2017 Nissan Titan (not XD)

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Maybe you know the story of the WWII-era Japanese battleships Yamato and Musashi. They were the largest, most powerful battleships ever built – 72,000 tons, 18 inch guns (vs. 45,000 tons and 16 inch guns for the largest-ever American battleship, the Iowa class).17-titan-lead-yellow

But there were only two of them. Yamato and her sister ship.

There were – and still are – four Iowas.

Numbers – rather than size and firepower – won.

The full-size pick-up wars are not unlike this little history lesson.

Japanese manufacturers face a vast fleet of Big Three trucks available in almost any conceivable cab/bed configuration – with multiple engine offerings in addition. Competiting head-to-head would mean a massive commitment of resources and a heavy gamble. If it didn’t work out… .

So, why not go “Yamato’”?yamato

Try to outgun the more numerous competition?

Enter the Titan.

It comes standard with more engine than its Big Three rivals (this includes their standard and next-up, optional engines) and  – at least for now – will only be available in crew cab configuration, one (and two) upping the regular and extended cab versions of its BigThree rivals.

But, this strategy has its perils. Not everyone needs a “Yamato,” including the size – and price – that comes with it.

WHAT IT IS17-titan-side-view

The Titan is a full-size/1500 series pick up truck available (for now) in just one cab/bed style (crew/short bed) and with just one engine (a big V8).

Base price is $34,780 for the 2WD S trim; adding 4WD bumps the sticker up to $37,810. In between are SV, SL and off-road-minded Pro-4X trims, with the $55,400 Platinum Reserve 4×4 topping things out.

The competition includes the crew cab versions of the Chevy Silverado 1500, Ford F-150 and Dodge Ram 1500.17-titan-interior-1

Buyer’s note: Nissan – somewhat confusingly – also sells a Titan XD. Which looks the same but is a different truck. It has a heavier-gauge frame, longer wheelbase and is also available with a Cummins turbo-diesel V8.

The Titan XD falls in between a 1500 and a 2500 series truck; it’s reviewed separately, here.

WHAT’S NEW

After a two year break, the Titan returns. The 2017 model is the second-generation version of Nissan’s first-ever full-size pick-up, which made its debut back in 2003.17-titan-frame

It’s new from the frame rails up.

Highlights include a much more powerful version of Nissan’s 5.6 liter V8 engine paired with a new seven speed automatic transmission, all-new bodywork and a new interior layout that features second-row underseat storage compartments and back seats that can be folded flat for even more cargo-carrying capacity inside the cab. An integrated trailer brake (and sway) controller is available, too. Popular previous-gen Titan features such as the Utili-track cargo tie down/moveable cleat system and Titan Box lockable/waterproof storage cubbies built into the bed walls have been incorporated into the new truck.

There are also two new touchscreens, a standard 5 inch unit and (in higher trims) a larger (and nicer) 7 inch unit.

WHAT’S GOOD17-titan-v8-on-line

Standard V8 is much stronger than Big Three’s standard V6s – and several of their optional V8s.

High standard towing capacity (9,230 lbs.)

Versatile bed tie-down/storage system.

About $2k less to start than a Silverado crew cab.

Much more up-to-date than aging Dodge Ram 1500 (current Ram is basically the same truck as the 2010 model).

WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD17-titan-back-seat

No cab, bed – or engine – options until next year sometime.

Much less towing capacity than F-150 (12,200 lbs.) and Silverado (12,000 lbs.) offer.

Less legroom in both rows than the Ford and the Chevy.   

May be too “Yamato” for you.

UNDER THE HOOD2017 Nissan TITAN

Like the Japanese battlewagons of WW II, the Titan packs big guns – in the form of a standard 5.6 liter high-compression (11.2:1) high-performance (390 hp) V8 engine. The Chevy Silverado’s standard 4.3 liter V6 (285 hp) and its next-up optional 5.3 iter V8 (355) are light cruisers in comparison.

Ditto the Ford F-150, which starts out with a 282 hp 3.5 liter V6, moving up to 325 hp twin-turbo 2.7 V6 and from there to a 5.0 liter V8 that almost matches the Nissan’s horsepower (385) but not quite. You’ve got to buy the F-150’s fourth-available engine, which isn’t a V8. The F-150’s  top gun is a twin-turbo 3.5 liter V6 – which doesn’t make as much horsepower (365) as either the Ford’s 5.0 V8 or the NIssan’s 5.6 V8, but does produce more torque than either: 420 ft.-lbs. (at 2,500 RPM) vs. 394 ft.-lbs. (at 4,000 RPM).    17-titan-billboard

The aging Ram 1500 comes standard with a 305 hp, 3.6 liter V6. You can upgrade to a 5.7 liter, 395 hp V8 (that also makes 410 ft.-lbs. of torque) or – unique among 1500s – a 3 liter turbodiesel V6 that makes 240 hp and 420 ft.-lbs. of torque (same as the F-150’s twin-turbo V6).

But to outmuscle (and outrun) the Titan, you’ll need the Silverado’s available 6.2 liter, 420 hp V8. However, it’s only available as an option on the higher-end LTZ and High Country versions of the Silverado, which start at $44,350 (LTZ crew cab, 2WD). Then you pay another $2,695 to get the Big Gun. For which you have paid a big price – $47,045 vs. $34,780 for the base Titan.

17-titan-swa-control

Some interesting stuff about the Titan’s V8:

Though it is a very high compression engine (which helps it make horsepower; the previous version of the 5.6, which made 317 hp, had a CR of 9.8:1) it does not need premium fuel. This is a regular fuel (87 octane) engine. Direct injection (DI) which is replacing port fuel injection (PFI) has made it feasible to run high compression ratios without having to run high-test gas.

Other technical differences include a “smart” thermostat Multi Control Valve to finely control engine temperature by modulating coolant flow through the engine and electronically controlled (rather than throttle-controlled) intake valve timing.17-titan-mileage

In addition to more power, the updated 5.6 V8 also gets much better gas mileage: 15 city, 21 highway for both the 2WD and the 4WD versions of this truck. The previous-gen Titan with the 317 hp version of the 5.6 V8 (without all the updates) delivered a best-case 13 city and 18 highway – with 2WD.

The 4WD version of the old Titan gave you 12 city, 17 highway.

Bottoms up!

The Nissan’s mileage, incidentally, is about the same as the Silverado’s with its mid-range/optional 5.3 liter V8 (16 city, 22 highway with 4WD) and the F-150 with its third-available 5.0 liter V8 (15 city, 21 highway).

The Ram 1500 with the turbo-diesel V6 clears the room, though: 20 city, 28 highway (2WD versions; the 4WD downgrades slightly to 19 city, 27 highway).17-titan-towhaul

An oddity  – a liability, probably – is the Titan’s mediocre maximum tow rating of 9,390 lbs.

It’s odd given the power of the Titan’s V8 – and the lesser power of rivals like the Silverado 1500, which can pull 11,100 lbs. That’s with the 5.3 liter V8.

With the 6.2 V8, the Chevy can tow 12,000 lbs.   

The F-150 V8 (also a lesser V8) can pull 11,000 lbs. – and with its top-of-the-line twin-turbo V6, the Ford pulls a class-best 12,200 lbs.

It’s a closer match-up vs. the Ram 1500, which has a max tow rating of 10,640 lbs. with the optional Hemi 5.7 liter V8 and 9,210 lbs. with the turbo-diesel V6.

ON THE ROAD17-titan-road-2

A few weeks back, I test-drove the Titan XD – which looks like a regular Titan (identical cab) but is much longer overall (242.7 inches vs. 228.1 inches) and rides on a longer wheelbase (151.6 inches vs. 139.8 for the regular Titan). The XD is also heavier-framed (it’s almost a 2500 series truck) and so, heavier.

By some 500 pounds.

The regular Titan weighs 5,508 lbs. for the 2WD model; 5,935 for the 4WD version. A 2WD Titan XD is already 6,006 lbs. Add the 4WD and the scales groan as the needle swings to 6,680 lbs.17-titan-vs-titan-xd

But it’s the nearly 15 inch difference (14.7 inches, to be exact about it) in overall length that makes the difference, driving-wise. You almost need a pair of tugs to maneuver the XD into position – and even if you manage to line it up perfectly, the tail is still going to stick out. It’s also too long for some garages – unless you don’t mind leaving the door open.17-titan-camera-detail

Acoustic laminated windshield and side glass and hydraulic engine mounts (shared with the high-end Infiniti QX80, which is built off the Titan’s platform) give this battleship a Queen Mary ride. If, like Hiro Nakamura from Heroes, you could travel through time and space back to 1995 or so and test drive a truck from back then, you’d realize how good we have it now. The Titan is as smooth and quiet as luxury cars used to be. It’s only on narrow roads – and in close-quarters maneuvering – that you become aware of its Yamato-esque proportions.

To deal with this, electronic “tugs” are provided in the form of closed-circuit cameras and  sensors that give you visual assistance as well as audible warnings that you’re about to maybe bump into something.17-titan-road-3     

The available 4WD system has a two-speed transfer case with Low range gearing and – unlike a growing number of systems – has a 2WD (rather than 4WD Auto) mode. Some people like 4WD auto but I prefer a system that lets the driver control when 4WD is engaged.  When you have to actually turn a knob (or pull a lever) you’re more conscious of what the vehicle is doing, for one. For two, there’s less potential for wear and tear resulting from the 4WD engaging when it doesn’t need to be engaged, or staying engaged without you being aware that it is engaged.17-titan-4wd-detail

Also – and I realize this is juvenile, but I am a car guy and it goes with the territory – in 2WD it is possible to do a power-braked smoky burnout. In trucks and SUVs that have 4WD Auto, the system will fight you – will prevent you from spinning the rear wheels by kicking power to the ftont wheels.

It’s great for traction but sucks for fun.      

AT THE CURB17-titan-curb-1

At a glance, it’s hard to tell the difference between the Titan and the Titan XD – but the same is true of the 1500 Silverado and thre 2500 Silverado (and so on). This is policy now.

Ford started it.

They decided to take the “super duty” look that was once unique to the 2500/3500 series versions of their F-truck and make the half-ton F-150 look pretty much the same. Everyone else aped this – Nissan included.

I am not sure it was good idea.

These trucks all look like every 13-year-old boy’s fantasy vision of what a truck ought to look like. That is, like a full-scale Tonka truck. The problem is these full-scale Tonka trucks make even a full-grown/full-size man feel like a 13-year-old boy.17-titan-off-road-2

I’m 6ft 3 and 200 pounds – which makes me at least taller than probably 85 percent of the male population. I feel small relative to the Titan… which is exactly that.

A Titan.

Even with the arm-reach of a 6ft 3 man, I had to lean over toward the right to be able to reach the far-away knob that controls the radio station adjustment. In tacit acknowledgement of the Reach Issue, Nissan relocated the glove box handle to the left-hand side, but it’s still a stretch. Same goes for the bed. The Titan – like all current 1500s – has high bed walls. Standing next to the truck, the tops are at nipple height on me – 55.5 inches off the pavement. That’s about 4.6 feet high. Which makes it awkward at best to get at things in the bed.17-titan-bed

At least the tailgate is damped (it doesn’t just flop down) but guys of normal height might have been better served if Nissan had included a step ladder (Ford does).

On the upside, the Titan’s rear wheelhouse bulges are slight and that makes it easier to load 4×8 sheets flat – and the Utili-track bed channel system with adjutable cleats is brilliant. So also the available Titan Box storage system, which builds cubbies that are not only built conveniently into the bed wall but also conveniently mounted at street level, where you can get at your things without a step ladder. These are waterproof and lockable, too.2017 Nissan TITAN

Another ergonomically sensible design feature – and a difference vs. the previous Titan – is the relocation of the shift lever, which is now a stalk-type column-mounted shifter and no longer a console-mounted lever that may look sportier but eats up console storage space.

A cool design feature is the Titan’s scrollable LCD accessory gauges in between the speedometer and tach in the main cluster.  These include oil pressure and temperature, transmission temperature and off-road angle of approach/departure/tilt indicators.17-titan-zero-grav-seats

The Titan also gets a set of Nissan’s “zero gravity” seats, ergonomically designed to ease driver/passenger fatigue. These are no marketing gimmick, either. Nissans have among the most long-haul comfortable seats of any new vehicles on the road.      

On the downside, the Titan’s not quite as roomy on the inside as the F-150 or the Silverado. It (the Titan) has 41.8 inches of legroom up front and 38.5 inches of legroom in the second row. This is by no means cramped – both specs are comparable to or better than the spaciousness you’d get inside a big SUV (for example, a Chevy Tahoe has 38.7inches of legroom in its second row). But the Silverado  is even more spacious: 45.3 inches up front and 40.9 in the back. Ditto the F-150: 43.9 inches up front and 43.6 in the back.17-titan-interior-cut-away

Also, both the Chevy and the Ford (and the Dodge) offer a greater variety of cab/bed configurations – and they offer them right now.

For whatever weird reason, Nissan decided to launch the Titan as a crew cab/short bed-only deal, with other cab/bed configurations on deck for next year (calendar year 2017).

But not everyone needs or wants a crew cab – and buyers who do need more than a 5.5 foot bed (and don’t want to spend $34k-plus for a truck) are out of luck.17-titan-side-3

No, that’s not quite right. Nissan’s out of luck. Because people who don’t need the four-door cab but do need an eight foot (or even a 6.6 foot) bed can walk across the street to the Chevy or Ford or Dodge Ram store.

Not next year.

Today.

Right now.

THE REST17-titan-reg-cab

In order to compete effectively, you probably ought to offer at least what the competition does – and hopefully more (and better). Nissan has the bases covered (mostly) if you’re in the market for the Full Monte.

But if you’re not?

Regular and King cab versions (with longer beds) are on deck, but they’re not available now.

This limits the appeal of the Titan to urban cowboys, mostly. This deficit will be fixed in a few months, but why exclude so many potential buyers from the get-go? Six months from now, the Titan won’t be “new” – even if the regular and king cab versions of it are.

Better to play a royal flush than a straight.

Especially if you have the cards in your hand.yamato-last

THE BOTTOM LINE

That said, it’s an impressive sight – and an impressive ride. Like Yamato, boilers lit, sun glinting off the gilded imperial crest, waves crashing over the foc’sle as she makes best speed toward the waiting American fleet…    

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40 COMMENTS

  1. My 88 Dakota died a couple of years ago, and I had to buy a new truck. I almost bought a bare bones, brand new (but old model year) off the lot. But $500 separated the dealer, and me. I ended up picking up an ’81 chev for cash. I have since bought a second ’81.
    Everything on this truck is simple. I can work on it myself. They still make body panels for it, and there are millions of these trucks out there. Plus I own it out-right.
    I will never buy a new truck, and do not intend to buy another year/model of used truck (except maybe the dodge with the 3 liter fiat diesel)

    • One thing that always strikes me when I peer under the hood of those older (pre mid-80s) vehicles is the amount of empty space around the engine. “I could almost stand up in there!”

      All the modern electronics have certainly made for some impressive combinations of power and fuel economy, but I think we have lost something as a culture when a man can no longer do his own repairs with basic tools and a bit of know-how.

      • Amen, Owen!

        Maybe the older stuff required more in the way of occasional fiddling, but if you liked to fiddle… and nothing like knowing you could fix the thing if need be.

        • I was born in ’77 so by the time I was old enough for a car of my own, we were well into the era of computerized timing, electronic injection, and the various Rube Goldberg devices mandated by the EPA. I can still do quite a bit of my own work for pre-1990 cars like my beloved ’86 VW Jetta, but newer than that and I am pretty much out of my league.

          • It’s out of most people’s leagues. I’m a mechanic by trade, and most mechanics I know are only parts monkeys now. Pull and replace, no actual diagnosis or repair work, just read the OBDII scanner and follow protocol.

            It’s not necessarily the mechanic’s fault, it’s that cars are retardedly complicated and in many cases, impossible to repair. Couple that to Retard Grade Education and Social Justice Weenie ethics and hands on mechanics who will fight for “useful” cars quickly disappear as well as the serviceable fixable cars.

            Oh, and I forgot about continual redesigning of parts so that nothing is interchangeable amongst cars from generation to generation, even amongst same brands.

            • They replace parts because labor is over $100/hr (to the customer) so the parts are cheaper than diagnosis. Also people are trained and conditioned while diagnosis requires thinking.

              I am old enough to remember mechanics screwing up simple carburetored cars because they were just parts changers. I remember when I was a teen a dealership mechanic unable to diagnosis a bad fuel pump diaphragm on a mid-70s Ford. Oh and get this when my dad brought the car home the asshat mechanic didn’t change the oil. It was still full of gasoline. Thankfully it had only gone a few miles like that before I changed it. I was 14 or 15 and I already knew more than some professional dealership mechanics.

              Thinking is rare in a society where people are conditioned to be drones.

            • I’m lucky in that I can fix almost anything wrong up to 99’s or so…..if I have to. I heard a brake on the wife’s car hissing the other day. I looked at them(by myself)and decided the fronts had to be worse than the rears that aren’t too old. The front’s had about 40% but I replaced them and the new ones made pedal effort and feel much better but then I notice a few days later the same hiss and got the wife to drive and let me listen.. It’s the driver’s side rear although it’s not worn out. I had hell with the wheel cylinders and kitted them last time which I thought would be a fix. I guess it was for a few tens of thousands of miles but something’s amiss and I suspect a sticking cylinder again. On disc brakes it’s been my experience that a kit was as good as a rebuilt cylinder. No wear on the pistons so new seals should fix it….and it did for a good while. I should have gotten new cylinder kits(cheap)but forgot so I may wait to replace the pads I got today. I reckon I’ll have to do a close exam on the wheel bearings. If they’re loose I’ll take the appropriate step, replace them with 275,000 miles on them now(more actually). But I can replace parts all day including rotors and still not even be remotely close to shop price for whatever they deem the problem might be. I understand not being sure of so much horseshit cars have on them now and the relationship between sensors that you only have to fix because they screw the entire system up and no telling what little gizmo is making everything agly. The tiniest vacuum leak nowdays can make one go haywire. I detest computerized cars. I won’t even start on big rigs……arrrggghhhh

              I will give the car a bye though since I realize it wasn’t made to do tractor duty and that’s twice every time I go somewhere.

          • Hi Owen,

            Just a few years ahead of you here – but that was enough to be a young teenager while there were still pre-computer cars around in abundance. I was in high school when the transition from carburetors to FI (TBI, at first) happened. I can remember when new cars did not have any air bags. Or ABS.

            Glorious!

            It has now (per AJ’s earlier post) reached a point of over-elaborate insanity. Direct injection (3,000 psi line pressure) and a supplemental PFI system to keep carbon build-up at bay; four cats and O2 sensors (V8s), eight, nine (and soon, ten) speed transmissions – in a country with only a few roads that have legal speeds higher than 75 MPH… cylinder deactivation, auto-start/stop, variable valve/cam timing in family cars. Body control modules, EDRs… it’s deranged.

            The mid-1990s was the point at which technological improvements reached their real-world/economically defensible apotheosis. A circa 1995 150 truck with a TBI 350 and a four-speed overdrive automatic is damn near the perfect vehicle! 🙂

  2. This truck will maintain its market niche, which is Nissan loyalists. It’s good enough to please them, and keep them in the fold.

    But it will not carve out a bigger market share. Too weird looking. The only place where it seems to excel is that nice drivetrain.

    So why bother to roll out the whole spectrum of cab and bed sizes? Start with what you perceive is the sweet spot for your niche, and get around to a few basic variations…..when you get around to it.

      • CAFE and other fed gov regs destroyed the market in the USA for small trucks. Isn’t profitable or worth doing when the small truck starts to cost as much as the big one. Just move people up to big trucks. CAFE once again achieved the opposite of what it was supposed to.

  3. Regular cab versions with longer beds are on deck, but not available now.

    I would only get one of these.

    I would not macho up my truck. In fact, I would “delete, delete, delete” all the fancy doodads, and get as stripped down a vehicle as possible.

    For me it’s really not about “image”. It’s about utility. Form follows function.

    • bevin, not sure what you mean by “macho” but wheels and tires for what you intend to do with one aren’t all for show. If I had a new one I’d probably find a wheel/tire combo that’s a much smaller wheel and a much taller tires. What they put on pickups in general now are worthless offroad. The makers of these things are slaves to the whole “rim” crowd, none of which makes sense on a pickup. The company I used to work for ruined tires on newer pickups left and right while the old ones with smaller wheels and tires with a lot more sidewall did just fine.

      If you call a Ranchhand front end guard “macho” it’s because you don’t drive in the dark in an area with a lot of large wildlife and livestock. Big tow eyes front and rear are a necessity when you do what a pickup is made for……work. Instead of two small bolts that hold the rear bumper on I use 4 large bolts and weld it everywhere I can get a grinder on if it has to come off(not very likely) plus I don’t use bumpers you can get from the dealer. So far, I haven’t put a big bird hood ornament on one off a Peterbilt but I smile whenever I see one. I do put large, heavy bed rails and a headache rack with a rack above the endgate so I can carry a few thousand pounds of steel, pipe, hide, purling, etc. I also have sliding gooseneck hitches I can move from one pickup to another that allows you to move the hitch way back when going over severe angles and then slide it forward for highway towing.

      Last year a friends wife hit a black bull in the dark at 70mph in her F 250 4WD diesel with a big Ranch Hand front on it. It bent the Ranch Hand guard back to within an inch of the hood and did nothing else. They didn’t bother to move the guard up a couple inches where it had been. For whatever reason, pickups have never come with decent horns so many of them have air horns underhood but that’s not macho since it doesn’t show.

      As far as regular cab pickups, I’ve had my last. I need that extra room for people and dogs and mainly tools and parts I don’t want in a toolbox……but I won’t be buying a short bed to get it.

      • Dear 8,

        I was thinking in terms of all sorts of offroad accessories that never really get used anywhere except on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills by overpaid movie industry types.

        When I lived in LA, I’d see a lot of vehicles decked out that way, including Humvees.

        If I want a pickup truck, I want an entry level utilitarian model, regular cab, long bed, 2WD, to haul building supplies from the lumberyard.

        • I, too, would love to have a tough, stripped down pickup. But, since they don’t exist anymore, I’ve been having stuff delivered lately. I figure I can pay a lot of $40 delivery fees before a $60K pickup makes any sense!

          • Dear Yeti,

            “But, since they don’t exist anymore… ”

            It’s a problem. They keep raising the bar for “entry level”. I hate that. Today’s entry level is yesterday’s decked out level.

        • bevin, I’d agree with having a winch and huge offroad only tires on something that won’t ever be scratched much less touch(ooohhh)dirt.

          One day discussing what sort of pickup we’d have(25 years ago) if we had unlimited budgets. My choice was a Bell, as in helicopter. I could be flown to the lake where a boat waited for me. If we needed something from town, my guide could hire someone to do that chore.

          But what sort of pickup would you have? That’s the question. I wouldn’t. I’d never set foot in another if I had my way. If I were feeling forced to drive, I’d drive my big Merc with “Kompressor” on the side. It’s insane I can buy a good used road tractor cheaper than a good used diesel pickup. If I felt the need to go hunting I’d use a Hummer.

          • Dear 8,

            That’s what I’m talking about. Things should be for go, not for show.

            “It’s insane I can buy a good used road tractor cheaper than a good used diesel pickup. ”

            I didn’t know that. That is crazy.

    • I wanted a 2004 Titan pickup but all they had are the lame extra cabs and crew cab short beds so I bought a new 2004 Silverado regular cab long bed 4×4 and still have it .

      • “but all they had are the lame extra cabs and crew cab short beds so I bought a new 2004 Silverado regular cab long bed”

        My sentiments exactly. If I wanted to carry passengers, I’d get a four door sedan.

        What the hell use is a stubby short bed? Where am I going to put long pieces of lumber or plywood?

        • Here’s the deal. You can get a Chevy ext. or crewcab long bed pickup. Yep, they’re long sumbitches but they get the job done. The big 3 competes with each other. Look at fuel economy and see GM and Toy are about tied in their V 8 models, but Toy doesn’t make a one ton and their 3/4 T won’t do the job the big 3 pickups will. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

          Jap pickups were dandy in their start-up days, tiny pickups with tiny loads, no a/c, very little power. I remember early 60’s Toys and they hummed along with their tiny engines doing their thing and getting great mileage….compared to full size big 3 pickups. if all you needed was a few hundred pounds….at most, and no long lengths, they were fine, sans a/c and power to pull a trailer. They still are. I have friends who have tried the new Toys and get less fuel mileage with a much smaller frame, less heavy axles, less heavy transmissions and fairly much less everything. If you want a heavy duty pickup, get one of the big 3. In this last round in the patch, some companies tried the Toys as work pickups. They were soon disabused of that notion and returned to the big 3 pickups. Dodge’s are much cheaper cause they’re much less pickup for the long run. Oh, the big one tons will pull one hell of a load but the electronics and now the 24 valve Cummins engine give up. Ford and GM continue to make heavy pickups that can be repaired. But GM doesn’t have to remove the entire body to replace a turbo or head gaskets(they don’t have that problem)or any other thing engine wise. I’ve worked on all of them all my life. Replace a water pump on a GM and it’s 4 bolts and you’re done. Replace a water pump on a Ford and it’s half a day with air wrenches removing the entire front of the engine just to get to the water pump.

          But when it comes to work trucks, leave the Japanese out and stay with the big 3. My old 93 Chevy one ton single wheel had a load capacity of 4300 pounds and I dragged a 15,000 lbs bumper pull load trailer behind it. Try that with a non US pickup.

          And now that same pickup has even more load capacity and more pulling power. Toyota and Nissan aren’t in the same league.

          As far as four doors, that’s what they all sell now for those who want to haul more than 2-3 people. How do you get a crew of 5 or 6 people in a regular cab? I use the ext. cab for parts and tools AND extra people. “Crew” isn’t just a term, it’s a way of life for pickups in construction and families. You can no longer put the family in the farm truck regular cab and legally cruise down the road. Not many families want to have 5 people in the front bench seat either. I find few people on this site that truly know what pickups are for. The days of the car following the pickup to get a family or a crew to a destination are over and I’m damned glad of it. The only good thing about a regular cab was two pit bulls and my wife in the front seat. DPS would look and turn on their radar again and keep on going.

          Eric and one of his buds hauling a bike in a Jap pickup are fine. Put two pallets weighing a ton each in that pickup and pull a trailer with a few more and there’s only one country that makes trucks that can do that.

          • Eight,

            “Yep, they’re long sumbitches but they get the job done.”

            They are long, too expensive, and still look like shit. Might as well get something with duals and a 5th wheel. If you paint the trailer to match the truck, you won’t look so sorry.

            • Everything’s too expensive. As far as looks, I guess we’ve seen our last nice looking anything. When govt. designs vehicles you get bloated, bloated bodies and price tags. I’m considering buying an ’08 VW diesel Beetle with 300,000 miles on it. At least it’s not HUGE. I’ve had Camaros and Mustangs pull up close to the Cutlass and I just assume someone is driving them, way up there….somewhere in that huge car. I occasionally see a new car stopped by the cops and often you can barely see the head of the driver. That can’t be conducive to knowing what’s around you.

          • Dear 8,

            “Jap pickups were dandy in their start-up days, tiny pickups with tiny loads, no a/c, very little power. I remember early 60’s Toys and they hummed along with their tiny engines doing their thing and getting great mileage”

            Agree!

            I had one of these back in the 80s.

            https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/8c/MitsubishiTruck.jpg/1280px-MitsubishiTruck.jpg

            Four speed manual. No air. No radio. Price brand spanking brand new? Just over 4000 US.

            • Hi Bevin,

              Yup! Among the greats: The original Datsun pick-up and the Mazda B series. Extremely useful and tough little trucks that more than gave you your money’s worth.

                  • We still call them old men trucks. I know old men who own a few or several big pickups that their hands use and they drive a tiny pickup since they have mostly nothing to haul and wouldn’t touch a trailer since they pay people to do that. I tried to buy a 96 Chevy ext cab 4 WD the other day, nice as can be but the guy driving it called the owners name so I knew it wasn’t for sale and the owner drives an ancient little Nissan mostly on the paved shoulder. He has a big new pickup parked under his pickup shed that only gets used for hauling big stuff like cattle trailers and such.

        • Bevin,

          “My sentiments exactly. If I wanted to carry passengers, I’d get a four door sedan.”

          No Shit! And they look stupid with the front bigger than the bed.

          “What the hell use is a stubby short bed? Where am I going to put long pieces of lumber or plywood?”

          Again, no shit!

          And for the love of all that is decent in the automobile industry, give me a bed I can reach into. I’m almost 6′, why do I need a rolling staircase from Home
          Depot just to grab a fucking hammer? Do these people think the customer wants his drywall installed with a bunch of boot prints on it?

          I think those shit looking Crew Cabs are a direct result of MADD. Why can’t your crew drive to the job? Oh, I forgot. They’ve all been arrested for NOT causing harm to persons or property.

          Here is a tip for you chauffeur/contractors, pay the guys on Monday and they won’t be going out getting shitfaced and DUI on Friday night. They’ll even be more productive on Saturday. And they can drive themselves to work.

          • If you can find a crew that isn’t already screwed and that’s hard to do. My former employer had nothing but crewcabs for the very reason they had crews in them every day. They had long beds that were full and often had to clear the gooseneck hitch and stack stuff around it. I’ve seen many times we had our suitcases strapped over the load. It’s a common sight in the oil field.

            When I ran roofing crews I had that continual problem of no DL and no pickup or car. I’d rent them a house and read them the riot act of staying the hell in them during the week-end. I’ve hauled more loads of beer and booze than I care to remember.

            But, I had crews that would do anything for me and do nothing but cuss the owner. I’d read them the riot act often and then take them out to eat. People respond well to being treated well and I’d have crews ready to go Monday morning. The biggest problem I had was the state of Texas AG collects for child support, takes its cut and then gives the guardian money when they get ready. I don’t know how many times I heard women say if they’d known how it worked they would never have filed for support since most of the men wanted to give their children money and the biggest detriment for getting behind was the state itself. How do you make any sort of restitution sitting in jail? I had two brothers, one of who was on probation. He hadn’t been able to find work and got behind on probation payments. I had he and his brother roofing a house when his court date came up. I spoke to the judge and told him they’d have their pay in two days when they were through. I didn’t get paid till then and paid them just as soon as I got paid. The judge, a clover a-hole from a small town denied it even though everybody except the just us system would have been better off. We were constantly bailing people out of jail who were good workers but somebody got wind of where they were and they got picked up for back payments they were busting ass to pay off. The just us system is set up this way to help itself regardless of the damage done to everyone else.

            I couldn’t agree more about the height of pickups, the very reason most now have rails to stand on and get stuff out of the bed. If you don’t want that step in the way when you’re in rough stuff and need the ground clearance, then you have to spend a lot more money on the kind that retract when the doors are closed and deploy when you open them. Just one more big cost of owning a pickup to work out of. Companies that had crews who have trucks to pull big trailers often have vans for crew transport and school buses are common too. I see that big red and gray school bus coming and know Halliburton has several big jobs going in the same area. A smart move in my opinion.

  4. One thing neither Nissan nor Toyota offers though is 3/4 and one ton variations with manual gearbox options, dual rear wheels, etc.
    Nobody’s going to buy one of these to outfit it as a two truck, plow truck, or heavy work truck. This hurts their creds with the “real truck” crowd who tend to perceive the Tundra and Titan as light weights.

      • True dat, but realistically, how many truck owners need a real truck? From what I see, most of the guys who have trucks never actually use them, and certainly not for anything more than the occasional trip for shrubs at Home Depot or a bunch of trash to the landfill twice a year. A big honkin’ truck makes everyone think you’re a tough guy with a big dick, who cares about it’s actual capabilities. I’m bigger than you, muthafucker!

        • Hi Vz,

          Yup… sigh.

          Which would be okay if the rip tide didn’t carry the rest of us along for the ride. Meaning, we’re all stuck with these over-the-top trucks; nothing reasonable available (new) any more…

          • I honestly don’t care what people drive. It seems kind of hypocritical to always rail about choice and then criticize someone for exercising one. BUT, your point about taking the rest of us along is spot on.

            The next crash should take care of $60K pickups for awhile, anyway.

          • Eric,
            Which would be okay if the rip tide didn’t carry the rest of us along for the ride.

            Unfortunately, this happens in many areas. The marketplace tends to cater to the majority. The more one strays from what is sold to the majority, the less choice one will find–in general.

            I would be willing to consider a lighter weight vehicle that is more fuel efficient. Especially if there was a way to fairly compare one vehicle with another.

            example:
            Car A and Car B are similar vehicles that I would consider about the same. Car A has MPG(23Cty/32Hwy/25total) but can survive 10% more accidents than Car B. Car B has MPG(33Cty/42Hwy/35total).

            Is the 10% better survival rate worth the hit in MPG? Would depend, to me, on how safe Car B is. If Car B is “safe” enough, then I would choose Car B.

            Unfortunately, I do not get the choice. It is either Car A or nothing. However, even Car A is not a guarantee on surviving an accident. It only gives me better chance of surviving.

        • Evidently everybody in Texas needs one. All the women my wife used to work with drove a pickup. One bought a used Dodge because it went “vroom vroom” according to her…….with an aftermarket exhaust. I know how she feels. I like to pull up beside cops and rev one to the redline a couple times with my “smitties” racking it off.

          Recently running the interstate in Step Child, a dually pickup Dodge passed me and in doing so, made sure to use full throttle for a huge amount of noise from duals with 5″ chrome exhaust tips. In his back window he had a decal that went the entire width and said “Can You Hear Me Now?” It’s the only such I’ve seen or hope to see. I can imagine the amount of trouble it’s caused him. My hat’s off to him though. They’re not paying attention to me when he’s around.

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