With a new design and more power than ever, the new Titan has been unveiled in Texas.
It's been on the market since 2016 in its second-generation guise, but the time has come for Nissan to unveil a drastically revised Nissan Titan full-size pickup truck after a recent teaser. And where better than in the heart of truck country, which is why the Japanese brand has once again picked the State Fair of Texas as the stage upon which to introduce the 2020 Titan to Americans. Sporting a new "Powerful Warrior" exterior design language, the Titan range has also been adapted for the 2020 refresh, with the big news being the demise of the single cab models, leaving behind only the extended cab and crew cab derivatives in five trims - S, SV, PRO-4X, SL, and Platinum Reserve.
The new design language sees the front end of the Titan undergo heavy revisions, including the choice between three new, aggressive grille designs for various trims and newly designed LED headlight clusters featuring 'double boomerang' LED daytime running lights. The redesign also includes a new front bumper with new fog lights, while the rear doesn't escape untouched either, boasting new LED taillights and tailgate finishers - black on the PRO-4X and Satin Chrome on the Platinum Reserve. Three new colors join the exterior paint palette, giving buyers a choice of nine hues, with the new options of Red Alert, Baja Storm, and Cardinal Red Metallic (a premium color) joining existing favorites like Brilliant Silver, Super Black, Deep Blue Pearl, and Pearl White TriCoat.
The new headlights are said to generate 120% more light than the outgoing models, which should remedy the Marginal rating assigned to previous Titans by the IIHS. The truck bed also receives new all-LED lighting, utilizing four light sources for improved visibility.
Each trim still receives bespoke exterior styling, badging, and colored accents, with the PRO-4X getting new lava red accents on the badges, tow hooks, and other bits and pieces.
Big changes lie under the hood of the Titan, as for 2020 Nissan has upgraded the standard 5.6-liter Endurance V8. Featuring direct injection and variable valve timing, the V8 now produces 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque - best in class figures for a base engine in a full-size pickup. The Cummins turbodiesel 5.0-liter V8 will not be returning for duty in the new model.
Once again, power can be routed to the ground by either 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrains, but Nissan has given the Titan a new gearbox, replacing the old seven-speed automatic gearbox with a new nine-speed unit. The new gearbox boasts a 3.692:1 final drive ratio for more torque at the wheels and smoother in-gear acceleration - Nissan cites a full second's improvement in 50-70 mph acceleration over the current model - while the addition of two ratios should yield benefits in terms of gas mileage as well, although EPA figures are yet to be released.
4x4 models boast full dual-range transfer case capabilities, with off-road performance bolstered by Hill Descent Control on the PRO-4X, Hill Start Assist, and a brake-based limited-slip differential acting in conjunction with the electronic locking rear differential. The Titan now also receives an 'Off Road Gauge' that displays the tire angle, roll angle, and pitch angle. There's no traditional gyroscope though, and the system uses accelerometer data and G-force calculations for accurate data. The newly developed system is highly accurate, and according to Nissan, it should provide unparalleled accuracy at higher speeds compared to rivals.
One of the Titan's weakest performing areas against rivals was its interior, but with the 2020 redesign, the Japanese marque has sought to rectify this, along with bringing the Titan in line with modern infotainment standards. Ahead of the driver is a newly redesigned instrument cluster, which boasts a seven-inch programmable driver information display. Meanwhile, the infotainment system has been extensively revised, with an eight-inch touchscreen now the default setup, while a nine-inch WXGA resolution touchscreen Integrated Command Center system is available.
The suite is part of Nissan's next-generation NissanConnect suite, which also allows for over-the-air software updates, HD Traffic, and Google Places/Search functionality. It also includes standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality and an onboard WiFi router that can connect up to six devices st speeds of up to 45 Mbps. Further connectivity is made available in the form of a flexible smartphone holder/charging system. What hasn't changed is Nissan's available 12-speaker Fender premium audio system with a nine-channel, 485-watt amplifier.
However, an area that previously couldn't be faulted was Nissan's exceptionally comfortable Zero Gravity seats - included in the front and rear of every 2020 Titan. For the refresh, each model is given trim-specific materials and finishings to improve the overall feel.
Other interior benefits include increased storage solutions in the front and rear doors, and additional assist grips to help with ingress and egress. Available on crew cab models, Nissan has also given Titan buyers the option of a dual-panel panoramic sunroof, the first-ever offered on a Titan.
The current Titan fell behind the safety standards set by class rivals like the Ford F-150 when it came to advanced safety features, but with the 2020 facelift, Nissan has sought to rectify this and bring the Titan up to class-leading standards. Standard on every Titan model is the standard Nissan Safety Shield 360, a suite comprising six driver-assist systems including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, high-beam assist, and rear automatic braking - a first in the full-size truck segment.
In addition to this standard suite, the Titan is also available with features like a surround-view camera, adaptive cruise control, driver attention warning, traffic sign recognition, and rear door alert, that prevents passengers from opening the doors into the path of an approaching vehicle. These active safety systems complement the standard eight airbags on every Titan - up from six in the previous model - and four seatbelt pretensioners - up from two.
The new 2020 Nissan Titan will go on sale early next year with all models still covered by Nissan's extensive five-year/100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage. Prices should be announced nearer the time.