Doing heavy duty work is one thing. Being more earth friendly in the process is a definite plus. Nissan's full-size Titan pickup, designed to drive Chevy, Ford and Dodge to their market-dominating knees, is getting a little conscience boost some three years after its introduction. For 2007, the Titan that was conceived and developed for those uniquely independent North American buyers, now comes with available "green" flex-fuel ability that can let it cruise around on fuel made from North American corn (although it loses a shade of its 14/18 best fuel economy).
Nissan, which has a midsize Frontier model for those who don't need full spectrum size and capability, calls the Titan "full-size power for full-size lives." There's no mystery to that no-apologies credo. In pickup country, like the Western U.S., short trips to the store can sometimes require overland journeys to get there, travel can be clocked in dust-clogged miles, and cleaning up after a full day's work can include a thorough vehicle hose down.
Titan backs its claim with a solid foundation. The standard engine is a hearty 5.6-liter DOHC V8, with five-speed automatic transmission, churning out horsepower this year of 317 (up from 305) and torque at 385 lb.-ft (up from 379). That kind of heft can hoist more than 1,500-lb. payloads in either King or Crew Cab models, and can trailer 9,500 or 9,400 lbs. respectively. Shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel drive includes low gearing.
But '07 improvements aren't all in the utilitarian mode. SE and LE models add a chrome package, with available 18-inch chrome wheels and step rails. An in-your-face "Texas Titan" trim with requisite lone star-style logo can go on LE and SE Crew Cab and SE King Cab models.
On the utility side, there's a factory-applied, spray-on bedliner, and truck-bed tie-downs keep cargo anchored during bouncy rides. Lockable, climate-resistant storage compartments hide in the sides of the truck bed, and several truck bed divider systems are available.
XE King Cab base pricing is $23,700. Crew Cabs start at $26,550 but can reach the $36,000 base range with the LE that includes such goodies as nav system.
King Cabs have wide-open rear doors for easy access. And Nissan claims first installation of tailgate illumination. An extra 12-volt powerpoint in the truck bed gives needed auxiliary electricity. That's putting power where the project is.