Nissan's Titan pickup truck is the new kid at school — picked on, not given any respect, overlooked when it comes time to choose teams for sports. But that's OK; Nissan seems to relish being the underdog of the pickup class as it gives the automaker freedom to do things a little out of the box. The latest version of the Mississippi-built Titan has been out for a couple of years now, and Titans are still a rare sight in most parts of the country. But that doesn't bother the Nissan crew; they're soldiering along with a truck that they're eager to prove is as capable as domestic-brand pickups.
With that in mind, I found myself in the parking lot of the Hilton at McGhee Tyson Airport staring at a 2018 Titan half-ton and Titan XD pickups as journalists converged upon Knoxville, Tenn., for the first part of Nissan's Great Titan Meat Up. The Meat Up was the latest in a series of special events designed to showcase the Titan in the wild. Meat Up weekend kicked off with a day off-roading in the Smoky Mountains followed by a smoked meat cooking competition in Pigeon Forge.
A Mix of Off-Road Titans
The off-road event took us into the hills of Windrock Park, one of the largest off-road parks in the country encompassing more than 72,000 acres laced with more than 300 miles of off-highway trails that accommodate everything from side-by-sides to dirt bikes to full-size 4x4 trucks like the Titans. Our fleet was a mix of Titan half tons with the 390-horsepower, 5.6-liter Endurance V-8 and Titan XDs — Nissan's 'tweener pickup that's not quite a half ton, not quite a heavy duty — powered by a 310-hp, turbo-diesel 5.0-liter Cummins V-8. All trucks were the Pro-4X off-road trim, with higher ride heights, all-terrain tires, Bilstein shocks, an electronic locking rear differential and some additional underbody skid-plate protection that came in handy on the trails.
Posted by Aaron Bragman | May 2, 2018
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