New looks. The 2020 Nissan Titan just received a minor refresh with a new front fascia that includes a more aggressive grille, as well as a new bumper and updated headlights. The back receives new taillights, while the interior gets quite a few updates, including new trim and a reconfigured dashboard center stack.
Overall, we aren’t sure if Nissan did too much or not enough. The Titan’s new face doesn’t seem to visually connect with the rest of the exterior, and the taillights feel out of place. Meanwhile, the interior still feels a bit behind the rest of the competition even if it has been improved over the previous year.
Standard V8 power. Unlike some competitors, the Nissan Titan comes standard with a big V8. In fact, the 5.6-liter V8 with 400 horsepower is the only engine available. It's a significant step up from almost every option outside of the top-tier engines in the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Ford F-150 lineup.
Despite the extra power, the Titan doesn’t wow when it comes to towing or hauling, as it's rated to haul up to 1,680 pounds in the bed and tow up to 9,370 pounds. These are respectable numbers that should satisfy most buyers, but the Titan doesn’t compare kindly to its less powerful competitors, both of whom are able to tow more with less power.
… But V8 fuel economy. The major downside to the Titan’s reliance on a big V8 is that it's not thrifty. Despite a new nine-speed automatic transmission that attempts to alleviate the suffering, the Titan manages EPA ratings of 16 miles per gallon city, 22 mpg highway, and 18 combined with rear-wheel drive. Fuel economy drops to 15/21/18 mpg (city/highway/combined) with four-wheel drive.
That's atrocious compared to the F-150, which manages 22 mpg combined in several configurations, as well as the Silverado, which achieves 27 mpg combined with its diesel option. Adding insult to injury, the Titan also takes premium fuel, making its cost to run even worse.
Active safety features. Trucks generally aren’t the place where manufacturers market their latest safety features. Active safety features are generally limited to the higher trim levels, and the depth of the offerings aren’t usually anything to write home about. The Titan bucks that trend, to our delight.
All Titans come standard with front and rear automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane departure warning. Additionally, adaptive cruise control is standard on all models north of the SV, which should cover most shoppers.
Final thoughts. The 2020 Nissan Titan isn’t as popular as the F-150, Silverado, and Ram 1500, and it’s not hard to see why. The other trucks boast better payload and towing ratings, as well as cheaper work-truck models that satisfy the needs of fleet managers all over the country. The Titan also looks dated inside and out, with a bankruptcy-inducing thirst for premium fuel.
That said, if you stick with a Titan SV with the popular options, you can get a pretty well-equipped truck for the money, especially if you negotiate. Unfortunately, the Titan just doesn’t have much to brag about compared to the competition, and in the highly competitive full-size pickup market, you really need to bring it.
The Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado 1500, and Ram 1500 all offer many more configuration options compared to the Titan, at similar price points. If you’re interested in the Titan, make sure you push hard for discounts. Dealers are likely to acquiesce.