View Full Version : Quick review: 2004 Nissan Titan XE King Cab.

12-28-08, 01:03 PM
So my friend Kevin, long time owner of the 2.5L powered, five speed equipped, '98 Ranger XLT shortbox regular cab, finally decided it was time to buy a new truck. Initially, he wanted to get another used mid sized truck, a Tacoma on the '05+ body style (the current one). But he had to have the two things his Ranger did not....a back seat, and four wheel drive. (you could say his Ranger was a stripper. It was an XLT, which was the mid line, but it lacked power windows, power locks, only had 2WD, the little motor, the manual transmission and the short box.)

Well so we were looking at various Tacomas and Frontiers on Carsoup the other day, and I said "Hey, how about a Titan or Tundra? They're probably cheaper than the midsize trucks, they can haul more and they're even less likely to get stuck in the snow (Kevin lives in Duluth, the extremely hilly, snow capital of MN.) So we start looking at those, and after some persuasion on my part (he didn't want a full sized truck, or one with a V8 engine (much less Nissan's gargantuan 5.6L "Endurance" V8). So eventually, he gave in and started looking at a few Titans. Now I always liked the Titans, since they came out back for '04...I thought they were an interesting alternative to the usual domestic stuff, plus with that big Quad Cam V8, they were the quickest mainstream half-ton truck (aside from a Lightning) until the 5.7L Tundras came out.....but they had an additional 76 horsepower.

Anyways, Kevin was gonna go and look at a few trucks on Friday. The plan was to look at this Titan ($13,995) first because it was the one he wanted most, then he was gonna dart over to a local Toyota dealer and take a gander at an '03 Tacoma 4x4 crew cab (booo... old body style) ($14,000) and an '06 Tacoma 4x4 extended cab ($16,000), then lastly an '06 Tacoma crew cab 4x4 (my second choice, personally) ($18,000), then an '03 Frontier 4x4 crew cab ($12,500). Well he looked at the Titan, and without looking at any of the other ones, decided it was the one. I'm not sure exactly what made his mind, but he's really liking it.

Let's see, it's an XE, which means it's the base model, but it has the Offroad package, and the Preferred package, so it's not a stripper or anything. With the Offroad package, you get electronic shift on the fly 4x4, Rancho off-road performance shocks, a lower final drive ratio, bigger, better looking wheels and tires, skid plates and foglamps. The preferred package is a lot of smaller stuff, such as 6 disc in dash CD changer, overhead console, sliding back window and rear privacy glass. It's the King Cab, which in GM terms means it's extended, but not the full four doors. On the Titan King Cabs, there are two rear doors, and they open a full 168* suicide style, and it's got a decent amount of legroom. Probably comparable to my friend's '01 Cherokee. So not a Cadillac amount, but not paltry either. It'll be a fine vehicle for a long road trip in other words.

I haven't driven the vehicle yet, so I can't comment on how it drives, but as a(n overly critical) passenger it's quite nice. Fit and finish is quite good, better than the GMT 800 Silverados, and on par with the current (GMT 900) Silverados and Sierras. The materials all look and feel nice for a full sized truck. The plastics used in the dashboard and door trim panels all seem to be nicer than the stuff used in a GMT 800. The seating is quite comfortable (again, for a truck, not a Cadillac or Mercedes), and with the front bench that was standard on the XE, it's got seating for six. Any way you look at it, there's plenty of space for all. Headroom is immense, along with shoulder and hiproom, and the legroom is good for an extended cab. It has eight cup holders, which will come in handy for us. Overall, the interior has a masculine, yet unpretentious feel. It feels rugged yet doesn't come across as trying too hard to feel it.

I always liked the way the Titans looked. Much like the interior, it's rugged, yet unpretentious. It stands out in a crowd yet doesn't look goofy like the Tundras do (anyone want some fish?). And unlike the '02+ Rams, it doesn't try overly hard to look rugged. His truck is a dark copper color, called "Sedona". It's quite unique, and I guess they only offered it for a year or two because it's not listed in my '06 Titan brochure. Who knows. Anyways I like it because it's a shade of orange, and I like orange, it's rare and it's easy to spot, whether in traffic or a parking lot (doesn't hurt that it's generally the biggest thing in the lot at 224 inches).

I read some reviews on the day he got it, and Car and Driver did a comparison test of all the full size trucks when the NBS Tundra came out, and the Crew Cab Titan did a 7.0 second flat 0-60 and a 15.6 second 1/4 mile....so it's quick. Right about in the same area as a newer FWD Northstar Caddy or an LT1 Brougham. The engine makes 305hp at 4900 rpm and 379 lb/ft at 3600rpm (jeez, that's almost like 454 or 460 torque!), and with that five speed automatic, it never really has to work. I'm surprised at the amount of low end grunt for a big cammer like that....it doesn't have to exceed 2000rpm in normal driving.

So I have to say I'm quite impressed, and wanting to drive it.

12-28-08, 01:56 PM
We had a base XE model traded in for a new GMC truck at my dealer a few months ago and I was extremely impressed with the power and the build quality it offered. It was better assembled than the Seville, I'll put it that way.

Night Wolf
12-28-08, 08:09 PM
I drove one of these and was surprised how quiet it was at 80.... no wind noise at all, it was a neat change as even the '96 Town Car has some wind noise.

12-29-08, 01:57 AM
A co-worker of mine had a LE model. We ordered him up an exhaust for it. Needless to say, that 5.6 sounds CRAZY with an old-school set of long glass packs and true duals.

Night Wolf
12-29-08, 07:41 PM
The 5.6 in the Titan is considered a big engine... but just today on the interstate I saw a 90's Dakota 5.9 R/T, extended cab, short bed..... talk about a nice pickup with some muscle.

12-29-08, 07:53 PM
I saw a '98 Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited today while in traffic. That's probably the only Jeep I'd ever own, not to mention one of the fastest trucks in it's time.

12-30-08, 12:27 AM
I saw a '98 Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited today while in traffic. That's probably the only Jeep I'd ever own, not to mention one of the fastest trucks in it's time.

That thing also had a very bitchin stock exhaust note. Friend had one, it was louder than my 99 Z28 with a magnaflow exhaust on it.

12-30-08, 02:58 AM
The 5.6 in the Titan is considered a big engine... but just today on the interstate I saw a 90's Dakota 5.9 R/T, extended cab, short bed..... talk about a nice pickup with some muscle.

That 5.9 is nice if all you want is that gut-wrenching tire-spinning off the line torque. It's all over at 3000 RPMs though (maybe that's a little exaggerated, but you get the point)

I do have to say that those Dakota R/Ts handle really good for a pickup!