2020 Nissan Titan

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2020
The Car Connection
2020
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Aaron Cole Aaron Cole Managing Editor
July 20, 2020

Buying tip

Stick with the 2020 Titan SV with popular equipment if you’re shopping the full-size Nissan. And ask for discounts.

features & specs

4x2 Crew Cab Platinum Reserve
4x2 Crew Cab S
4x2 Crew Cab SL
MPG
16 city / 22 hwy
MPG
16 city / 22 hwy
MPG
16 city / 22 hwy
MSRP
$55,490
MSRP
$38,890
MSRP
$53,990

The 2020 Nissan Titan full-size pickup still aims for the margins among pickup buyers, and its value falls down in top trims.

Full-size trucks like the 2020 Nissan Titan are popular for their versatility and spacious interiors. The Titan and Titan XD were updated this year, but are still on the back foot compared to full-size trucks from Ford, General Motors, and Ram. The Titan’s price increase of about $3,000 doesn’t help much. 

The Titan gets a 5.4 before safety is figured in. Compared to other trucks, the Titan gets more standard equipment but its value is questionable at more than $37,000 to start. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Like last year, the Titan and Titan XD are available in S, SV, Pro-4X, SL, and Platinum Reserve trims. The Titan is available only in extended- and crew-cab configurations (the regular cab is gone) and Titan XD versions are only available as crew-cab models. A slow-selling turbodiesel XD is gone too. 

Review continues below

Both trucks are available with a 5.6-liter gas-powered V-8 that makes 400 horsepower. A new 9-speed automatic standard across the Titan lineup is no more efficient than the outgoing 7-speed. Top Platinum Reserve trim costs more than $63,000, which is hard to justify among similarly priced domestic competitors. The Titan is rated to tow about 9,300 pounds and the Titan XD ups that to 11,000 pounds, when properly equipped. 

The Titan and Titan XD both received facelifts this year. The upright grille and muscular fenders remain, but the face is a little more agreeable now than prior versions. 

Inside, the Titan is mostly plain and focuses on a 9.0-inch touchscreen that’s equipped in most models. 

The Titan is available in four-door extended-cab models with a 6.5-foot bed, while four-door crew cabs get a 5.5-foot bed. The Titan XD is only available in crew-cab body styles with a 6.5-foot bed. 

Five or six adults will ride comfortably, with room in the bed for plenty of cargo. 

This year, all Titans get automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, lane-departure warnings, and rear automatic emergency braking. Adaptive cruise control is available on most pickups. 

Base Titan S models aren’t lavish, but get the job done. They’re equipped with 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 features. 

Titan SV models are better equipped with upgraded cloth and available extras including a 9.0-inch touchscreen and heated front seats, but those versions cost more than $50,000 and discounts should be plentiful (and mandatory, in our book). Pro-4X models add some off-road hardware and chunky tires.

Titan and Titan XD models are similarly equipped.

4

2020 Nissan Titan

Styling

The exterior of the 2020 Titan is new, but it’s still behind the times compared to other full-size trucks.

A once-over to the 2020 Titan’s exterior cleans up some of the more cluttered looks, but Nissan’s full-size trucks still look ungainly to us. 

The new Titan gets a 4 for styling, with a demerit for its exterior appearance. 

Designers reshaped the front grille and bumper of the new Titan, but it’s still a hodgepodge of right angles and upright style flanked by muscular shoulders and haunches. There’s not much cohesion from front to back, but the truck’s Tonka-like appearance may appeal to some buyers. In back, the truck sports an on-trend tailgate stamp that appears in other truckmakers’ tailgates, but odd-looking taillights spoil it. 

Inside, the Titan is unadorned in base versions and mostly plain. A large 9.0-inch touchscreen is the highlight, and a column-mounted shifter is a nice throwback (even if it’s still very long). Top trims dress up in leather and interior accents that look OK, but the center console is still mostly hard plastic. 

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5

2020 Nissan Titan

Performance

Available only with V-8 gas power this year, the 2020 Titan is capable among full-size haulers.

This year the Titan and Titan XD are sold with a 400-hp 5.6-liter gas-powered V-8 and new 9-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard on all trucks, except the Pro-4X and Platinum Reserve, which are four-wheel drive only. 

We give the Titan lineup a 5 for performance based on that gas engine, which is capable, and the 9-speed automatic, which is slightly improved compared to the outgoing 7-speed.

The Titan is rated to lug up to 1,680 pounds in the bed or tow up to 9,370 pounds, when properly equipped. The Titan XD’s beefier frame bump up those ratings to 2,450 pounds and 11,000 pounds, when properly equipped, which is adequate but down on heavy-duty competitors. 

The 5.6-liter V-8 makes up to 400 hp, but that comes with a caveat: that rating applies to premium fuel, which many other trucks don’t require. 

The powertrain is smooth and hearty, with good power delivery down low. The V-8 is rated for 413 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm, but there’s good power down low. 

The 9-speed automatic isn’t any more efficient than the 7-speed it replaced, but it’s a little more refined. It’s shared with the upcoming Nissan Frontier and it’s better at low speeds than Ford’s 10-speed, but Nissan’s 9-speed can still hunt for the right gear around town. 

The four-wheel drive part-time system with high- and low-range settings will be a popular upgrade for most buyers. An electronic locking rear differential is standard on Pro-4X versions, and unavailable in the rest of the lineup. 

The Pro-4X models also offer off-road Bilstein shocks, hill-descent control and a crawling first-gear ratio. 

All Titans ride stiffly unladen, although they’re passable on highway drives and track down the middle of the road without too much adjustment. 

Compared to the Titan, the Titan XD is longer, taller, and wider, but steers similarly. 

Review continues below
7

2020 Nissan Titan

Comfort & Quality

Versatile and durable, the 2020 Titan feels solid like a full-size pickup should.

The 2020 Titan rights one of the wrongs we found last year and pares back its configurations to more popular models. 

Our rating of 7 here is based on the Titan crew cab, which is the most popular. Nissan offers an extended-cab Titan that is only attractive for its low price in base configuration, and a Titan XD that’s bigger, but doesn’t offer much more capability. All configurations would net relatively the same score; we give the Titan a point above average for its comfy front seats and spacious bed. 

The regular-cab Titan is now gone from the lineup; not many bought one anyway. What’s left are four-door Titans with one of two rear-door configurations: rear swinging extended cabs, and full four-door models. The Titan crew cab is most popular and is equipped as standard with two bench seats that can accommodate up to six adults. Front bucket seats that are both comfortable and spacious will be more popular among trucks found on dealer lots. The rear bench folds up for more in-cab storage space, and rear-seat passengers get more than 38 inches of leg room. Most Titans will be shod in durable cloth, although handsome leather upholstery is available in top trims. 

The rear seat is comfortable, although upright, and seats up to three adults in relative comfort. 

Titans are equipped with a 5.5-foot bed (Titan crew cab) or a 6.5-foot bed (Titan extended cab). Titan XDs get a 6.5-foot bed only. 

Like most pickups, the rear bed is spacious enough to hold just about anything and the Titan offers four fixed cleats in all models, and most models add four adjustable cleats to tie down cargo. Most models offer a step on the bed that makes getting into the back easier for loading and unloading cargo. 

The Titan offers good interior storage with plenty of cubbies, although its interior materials are a step below competitors. Everything feels solid and work-ready, however. 

Review continues below

2020 Nissan Titan

Safety

The 2020 Titan lacks official crash-test data.

The 2020 Titan hasn’t been fully crash-tested yet, so we’ll hold back our rating for now. Once that changes, we’ll update this space. 

This year, the Titan was moderately updated so we can’t draw many conclusions from last year’s crash-tests, including a four-star overall score from federal testers. The Titan XD, which is longer and wider, won’t be crash-tested. 

Automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, rear automatic emergency braking, and lane-departure warnings are standard on all 2020 Titans. Adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition are available extras. 

The Titan’s outward vision is predictably poor for a tall-riding pickup, although blind-spot monitors help. Mercifully so are parking sensors, which kept us from parallel parking the 2020 Titan by “feel”—or smashing into the front and rear bumpers until we fit. 

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8

2020 Nissan Titan

Features

Base 2020 Titans are spartan, but the lineup offers decent value outside of lavish (and expensive) top-trim pickups.

The 2020 Titan’s appeal will be its generous standard equipment (compared to other base full-size trucks) and generous incentives awaiting most buyers. 

That said, it’s well-equipped and stacked with a generous warranty. This year’s improvements add a larger touchscreen to most trucks, automatic emergency braking to all trucks, and good features. The 2020 Titan is an 8 for all of the above, although base trucks are very spartan (but still better equipped than most competitors’ base models). 

Like last year, the Titan and Titan XD are available in S, SV, Pro-4X, SL, and Platinum Reserve trims. Base versions cost $37,785 and the top Titan XD Platinum Reserve costs at least $63,285. That’s more than competitors' base models, but the Titan is better equipped than many of those work-spec trucks. That’s a lot of wiggle room, and better values are still found closer to the base price. 

The 2020 Titan and Titan XD are similarly equipped at every trim level, except for cab and bed configuration—the Titan XD is only available as a four-door crew cab with four-wheel drive and a 6-foot-6 bed. 

The Titan S is equipped with 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 features (covered above). Leave those trucks to fleet buyers and homeowners’ associations. 

The Titan SV is where most shoppers would start, including us. Those trucks get better wheels, a more configurable bed including available moveable cleats, a bed step, uprated cloth upholstery, better exterior trim, and cruise control. More importantly, the Titan SV offers popular equipment upgrades that include a 9.0-inch touchscreen, two more USB ports, navigation, front bucket seats, parking sensors, keyless ignition, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, rear HVAC vents, two household-style power plugs, and heated front seats. A 2020 Titan SV crew cab with four-wheel drive and that popular equipment package costs about $51,000, which is a relative deal among full-size pickups. 

For off-roaders, the Titan Pro-4X costs about $4,300 more but adds the popular equipment package, off-road hardware, and chunky tires. It’s a well-equipped off-road truck with a great factory warranty.  

That’s because tony trucks like the Titan Platinum Reserve rival luxury cars in not only conveniences but also price. 

The 2020 Titan Platinum Reserve adds 20-inch wheels, a power-telescoping steering wheel, LED headlights, chrome exterior accents, leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row seats, open-pore wood interior accents, and premium audio for more than $63,000 in Titan XD trim. That’s a stretch for us and our wallets.

This year, Nissan subbed in a 9.0-inch touchscreen in most Titan models that’s sharper and brighter than the outgoing infotainment screen. It still suffers from Nissan’s native infotainment software, which looks very dated, and washes out in direct sunlight—although not as bad as before. Mercifully, Nissan makes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility standard on all its trucks, which relieves the outdated infotainment software of its duty. Bring your phone. 

Every Titan gets a long 5-year/100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty that is unrivaled among other truckmakers. 

Review continues below
3

2020 Nissan Titan

Fuel Economy

The 2020 Titan’s V-8 isn’t very fuel-efficient.

Full-size pickups like the 2020 Nissan Titan aren’t very fuel-efficient compared to most other cars. 

The Titan lacks any new fuel-saving tech beyond a 9-speed automatic transmission that was added this year. The EPA’s calculators were unimpressed: the 2020 Titan rates 15 mpg city, 21 highway, 18 combined with four-wheel drive—same as last year. 

Pickups with rear-wheel drive get just 1 mpg highway more, according to the EPA. (Off-road Pro-4X models lose 1 mpg combined due to their tires.) 

The Titan XD escapes the EPA’s rating due to its curb weight. Other truckmakers’ myriad powertrains do better and worse than the Titan; fuel economy takes a back seat to capability for most truck buyers. 

The Titan is rated for premium fuel, which truck buyers may take exception to. 

Review continues below
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$36,190
MSRP based on 4x2 King Cab S
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5.4
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 4
Performance 5
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety N/A
Features 8
Fuel Economy 3
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2020 Nissan Titan Pricing Insights

  • 2020 Nissan Titan features a mild refresh, no XD diesel trims
  • Rebate: Up to $4,000 cash back
  • Finance: From 0% APR for 72 months + $2,000
  • Lease: From $379 per month for 36 months
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