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Options include the Utili-track cargo system, a towing package with yaw-managing Vehicle Dynamic Control, an off-road package with Rancho shocks, locking rear differential, three skid plates and 17-inch tires, and the list goes on with rear proximity sensors, navigation system, dual-zone climate controls and side and curtain airbags.

Nissan says some 260 combinations of drivetrain, cab and feature configurations are available.

Pricing is not expected until a few weeks before launch, and likely will be competitive with comparably equipped Fords as well as the new Toyota double cab.

We drove LE 4x4 versions of both the Crew Cab and King Cab at the Titan media introduction.

The two things that immediately stand out about the truck are its powertrain and the creative features both in its cabin and its bed.

The Endurance V8 and the Titan’s five-speed transmission are wonderfully matched. The engine’s power is immediately apparent when you tip into the throttle and we never found the transmission having to hunt for an appropriate gear as we drove paved roads that wind through Napa Valley and then headed up and over the hills that define its eastern edges. Our route also included a narrow and hills off-road trail, although we didn’t find it necessary to move the selector control out of two-wheel drive even though we were on the standard 18-inch tires, not the special off-road tread that comes with the option package.

The Titan handled curves and turns without any unruly side-to-side transition and feels much smaller than its full-size dimensions. At one point we thought the exhaust note was a little louder than we expected, but then we looked at the speedometer and discovered that we also were going a lot faster than anticipated.

The interior is nicely laid out with easy to find and to use switchgear and with more storage cubbies and cup holders than you’re ever likely to need.

The Crew Cab provides 127.7 cubic feet of space. The rear bench seat bottom easily pivots up against the seat back, leaving a wide and almost flat floor. Although the interior isn’t as luxurious as Ford’s Lariat trim, the Titan Crew Cab certainly is a viable truck of the year candidate.

On the other hand, while the Titan King Cab has those terrific Wide-Open rear doors that make entry and exit easy, we weren’t as comfortable riding in this version’s rear seat as we’d been in our recent visit to the second-row of the comparable ’04 F-150, which offers better leg room, a more comfortable seat-back angle and power-down windows in its rear doors.

But let’s face it; if you plan to carry people in the second row very often, you’d probably opt for the Crew Cab in the first place. King Cab buyers likely are more interested in the access those Wide-Open doors provide – whether it’s in unloading groceries in a crowded parking lot or in access to the 48.2 cubic feet of secure interior capacity available behind the front seats.

And only Titan buyers can equip their pickups with Nissan’s innovative Utili-track System that includes C-section rails mounted along the front and sides of the bed, with two more in the floor. Removable utility cleats slide into the channels to provide anchor points for cargo tie-down. Nissan will offer various bed dividers, a sliding cargo tray, modular storage boxes as well as overhead racks for bikes, kayaks and work equipment.

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