Giving the truck a longer wheelbase was a nice move for a utility-oriented market. Bigger will likely always be better for pickups, and the extended wheelbase keeps the Titan in the game by giving its customers more functionality and the press something fresh to talk about. It has a great towing capability and a longer bed, and the cab accommodates cargo well enough. It's a decent truck in these areas. On the highway, the Titan doesn't feel as refined as the Tundra, and the steering feels heavy, but not overbearing. Actually, the steering feels solid enough to remind you that you're not driving a car. The truck has always been pretty good around town, but the longer wheelbase, which should help tame unruly pavement, now makes it feel as bouncy as a Ram, thanks to it's heavier springs. Another obvious trade-off is parking. Parallel parking the Titan, like any large truck, is a chore; but once you get used to the convex mirrors, it's not impossible.
The 5.6L in the Nissan feels strong off the line, with Ford and GM trucks you can feel that the engine is tuned to not go wide-open throttle right away, or to retard the timing for a few seconds; not so with the Nissan. Granted, with the added weight of the crew cab and long bed, a lot of the fun was taken out of the equation that we were used to with the lighter Titans we've tested. What's left is still a strong performer and more than enough power for a work truck.
Nissan's huge SUV comes at you like a, well...Armada. The Titan's platform mate borrows a lot of that architecture's truck-like capability and wraps it up with techno gadgetry.
We liked the textured, wrap-around dash. It had some cushion to it, which helped make it feel better than the "plasticy" plastic of the Tundra. The center stack looked really busy and could have been laid out more intuitively. For example, there are buttons for zooming in and out on the map that are only used when the map is displayed, so why not just add a plus and minus soft button on the map screen the way Ford and GM do? Another example, the volume knob is in easy reach of the driver, but the tuning knob is a foot away, definitely in the realm of the passenger. After having to lean forward to change the channels, you're all but forced into programming the audio presets to every channel that you might be inclined to listen to. That said, the steering wheel controls worked well, but we prefer the back of the steering wheel controls of Dodge and Jeep vehicles. As far as interior space goes, the center console is big, and takes up what could have been front passenger knee room, but the space that is left is still pretty good. Second-row legroom is excellent, and third row seats are actually fairly easy to access with fold-forward second row seats. Once you're in the third row, the stadium seating makes for a comfortable experience, for all but the tallest passengers. To sum it up, it has comfortable seating for six, but the surfaces just don't look compelling enough to justify $52K. Granted, the interior is OK, and there is a lot of functionality inside there, but we would rather pocket the cash and sit in the Grand Cherokee or the Durango.
We have always liked the front sheetmetal and grilles of both the Titan and the Armada, and the updates take what was already good and keeps them fresh. If there's one gripe about the styling, it's that the C-pillar doesn't quite look right. The curving roofline and glass above the rear doors meeting the flat roofline over the rear greenhouse still looks like two different designers merged concepts. Although, the rear fender flares make up for it and give the Armada an imposing stance.