The newest version of the Nissan Titan pickup is significant in the truck market -- not for what it has, but for what it doesn't have. The new S model is about as bare-bones a truck as you can buy today, on purpose.
"This segment, the regular cab, two-wheel drive, long bed 'work beast' is often ignored in the pickup truck segment," said Mark Williams, editor of Pickuptrucks.com. "But if you make a good truck there, that's going to add to your credibility.
Nissan is offering the new commercial-grade truck as the company seeks a bigger slice of the lucrative full-size truck market. How lucrative?
Last year, Ford sold more than 826,000 F-Series pickups. G.M. wasn't far behind with more than 796,000, when its Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size trucks are combined. And the Ram full-size pickup rounds out the top three with more than 489,000 sold.
By contrast, Toyota's Camry, the best-selling passenger car in the country, trails all three of those trucks by a wide margin, with 388,618 in total sales for 2016.
Just look around and you'll see that trucks are indeed everywhere.
And to compete for truck buyers, manufacturers keep upping the ante -- more powerful engines, higher capacities and nicer amenities.
"Every one of the truck makers -- Ford, Chevy, Ram, GMC and everybody -- is offering a fully loaded top-of-the-line pickup truck," Williams noted. "And people are buying them like crazy."
As an example, I recently got to test out a 2017 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 pickup, which was optioned with a newly upgraded Duramax V8 diesel engine. It makes an incredible 910 lb-ft of torque, and gives the crew cab version of the truck a rather amazing towing capacity of over 13,000 pounds.
On the inside, the truck featured the upscale LTZ trim package and had such amenities as heated and cooled leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear-seat entertainment system, automatic collision warning, blind spot warning and even a power moonroof -- basically, things you'd find in a luxury car today. But it also had a luxury car-like sticker price of over $70,000.
Some sticker prices go even higher, from a low end of about $30,000, which is the base price of the new work-grade Nissan Titan S.
For many buyers, however, work trucks and pricey luxury trucks can come together and be used as one vehicle, at a price somewhere in between. They can get the job done Monday through Friday, then cart the family around, in comfort, on the weekends.
Nissan seeks larger share of full-size pickup truck market with new Titan S model