• 2017 Nissan Titan Half-Ton: Ike Gauntlet Extreme Towing Review [Video]

    2017 nissan titan 1500 extreme towing review
    2017 Nissan Titan 1500

    How does the all-new 2017 Nissan Titan 1500 do on the Ike Gauntlet extreme tow test? You are about to find out! This is the first in a series of 2017 Gold Hitch awards towing reviews.

    2017 Nissan Titan 1500 Crew 5.6L 4×4 Platinum Reserve

    • Engine: 5.6L V8
    • Power: 390 @ 5,800 rpm
    • Torque: 394 @ 4,000 rpm
    • Transmission: 7-speed automatic
    • Rear Axle Ratio: 2.937
    • Max Towing: 9,040 lbs
    • Max Payload: 1,610 lbs
    • GVWR: 7,300 lbs
    • GCWR: 15,300 lbs
    • EPA-estimated Fuel Economy: 15/21/18 mpg (city/hwy/combined)
    • As-tested Price: $56,595

    All half-ton trucks are hitched up to the same 9,000 lbs enclosed CM Trailers 20-foot CargoMate trailer. We always use water for ballast, and set up the tongue weight between 900 and 950 lbs. We calculate the tongue weight at approximately 10% of the combined trailer weight.


    We test downhill performance by starting the 8 mile downhill at 50 MPH (which is the speed limit inside the tunnel). We use the tow/haul mode (and exhaust brake if equipped) and let the truck do its thing. If it accelerates past 60 MPH, which is the speed limit, then we apply the brake firmly to slow down to 50 MPH. We count the number of time we have to apply the brakes in this fashion. Every time we touch the brakes on the way down, the truck looses a point.


    We time the truck on the way up (8 mile stretch of the interstate on a 7% grade going from around 9,000 feet to 11,158 feet of elevation). We also take note of the truck’s average MPG as reported by the trip computer. The benchmark time is 8 minutes. This assumes that the truck accelerated quickly, and maintained 60 MPH the entire way up the hill. Every 5 seconds over the time goal subtracts a point from the truck’s overall score. The benchmark MPG number is 6.0MPG. Every 0.2 MPG below that, and the truck looses a point.


    Each reviewer that participates in the test is given a maximum of 25 points for their subjective opinion. These scores are averaged and added to the downhill and uphill objective scores. The final score is stated out of maximum possible 100 points.

    As always, we invite all pickup truck manufacturers to participate in every part of the Gold Hitch award testing. This year’s half-ton class is comprised of the following:

    2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 6.2L V8 8-Speed

    2017 Ford F-150 3.5L EcoBoost V6 10-Speed

    2017 Nissan Titan 1500 V8 7-Speed

    This is one of the times when we are selling TFLtruck / Ike Gauntlet merchandise. We always appreciate your viewership and support.

    Get all the details and the final Ike Gauntlet score in the video below.

    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    40 thoughts on “2017 Nissan Titan Half-Ton: Ike Gauntlet Extreme Towing Review [Video]

    1. Keep them coming… Curious how the Ford F-150 with the 10 spd does. The Titan continues to underwhelm. Sure looks good on paper, but doesn’t excel at anything in testing, except warranty.

    2. Interesting test with the Titan and I would expect the F150 will be the king. Despite the manufacturer’s rated towing capacities, it seems to me that common sense and a dose of reality should dictate how much any 1/2ton truck should (not can) pull. Unless it is a short distance or very rare event, it seems as though half tons should be limited to +/-7000# trailers. This is more realistic when figuring in GCWR’s and keeping things reasonable. Buyers need to remember that manufacturers are in the business to sell a product. Buyers need to use common sense. Keep up the great tests TFL!

    3. The Titan did pretty good even though I’ve seen these test at higher payloads but 7000lbs is not a bad weight. Probably an average weight the public normally tows. Even though I do see a lot of F150s with the 3.5L towing large 5th wheels. The real surprise for me was the 7 speed transmission gear spread. It went from 6000 rpm to 4000. It seemed like if it could stay at 5000, it would be about perfect. Good video guys. Love what you do.

      1. Yep, the 7-speed is a bit of a joke since 6th and 7th are so damn close together.
        (1:0.86 and 1:0.78)
        It should really be called a 6.1 speed!

    4. Nice! I have been waiting for this a long time.
      Although the Titan got a good time, it seemed that it was working very hard. Mr. Truck was not impressed by the performance. The GM 5.3L and 5.0 Ford seemed to pull it with less effort. The Titan was floored most of the time and couldnt hold 3rd gear for very long at 3800 rpm. It was constantly downshifting to 2nd which is about 5800 rpm.
      Adding more weight would of definately widened the gap between the 5.6L and the rest of the V-8s in the class.

      1. I’m agreement on the gear spread almost 6000 to 4000 is very large down shift. I’m curious where the ratios are in this 7 SPD. Maybe Mr Kent mistakingly lack of power for this huge down shift. Maybe it is the seat of pants feel. It also has a 2.93 rear gear. With this highway gear maybe compensating the with lower gears in the transmission. I just don’t know.

        Sounds like a very good v-8. revs fast.

        Good test tfl.

    5. Trans ratios
      1st- 4.886
      2nd- 3.169
      3rd- 2.027
      4th- 1.411
      5th- 1.000
      6th- 0.864
      7th- 0.744

      1st gear is really short, that’s with the 2.93s. This truck needs the old big tow option with the 3.36s back. It would really benefit.

      I’ll agree with the consensus so far. Pretty disappointing. The ratio spread from 2nd to 3rd gear is too wide. 2nd was too short to pull up the mountain at 60mph, and 3rd gear was just too tall to be able to hold without downshifting. This is where the closer ratios of the GM 8 speed and ford 10 speed will shine. I believe the GM 5.3 and 6.2 both held 3rd gear at around 4500 rpms for the most part.

      1. That’s a good start,but 3:55’s would be ideal to keep the engine in the powerband,imho.Maybe a bit lower than I stated too. It really looks like the team that redone the titan wasn’t much of a truck-centric group.Nothing beats real world use.

        1. Problem is the 7th gear is relatively short compared to anyone elses top gear. Ram’s 8 speed is a .67, GM is .65, Fords 6 speed as a .69, and the new 10 speed is a .63.

          Nissan has to put a tall rear gear to compensate for the .74.

          1. Exactly. You will be running at rather high RPMs cruising the freeway if you have something like 3.73 gears.

      1. Remember this is the Non-XD, so it weighs a tad over 5,900 as a Platinum Reserve, compared to Silverado High Country at 5,650, a F150 Platinum is about 5,000, Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn is about 5,700, and the Tundra 1794 is 5,700. Definately not a huge difference excluding the F150.

        1. Platinum F150 is a bit heavier than that, closer to 5500.

          My 2014 Lariat Crew 6.5′ bed is just shy of 6200 lbs.

          1. I was amazed at how hard it is to find curb weights for some. The 5K # for the Platinum came from the Ford website. Seemed a bit lite to me too.

    6. Whats the gear ratio on this truck? It used to be the Titan’s with the smaller mirrors did not have the towing gears on them or the “Big Tow Package”

    7. Nissan likes to use obscure rear end ratios like 2.93 or 3.36. I do agree that it should have a better towing gear (like a 3.55 or a 3.73. Don’t know if the transmission would work better with a lower rear end gear or not. I’m sure that Nissan could reflash the transmission computer but i don’t think they will

      1. The Nissan would NOT do better with 3.36 gears or shorter. In that case, 2nd gear would be unusable, and 3rd gear would only be around 4300 rpm at 60 mph. The Titan XD gas did a little more weight with those gears and it was bogging down at those RPMs.

        1. What 3:36 would do is allow you tow more over the 2:93 probably. Tho your settement is probably true what you said on everything else.

        2. So you agree the gearing of the trans and rear gear are set up strange. But the truck did well given the gearing I would say.

          1. Yea I think your assessment and everybody else’s the gearing in this truck is kinda goofy. Like nihilus said going to a lower rear rear gear probably wouldn’t help because of the transmission gearing.

            I think tho Nissan came along way from what they had this much improved Titan.

    8. I would like to take this moment to congratulate Nissan and Co, on their innate ability to produce trucks based on committee and feelings rather than solid state of the art engineering. Go back and watch the vid of the Nissan guy talking about this truck at the auto show. You would think he was talking about high fashioned girly girl accessories, not a truck.

      PS you can’t make a truck that needs a diet on it’s first trip down the assembly line.

    9. The Titan did better than I expected. But that experience was not pleasant, especially for a so called luxury truck.

      I expect the EcoBoost Ford to mop the field.

    10. Another awesome video! I was wondering if you guys would IKE Andre’s diesel? I would love to see how it handles.

    11. The Titan did exactly the same as all other naturally aspirated v8 engines with the same hp ratings. +/- 5 %. From previous Ike tests. Suprise surprise. One thing no one has mentioned is that it only squated 2″ without the weight distributing hitch. That’s better than the Chev 6.2 by half inch. Better than ford by 1 inch. And most certainly way better than dodge. For those of us that don’t use a wd hitch or actually put a load in the bed, that is significantly better. Could it do better with an extra gear. Probably could on the Ike. But it is as they say extreme test. Ever notice all the trucks with trailers that get passed in these tests because most people aren’t trying to blow their engine or tranny towing up this hill. And for those who say it’s unsafe to travel at a lesser speed up a continuous 7 percent grade with multiple lanes shouldn’t be towing. Ford will obviously dominate this test. The 3.5 turbo outmatches all other trucks on this test. But it is also the only one people have complained in tests about nervous situations when towing full load because it gets pushed around due to soft suspension. Just my 2 cents.

    12. Basically seems to be a great truck. If you didn’t comparison shop, you would never know you were missing anything. Especially if your trading up from a truck that’s going on 6 years of age.

    13. This thing would have a never-ending uphill battle if it was superior. Turns out it’s below average at just about everything.

      What a waste of time on Nissans part.

      1. You nailed it. The truck excels at nothing and does everything marginally. No innovations and truly the only argument that could be made for anything that even remotely sets it apart from the field is its warranty.

        The 2004 Titan was a truly ground-breaking and innovativd truck that forced the big 3 to step up their game. The 2017 Titan is a huge swing-and-a-miss and will fade into obscurity. I give it 3-5 yrs before Nissan pulls the plug on the Titan and it fades into oblivion.

    14. yeah, the 2.937 not helping this truck on this test, I would prefer a 3.692 final drive. Would be a good match with the 7 speed.

    15. What does the torque curve on this motor look like? It seems like the Power and Torque peaks are about the same as the GM Ecotec motors(4000 rpm and 5800 rpm), but the GM’s make like 90% of peak torque at 2000 rpm.

    16. I was really impressed with it. I think Mr truck was smoking something giving it a 15 subjective.

      I am not sure what more could it do, it made the pull in the benchmark 8 min, with 9k behind it in a extra wide extra tall flat nosed enclosed trailer pretty much dragging as much wind with it as possible. Nissan has optional trailer tow mirrors, that easily cure that mirror issue.

      Since TFL has gone back to mixing it all up with different weights and trailers again. We have pretty much lost all the comparative data from the last 2 years on trucks that are all still in the market unchanged to date.

      I agree with some others, I would not buy a half ton gas anything to pull 9k enclosed trailers around in the mountains. But it did it and seemed like it performed as well as it was allowed to, it was maxed out on weight and they are suppose to keep speed at 60 or less. So how could you make it score better then an 8 min run.

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