2020 Nissan Titan vs. 2020 Ram 1500: Compare Trucks

March 10, 2020

Our fathers knew that the right tool was the best way to start any job. Our fathers also told us to listen closely or something—hard to say, we weren’t really paying attention. 

However, the 2020 Ram 1500 and 2020 Nissan Titan full-size pickup trucks are tools for many jobs: worksite transportation, everyday hauling, mobile offices, off-road excursions, family detail, and venturing into the outdoors. 

The two pickups have similar form factors: engine in the front, a cabin in the middle, and an open bed in the back. From there, the two diverge quickly. As a result, the 2020 Ram 1500 earns a 6.2 TCC Rating and the 2020 Nissan Titan earns a 5.4. It’s a clear win for the Ram with one footnote. 

MORE: Read our 2020 Nissan Titan and 2020 Ram 1500 full reviews

2020 Ram 1500

2020 Ram 1500

2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X

Ram offers an engine for nearly every day of the workweek. A 3.6-liter V-6 is standard on most models and it makes 305 horsepower. It uses a small hybrid battery to save scant fuel and power accessories, although the mild-hybrid system doesn’t affect EPA fuel economy. That’s teamed to an 8-speed automatic and rear- or four-wheel drive. The V-6 is smooth and capable, and for most light-duty users it’s plenty of power. It’s rated to tow up to about 7,700 pounds in specific configurations. 

The Ram’s 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel is the next step in capability, but not in price. The turbodiesel is rated for 260 hp but 480 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission and rear- or four-wheel drive. Properly equipped, it can tow up to 12,560 pounds but its magic number is 32 mpg highway in specific configurations, which makes it the mile-chewing champ. The cost for the turbodiesel is a big pill: up to $5,000 more than a comparably equipped V-6. For long-haul truck owners, that may math out in the end. For the rest of us, it’ll take a lot of years and a lot of miles to recoup that investment. 

Ram’s 5.7-liter V-8 is the towing champ, and it’s available with or without the mild-hybrid battery system. It’s rated for 395 hp and 410 lb-ft, and tows up to 12,750 pounds on the trailer hitch. The V-8 is standard in Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, and Limited trims, but more on that in a minute. The Ram’s 5.7-liter V-8 is rated for mid-grade fuel, which may be a consideration for some buyers. 

2020 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve

2020 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve

The Titan is available only as a V-8-powered truck, and its 5.6-liter V-8 makes 400 hp and 413 lb-ft, but is rated for premium gasoline. Among trucks, few ask for premium unleaded, although Nissan says it can run on the regular stuff just without delivering the same power. The Titan shifts through a 9-speed automatic that’s new this year and sends power to the rear or all four wheels. The Titan is rated to tow up to 9,370 pounds.

The Titan is down in nearly every meaningful performance metric to Ram, from power and towing, to refinement and fuel economy—perhaps even running costs. Advantage: Ram. 

2020 Ram 1500

2020 Ram 1500

The Ram 1500 is also cheaper to buy in some configurations. That’s because Ram offers quad-cab full-size trucks geared toward work configurations and costs less than $33,000. Nissan also offers the Titan in only four-door configurations—extended or crew cab—but it costs nearly $38,000 to start and has more creature comforts like cloth upholstery instead of vinyl and a larger touchscreen. 

The Titan is better equipped in base versions including active safety features that Ram charges more money for, and only on top trims at that. Comparably equipped with a crew cab, short bed, V-8 engine, active safety features, four-wheel drive, leather upholstery, and active safety features, the 2020 Ram 1500 Laramie costs about $55,000 and the 2020 Nissan Titan SL costs about $59,000. There are much less expensive trucks to be found for sure, but that’s how much Ram charges to equip a truck with automatic emergency braking. Nissan does it for less money on many other trucks, which may be a consideration if the truck will double-down as a family vehicle. 

In nearly every other respect other than standard active safety features, the Ram wins. It’s more comfortable and better looking, with a wide range of powertrain choices and options. Ram’s full-size truck does better in work spec and top trims, and it narrowly edges out most of the middle ranges with better equipment and more available options. 

If your quest is to replace a family crossover with a full-size truck, Nissan’s mid-range offerings with better safety equipment are worth a look. However, for nearly every other scenario Ram offers a tough truck with a reputation to match. We’d put just about any of them to work.

Summary

6.2
Expert Rating
The 2020 Ram 1500 has its truck priorities straight, even when it’s cloaked in upscale trims.
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.

Styling

7.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Ram 1500 is more anonymous than previous generations, but the interior is worthy of a luxury badge.
Read More
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

Performance

7.0
Expert Rating
With the addition of a turbodiesel V-6, the 2020 Ram 1500 offers something for every truck buyer.
Read More
5.0
Expert Rating
Available only with V-8 gas power this year, the 2020 Titan is capable among full-size haulers.
Read More

Comfort & Quality

7.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Ram 1500 has wide seats, ample space for up to six adults, and a bed with more hidden storage than a bank vault.
Read More
7.0
Expert Rating
Versatile and durable, the 2020 Titan feels solid like a full-size pickup should.
Read More

Safety

6.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Ram 1500 gets decent crash test scores and offers active safety features, but only on higher-trim models.
Read More
The 2020 Titan lacks official crash-test data.
Read More

Features

7.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Ram 1500 is better-equipped in mid-tier Laramie form than some top-tier rivals, but expect to pay plenty for luxury features.
Read More
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

Fuel Economy

3.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Ram 1500 sees only a marginal fuel economy benefit from electrification.
Read More
3.0
Expert Rating
The 2020 Titan’s V-8 isn’t very fuel-efficient.
Read More

MSRP

from $32,145
from $36,190

Invoice

from $27,024
from $34,765

Fuel Economy - Combined City and Highway

20
18

Engine

Regular Unleaded V-6, 3.6 L
Premium Unleaded V-8, 5.6 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 Ram 1500
2020 Nissan Titan
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
Related Head to Head
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.