Eager to Belong, Nissan Gives Titan and Titan XD Owners a Lift

Image: Nissan

Until now, every time a rolling wall of steel pulled up alongside you at a stoplight, blocking out nearly half of your peripheral vision, the culprit was almost always behind the wheel of a Detroit Three truck — one hoisted aloft by an aftermarket lift kit. Such kits allow pickups to mount the curb outside the 7-Eleven without endangering their fragile underbellies, while affording drivers a bird’s-eye view of surrounding environs (just not the vehicles immediately adjacent.)

Given the popularity of the Ford F-Series, General Motors’ Silverado and Sierra, and Ram’s brawny lineup, suspension lifts are generally the domain of American models. Well, Nissan wants to change this perception. In its bid to make the Titan and Titan XD pickups “one of the guys,” the Japanese automaker will offer a hands-off, bolt-on factory lift kit, ideally paired with the 5.0-liter Cummins diesel V8 for the purposes of rolling coal.*

*Neither Nissan nor TTAC endorses this obnoxious practice. Local laws may apply.

The ICON Vehicle Dynamics kit, developed with Nissan’s help and offered through its dealers, adds three inches to a Titan or Titan XD’s ride height, but only for four-wheel-drive crew cab models. As there’s no cutting or drilling required, the Titan’s warranty stays intact, as does the truck (when returned at the end of its lease.) Nissan says dealers can install the kit in four hours.

It’s the first factory-authorized lift kit offered by Nissan, and its existence says a lot about how the company wants Americans to view its trucks. Not satisfied with being an also-ran in the full-size truck segment, Nissan is doing everything in its power to ingratiate the Titan and its almost-heavy duty XD sibling to the buying public. Multiple cab and bed configurations, an available plow package, and even a Midnight Edition have joined the Titan ranks since the model’s recent revamp.

The message seems to be, “Anything you can do, we can do.”

For those owners willing to take the plunge, ICON’s kit includes adjustable-height coil-over shock absorbers, custom rod end bearings, and patent-pending Delta Joints. Caked-on mud comes separate. Payload and towing ratings aren’t changed by the installation, and the parts are covered by a separate warranty offered by the supplier. Clearly, Nissan’s trying to make it as easy as possible for buyers to bring home “the look.”

But are more buyers bringing home a Titan? Yes, just not in the numbers enjoyed by members of the Detroit Three. January saw 4,051 Titan and Titan XD trucks roll off dealer lots, a 46.4 percent year-over-year increase for the lineup. Thanks to the fresh design and new XD, Titan volume rose to its highest point since 2007 last year, with 52,924 trucks sold — more than double the previous year’s tally.

Having more high-margin trucks in the automaker’s product mix means a stronger financial footing in an era of sliding sedan sales. Still, Nissan has a long way to go before segment leader Ford breaks into a nervous sweat. In 2017, the Blue Oval sold 896,764 F-Series trucks.

Nissan’s jacked-in-a-box option comes online this spring.

[Images: Nissan]