2012 Nissan Titan Crew Cab 4X4 road test: Still a powerful player after all these years

2012 Nissan Titan Club Cab pickup truck

2012 Nissan Titan Crew Cab pickup truck

The big,  brawny 2012 Nissan Titan full-size crew cab pickup truck more than filled a  tight supermarket parking space, and it towered over lesser sport-utility vehicles and sedans.

It seemed to be practically begging someone, anyone, to “please put me to work.”

Alas, as its temporary handler I was ill equipped to approve such a request. I do not own a boat or mobile home, a lawn-service business or a construction company. I don’t even make many visits to the big-box stores.

Nissan Titan instrument panel

Nissan Titan instrument panel

The most I could offer was a combination of urban and suburban travel, plus a pleasant Sunday afternoon drive. Titan was going to have an easy week.

And maybe that was for the best. A Titan in name and deed when it was introduced back in 2004, the big lug has not undergone much change in the ensuing years. And that means it has fallen behind some of its competitors in brute strength.

In fact, the major enhancement to the 2012 Crew Cab SV model is an optional  Sport Appearance Package, which did not appear on the truck I drove.

But don’t take that to mean that this is not a quite capable truck.

The Titan’s big 5.6-liter V-8 engine pumps out 317 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque. Teamed with a smooth-shifting five-speed automatic transmission, it is capable of towing 9,400 pounds and it has a deep 67.3-inch-long bed in which to make full use of its 2,015-pound payload capacity.

Nissan Titan back seat

Nissan Titan back seat

In addition, the shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel-drive system, combined with 10.4 inches of ground clearance, gives Titan the capability to go where lesser vehicles would not dare. And, the crew-cab configuration means that five football fans can head to the tailgating party in reasonable comfort.

For all but the most serious commercial jobs,  then, the Titan still has the goods to get the job done.

Here, then, are some observations of a week and 200 miles in which the Titan was
reduced mainly to an around-town go-fer.

•    Except for parking and navigating through heavy traffic, the Titan is rather pleasant to drive. Ride quality is acceptable, front and sideward visibility is great, the stiffly sprung chassis does not crash over road imperfections, steering is taut and responsive, and the all-wheel disc brakes work well. A trip of 100 miles was more of a joy than a chore.