Full 2014 Nissan Titan Review
What's New for 2014
The Pro-4X trim level now gets embroidered logos on the seats, and all Titans with Bluetooth get an upgraded microphone. Otherwise, the 2014 Nissan Titan carries over unchanged.
If you're shopping for a full-size pickup, chances are that you're looking for a vehicle capable of taking on serious towing and hauling jobs when the need arises. Yet, most buyers also expect to use their trucks for daily transportation, so the availability of comfort and convenience features in the cab is nearly as important. The 2014 Nissan Titan will probably meet all your basic requirements for a full-size pickup, but unlike its newer competition, it offers little beyond that.
A strong V8 engine has long been the mark of legitimacy in the full-size class, and the Titan has one in its standard 5.7-liter V8. Properly equipped, Nissan's truck can tow up to 9,500 pounds, which is lower than the competition's tow ratings but still respectable. The trouble is that fuel economy is now far more important than it was back in 2004 when the Titan debuted. And not only is Nissan's V8 one of the thirstiest in this class, the 2014 Titan is the only full-size truck that doesn't offer a more fuel-efficient (and lower-cost) V6 engine option.
There are also signs of age in the Titan's cabin, which although spacious and functional, offers little in the way of ambiance. In addition, many of the luxury amenities you'll find in other trucks aren't available in the 2014 Nissan Titan, and you may find that the cab-and-bed configuration you want simply isn't available in your preferred trim level due to the limited choices.
Many of these issues will be addressed in the heavily revised 2015 Titan, but if you're shopping for a full-size pickup in 2014, you'll certainly want to take a look at the competition. One of our favorites is the 2014 Ram 1500, which has top-shelf interior materials, an ultra-refined ride and a diverse engine lineup that includes a class-first turbocharged diesel V6 engine. Another good choice is the freshly redesigned 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 (and its GMC Sierra twin), which has an impressive cabin of its own and two of the strongest V8 engines in the class.
Other solid picks include the 2014 Ford F-150, which has a staggering array of configurations and equipment, and the 2014 Toyota Tundra, a sturdy work truck that eschews comfort in favor of jobsite capability. Ultimately, the 2014 Nissan Titan comes up short in this formidable crowd. It's still worth a look if your needs are simple, but most shoppers will find more value in rival full-size trucks.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Nissan Titan is a full-size pickup truck offered in just two cab styles: King Cab and Crew Cab. The King Cab is an extended-cab pickup with clamshell-style rear doors and a 6-foot-7-inch cargo bed. Crew Cabs have four conventional doors and offer a choice of a short 5-foot-7-inch or a long 7-foot-3-inch cargo bed. Both are available with either two- or four-wheel drive. Nissan also offers four trim levels -- S, SV, SL and Pro-4X -- though not all are available in both cab styles.
The entry-level S model comes standard with 18-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat, a 60/40-split rear bench seat and a CD stereo with six speakers. Crew cabs also have power windows and locks, a power-down rear window and two extra speakers. Springing for the Popular Equipment option package adds alloy wheels, cruise control, rear privacy glass, a sliding rear window (King Cab only), keyless entry (Crew Cab only) and towing preparation.
Stepping up to the SV gets you most of the Popular Equipment items (minus the tow hitch), chrome bumpers, power outside mirrors, side step rails, tailgate assist, upgraded cloth upholstery and door trim, an auxiliary audio jack and an in-dash six-CD changer.
The available SV Value Truck package adds foglights, rear parking sensors, the tow hitch, front bucket seats, an eight-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a household-style 120-volt power outlet in the center console, an enhanced radio head unit, satellite radio and a USB/iPod audio interface. The SV Utility option package includes a spray-in bedliner, lockable bedside compartment, adjustable tie-down cleats, tailgate area lighting and a bed-mounted 120-volt AC power outlet. The SV Premium Utility package includes all that plus a lower rear axle ratio, a heavy-duty battery, front tow hooks, heated extendable towing mirrors, power-adjustable pedals and a premium Rockford Fosgate sound system.
Available only on crew cabs, the top-of-the-line SL trim includes all the equipment in the SV Value Truck and Utility packages as standard. It also adds 20-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, and heated and power-folding outside mirrors (with built-in turn signals and driver-side auto-dimming). Inside, it comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front bucket seats, a four-way power passenger seat, power-adjustable pedals, driver memory settings, Bluetooth audio connectivity, text-to-speech capability for compatible smartphones, a touchscreen navigation system and the Rockford Fosgate audio system. The SL Max Utility package adds the lower axle ratio, a heavy-duty battery, front tow hooks and extendable towing mirrors.
The off-road-oriented Pro-4X trim level is offered on four-wheel-drive Nissan Titans (except long-bed crew cabs) and features all the equipment from the base SV model and SV Value Truck package. It adds off-road-tuned Rancho shocks, unique 18-inch wheels, all-terrain tires, a locking rear differential, the lower final drive ratio, heavy-duty skid plates, the heavy-duty battery and unique two-tone cloth upholstery.
The available Pro-4X Premium Utility package bundles all the remaining extras from the SV Premium Utility package, while the Pro-4X Luxury package offers leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power driver seat, driver memory settings, Bluetooth audio connectivity and the navigation system. Options on both the Pro-4X and SL crew cabs include a sunroof and a DVD rear entertainment system.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2014 Nissan Titan is available with just one engine: a 5.6-liter V8 rated at 317 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque. It's connected to a standard five-speed automatic transmission that includes a tow/haul mode. All versions are available with two- or four-wheel drive, except the 4WD-only Pro-4X model.
Properly equipped, a 2014 Titan extended cab can tow up to 9,500 pounds, while crew cabs top out at 9,400. EPA-estimated fuel economy for two-wheel-drive Titans is 15 mpg combined (13 city/18 highway). Four-wheel-drive models are rated at 14 combined (12 city/17 highway). These fuel economy numbers are below average for a full-size truck with a V8 of this size.
Standard safety features on the 2014 Nissan Titan include antilock disc brakes, stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are available on all trims, except the base S.
The Titan earned the highest possible rating of "Good" in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety moderate-overlap frontal-offset crash testing. It rated "Acceptable" (second-highest on a scale of four) in the Institute's roof-strength test, while its seat/head restraint design was rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
Interior Design and Special Features
Unlike some of its recently gussied-up competitors, the interior of the 2014 Nissan Titan is more functional than fancy. Gauges are large and easily readable and the controls are well placed and intuitive. Thoughtful details include well-designed storage bins, a 120-volt power outlet and an available front passenger seat that folds flat to make a handy work surface. An obvious downside to Nissan's no-frills approach to interior design is an abundance cheap-feeling hard plastics, even in fully loaded Titans. On the upside, navigation-equipped Pro-4X and SL models offer a respectable array of technology, including Bluetooth audio connectivity and text-to-speech messaging for compatible smartphones.
Seat comfort is good both front and back. The clamshell-style rear doors on King Cabs open 180 degrees for easier access, but most competitors now offer more convenient front-hinged rear doors on their extended cabs. The rear seat-bottoms fold up to create a flat load floor for valuable items you'd rather not leave in the bed. Of course, the bed is plenty useful as well, thanks to an available spray-on bedliner, adjustable tie-down points, tailgate-area lighting and power outlets, and a clever outside storage compartment behind the left rear wheel.
In spite of its relatively low horsepower rating, the 2014 Nissan Titan's 5.6-liter V8 engine still feels strong in most driving situations. The trade-off is disappointing fuel economy, even by V8 truck standards.
Nicely weighted rack-and-pinion steering, strong brakes and good visibility make the Titan feel relatively surefooted and maneuverable for its size. Ride quality is generally decent, but don't expect comfort and refinement on par with the Ram 1500 or Silverado. The Pro-4X model may be an appealing option if you spend considerable time on off-road trails, but be aware that its firmer suspension results in a harsh ride when driving on paved roads.