Introduced in 2004, the huge Nissan Titan undergoes only a few changes for 2005. There’s a power up/down rear privacy back glass with defroster on all Crew Cab models, while both King and Crew Cab models receive a new dampened tailgate assist and new front-seat active head restraints.

There’s a new High Utility Bed Package on the 4×2 SE, which includes a spray-in bedliner and removable cleats for cargo tie-down versatility, and a new XE 4×2 Appearance Package on the King Cab. SE models receive a six-CD system, while the top-of-the-line King Cab LE 4×4 gets an upgraded interior and new backup proximity sensor.

All Titans use a 5.6-litre V8 and come with a five-speed automatic transmission. The King Cab has two small rear-hinged rear doors that open 168 degrees, while the Crew Cab has four independently-opening doors. The King Cab comes in two-wheel or four-wheel-drive, while the Crew Cab is strictly 4WD; all four-wheel models have shift-on-the-fly. Properly equipped, the truck can tow a maximum of 9,300 lbs.

On both body styles, the base XE comes with air conditioning, cruise control, six-passenger seating, CD player with six speakers, floor mats, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, 17-inch steel wheels, and variable intermittent wipers.

The SE is a five-passenger and adds power windows, power locks, power heated mirrors, leather-wrapped wheel, six-CD system, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

The LE adds a power sunroof, leather interior, Rockford Fosgate six-CD system with ten speakers and wheel-mounted audio controls, heated seats, power-adjustable pedals, driver’s position memory, fog lights and automatic headlights. It’s not available on the 4×2 King Cab.

Full-size pickup trucks are the last stranglehold the domestic manufacturers have in the industry, and it isn’t easy for an offshore company to break in (even with a truck that’s built in the U.S.). Nissan is certainly trying with this formidable opponent, which is priced competitively with the Big Three. It’s a tough truck, with a fully-boxed frame and a stump-puller engine, but it offers plenty of luxury touches, especially at the higher end. It might be a bit too fancy for the really down-and-dirty work crews, but it should satisfy buyers who want something that can haul heavy trailers and still be presentable enough for everyday driving. The high-utility bed and the King Cab’s easy-access rear doors are a definite bonus, and simple, intuitive controls – including big, easy-to-use rotary volume and tuning knobs on the radio – should be across-the-board on every vehicle, regardless of manufacturer.

The Titan is made in Canton, Mississippi.

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