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Nissan is a Japanese automaker that has struggled to compete with its Japanese rivals, and the company has also struggled to compete in the American car market. Nissan isn’t a bad automaker by any means, and it has two trucks in its lineup that may appeal to some truck shoppers. Even though the 2023 Nissan Titan is a solid full-size pickup truck, Nissan Titan sales aren’t doing too well, and it’s possibly being punished for being the last “real” truck.

The 2023 Nissan Titan may very well be the last ‘real’ truck on the market

Prime Autotainment recently published a short video on YouTube detailing all the merits of the brand-new Nissan Titan. As the video explains, many of those merits are traditional truck traits that the more popular trucks, such as the Ford F-150, have since done away with. A key example is under the hood. The Titan has a 5.6-liter V8 engine that gets 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. 

There aren’t any other engine options, and the V8 has nothing fancy like a turbocharger. This is a trait that traditional trucks had, but most trucks nowadays have a variety of powertrain options. On top of that, automatic stop and start is a modern feature common in many trucks, but not in the Titan.

Additionally, the Nissan truck has hydraulic steering rather than electric steering, which helps give the steering some heft. The model has a column shifter, even on the top trims. The Titan isn’t entirely ancient, though, as it does have an 8.0-inch touchscreen and a 7.0-inch digital gauge cluster display. However, the Japanese automaker gave the truck a lot of physical controls, which have become less common in cars and trucks nowadays.

Critics tend to think those ‘real’ truck aspects are bad

Although those Nissan Titan features are traditional truck traits, they’re also traits many drivers and car critics don’t expect or want in their trucks. For example, U.S. News reviewed the latest model year of the Titan, and the car critic dinged the truck for many reasons. Several of those reasons are simply “real” truck traits. The car critic praised the Titan’s powerful V8 but then criticized Nissan for not offering many powertrain or body options.

The site also didn’t like the fact that there were some “cheap” cabin materials. Those criticisms reflect the changing tastes of the American truck market. “Real” trucks aren’t supposed to be luxurious, and they’re supposed to be simple with few options. By being more like a “real” truck, the Titan may alienate modern truck buyers.

Nissan has a tough choice ahead for what to do with the Titan

Related 5 Disappointing Drawbacks Put the 2023 Nissan Titan at the Bottom of the Full-Size Pickup Truck Class

5 Disappointing Drawbacks Put the 2023 Nissan Titan at the Bottom of the Full-Size Pickup Truck Class

Unfortunately, if the Japanese automaker can’t appeal to car shoppers, it will go out of business. As such, the company has a lot of tough choices to make. If it continues designing the Titan as a traditional and “real” truck, Nissan Titan sales numbers may never improve. Unsurprisingly, many drivers and car critics want Nissan to change its trucks.

However, if Nissan modernizes the Titan too much, that may take away the unique aspects of the truck. Americans love buying trucks, but not many automakers can hope to crack into the market share that the F-150, Chevy Silverado, and Ram 1500 occupy. If Nissan tries to compete directly with those three trucks, the Titan may sell even worse.