Titan shines at Benz/BMW grand opening

The Platinum Reserve 4WD model of the 2017 Nissan Titan. (Jan Wells photos)

The 2017 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve 4WD pickup, with quilted leather seats, carried us into Denver  Wednesday evening, Feb. 15, and shown brightly in a mix among mostly premium luxury sedans outside the grand opening of Mercedes-Benz of Denver and BMW of Denver Downtown.

Entertaining in the BMW of Denver grand opening was the Danny Showers band.

Those two grand dealership structures at 1040 S. Colorado Blvd., and 940 S. Colorado Blvd., respectively, represent probably the largest single-venture automotive investment in this state’s history.

The Mercedes-Benz and BMW franchises and their locations, formerly owned by the late Mark Murray, were purchased by Sonic Automotive, one of the nation’s largest automotive retailers, based in Charlotte, N.C. Sonic added the property at 940 S. Colorado Blvd., which formerly contained a Chevrolet store, and construction commenced on the magnificently modern facilities after teardown of the old buildings.

Valued in seven figures is the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing.

A highlight with the 2017-model Mercedes was display of a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing sports car, owned by Lewis and Rebecca Kling of Castle Rock. The Mercedes edifice will hold 40 automobiles on two levels. Unveiling of a new 5-series sedan drew a crowd to the BMW showroom.

The shiny Titan, when it emerged in the valet-parked line at the end of the evening, looked good with its copper-colored exterior finish, 20-inch dark chrome wheels and stitched leather dash.

The Titan is a smaller version of the big XD pickups unveiled last year by Nissan in an attempt to increase sales enough to stay in the full-size truck competition.

Following a year, though, in which Nissan Titan sales increased by 75 percent, the total still accounts for barely 1 percent of full-size pickup sales in the U.S.

A 5.6-liter V-8 engine producing 390 horsepower and 394 lb.-ft. of torque is mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission under hood of the Titan. More than a foot shorter than the Titan XD trucks, the Titan crew cab measures 139.8 inches  in wheelbase and 228 inches in overall length, compared with 242.7 inches for the XD.

Wide running boards are installed alongside the Nissan four-door cab, and at the driver-side rear corner of the 5 ½-foot bed is a drop-down step to ease access into the pickup box.

Included in the $56,595 Platinum Reserve Titan are a great-sounding Rockford Fosgate audio system with 12 speakers, NissanConnect navigation, Bluetooth, remote engine start, wood-tone trim, automatic headlamps, power-folding side mirrors and illuminated/easy-drop tailgate.

The big V-8, with tow capacity of 9,390 pounds, averaged 15.5 miles per gallon; its EPA rating is 15/21.

A large number of Infiniti products, the luxury division for Nissan, has come my way in the past couple of years; the latest was a Q50 Sport all-wheel-drive sedan powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 engine and 7-speed automatic transmission. The 300-horsepower V-6 turned out strong midrange response and averaged 23.9 miles per gallon in a combination of city/highway miles. A premium options package adding navigation, adaptive shift control, heated front seats and steering wheel, around-view monitor and remote engine start boosted sticker price to $55,520.