'14 Nissan Titan looks to refreshment in2015

It’s difficult to get overly excited about the Nissan Titan, when you realize it accounts for less than 1 percent of sales of full-sized pickups in this country.

Patience of diehard Titan fans and others may be rewarded; Nissan officials have indicated a new version of the Titan will be revealed next January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. An option for the truck, which probably won’t reach showrooms until the second half of 2015, is expected to be a 5-liter Cummins diesel V-8 engine.

The regular Titan has been around since 2004, with not a lot of refinement over the years.

I got good use of its 4-by-4 setup in 7-inch snowfall last weekend. For the deep snow, turn a dial to 4hi from 2hi, then for even tougher going, just push and twist the dial for 4lo. It churned right through snsow and ice on a narrow dirt road with ruts and hills. It climbs slowly, though easily. A rearview camera was good help in backing.

With all the snow-going, some highway travel and brief warm-ups on a couple mornings, the Titan delivered an average of 13.4 miles per gallon of fuel. Its EPA estimate is only 12-17.

The 5.6-liter engine’s strong, 317 horsepower and 385 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission with tow-haul mode.

Nice dark leather seats stitched in white are part of the Pro-4X luxury package. A bed extender flips over onto the tailgate, and handy is an outside storage compartment behind the left rear wheel.

he Nissan comes up short in many of the amenities offered by the other competitors, and it shows in sales numbers from 2013: Ford F-series 763,402; Chevrolet Silverado 480,414; Ram 355,673; GMC Sierra 184,369; Toyota Tundra 112,732 and the Titan 15,691.

While the others in the field offer V-6 engines as fuel-savers, the Titan’s V-8 is the only choice.

Nissan offers an extended-cab King with clamshell-type rear doors and 6 ½-foot bed, and a four-door Crew Cab with 5-7 or 7-3-length beds.

The Pro-4X packages, including navigation, streaming audio via Bluetooth, Rockford Fosgate audio and power-adjustable pedals, raised sticker price on the Titan from $37,490 to $43,355.