2020 Nissan Titan


What’s new

  • Small power bump for the standard V8 engine
  • Nine-speed transmission replaces old seven-speed automatic
  • Expanded driver aids and safety features now standard
  • Refreshes the second Titan generation that debuted for the 2016 model year

Pros & Cons

  • Standard V8 offers plenty of power
  • Numerous in-cabin and bed storage solutions
  • Optional Pro-4X off-road package offers useful upgrades
  • Generous bumper-to-bumper warranty
  • No alternative engines
  • Only one available axle ratio
  • Cabin design not especially attractive
  • Maximum towing and payload capacities aren't top-of-the-class
MSRP Range
$36,190 - $47,590

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2020 Nissan Titan Review

What is it?

The Nissan Titan receives a midcycle refresh for 2020, bringing some much-needed improvements to the full-size pickup truck since its second generation debuted in 2015 for the 2016 model year.

Notable changes include a new nine-speed automatic transmission, redesigned exterior styling and an available 9-inch touchscreen. The standard V8 engine, the only available engine for the Titan, gets a small power bump for 2020 and now makes 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft.

Nissan's suite of driver assistance aids, known as Safety Shield 360, is standard on the new model and brings adaptive cruise control to the Titan for the first time. Safety Shield 360 also includes reverse automatic braking, a first for any pickup truck. The number of airbags increases from six to eight, while seat-belt pre-tensioners jump from two to four.

Five trims are available for the 2020 Titan: S, SV, Pro-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve. Nissan no longer offers a single-cab configuration, leaving buyers to choose between double-cab (Nissan calls this the King Cab) and crew-cab models. The crew cab introduces a new, optional dual-panel panoramic moonroof.

What about styling?

Nissan took a new approach to both the exterior and interior design for the 2020 refresh. On the outside, the Titan features a modernized look highlighted by available LED daytime running lights. The front bumper, three grille choices and five wheel options are also new. And LED lighting is now featured in the bed and taillights.

Inside the 2020 Titan, the main updates are the larger screens. An 8-inch touchscreen is the largest standard screen in the class, while the new 9-inch touchscreen option has WXGA resolution that Nissan says provides higher picture quality than HD. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is standard, and available Wi-Fi can connect up to six devices at once. In the instrument cluster lies a standard 7-inch driver information display. Nissan also devised new smartphone grips with charging stations and increased the in-door storage space capacity.

Why does it matter?

Full-size pickup trucks are among the top-selling vehicles on the market. They also generate higher profits per vehicle than smaller cars and crossovers. Nissan made a splash with its fully redesigned 2016 Titan but failed to keep pace with the aggressive updates pushed out by Ford, General Motors and Ram.

The 2020 Titan is primarily relying on tech upgrades to keep it competitive in the class. While we don't expect the Titan to make headway against its American competitors, it will be interesting to see if it can move the needle for Nissan. The added standard features will certainly make this affordable truck more appealing.

What does it compete with?

The full-size pickup truck market is like a heavyweight bout. Top contenders such as the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 trade blows for the largest slice of the most lucrative segment in the auto industry. The GMC Sierra 1500, for its part, provides a premium option. Each comes in a nearly endless number of configurations, bed sizes, powertrains and trims.

The 2020 Titan's closest competitor is the Toyota Tundra, which offers a choice of two V8 engines to Nissan's one. The Tundra also has more bed lengths to pick from, although its road manners and fuel economy are rather crude. The Titan provides a more enticing set of technology features than the Toyota as well as a lower cost of entry.

What else should I know?

Considering the discontinuation of the budget-friendly single cab and additional standard features, the Titan's base price has increased a bit. The rear-wheel-drive King Cab now starts at $37,785, roughly $2,000 more than last year's King Cab. We think the advanced safety systems, more powerful V8 and improved touchscreen are well worth the price bump.

How does it drive?

Behind the wheel, the Titan quickly grows on you. Its powerful 5.6-liter V8 engine is proven and packs upgraded power over the previous version. It has no trouble hustling up to speed or hauling heavy loads. The new nine-speed automatic transmission, while not super fast in its shifts, is nice and smooth.

Insulation from wind and road noise has improved thanks to new acoustic laminated glass. At highway speeds, it's easy to keep the stereo humming and hold a conversation at the same time. A standard V8 engine, nine-speed automatic transmission and safety suite make an effective formula for an easy driving experience. There are no glaring problems behind the wheel of the 2020 Titan.

But nothing stands out either. The Titan's V8 isn't as fuel-efficient as Ford's turbocharged V6 or as responsive as Chevy's V8s. And don't get us started on ride quality versus the Ram. Compared to leading competitors, the Titan takes its time sending horsepower to the road, and its rear suspension can deliver a choppy ride with an unladen bed. It's not bad — the Nissan is composed going up grades, twisting around corners and stopping with force. It's just not as good as the others (except for the ancient Tundra; it's better than the Tundra).

What's the interior like?

The new Titan has more storage space, improved control layout and all the comfort features you'd expect to see in a modern full-size truck. The standard Zero Gravity cloth seats are wide and comfortable, with a solid range of possible adjustments. Leather versions in some trims are very well done, and the quilted leather in the Platinum Reserve looks great.

In crew-cab models, you can fold the rear seats down flat or flip them up to reveal floor storage. There's an optional new panoramic sunroof with a power shade that spans nearly the entire roof. Even with the sizable sunroof, Nissan managed to keep grip handles above the doors for easy access to the cabin.

Still, it feels like Nissan is still playing catch-up here. There is a lot of plastic, and the steering wheel design is badly dated. A slick air-conditioning design is ruined by noticeable plastic panels covering nearly half of the vent. Buttons and dials are too small and overly styled and cartoonishly labeled.

The big addition for 2020 is an 8-inch standard touchscreen. A 9-inch version is optional. The larger one provides higher resolution and improved clarity and responsiveness over HD. Unfortunately, the system's software doesn't seem to have been optimized to take advantage of the superior graphics. The new screen also highlights the poor picture quality from outdated cameras. There are a few apps on hand, but unless you need to see your weather forecast or music cover art in stunning clarity, the upgraded screen isn't being utilized to its potential.

There's a similar problem in the center storage area. Nissan added a handy, soft smartphone grip that sits fore of the cupholders. The problem is it's situated in an added tray that takes away from accessible center storage space. The Ram 1500 has a similar smartphone grip, but it is tucked out of the way, pressed against a wireless charging pad. Center storage is also fully modular in the Ram, so you can move it around and still access the bin. In the Titan, it's all just in the way and without the added benefit of a charging pad.

Certainly, the interior has some good qualities. The optional 12-speaker Fender audio system in the crew-cab models offers impressive clarity. Drivers have a commanding view of the road, and it's generally easy to see out of the sides and back. But the Titan runs into trouble when Nissan tries to extend itself — with low-resolution cameras or nasty brown blotches that appear on the fancy infotainment whenever you wear your sunglasses. In fact, that's kind of a microcosm for the Titan itself: an appealing idea with good intentions, but lacking the necessary follow-through.

How practical is it?

The new Titan is plenty capable for the vast majority of jobs. It has a maximum towing capacity of 9,370 pounds. That mark isn't the highest in the class, with each of the domestic pickups easily exceeding 10,000 pounds. Still, the Titan's capacity is plenty high, and more importantly, the Titan is comfortable towing large loads in the midrange of that figure.

We experienced towing in a Titan SV King Cab, a small step above the base trim and, according to Nissan, the volume model for heavy towers. Pulling a trailer and four snowmobiles that totaled 4,900 pounds, the Titan had no trouble accelerating up to highway speed or applying firm brake pressure when exiting to a stop sign. It has standard trailer sway control to keep the load in line.

Later, we stepped up to a 6,000-pound Airstream trailer, which slightly strained the truck as it gained speed but caused no problems with control. The biggest issue is a noticeable electronic drone from the transmission while in tow mode. Otherwise, it performed well. Adaptive cruise control even works, making long trips a breeze.

King Cab versions have a 6.5-foot bed, while crew-cab models have a 5.5-foot bed. SL and Platinum Reserve trims feature LED lighting throughout the bed, and the Platinum Reserve offers optional, watertight in-bed cargo boxes that can be removed if needed. There are also adjustable aluminum hooks on tracks. The maximum payload capacity is 1,680 pounds.

Is it off-road capable?

Yes. In its Pro-4X guise, the 2020 Titan is loads of fun when you leave the pavement. Four-wheel drive is standard, and it comes with protective skid plates and an electronic locking rear differential. The tires are General Grabber APT wrapped onto 18-inch wheels. The shocks are upgraded to Bilstein units that do a nice job of smoothing out uneven terrain. There are also unique interior combinations, and the larger 9-inch infotainment screen is standard.

One disappointment is that the standard hill descent control cannot be adjusted. It only has one creeping speed and lacks a crawl feature like some competitors. The Pro-4X is also begging for better technology. It comes with unique off-road pages in the 7-inch driver information display, but the system takes a few seconds to respond. And by the time it updates, you've moved on. There is a nifty right-wheel camera to maneuver around rocks and debris, but none for the driver's side and the resolution is still dreadful.

In all, the Pro-4X is an excellent factory package that will get you through most terrain. The powertrain shines. Shift into 4-Lo and the new transmission easily delivers loads of torque from the gutsy engine. You can also shift yourself using buttons on the gear lever. A responsive throttle pedal offers crisp modulation. The Titan Pro-4X could be improved in a lot of ways. But the features with which it's equipped work well and can shine on an off-road adventure.

Edmunds says

Nissan made a capable and affordable truck better with the 2020 Titan, particularly with the new nine-speed transmission and an extensive suite of standard safety features. It also returns an enticing warranty that competitors don't match, and the Pro-4X trim offers a quality set of off-road equipment. However, its competitors are simply in a different league when it comes to variety, ride quality, and towing and hauling. The Titan has improved, but chances are you'll still be more impressed with the F-150, Ram 1500 and Silverado 1500.

Consumer reviews

There are no consumer reviews for the 2020 Nissan Titan.

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    Features & Specs

    S 4dr King Cab SB features & specs
    S 4dr King Cab SB
    5.6L 8cyl 9A
    MPG 16 city / 22 hwy
    SeatingSeats 6
    Transmission9-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower400 hp @ 5800 rpm
    See all for sale
    SV 4dr King Cab SB features & specs
    SV 4dr King Cab SB
    5.6L 8cyl 9A
    MPG 16 city / 22 hwy
    SeatingSeats 6
    Transmission9-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower400 hp @ 5800 rpm
    See all for sale
    SV 4dr King Cab 4WD SB features & specs
    SV 4dr King Cab 4WD SB
    5.6L 8cyl 9A
    MPG 15 city / 21 hwy
    SeatingSeats 6
    Transmission9-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower400 hp @ 5800 rpm
    See all for sale
    S 4dr King Cab 4WD SB features & specs
    S 4dr King Cab 4WD SB
    5.6L 8cyl 9A
    MPG 15 city / 21 hwy
    SeatingSeats 6
    Transmission9-speed shiftable automatic
    Horsepower400 hp @ 5800 rpm
    See all for sale
    See all 2020 Nissan Titan features & specs


    IIHS Rating

    The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

    Side Impact TestNot Tested
    Roof Strength TestNot Tested
    Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
    Moderate Overlap Front TestNot Tested

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