2020 Nissan Titan

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2020 Nissan Titan Test Drive Review: Missing The 'It' Factor

The name 'Titan' imparts gigantic size and power, as well as the greatness of achievement, but in the case of the Nissan Titan pickup truck, this name may be wishful thinking. Not only is the Titan far from the largest or most powerful full-size pickup truck available, but it also sits dead last in the sales race, and it's not even particularly close. The Ford F Series dominated last year with 896,526 units, followed by the Ram 1500 (633,694 units), then the Chevrolet Silverado (575,603), GMC Sierra (232,323), and Toyota Tundra (111,673). The Titan ranks as a distant sixth with 31,514 units sold, a figure that Nissan is eager to change.

To turn Titan sales in a positive direction, Nissan has facelifted the truck for the 2020 model year. The changes include a revised front end design, class-leading standard V8 power, a new nine-speed automatic transmission, a simplified configuration roster, more standard safety technology, and technology improvements in the cabin. To see if Nissan's facelift is a titanic success or a colossal failure, we were sent a 2020 Titan SL Crew Cab with 4x4 to drive for a week, including moving to a new apartment.

Read in this review:

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2020 Nissan Titan Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 Titan?

For the 2020 model year, Nissan has made numerous changes to the Titan, which has the challenging task of battling with the Ford F-150 in the US, beginning with more aggressive "Powerful Warrior" styling. The new headlights now produce 120 percent more light output with the low beams than the pre-facelift version. The 5.6-liter V8 engine has been retuned and now provides a more potent 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. It has also been paired with a new nine-speed automatic, which replaces the seven-speeder used previously. Last year's Single Cab has been dropped from the lineup entirely due to slow sales, so only King Cab and Crew Cab configurations are offered for 2020. Standard across the range is Nissan's Safety Shield 360 safety suite which includes features like rear automatic braking. In the cabin, the updates include a new smartphone holder/charging system, while a much-needed update to the infotainment interface introduces an eight-inch color touchscreen and a larger nine-inch screen on upper trims.

Pros and Cons

  • Burly V8 engine is even more powerful
  • Improved automatic transmission
  • Safety tech is now much more competitive
  • Bold styling works well
  • Infotainment system is easy to use
  • Refined on the open road
  • Just one engine on offer
  • New transmission hasn't improved fuel efficiency
  • The back seat feels small by truck standards
  • Not the best towing capacity in the class
  • Doesn't stand out in any one area
  • Interior doesn't feel "trucky"

What's the Price of the 2020 Nissan Titan?

The Nissan Titan's price has risen substantially at base level since last year, but this is because the cheaper Single Cab has been dropped. For 2020, the cheapest model is the S trim in King Cab 4x2 guise at an MSRP of $36,190. Following this is the SV at $39,990 before a big leap to the Pro-4X at $47,590. At the more luxurious end of the range, the SL begins at $53,990 and the Platinum Reserve goes for $55,490. All prices are exclusive of tax, licensing, registration, and a destination/handling charge of $1,595.

All versions are 4x2 by default besides the Pro-4X. Upgrading from 4x2 to 4x4 on all versions will add $3,200 to the price, besides on the Crew Cab S and SV, where the upgrade will cost $3,100. If you're undecided between which body style to go for, consider that the Crew Cab S 4x2 costs an additional $2,700 over and above the King Cab's price. How much is a fully loaded Titan Crew Cab Platinum Reserve 4x4 with a couple of options ticked? Expect to cough up over $70,000.

Best Deals on 2020 Nissan Titan

2020 Nissan Titan Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
5.6L V8 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
5.6L V8 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
5.6L V8 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive
5.6L V8 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
Platinum Reserve
5.6L V8 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
See All 2020 Nissan Titan Trims and Specs

2020 Titan Exterior

2020 Nissan Titan Front View CarBuzz
2020 Nissan Titan Front Angle View CarBuzz
2020 Nissan Titan Frontal Aspect CarBuzz
See All 2020 Nissan Titan Exterior Photos


  • Length 228.1 in
  • Wheelbase 139.8 in
  • Height 75.4 in
  • Max Width 79.5 in

Exterior Colors

  • Red Alert
  • Baja Storm
  • Gun Metallic
  • Super Black
  • Glacier White
  • Deep Blue Pearl Metallic
  • Mocha Almond Pearl
  • Midnight Pine Metallic
  • Red Metallic
  • Pearl White
  • Brilliant Silver Metallic
  • Gun Metallic, Build Out: 03/31/2020

2020 Titan Performance

2020 Nissan Titan Rear Angle View CarBuzz
2020 Nissan Titan Start/Stop Button CarBuzz
2020 Nissan Titan Engine Bay CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    5.6L V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Unlike the legendary football flick starring Denzel Washington, we aren't sure that the 2020 Nissan Titan will be remembered for its class-leading driving characteristics. It feels more middle of the pack. Ride comfort is adequate over most surfaces, with large dips causing the cab to shake and shimmy as most pickup trucks tend to do. It feels on par with the Tundra in terms of ride softness but still trails the class-leading Ram for road manners. While comfort is acceptable, the Titan's steering feels like a weak point. The rack feels unacceptably heavy at slow speeds, though it does lighten up when you get on the move. We've noted this same flaw in other Nissan vehicles that have not been updated recently (like the Murano and Pathfinder).

Nissan hasn't included any superfluous drive modes, save for a Tow Mode located on the column-mounted shifter. While we didn't have a chance to use the included Tow Mode during our week of testing, it should come in handy along with a gear selection mode should you want to haul heavy items. When the pavement ends, a selectable 4x4 system is controlled using a simple dial below the starter button. However, it is worth noting that Nissan's 4x4 system is only part-time, not full-time, as found in competitors.

2020 Titan Interior

2020 Nissan Titan Dashboard CarBuzz
2020 Nissan Titan Steering Wheel Details CarBuzz
2020 Nissan Titan Tow Mode CarBuzz
See All 2020 Nissan Titan Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 41.8 in
  • Front Head Room 41.0 in
  • Rear Leg Room 38.5 in
  • Rear Head Room 40.4 in

2020 Titan Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Nissan Titan Rear Seats Folded CarBuzz
2020 Nissan Titan Cargo Capacity CarBuzz
2020 Nissan Titan Cargo Room CarBuzz

2020 Titan Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.

Verdict: Is the 2020 Nissan Titan A Good car?

The full-size pickup truck segment is, by far, the most competitive and hard-fought arena in the automotive industry with the most loyal customers. Stealing a customer away from one of the big three American automakers is next to impossible and unfortunately, we can't foresee too many Ford, GM, or Ram owners jumping ship just because the Titan now has a new transmission and a better infotainment system. The Titan does well offering a standard V8, strong safety technology, and a compliant ride, but these are features that can be found elsewhere in other trucks.

If you walk into the dealership to buy one of the American trucks, you will likely see stronger incentives, making the effective cost lower than the Nissan, even if the MSRP is higher. Those companies have also been building trucks for much longer and have a better feel for what truck owners crave. We just can't see one particular area where the Titan excels over its rivals and for that reason, we do not believe this facelift was enough to steal sales away from any of the big three. The aging Tundra still possesses a rabid fanbase who applaud it for Toyota's famed reliability. The Titan feels a bit more refined and modern inside but Nissan may still face an uphill battle getting Tundra owners switch brands.

What New Nissan Titan Model Should I Buy?

Nissan has significantly reduced the number of trims and packages available on the 2020 Titan, but there is still plenty of choice to be had. We think the Pro-4X is the best value of the bunch, starting at $49,790 for the larger Crew Cab model. The Pro-4X includes 4x4 as standard and looks the most aggressive of the bunch, especially when finished in the exclusive Baja Storm color. For those who do not need the Pro-4X's off-road chops, the SL trim (starting at $57,190 for the 4x4 Crew Cab) is nicely equipped, but we could do without the chrome grille and wheels that come unless you opt for a pricey wheel option. With the panoramic roof and tow package, you can expect to pay just under $60,000 for the Titan SL.

Check out other Nissan Titan Styles

2020 Nissan Titan Comparisons

Toyota Tundra Toyota
Ford F-150 Ford
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Nissan Titan400 hp16/21 mpg$38,810
Toyota Tundra 348 hp17/23 mpg$37,865
Ford F-150 290 hp19/23 mpg$34,585

2020 Nissan Titan vs Toyota Tundra

Much like the new Nissan Titan, the Toyota Tundra is a tough competitor from Japan but one that lacks the ultimate sophistication of newer trucks like the Ram 1500. The Tundra also has just one large-capacity V8 on offer that makes 381 hp and 401 lb-ft, so the Titan has the edge in output. The Nissan uses a quicker-shifting nine-speed automatic, whereas the Toyota makes do with a dated six-speeder. However, the Tundra has a superior maximum towing capacity of over 10,000 lbs. The Toyota has three available bed sizes, including a longest 8.1-foot bed that the Titan can't match, so the Tundra is the better cargo-hauler. Both trucks have rugged rather than luxurious cabins, although we'd give the Nissan the slight edge here. If it's the most capable and dependable truck you're after, the Tundra edges it, but as an all-rounder, the updated Titan takes it by a whisker.

See Toyota Tundra Review

2020 Nissan Titan vs Ford F-150

Even though the Ford F-150 is up for replacement soon, it's not the best-selling truck in the USA for no reason. An immediate advantage in the F-150's favor is the diversity within its range: there are three bed lengths, three different cab sizes, and six engines offering everything from an efficient turbodiesel to a 450-hp turbocharged V6. As a result, the F-150 offers cheaper alternatives than the Titan and more powerful, luxurious options at the top of the range. The Ford is a superb hauler, with a towing capacity far exceeding that of the Titan's at circa 13,000 lbs. Inside, it feels classier than the Titan, although the Nissan now has a superior array of standard driver-assistance features. At the end of the day, the Ford just offers too much for the Nissan to overcome and emerges as the easy pick.

See Ford F-150 Review
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