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In the mid-2000s, Nissan unveiled its competitor to Chevrolet’s Silverado, Dodge’s Ram, and Ford’s F-150. The Nissan Titan came equipped with a fully-boxed ladder chassis like any good work truck. Staffed with a 5.6-liter V8 and optional shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive, it was an ambitious challenge to tried-and-true domestic pickups. There were particularly good years of Nissan’s Titan, but there are six model years to avoid in the used car market.

2004 Nissan Titan

In its debut year, Nissan’s full-size pickup truck suffered from a wide range of issues. CarComplaints reports the 2004 model had the most owner issues at well over 1,000. There are nearly two dozen areas of consumer complaints, but most revolve around the drivetrain. The front and rear differentials were prone to failure—not something good to have in a work truck, let alone any other car.

2005 Nissan Titan

This model year Titan had one less National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall than the previous year. But that still meant six of them. They include the engine control module, front and rear lower links, fuel gauge, HVAC condenser, trailer brake controls, and airbag wiring harness. Unfortunately, consumer complaints regarding drivetrain failures continued, too.

2006 Nissan Titan

A nissan titan drives through mud
2006 Nissan Titan | Mark Elias/Bloomberg, Getty Images

Befallen with seven recalls, the 2006 Titan was also under investigation by the NHTSA. Reportedly, a short circuit in the HVAC sensor could cause an engine compartment fire. Continuing drivetrain issues, the 2006 model year suffered from further differential and axle failures.

2008 Nissan Titan

A red nissan titan at an auto show
2008 Nissan Titan | Mark Elias/Bloomberg, Getty Images

Most of the drivetrain issues were reined in by the time the 2008 model year Titan went on sale. Nevertheless, the full-size pickup truck still had a myriad of customer complaints. Half a dozen different suspension components were prone to breaking. The transmission didn’t fare well, either. Six recalls were issued, including one to fix an issue with projectiles being blown into occupants’ faces during airbag deployment.

2016 Nissan Titan

a yellow nissan titan is in front of mountains
2016 Nissan Titan XD | Nissan

Nissan solved many of the Titan’s problems in the second-generation truck. However, new ones crept up. The 2016 Titan had a few recalls, but the most significant consumer issues are with the exhaust system. Catalytic converter failure led some owners to report exhaust fumes leaking into the cabin.

2018 Nissan Titan

A red nissan titan sits in a warehouse
2018 Nissan Titan | Nissan

The 2018 Titan struggled with a few transmission problems. Owners observed hard shifting and jerking during upshifts and downshifts, CoPilot indicates. Some reports claimed their trucks would stop abruptly while driving. The 2018 Titan also had engine troubles. Although it had a 5.0-liter Cummins diesel engine, more than a few had premature turbo failure.

Should you buy a used Nissan full-size pickup truck?

The second-generation Titan that went on sale in the 2015 model year is far better than most of the first-generation pickup trucks. Yet, potential used car buyers should still stay away from the 2016 and 2018 model years.

To hedge your bets, the 2017, 2019, and 2020 model year Titans will fare better than the others. Those three model years have less than half as many issues reported by consumers as the 2016 or 2018 model. Moreover, while getting a diesel in a half-ton pickup is a welcome addition, it’s probably not the best to choose the cetane-powered Titan.


Why Nobody Wants the Nissan Titan