Nissan Titan vs. Ford F-150

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - January 20, 2015

The Nissan Titan was long overdue for a redesign, and it finally got said redo for the 2017 model year. With this comes a new V8 engine, more modern and rugged styling, an updated cabin, and plenty of other goodies designed to make American pickup buyers consider other than the traditional domestic options. But can the new Titan keep up with the perennial best-selling Ford F-150?

See a side-by-side comparison of the Titan & F-150 »

What the Titan Gets Right

In its base trim, known as the S, the Titan comes standard with more features than the base F-150 XL. These features, which include a six-speaker audio system, a 5-inch color screen, a USB port, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, and 18-inch wheels, make this lower trim more acceptable as a daily driver.

With Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats, the Titan is plenty comfortable for short hauls or longer trips. Buyers will also find its large and blocky controls easy to use, even with work gloves on.

The Titan’s suspension is not only tuned to handle payload, but it also feels more controlled on the road than the F-150, which is above average itself. This, combined with the comfortable seats, make the Titan one of the most tolerable light-duty pickups on rougher roads.

The Titan’s 5.6-liter V8 with 390 horsepower caters more to traditional truck buyers than the F-150’s pair of optional turbocharged V6 engines: a 2.7- and 3.5-liter with 325 and 385 hp, respectively. This engine also bests the Ford’s optional 5.0-liter V8 by 5 hp.

What the F-150 Gets Right

The F-150 starts at a slightly lower price for the base XL trim, but it comes with only bare-bones equipment like vinyl seating and floors, an AM/FM audio system, and 17-inch steel wheels. As buyers move up the F-150’s trim levels, there's a lot of premium content for more discerning truck buyers, including heated and cooled seats, LED headlights, wood trim, 22-inch wheels, an all-around camera, and adaptive cruise.

Though its boosted V6 engines may not be the powerplants of choice of traditional pickup buyers, the F-150’s 12,200-pound towing capacity with the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 crushes the Titan’s 9,740-pound capacity. What’s more, the Ford’s 3,270-pound payload capacity with the 5.0-liter V8 easily bests the Titan’s 1,951 capacity. For those in need of insane power and off-road capabilities, there is a 450-horsepower F-150 Raptor and its unmatched desert-romping prowess.

The V6 engines also pay off in fuel economy, as the EPA lists the 2.7-liter as returning 18 miles per gallon city, 24 highway, and 21 combined while the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 nets 17 mpg city, 22 highway, and 19 combined. Keep in mind, this could change once Nissan releases the Titan’s base V6. It's also worth noting that Ford's turbocharged engines are notoriously tricky to drive for efficiency.

While automakers often overlook safety in pickup trucks, the F-150 is an IIHS Top Safety Pick. The Titan, on the other hand, doesn’t even get close because of its “Marginal” rating in the small-overlap crash test.

Finally, the Ford F-150 has additional cab and bed configurations that buyers simply can't get in the Titan. For example, the F-150 is available with a SuperCab and up to an 8-foot bed, whereas the Titan’s King Cab only comes with a 6.5-foot bed.

Why Buy the Titan?

The Titan is not nearly the pickup the F-150 is, but buyers looking for value at the base level will find Nissan delivers with its additional standard comfort and tech equipment in the S trim.

Verdict: Ford F-150

The F-150 has been the best-selling pickup for decades for a good reason. It checks off nearly every box that matters to most truck buyers, and the Titan simply can’t hang with it.

Take a closer look at the Nissan Titan »

Take a closer look at the Ford F-150 »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter | Website

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