2020 Nissan Titan vs. 2020 Toyota Tundra: Compare Trucks

March 6, 2020

The Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan pickup trucks are relative outliers among rivals from Ford, General Motors, and Ram, but far from also-rans. Combined, the two trucks outsold nearly every new sedan on sale last year, and the two pickups trade on perceived reliability and affordability, respectively, to woo buyers away from more popular truckmakers.

Our TCC Rating favors one, but it’s only a win on paper. The Titan’s 5.4 TCC Rating doesn’t include a safety score because official data isn’t yet available. The Tundra’s 4.8 TCC Rating does include safety data—and poor scores at that. We can’t say the Titan would fare much better once officials scores roll in, so we’ll have to wait and see. 

So which one is better for you? Glad you asked. 

MORE: Read our 2020 Nissan Titan and 2020 Toyota Tundra full reviews

2020 Nissan Titan SL

2020 Nissan Titan SL

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X

2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

Both pickups rely on V-8 power in every configuration, with rear- or four-wheel drive. 

The Toyota Tundra uses a 5.7-liter V-8 that makes 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque and drives a 6-speed automatic transmission. The Tundra is rated to tow up to 10,200 pounds when properly equipped and lug up to 1,730 pounds in the bed, which is on par with other gas-powered full-size trucks. 

The Titan’s lone engine is a 400-hp 5.6-liter V-8 teamed to a 9-speed automatic, which is new this year. The V-8 makes up to 413 lb-ft of torque and is rated to tow up to 9,370 pounds when properly equipped and carries up to 1,680 pounds in the bed. The Titan’s performance trump card is an extra-duty Titan XD (Eds note: See what they did there?) that tows up to 11,000 pounds and 2,450 pounds in the bed. That’s far short of domestic truckmakers’ heavy-duty offerings, but more in line with how many truck owners actually use their trucks. 

2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

Both trucks ride on ladder frames with independent front suspensions and solid rear axles at the rear designed for tough terrain. Both are fairly stiff unladen, and both offer off-road-oriented trims that sub in tougher shocks, lockers, and underbody protection. 

Despite the numerical advantage, the Tundra wins out on our performance scale thanks to its V-8’s smooth acceleration and willing power throughout the rev range. Every Tundra feels up to the task, and owners have reported that their big V-8s are mostly bulletproof. A turbodiesel-powered Titan was available in prior years that was similarly smooth, although Nissan shelved that model in 2019. 

The Titan and Tundra both make do with interiors that are a half-step behind domestic rivals and steer toward wash-and-ready instead of opulent. The trucks nominally seat five in base, extended-cab models although they’re hardly comfortable. Four-door crew cabs are much better for people and as family vehicles, and we recommend them. The Titan’s interior is a little more upscale than the Tundra’s, which is showing its age. 

2020 Nissan Titan SL

2020 Nissan Titan SL

The Titan S is better equipped as a base pickup: cloth interior, 18-inch wheels (17-inch on Titan XD), power features, bench seats, an 8.0-inch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, two USB ports, and active safety equipment including automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitors. 

Base Tundras SRs make do with cloth upholstery, 18-inch wheels, power features, a 7.0-inch touchscreen with smartphone compatibility, bench seats, and active safety features including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-departure warnings. 

Neither truck can be had as a regular cab, and both start off as extended-cab versions with rear-hinged rear doors. Both pickups are more likely to be full-size, four-door crew cabs, which are more popular among buyers—they’re replacement family vehicles. The Titan is more comfortable, with newer tech and a large touchscreen that is appealing. The Tundra is similarly comfortable, but its interior and dash are aged.

Base Tundras cost just north of $34,000 and base Titans almost $38,000. Discounts should be plentiful on both; friends don’t let friends pay retail for trucks. 

Our recommended Tundra SR5 with off-road package and Titan SV with a convenience package cost about $48,500 and $51,000 with four-wheel drive and four doors, respectively, which is a far cry from the pickups’ base prices. That’s pickups these days, and domestic competitors offer many more light-duty trucks that don’t blink past $60,000. 

In the cases of the Tundra and Titan, both trucks are outliers in the arms race between the Detroit automakers. That’s insulated both from some of the costly upgrades and conveniences that others offer, but it also means that good deals should be available for both as long as shoppers’ needs don’t surpass their capabilities. In the end, the Titan narrowly edges the Tundra based on its better equipment at base trim levels. 

Summary

5.4
Expert Rating
The 2020 Nissan Titan full-size pickup still aims for the margins among pickup buyers, and its value falls down in top trims.
4.7
Expert Rating
The 2020 Toyota Tundra trades on its durable reputation rather than its appealing design.

Styling

4.0
Expert Rating
The exterior of the 2020 Titan is new, but it’s still behind the times compared to other full-size trucks.
Read More
3.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Toyota Tundra is not a stylish pickup truck.
Read More

Performance

5.0
Expert Rating
Available only with V-8 gas power this year, the 2020 Titan is capable among full-size haulers.
Read More
6.0
Expert Rating
With its NASCAR-grade V-8, the 2020 Toyota Tundra delivers ample acceleration.
Read More

Comfort & Quality

7.0
Expert Rating
Versatile and durable, the 2020 Titan feels solid like a full-size pickup should.
Read More
7.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Toyota Tundra is as spacious as its city block-long cabin ought to be, but cheap materials hardly improve its ambience.
Read More

Safety

The 2020 Titan lacks official crash-test data.
Read More
4.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Toyota Tundra has a mixed crash-test record, though we applaud its standard collision-avoidance tech.
Read More

Features

8.0
Expert Rating
Base 2020 Titans are spartan, but the lineup offers decent value outside of lavish (and expensive) top-trim pickups.
Read More
6.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Toyota Tundra is behind the times when it comes to tech features.
Read More

Fuel Economy

3.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Titan’s V-8 isn’t very fuel-efficient.
Read More
2.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Toyota Tundra is among the thirstiest new vehicles available.
Read More

MSRP

from $36,190
from $33,575

Invoice

from $34,765
from $31,058

Fuel Economy - Combined City and Highway

18
15

Engine

Premium Unleaded V-8, 5.6 L
Regular Unleaded V-8, 5.7 L

Drivetrain

Rear Wheel Drive Read Full Specs
Rear Wheel Drive Read Full Specs
Compare Free Dealer Price Quote
With competitive price quotes from multiple dealers, you will be prepared when you meet your local car dealer. Please tell us how to contact you so that dealers can compete for your business!
Search Dealers by ZIP Code
Update ZIP Code
2020 Nissan Titan
2020 Toyota Tundra
Looking for dealers in your area...
Powered By
*As configured. Excludes taxes, title, license and other customary fees, such as dealer documentation fees, tire and battery disposal fees and, where applicable, finance charges. By clicking on “Get Your Price Quote Now”, you agree to our Terms of Use (including the Supplemental Terms) and Privacy Policy. You further consent to being contacted at the number you provided by CarsDirect and certain participating automotive dealerships, which may include autodials, text messages, and/or pre-recorded calls; this consent is not a condition of purchase or service. Message and data rates may apply.
2020
The Car Connection
See the winners »
2020
The Car Connection
 
Ratings and Reviews
Rate and review your car for The Car Connection
Review your car
The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from The Car Connection. I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.