2020 Nissan Titan XD

Release Date
Late spring 2020
Price Range
$46,175-$63,285 including destination

What to expect

  • More power for the gasoline V8, but no more diesel option
  • Improved technology and driver aids
  • Only available in crew cab with 6.5-foot bed configuration
  • Refreshed front and rear design
  • Part of the first Titan XD generation released for 2016

Nissan Titan XD years
2020
Upcoming
Nissan Titan XD for Sale

2020 Nissan Titan XD review
Easy to Like, Hard to Love
What is it?

Nissan has refreshed its tweener truck, the Titan XD, which occupies a niche between full-size and heavy-duty trucks. On top of a handful of changes to the trucks' looks and technology, the XD lineup has been simplified. Going forward, there is only one configuration: crew cab with a 6.5-foot bed, a gasoline V8 and four-wheel drive. Output from the 5.6-liter gas V8 has been increased slightly to 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque, but the 5.0-liter Cummins diesel V8 has been dropped.

A new nine-speed automatic replaces the aging seven-speed auto, which should increase fuel efficiency and drivability. The rear gearing is now 4.083:1, which should help improve acceleration.

The 2020 Titan XD is 3 inches taller and about 15 inches longer than the standard Titan, with an 11.8-inch-longer wheelbase. The cab is identical in size between the two trucks, meaning the extra length is all in the bed. Ground clearance, too, is identical, with the XD's additional height coming from the fully boxed frame.

The XD's styling has been updated, too, bringing it in line with what we saw on the 2020 Nissan Titan. The front and rear ends have been heavily revised with new lighting, a new grille and a new tailgate. Twenty-inch wheels are standard, and the Pro-4X model gets red accents on the Nissan badges.

There's a good bit of tech. The standard Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning and rear cross-traffic alert. The 2020 XD's infotainment system has been upgraded with larger screens and a new user interface that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2020 Nissan Titan XD  - Front 3/4
2020 Nissan Titan XD
Why does it matter?

The three best-selling vehicles in the U.S. are pickup trucks, with the Ford F-Series leading the pack for the past few decades. Brand loyalty is strong in the truck segment, and Nissan says a good number of Titan buyers are coming from cars and crossovers, not other pickup trucks, so they might not be as well-versed in the complex arcana of truck configurations.

Titan sales are a fraction of what the domestic automakers move, but profit margins are high and Nissan hopes a simplified lineup will help move the trucks that most customers are looking for. With the XD, Nissan is aiming for customers who want strong towing numbers but don't want to wade through drive configurations, gearing and tow packages to find the right fit. 

2020 Nissan Titan XD  - Front Interior
2020 Nissan Titan XD
What does it compete with?

When the Titan XD debuted in 2016, it didn't have any real direct competitors. The truck — especially when equipped with the now-defunct diesel engine — was a half-step beyond the traditional half-ton competition but below models such as the Ram 2500 and the Ford F-250. The loss of the diesel for 2020 means the refreshed XD falls more in line with well-optioned 1500-series trucks with towing packages in terms of capability and pricing.

2020 Nissan Titan XD  - Front 3/4
2020 Nissan Titan XD
How does it drive?

The Titan XD is a solid performer. The 5.6-liter V8 and nine-speed automatic transmission combo provides plenty of power and smooth shifts. We also like the ride quality, which is comparable to the Ford F-150's and Chevrolet Silverado 1500's but somewhere below the Ram 1500's in terms of cushioning and noise insulation. This is a big, comfortable truck.

Maximum tow capacity is 11,040 pounds with a gooseneck trailer and 10,880 pounds from the bumper hitch. When using the latter, the Titan XD is maneuverable and easily swings wide around turns, whether pulling a riverboat, an Airstream trailer or an 8,000-pound flatbed. There is an effortlessness to the steering, which enhances confidence on the road, and excellent outward visibility with big side mirrors goes a long way too.

But two days of driving the updated XD made it clear to us that, for those who tow, the diesel will be missed. The strong V8 engine makes most of its power high in the rev range, where it also makes more noise and uses more fuel. The diesel would, and did, more competently pull those loads. Titan XD drivers who don't tow will find the V8 enjoyable. The question is whether those customers exist in any real number.

2020 Nissan Titan XD  - Center Console
2020 Nissan Titan XD
What's the interior like?

The Titan XD has a spacious cabin. New for the 2020 model is a standard 8-inch touchscreen and available 9-inch unit, the latter featuring WXGA resolution that provides crystal-clear graphics … mostly. The exception is the rearview camera display, which is still low-res and blurry.

Nissan redesigned the center console in order to accommodate the screen, and the result is a new array of controls that make it easy to find what you need. Buttons and dials sometimes come off too plasticky or toy-like, but it's a big improvement over the previous model. Nissan's Zero Gravity seats, standard in cloth and available in leather on higher trims, are wonderfully comfortable. Wide, supportive and well-cushioned, they make long trips stress-free. The seats could use more vertical adjustability, however.

2020 Nissan Titan XD  - Front Interior
2020 Nissan Titan XD
How practical is it?

The Titan XD has a huge back seat, lots of standard safety features, and the best warranty among pickup trucks. The bed comes with connections for a gooseneck trailer, and there are optional locking boxes tucked up against the sides for additional protected storage. Like the regular Titan, the Titan XD gets points for providing a smartphone grip. But it loses points for employing it in a cheap-looking tray that makes it impossible to access small-item storage.

2020 Nissan Titan XD  - Cargo
2020 Nissan Titan XD
What else should I know?

The bottom line is that people who buy the 2020 Nissan Titan XD will likely be very happy with it. The engine is strong and smooth, the interior is big and cushy, and the revised exterior design lends it a more composed presence. It feels strange to keep bringing up a warranty, but at five years or 100,000 miles, Nissan's offer really does beat the competition.

2020 Nissan Titan XD  - Front 3/4
2020 Nissan Titan XD
Edmunds says

Nissan hopes the simplified lineup will entice consumers to go for the Titan XD rather than wade through the complex configuration options of the full-size truck market. There's something to be said for that. The fact is, though, the Titan XD competes in the most intense class in all the automotive industry.

Heavy-duty pickups such as the Ford F-250 Super Duty and Ram 2500 are simply stronger and better suited for demanding work. Nissan suggests thinking of the Titan XD as a well-equipped F-150 or Ram 1500 with a tow package. Yet the Titan XD will likely end up being more expensive than those models and have fewer options and body styles. The 2020 Titan XD is good, but rival trucks are simply better.