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History of the Nissan Titan

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A dark blue 2021 Nissan TITAN is parked at sunset on a street in front of a large cabin in a mountain town
Photo: Nissan

Nissan created the Titan (stylized as TITAN) to provide consumers with an alternative in the full-size pickup truck segment. Although the Japanese automaker assumed sales would never seriously challenge that of the big three Detroit trucks, the Nissan Titan has experienced success throughout its 18-year history.

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Early history and updates

The first Nissan Titan was introduced in 2003 (as a 2004 model) and was based on the stretched Nissan F-Alpha platform, which it shared with the Nissan Armada and Infiniti QX56. North American buyers praised the Titan for its roomy interior, towing capability, fresh styling, and innovative features. That unprecedented combination resulted in the Nissan Titan being named a surprise finalist for the North American Truck of the Year award in 2004.

In 2008, the truck received a refresh consisting of new seating, a heated leather front seat, an updated center stack with radio and climate control, a larger navigation screen, satellite radio, and Bluetooth integration. The PRO-4X trim, an off-roading beast, was also introduced for this model year. It wasn’t until 2016 that the Titan entered its second generation. It arrived with new exterior styling and was equipped with a 5.6-liter V8 under the hood.

Photo: The News Wheel

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Recent generation

The Nissan Titan got another refresh in 2020, dropping the regular cab model from the lineup (and that of the Titan XD model). A new nine-speed automatic transmission replaced the older seven-speed, allowing for smoother shifting. Along with that, power increased from 390 to 400 horsepower while the truck also received a long list of standard driver-assist features. For 2021, there weren’t many changes from the previous model, so it seems we may see exciting updates for 2022 very soon.