Posted by PickupTrucks.com Workers | December 7, 2020
Automobiles.com images by Matthew Barnes
By Matthew Barnes
Nissan has been within the U.S. pickup truck sport for a very long time, beginning with the Datsun within the late Fifties. Rather a lot has modified since then, and Nissan has come a great distance. The total-size Titan started life in 2003 as a 2004 mannequin and is at present in its second technology, which went on sale as a 2017 mannequin. Nissan has refreshed the half-ton Titan for 2020 with an up to date inside, engine and transmission, making it extra aggressive.
Simply as in years previous, Nissan is providing the Professional-4X off-road trim for these involved in a extra succesful truck. This trim comes with 275/70R18 Common Grabber A/T tires, that are about 33 inches tall. Whereas the tires aren’t a lot greater than these obtainable on different trim ranges, they’re extra aggressive. Together with the upgraded tires, the Professional-4X will get further convex mirrors for higher visibility, off-road gauges, Bilstein shocks, hill begin and hill descent management, metal skid plates and, most significantly, a locking rear differential.
How does all this gear assist it carry out off-road? To seek out out, we put the 2020 Titan Professional-4X by way of some typical off-road paces: dust and gravel roads, an articulation hill climb and a steep hill climb.
Excessive-Pace Dust and Gravel
The Titan Professional-4X is actually in its aspect when touring well-maintained dust and gravel roads. Over comparatively easy sections of gravel and dust, the Titan was planted with predictable steering and good traction. The Bilstein shocks saved the trip easy with none jarring. It carried out much less admirabley on less-maintained dust and gravel roads with vital holes, whoops and bumps. The suspension journey is restricted and it struggled to beat the bigger deformities within the highway. (The suspension wasn’t designed for desert pre-running, which shouldn’t be a problem for many prospects.)
Nissan has two important traction methods for the Titan Professional-4X: lively brake restricted slip and four-wheel drive with a rear locking differential.
ABLS, which has similarities to Toyota’s lively traction management, Jeep’s brake traction management and plenty of different methods, makes use of the antilock brake system to use the brakes to the wheels which might be slipping. ABLS is normal on all 4WD Titans. The ABLS system works in 4WD Excessive, nevertheless it applies the brakes with a jerky movement. It solely provides somewhat little bit of energy to the wheels with traction, then releases. It was sufficient to climb a small hill, however as I discovered later, it wasn’t as efficient on steep hills. In 4WD Low, the ABLS carried out a lot smoother and the truck had a a lot simpler climb even with two wheels with out traction.
Differential lockers are superior to brake-based methods and limited-slip differentials in lots of off-road conditions. Within the case of the Titan Professional-4X, the rear differential lock can solely be engaged when the truck is in 4WD Low. It’s additionally price noting that there is no such thing as a heart differential within the switch case, so with the rear differential locked and the truck in 4WD Low, each rear wheels and one entrance wheel should be with out traction for the car to get caught. Not surprisingly, with the rear locked, the Titan had no downside on the articulation hill.
Suspension journey on the articulation hill was about the identical because the non-off-road variants. All half-ton vehicles have related setups with strong rear axles and unbiased entrance suspensions, and the Titan falls on this group. The quantity of articulation on the Professional-4X is on par with the Ram 1500 Rebel with air suspension, however not so good as some others on this class.
Steep Hill Climb
The steep hill had three sections with two important traces within the center part. The entry part examined the method angle with a flat spot ascending right into a steep climb. The center part was a steep climb that was pretty flat on the fitting line however very rutted out on the left. The exit part transitioned from the steep hill to degree floor shortly, which exams the breakover angle. I all the time begin my exams on the exhausting line and if the car can’t make it, I then transfer to the straightforward line. No car I’ve examined has made both line in 2WD, and the Titan Professional-4X was no completely different.
When coming into the steep hill, I needed to fastidiously method at an angle in order that the entrance bumper wouldn’t drag on the bottom. The Titan does have a beefy radiator skid plate to guard the vital bits, however the painted plastic bumper may be simply scratched.
In 4WD Excessive, the Professional-4X struggled fairly a bit on the exhausting line. There have been many sections the place I used to be going full throttle, however because of the ABLS and traction management methods, the car was barely crawling. Finally, it made it up the exhausting line in 4WD Excessive, nevertheless it took loads of effort.
The Titan had a a lot simpler time making the climb in 4WD Low. There was nonetheless some slipping and sliding because it transferred energy aspect to aspect, nevertheless it was rather more managed and easy than in 4WD Excessive. Flipping the rear differential lock on made a large distinction. The climb was practically easy with minimal wheel slippage. Taking the toughest part of the exhausting line was a breeze.
Upon cresting the hill, I used to be shocked to search out that the underbelly didn’t contact. The breakover angle of the Titan Professional-4X is barely lower than a lot of its rivals, which have raised suspensions.
How Does It Evaluate?
There are numerous rivals within the half-ton off-road truck class. The Ford F-150 Raptor sits on the wild finish, whereas the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Path Boss resides on the delicate finish. The Titan Professional-4X is rather more the latter; its closest rivals are the Silverado 1500 Path Boss, Ram 1500 Insurgent, Toyota Tundra TRD Professional and Ford F-150 with the FX4 Off-Highway Bundle.
Extra From PickupTrucks.com:
For prime-speed driving, the Tundra TRD Professional is the very best — excluding the purpose-built Raptor. The Professional-4X is about even with the Ram Insurgent and Chevy Path Boss when hitting the dust quick. On the subject of slow-speed crawling, the Professional-4X is on par with the highest canine as a consequence of its locking rear differential and best-in-class crawl ratio. Holding the Professional-4X again are its lack of elevate and common method, breakover and departure angles. In these areas, it’s extra equal with the Tundra TRD Professional and F-150 FX4. The Insurgent and Path Boss are each lifted and supply higher angles. Floor clearance is 9.8 inches, which is barely lower than the Ram Insurgent, Tundra TRD Professional and Chevy Path Boss, however increased than the F-150 FX4.
Ought to You Purchase One?
Should you’re on the lookout for a half-ton truck that may do all of it and for a very good worth, then the Nissan Titan Professional-4X is likely to be for you. The 5.6-liter V-8 has good energy and torque, and the nine-speed automated does a superb job of getting that energy to the bottom. It will possibly tow greater than 9,000 kilos and nonetheless has some nice off-road options for the one that wants some functionality to get to their favourite spot.
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