Nissan Titan improves in driver-side small overlap front test

January 16, 2018

The Nissan Titan crew cab is the fourth large pickup to earn a good rating in the driver-side small overlap front test.

Nissan modified the front-end structure of 2017-18 Titans to improve protection in the small overlap test. The good rating applies to Titans built after August. Before the change, the Titan earned a marginal rating in the test.

The small overlap test was introduced in 2012 and replicates what happens when the front left corner of a vehicle hits another vehicle or an object such as a tree or utility pole. Manufacturers initially struggled with this type of crash, which bypasses the vehicle's main structure, but today most models earn good ratings.

Pickups, however, are an exception. Before the Titan's most recent test, the Honda Ridgeline and the Ford F-150 crew cab and extended cab were the only large pickups to earn good ratings.

In the new test, the Titan's driver space was maintained well, with maximum intrusion of 7 inches at the lower door-hinge pillar. Measures from the dummy showed injuries to the left lower leg would be possible in a crash of the same severity.

In the earlier test, the driver's space was not maintained well, with maximum intrusion of 11 inches at the lower door-hinge pillar. Injuries to the left lower leg would have been likely, and injuries to the left foot and right lower leg would have been possible.

In both tests, the dummy's movement was well-controlled by the safety belt and airbags.

Despite the good driver-side small overlap rating and good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, the Titan isn't eligible for a Top Safety Pick award because it has no available front crash prevention system and both of its available headlight systems earn a marginal rating.

IIHS recently launched a second small overlap front test, on the passenger side, after it became clear that manufacturers weren't paying the same attention to protecting right front passengers as they were to protecting drivers. No pickups have been rated yet for passenger-side small overlap protection. A good or acceptable rating in the passenger-side small overlap test is a requirement for the Top Safety Pick+ award.

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