic years during which the Titan has problems with the differentials, coolant into the transmission, and other quite expensive problems to repair.
So, when it comes to these models you should open your eyes and see what has been done to the car and its maintenance history and check the drivetrain and transmission accordingly before you buy.
Second Generation Nissan Titan (2016 – 2024)
The second generation of the Nissan Titan was introduced in 2015 and 2016 was the first production year. Initially, this model had high aspirations to sell more than 100,000 units annually.
But as of today, this model only manages to get about 20,000 units, which is a rather small amount, to be honest. Not that the Titan is a bad model. More on that later when we are going to cover the Nissan Titan years to avoid.
The important thing is that this new model was based on a completely new platform shared with the Nissan Armada and the Infiniti QX80.
This new model came in three cab styles. The Standard Cab which was the base, The King Cab which actually is an extended cab, and the Crew Cab is the largest cab with four doors and a lot of space inside of the cabin.
The wheelbase of the model ranged from 139.8 inches to 151.6 inches depending much on the model. The model also had an overall length of between 228 inches and 243 inches depending on the model. The weight of this model increased quite a bit and now it weighs 5,664lbs. While the Titan XD weighs, even more, 6,530lbs.
This new model came with a lot of new tech and features. There were a few trim levels, namely, the S, SV, Pro-4X, SL, and Platinum Reserve. If you are confused by the XD, the Titan XD is the longer wheelbase model of the Titan. But what about the Nissan Titan years to avoid? More on that in a bit.
Engines & Transmissions
In terms of engines and transmissions, this model includes the same 5.6L V8 engine as the previous generation but an updated version that is producing about 400hp and 413lb-ft of torque.
Also, there is a 5.0L Cummins ISV Turbo Diesel V8 engine that was included in the Titan XD.
In terms of transmissions, there were three of them. The 6-speed Aisin, 7-speed, and also a 9-speed since 2020 model year. But what about the Nissan Titan years to avoid? More on that in a bit.
The fuel economy improved slightly, the 15 mpg in the city, 21 mpg on the highway, and 18 mpg combined. The Titan XD with the diesel engine averages around 15 mpg according to many owners.
The Titan was tested by IIHS in 2017 and the model performed really well. Much better when compared to the previous generation.
It got Good grades on most of the IIHS crash tests. And as we all know when we are talking about IIHS, good is their highest score. And the place where this model shines is the small overlap test, which is the trickiest one. But what about the Nissan Titan years to avoid? More on that we are going to cover in a bit.
Nissan Titan Problems
Now let’s take a look at the problems that this Titan has before we dive into the Nissan Titan years to avoid.
According to a lot of owners on carcomplaints.com, there are some defects with the Cummins 5.0L engine that is installed on the Titan XD. There were a number of failures of the engine as well as turbine failures.
So, a lot of owners got affected by the poor running engine. This was reportedly due because of a bad batch of engines. Namely, the component that suffers is the engine block. More precisely on cylinder number 7.
And when this problem occurs a short block replacement has to be done. This means that the engine block and pistons need to be replaced with a new one. Expensive job if it’s not under warranty. It reportedly costs between $10,000 and $15,000.
Also, fuel pump failures are common on the Cummins diesel engine as well. And these can be rather expensive to do.
Also, there were reports on the transmission for 2016, 2017, and 2018 models that it shifted quite rough and caused the truck to lurch forward, or hesitate. But what about the Nissan Titan years to avoid? More on that in a bit.
Nissan Titan Reliability
The reliability of this generation of the Titan is good unless you opt for the Cummins. This engine is rather problematic and troubles a lot of Titan owners. Go for the 5.6L and you should be more or less safe from serious issues.
Best Years For Nissan Titan
The best production year should definitely be 2022. Since it is the most recent year. But if you want something older, 2019, 2020, and 2021 are also quite good production years of this model.
The lower the mileage the better. Even though all of these trucks come with a 100,000-mile warranty. So, I think that this is one of the strong points for buying this truck. Even if something happens, you are still covered. But what about the Nissan Titan years to avoid? More on that we are going to cover next.
Nissan Titan Years To Avoid
When it comes to the Nissan Titan years to avoid, we would recommend avoiding the 2016 model. Mainly because the model is the first production year and these vehicles can carry more issues than other production years.
Also, try to avoid the Cummins engine. Most of these engines can start knocking and you will need a short block replacement that costs $10,000 if the truck is not under warranty. Also, the fuel pump on these is very prone to failures.
In this article, we have covered the Nissan Titan. First, we learned what the Titan is and the main characteristics of this model.
Then we covered the Nissan Titan generations. We covered their specs, common problems, reliability, best years, and also the Nissan Titan years to avoid. After reading this article, we strongly hope that you have a better perspective of this truck and whether or not is a good purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
Is The Nissan Titan A Full Size Truck
Yes, the Nissan Titan is a full-size pickup truck. Quite similar to the RAM 1500, Chevy Silverado, and Ford F-150. Not popular as the others but still a good truck that is worth your attention considering the big warranty that Nissan gives on these vehicles.
How Much Horsepower Does A Nissan Titan Have
The first generation of the Nissan Titan is producing somewhere around 315hp. But the second generation has an updated engine that is pushing about 400hp with no problems. So, getting this newer engine might be your best bet.
Is Nissan Titan A Good Truck
Yes, the Titan is a really good truck. Not as famous as other trucks in its class. But still, it delivers good numbers and is able to tow up to 9,500lbs. Also, Nissan has a 100,000-mile warranty on these trucks. So, if anything breaks, you are covered during the first 5 years.
Are Nissan Titans Reliable
Yes, the Nissan Titan is a really reliable truck. Even if something breaks, you still have 100,000 miles or a 5-year warranty on it. So, if you are purchasing it brand new, this is a no-brainer decision since no other carmaker will offer you the same deal.
How Much Is A Nissan Titan
The 2023 Nissan Titan starts at $41,500. But this is the base MSRP. After taxes and other fees, you will pay quite a bit more than this cost. The prices really depend on the spec that you have.
Why Did Nissan Titan Discontinue The Cummins
Nissan decided to discontinue the Cummins because this was a rather unreliable engine. It caused a ton of headaches for Nissan and got its reliability under question. So, Nissan decided that enough is enough and stopped production of these models with the Cummins engine. If you want a good model, always go for the 5.6L Nissan engine.
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