History/Description:  Designed to put Nissan on the map in the full-size pickup scene, the Titan launched for model-year 2004 with standard V8 power, four-wheel drive, blocky and handsome looks, and a marketing campaign touting its big-truck toughness. Awards and praise for its styling, design, capability, value and versatility flooded in, cementing the Titan as a Japanese-designed rig ready to tackle anything thrown its way.

Titan was available in numerous configurations and trim levels, as well as with numerous options packages, accessories and drivetrains. Tremendous selection as well as several pre-packaged equipment groups, allow Titan shoppers easy access to the truck that’s just right for their lifestyle and budget.

Look for satellite radio, navigation with voice command, a Rockford Fosgate stereo system, a clever Utili-track cargo management system, power seats, rear-seat entertainment systems, automatic climate control and more.

Engines/Trim: Titan’s standard 5.6L Endurance V8 engine serves up 317 maximum horsepower and nearly 400 lb-ft of torque. Advanced technologies, including graphite-coated pistons, all-aluminum construction and micro-finished crank and camshafts help enhance fuel economy, performance and long-term durability. Look for automatic transmissions all around, and towing capacity approaching 10,000 lb. If you’re after luxury, it’s the SL trim grade you’re after. For more off-road capability, check out a Pro-4X with upgraded Rancho shocks, Dana axles and more.

What Owners Like: Owners typically praise the looks, comfort, power output, seat comfort, feature content, and overall solid and tough feel to their Titans. A roomy interior and great performance from the up-level stereo system are also noted.

What Owners Dislike: Common complaints tend to centre around fuel economy, pedals that might be too close together for folks in work boots, some awkwardly-placed controls, a lazy steering ratio, and paint that’s easily damaged and chipped.

Check out some owner reviews.

The Test Drive: As numerous owners have reported less-than-durable paint and finishes on their Titans, be sure to start your test-drive with a full walk-around, scrutinizing the condition of the paint, especially down low behind the wheels and on the front-facing surfaces of the Titan’s body.

Hop on board, checking for higher-than-expected levels of wear to carpeting, seat material, rocker sills and all other wearable materials. Check for proper operation of all interior functions, taking special note of the climate control system’s operation, navigation and Bluetooth, all steering-wheel mounted controls, and the heated seats.

Next, it’s time to move underneath the Titan, preferably with the help of a Nissan mechanic.

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2013 NIssan Titan. Click image to enlarge

Checks for a few commonly-reported issues are advised.

First, have the mechanic in question check out the rear axle seals, which may fail, leak, and allow oil to contact the inside portion of the rear wheels, after leaking down the brake rotors. Oil on a brake rotor is a bad situation that can be a major safety concern, so be sure to check it out. Here’s some more reading. Note that as it goes with many trucks, modifying the vehicle can add to the likelihood of this problem. Some discussion suggests that adding wheel-spacers, to give the Titan a wider-looking stance, can put extra stress on the seals, causing the leak.

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