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2018 Nissan Armada Mountain Patrol

2018 Nissan Armada Mountain Patrol

The off-road oriented Armada that we deserve

Remember the Nissan Armada Snow Patrol from the 2018 Chicago Auto Show? Well, Nissan is moving from cold to hot with the new Nissan Armada Mountain Patrol – a concept designed for the rugged outdoors with everything you need to survive outside of a built-in fire pit and a toilet. It’s even powered by Nissan’s 5.6-liter V-8 with some 390 horsepower on tap and an 8,500-pound towing capacity. So what all does this concept offer and why do you wish Nissan would offer it as a production model? Keep reading to find out.

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2017 Nissan Titan PRO-4X – Driven

2017 Nissan Titan PRO-4X – Driven

The new kid that looks like his big brother

Nissan released the Titan back in 2004 and basically sat on its laurels for more than a decade. Thankfully the automaker has seemingly more than made up for lost time with the 2016 Titan XD and this, the 2017 Titan. While both trucks share nearly identical designs, both inside and out, they are two trucks built for different purposes. I had gotten some quality seat time with the Titan XD at Nissan’s launch event in Arizona last year, but had yet to experience its half-ton little brother. That’s all changed.

I spent a full week with the Titan around my home turf of Central Florida. It’s not exactly truck country with rolling hills and grazing cattle, but I’m not picky. My tester came loaded out in the PRO-4X package with nearly every conceivable option besides a sunroof and Nissan’s in-bed storage boxes. Leather seats? Check. All the modern in-dash tech? Check. Trailer brake controls? Check. Enough 4WD equipment to make a Jeep Wrangler jealous? Check, yet again.

Early production units, like my tester, are only available in crew cab, short bed form. While more cab and bed configurations are coming, Nissan is smart to target the pickup segment’s core buyer first – the family. And that’s how I used this truck. I hauled my four-year-old in her car seat, the wife, and several other family members around town to various errands and destinations. Mall parking lots and smoothly paved residential streets were the norm.

So how’d the Titan handle daily living? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

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2016 Nissan Titan XD - Driven

2016 Nissan Titan XD - Driven

The Titan made its debut back in 2004 and hasn’t changed much since. Sure, there was a mild refresh back in 2008, but the bones remained unchanged. Nissan only offered two cab and bed configurations, one engine, and the choice of two- or four-wheel drive. That’s all changing for the 2016 model year.

Nissan has decided to expand the Titan into a pair of pickups – the regular Titan carrying the half-ton designation, and the Titan XD, a sort of go-between for customers who need the extra towing and hauling capabilities of a heavy-duty, but who don’t want to pay for 900 pound-feet of torque and a 30,000-pound tow rating. When asked to describe the new Titan XD, Richard Miller, Director of Product Planning for the truck, says to think of the Titan XD as a three-quarter ton truck from 2003. It has 500-plus pound-feet of torque and can tow roughly 12,000 pounds. That’s exactly where mainstream 2500-series trucks were at in the mid-2000s.

Miller and his design team know they’re marketing the Titan XD to a niche customer. Still, their research apparently shows there’s profit to be made in this middle ground. Helping expand the Titan’s marketability is an increased number of build configurations, trim levels, and (coming soon) engine options. No longer will the Titan be a one-size-fits-all truck. Single cabs, base trim levels, and eight-foot beds are part of the mix, as well as the range-topping Platinum Reserve trim with all the proper luxury trimmings. The combinations won’t be as extensive as those from Ford, Chevy, or Ram, but are said to cater to a much wider audience than before.

In order to find out more about the Titan XD, I took a trip to the Arizona desert just outside Scottsdale. These roads are very familiar to the Titan XD. Nissan’s R&D testing center is a two hours’ drive south and engineers spend many hours tuning the Titan XD on the six-percent grades found in the mountains outside of town.

So how’d the Titan XD stack up? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full driven review

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2016 Nissan Titan XD - Driven

2016 Nissan Titan XD - Driven

The Titan made its debut back in 2004 and hasn’t changed much since. Sure, there was a mild refresh back in 2008, but the bones remained unchanged. Nissan only offered two cab and bed configurations, one engine, and the choice of two- or four-wheel drive. That’s all changing for the 2016 model year.

Nissan has decided to expand the Titan into a pair of pickups – the regular Titan carrying the half-ton designation, and the Titan XD, a sort of go-between for customers who need the extra towing and hauling capabilities of a heavy-duty, but who don’t want to pay for 900 pound-feet of torque and a 30,000-pound tow rating. When asked to describe the new Titan XD, Richard Miller, Director of Product Planning for the truck, says to think of the Titan XD as a three-quarter ton truck from 2003. It has 500-plus pound-feet of torque and can tow roughly 12,000 pounds. That’s exactly where mainstream 2500-series trucks were at in the mid-2000s.

Miller and his design team know they’re marketing the Titan XD to a niche customer. Still, their research apparently shows there’s profit to be made in this middle ground. Helping expand the Titan’s marketability is an increased number of build configurations, trim levels, and (coming soon) engine options. No longer will the Titan be a one-size-fits-all truck. Single cabs, base trim levels, and eight-foot beds are part of the mix, as well as the range-topping Platinum Reserve trim with all the proper luxury trimmings. The combinations won’t be as extensive as those from Ford, Chevy, or Ram, but are said to cater to a much wider audience than before.

In order to find out more about the Titan XD, I took a trip to the Arizona desert just outside Scottsdale. These roads are very familiar to the Titan XD. Nissan’s R&D testing center is a two hours’ drive south and engineers spend many hours tuning the Titan XD on the six-percent grades found in the mountains outside of town.

So how’d the Titan XD stack up? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full driven review

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The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

Every fall, dozens of journalists from all over Texas and around the country gather to compare, test, and crown the winner of the “Truck of Texas” competition. It’s a coveted award from the Texas Auto Writers Association that signifies Texas’ collective approval of a truck. And not only are trucks involved, awards go out for the SUV and CUV of Texas.

I already touched on the topic in the preview piece, but awards are also given to the winner in each vehicle category and for various things like “best connectivity” and “best powertrain.”

This year’s competition was fierce. There were 84 vehicles present from 21 automakers entered into 17 different categories. Evaluating the field were 69 TAWA members comprised of journalists and social media influencers.

So let’s get down to the results. Keep reading for the full breakdown.

Continue reading for the results of the 2015 TAWA Truck Rodeo

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2015 Nissan Frontier Pro4X - Driven

2015 Nissan Frontier Pro4X - Driven

When it comes to the mid-size truck market, what was once a booming segment has dwindled in recent years to just a small handful of models. Since its introduction back in 1997, the Nissan Frontier has garnered strong sales that have permitted the truck to survive when names like Ranger and Dakota couldn’t. The latest generation of the Frontier arrived in 2004, and Nissan is replacing it with an new model later this year, but how well has the current model aged in the last 10 years?

Nissan sent me a decked out, off-road-ready Pro-4X model to test so I could find out. I have tested other Frontiers over the last few years, but this model comes loaded with more performance, equipment and luxury than any other Nissan truck I have driven. With an upgraded suspension, 4WD, a locking rear differential and chunky tires, this Frontier was just begging to flogged.

And flogged it was. Over the course of my time with the Frontier it tackled daily commutes, farm work, off-road shenanigans, and the snow and ice that came from one of the worst winter storms my current home state of Tennessee has seen in more than a decade. I think I have a pretty solid handle on just how well this machine performs.

Read on to learn more about the 2015 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X

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2014 Nissan "Project Titan"

2014 Nissan "Project Titan"

Nissan announced over the summer that it would commence in building its second crowdsourced vehicle, a 2014 Titan pickup. The one-off truck would be built with the help of Nissan’s 170,000 Facebook fans in preparation for an epic Alaskan adventure, led by two veterans with the Wounded Warrior Project.

The truck started life as a stock Titan, no different than one found at a local dealership and through the last several weeks, Nissan’s Facebook fans have voted on which parts to add, including wheels, tires, bumpers, mechanical modifications, interior accessories, and exterior graphics. With the truck completed, WWP Alumni David Guzman and Kevin McMahon are setting off on a week-long adventure through the Alaskan wilderness.

Nissan is creating a video mini-series that will debut in the fall of 2014 on YouTube that documents the two veterans’ extreme journey.

While this is Nissan’s first off-road iteration of a crowdsourced vehicle, it’s the automaker’s second similar build. Back in 2012, Nissan’s Facebook fans helped build a 370Z with a twin-turbo kit, a revised and track-ready suspension kit, and a host of visual changes to attract attention.

Updated 09/08/2014: Nissan unveiled a new video revealing a series of new details on its latest Project Titan. The new video shows the Titan with new hardcore wheels, LED lights, and wrap the exterior in a bold, military inspired, custom digital camo print.

Click past the jump for more info on the Titan project

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2011 Nissan X-Trail

2011 Nissan X-Trail

Today, Nissan unveiled the first details on their facelift version for the X-Trail SUV. In Japan the new model will go on sale on July 16th, with prices ranging from 2,239,650 yen to 3,139,500 yen.

The 2011 X-Trail comes with a redesigned front grille, front bumper, and headlights. These new features allow the front of the X-Trail to look a bit more bulky yet with a nice rounded finish that was absent in the previous model. On the interior Nissan added large-size meters for better driver visibility, a vehicle information display system, and a glove compartment with heat-retention and refrigerator functions.

A new addition to the line-up is the new X-TRAIL 20GT model. It features a new 2-liter "M9R" Clean Diesel engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission (with manual shift mode).

A new system available in the 4WD models is the Advanced Hill Descent Control system. This system enables the driver to set his or her desired driving speed within the range from 4km/h to 15km/h, depending on the degree of hill grade.

Press release after the jump.

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