TITAN XD flexes its beach body as TITAN Surfcamp.
Fla. ó If itís been a while since youíve shopped for a new
pickup truck, youíll be amazed to discover that todayís midsized
pickups are as large as full-size pickups from 20 years ago.
Meanwhile, full-size pickups have grown larger than Mar-A-Lago. That
hasnít stopped sales from skyrocketing. One sign: even the Nissan
Titan is selling well. Still, it takes the automaker six months to
sell the same number of Titans that Ford sells in a little over a
fierce a competitor means stepping up your game.
the Titan, donít you? Itís Nissanís full-size pickup truck, a
distant sixth in sales to the Toyota Tundra, GMC Sierra, Ram 1500,
Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150. But like Toyota, Nissan is
having a hard time convincing full-size domestic pickup owners to
switch. Unlike car buyers, pickup buyers are fiercely loyal to their
chosen brands according to a recent survey by J.D. Power and
Associates. How loyal? Well consider that 61 percent of F-150 buyers
wouldnít consider anything else, and you have some idea. Other
domestic brands fare similarly.
To grab buyer
interest, Nissan unveiled the Titan Surfcamp concept truck last
week, a Titan not offered by Nissan dealers but an example of what
you can do once you buy one.
beachgoer starts out life as a Titan XD Diesel Midnight Edition Crew
Cab built in Canton, Miss. Its heart beats with a 5.0-liter Cummins
turbocharged diesel V-8 engine rated at 310 horsepower and 555
pound-feet of torque, rated to tow up to 12,640 pounds with a
payload capacity of 2,420 pounds. But as its name suggests, the
Midnight Edition wears a black front grille, fog lamp trim, exterior
badging, mirrors, door handles, 20-inch wheels, front and rear
bumpers, and black step rails. This allows it to be easily
transformed into the Titan Surfcamp, with its wild surf culture
exterior wrap with a retro paint inspired by the 1967 Nissan Patrol
and a 1971 Hot Wheels Datsun Bluebird Wagon.
youíll find itís fitted with a factory-authorized Icon
suspension lift kit that adds more than 3 inches in ground
clearance. This allows the Nitto Ridge Grappler tires to
effortlessly eat through sand. Once ocean side, youíll find the
Surfcamp is the ultimate beach butler. Up front, a redesigned bumper
has integrated fishing rod holders. There are racks for surfboards,
paddleboards and fishing rod storage. The Titanís integrated bed
system provides mounting points for drawers that can hold wetsuits,
fishing tackle and other gear.
Of course, as
the day ends, thereís a roof-mounted solar-powered shower to wash
off the sand and a teak wood deck and a 125-quart Yeti cooler for
chilling with your favorite beverage. Getting tired? Thereís a
roof-mounted pop-up tent to catch some shuteye. In the morning, when
you climb in the cab, youíll find the interior is fitted with
floor mats that collect sand and seat covers inspired by wetsuit
OK, you wonít
find this model in your local showroom anytime soon. Like other
Nissan Adventure themed concept trucks, itís an attempt to show
what can be done with after-market accessories, and a thick wallet.
Even if you
donít pop for the aftermarket goodies, youíll find the Titan to
be a worthy competitor to domestic pickups, particularly in XD form.
The Cummins diesel lives up to its reputation, with plenty of grunt
for yanking your favorite play toy, even though itís no fuel
economy champ. The test truck, a Titan XD Crew Cab, returned 14 mpg
with lots of highway driving. That it was able to tow small house
was never in doubt. Inside, the cabin boasted wide comfortable seats
sheathed in butter soft leather. The cab was fitted with decadent
luxury car options, such as air-conditioned seats and a 360-degree
camera. That feeling was enhanced by its quiet, comfortable ride and
roomy cabin. Few cars are so accommodating. That said, too many of
the cabinís switchgear comes from Nissan sedans, and their buttons
are small for a pickup.
If Nissan has
proven anything with the Titan XD Surfcamp, itís that pickups are
more easily customizable than cars. And when youíre done, youíll
have a vehicle thatís every bit as comfortable, yet roomier and
more capable. Finally, it will last hundreds of thousands of miles,
something most passenger cars struggle to match.
Given how many
domestic pickups are sold, the Titan offers competitive capability
and style in a rig you wonít see coming and going. And you can
trim it to be your beach butler, or just your everyday four-wheeled
servant, and whatís wrong with that?