- Improved looks
- More power
- Standard V-8
- 9-speed automatic
- Needs more “new”
- Blocky rear tailgate
- Lagging in tech
- Price will be everything
The 2020 Nissan Titan is an evolved pickup with better looks and slightly more power for 2020.
The 2020 Nissan Titan is a full-size pickup truck outside the orbit of Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The 2020 Titan is available with one gas engine, a choice between two cab configurations—crew cab and extended cab—with separate bed lengths.
To avoid being an also-ran in the pickup arms race, the Titan has relied in the past on a low entry price, 5-year/60,000-mile warranty, and special-edition trims to woo buyers away from established rivals or push new buyers into the big truck. The new Titan may not stray far from that playbook, although Nissan hasn’t yet said how much it will cost when it goes on sale in early 2020.
The 2020 Titan will be available in five trim levels—S, SV, Pro-4X, SL, and Platinum Reserve.
Style and performance
With the refreshed 2020 Titan, Nissan’s wide-open maw for its full-size pickup purses its lips a little. Although not a wholesale departure from last year’s model, the 2020 Titan is a little poutier and closed compared to the three-bar, wide-open grille from last year. Different trims get different treatment: some are hashtag-blessed with black grilles that are supporting characters to the updated headlights, others are chrome shields that doth protest too much, methinks—at least compared to the bigger guys.
The 2020 update also brings new taillights and a tailgate badge, new wheels, and bed lights.
Inside, the truck adds updated tech and new touches including an optional panoramic sunroof, digital instrument cluster, and 9.0-inch touchscreen.
Under the hood is a revised 5.6-liter V-8 that makes 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, up 10 hp and 19 lb-ft from last year. That engine is mated to a new 9-speed automatic transmission. According to Nissan, compared to the outgoing 7-speed automatic, the new 9-speed will be better for takeoff and efficiency. Last year’s truck was rated by the EPA at 15 mpg city, 21 highway, 18 combined, although numbers for this year haven’t been released.
Rear-wheel drive is standard, although many shoppers will opt for four-wheel drive in the 2020 Titan. Off-roaders will appreciate the low-speed transfer case, but Nissan hasn’t yet specified other hardware to clamber up a mountainside in the Pro-4X version.
Like most full-size pickups, the Titan rides atop double wishbones up front and leaf springs in the rear (Ram uses coil springs in the rear). Most pickups will ride on 18-inch wheels, although SL and Platinum Reserve versions ride on 20s.
Extended cab models, which Nissan calls King Cabs, offer two rows of seats albeit with scant rear leg room in the back seat. Four-door, Crew Cab models are bona fide five-seaters, with more than 38 inches of rear seat leg room.
The size of the Titan is unchanged for 2020. King Cabs get a 78.7-inch bed behind the cab, Crew Cabs get 67 inches of bed room. Both trucks measure 228.5 inches from nose to tail.
Safety and features
This year, the 2020 Titan gets Nissan’s suite of active safety systems that includes automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, lane departure warning, and rear automatic braking as standard equipment. Safety extras include a surround-view camera system, adaptive cruise control, and traffic sign recognition.
Nissan hasn’t yet detailed what equipment will go into the five trims—S, SV, Pro-4X, SL, and Platinum Reserve—but an 8.0-inch touchscreen is standard and a 9.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is available on some trims. A wi-fi data hub that can connect up to six devices is available.
Other features include premium audio from Fender, leather upholstery, a panoramic moonroof, an upgraded interior, and a 7.0-inch digital information screen in the instrument cluster.
The 2020 Titan goes on sale early next year.