It’s easy to turn to the usual domestic suspects when you’re looking to buy a used full-size pickup truck but there are alternatives out there that are well worth considering too. One of the best and sometimes most underrated full-size trucks around is the Nissan Titan, so here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking of buying a used Nissan Titan in 2022.
The Nissan Titan has a problem when it comes to taking on its full-size pickup truck rivals in the brand-new market, and that’s its price. It’s not as if the Titan is fresher, better equipped or more capable than the competition either.
The Titan is a very good truck that delivers in all the main areas, but why would you pay more for a new one than you’d have to pay for an equivalent F-Series, Silverado, or Ram?
What the Nissan Titan does have going for it is an enviable reputation for its durability and reliability, and that’s why, in my opinion, it makes much more sense to buy a used Nissan Titan in 2022 than a brand-new one.
Nissan Titan history
Although the Nissan Titan has been in production in the US for almost two decades there have only been two generations of the full-size, light-duty pickup truck so far. The first generation went into production in September 2003 for the 2004 model year and it was only replaced by a new second generation as recently as the 2016 model year.
First-generation Nissan Titan (2004-2015)
The first-generation Nissan Titan was built on the company’s F-Alpha platform that is shared with the likes of the Nissan Armada and Infiniti QX56 SUVs. First-generation models are no-nonsense, hard-working trucks that didn’t get any sort of notable changes until a refresh in 2008.
Under the hood of every first-gen Titan is a 5.6-liter V-8 gas engine that produces 317 horsepower and 385 lb.-ft. of torque that sends its power to the rear or all four wheels through a standard five-speed automatic transmission.
There are two main body styles available which are a King Cab (extended cab) or a more popular crew cab that has a full-sized back seat. There’s no regular cab version of the first-generation Nissan Titan, and that’s part of the reason why the Nissan can look a lot more expensive than some rivals when simply comparing the lowest new MSRPs.
King Cab models have a 6-foot-7-inch bed while crew cabs feature a 5-foot-7-inch bed, but in 2008 a longer wheelbase version was introduced. These models have an 8-foot-3-inch bed in King Cab form or a 7-foot-3-inch bed if you’re looking at a crew cab.
The available trim levels were S, SV, Pro-4x, SE, and LE to begin with, but later models saw the SE and LE trims replaced by a luxury SL trim level. SL models are what you want if luxury and features are your main requirement and Pro-4x models are what you want if it’s an off-road-focused used truck you’re looking for.
Second-generation Nissan Titan (2016-Present)
One of the criticisms of the Titan was that it wasn’t made in the same number of mind-boggling different specifications as its domestic rivals, and it still isn’t, but Nissan did start to offer buyers more choices with the second generation.
As well as a redesigned exterior and interior, the second-generation Titan also got a more powerful engine, a better transmission, heavy-duty XD versions, and eventually a diesel engine option.
The standard engine is still a 5.6-liter V-8, but with second-gen models, this engine puts out 390 horsepower and 394 lb.-ft. of torque. That increased power goes to the rear or all four wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission.
You will find three different cabs for second-generation versions of the Nissan Titan as a two-door regular cab was added to the lineup. Regular cab models are only available in S and SV trim levels while King Cab versions come in S, SV, and Pro-4X trims. Crew cabs are available in all trim levels which means you’ll find crew cab Titans in S, SV, Pro-4X, and SL versions.
Titan XD models are marketed as heavy-duty trucks, which technically they are. However, don’t expect a Titan XD to be a serious competitor to the most powerful Super Duty or similar rivals in terms of outright towing and hauling capability.
From the end of 2019, a Cummins diesel engine was made available for the Titan XD, which is a 5.0-liter turbodiesel V-8 that develops 310 horsepower and a useful 555 lb.-ft. of torque that’s mated to a standard six-speed automatic transmission. It’s definitely better for towing, but its maximum tow rating of around 12,000 pounds is pretty puny for what’s billed as a “heavy-duty” truck as a 2019 Ford F-150 could tow up to 13,200 pounds when properly configured.
2020 refresh of the Nissan Titan
Regular cabs were only produced up to and including the 2019 model year as they were dropped when the second-generation Titan and Titan XD got a refresh for the 2020 model year. The King Cab was also dropped for the Titan XD as well as that diesel engine option that was available for a very short period due to low sales.
Regardless of whether you’re looking at a 2020 Titan or Titan XD, under the hood, you’ll find a 5.6-liter gas V-8 which by this time was producing 400 horsepower and 143 lb.-ft. of torque that goes to the wheels through a new nine-speed automatic transmission.
Once again, I’m afraid, the maximum towing capacities for the Titan are far from impressive. The Titan from 2020 is rated to tow up to 9,300 pounds while the XD see that increase a little to 11,000 pounds.
Are used Nissan Titans reliable?
A used Nissan Titan is one of the most reliable and dependable full-size trucks you can buy. RepairPal gives the Nissan Titan a reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5 which means it ranks second out of 17 full-size trucks.
The Nissan’s average annual repair cost of just $555 also means the Titan has lower than average ownership costs. Although repairs can be a little more severe than the average, these issues are relatively infrequent so major repairs are not common for the Titan.
J.D. Power tells a similar story to RepairPal with an overall score of 85 out of 100 for the Titan for dependability and 95 out of 100 as far as quality and reliability are concerned. What the Titan lacks in terms of outright capability it more than makes up for in other areas.
What are the best years for a used Nissan Titan?
There are no Nissan Titan model years that must be avoided at all costs, but it’s probably best to stay away from the very early models such as 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. I’d suggest that 2008 is where you should start looking for a used first-generation Nissan Titan as Nissan had ironed out some early teething problems by then and 2008 is also when a refreshed Titan was introduced.
But if your budget will run to it, a second-generation Titan is a pretty safe bet, especially from the 2020 model year refresh. The 2016 and 2018 model years have had a few reports of issues with the exhaust and fuel systems respectively, but when you are buying used these faults will probably have been resolved by previous owners.
What is high mileage for a Nissan Titan?
A well cared for and properly maintained Nissan Titan will be good for at least 250,000 miles and probably a good deal more, but if you can land yourself a Titan XD with the Cummings diesel engine, it’ll probably last you a lifetime and then some.
I know diesel is a dirty word for many Americans as far as their daily drivers are concerned, but they really are awesome for hard-working full-size pickup trucks.
Do Nissan Titans hold their value?
According to the caredge.com website, a Nissan Titan will depreciate by 42% over its first five years from new based on an annual mileage of 12,000 miles per year. Therefore, if you paid $40,000 for a two-year-old Titan and kept it for three years it would still be worth somewhere close the $29,000 by then.
How much does a used Nissan Titan cost?
You can get an early Nissan Titan for as little as $3,000 to $4,000, but you can guarantee that they will have done somewhere close to or more than a quarter of a million miles and that means they’re past their best.
Below is a table showing the average minimum and maximum used prices you should expect to pay for all model years of used Nissan Titans in 2022.
|Average Minimum Used Price
|Average Maximum Used Price
Is a used Nissan Titan a good truck?
The Nissan Titan is a good truck overall, although it’s not what you should be buying if you want the most towing and hauling capability for your money. If it’s a versatile, comfortable, and well-equipped truck that won’t let you down that you’re looking for you can’t really go wrong with a Nissan Titan.
I think one of the biggest problems these trucks faced in their early years was they didn’t look the way domestic full-size trucks usually looked. Until the second generation arrived in 2016, the Titan was instantly identifiable as a Japanese truck that looked more like a Toyota Hilux or Mitsubishi L200 than an F-150 or a Silverado 1500.
What you will find is that base versions of the Titan will be much more generously equipped with features and equipment than the cheapest versions of rival trucks, but that’s because the Titan isn’t offered in as many different variations and it’s also reflected in the price.
Should you buy a used Nissan Titan?
It’s easy to make a case for buying a used Nissan Titan, but it’s not as easy to make a case for buying a used Nissan Titan over a used Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ram 1500, or even a Toyota Tundra. There’s nothing wrong with the Titan, but apart from its reliability, there isn’t really anything it offers that its rivals don’t and you’ll probably get more for your money with one of the Nissan’s bigger-selling rivals.
The Titan can be an excellent platform for customization, of course, and if you want to see what can be done with one of these full-size trucks then check out what Diesel Brothers did in this video.