A few changes and tweaks make the Titan a better all-rounded package!

Pickups and SUVs used to carry the same design for decades together because no one bought them for their looks, really. But thanks to the changing times, automakers tend to refresh their big, butch vehicles as frequently as hatches and sedans. Nissan Titan is the latest example. The pickup truck’s current-gen was launched three years back, and the company has already rolled out the facelift. That’s what competition can do to you. The Titan comes with a few changes to the aesthetics and the drivetrain. Can you believe this is the same company that is running the same generation of the Patrol/Armada since 2010?

2020 Nissan Titan Exterior

  • Different grilles depending on the trim
  • Double-boomerang Daytime Running LEDs
  • New 18- and 20-inch wheels on offer
  • LED taillights standard now
  • Three new exterior shades
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The 2020 Nissan Titan does not come with drastic changes, which makes sense since it’s not a new model per se. The 2020 Patrol facelift felt like a new-gen altogether; so, it’s good to see Nissan not going berserk on the Titan’s facelift. As is with any truck these days, the Nissan Titan also comes with a big grille – bigger than the pre-facelift model. The new ‘Powerful Exterior’ design does not make a lot of difference, but it sure makes it look slightly classier. The grille now features a thick border and more prominent horizontal slats. I like this more than the previous grille as it reduces the honeycomb design on the inside and looks a lot cleaner.

Just like the bigger players like Ram and GMC, Nissan also offers different grilles depending on the trim.

The headlights retain the same shape, but the details have been revised inside. The C-shaped, ‘double-boomerang’ Daytime Running LEDs look sharp and smart. The bumper looks slightly bigger as well. The air dam receives a new design that now prominently extends to the bottom to make for the skid plate. Fog lamps are sleeker and even the front parking sensor’s position is changed. It is not in the corner anymore and I have my apprehensions. The new position is exposed to more slush and mud and is prone to provide inaccurate feedback. Also, it’s far from the edges. We’ll know the real-world results from owners after a few months, though. Moving on, the hood does not come with any sort of power bulge or anything. The simple creases on either side are retained, though.

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The side profile has not been tweaked. It looks largely similar – read as plain – to the pre-facelift. The fender loses out on the badge and honestly, it looks better now. The ORVMs still receive the same placement, with the window sill still dipping a bit to accommodate the wing mirror in it. A size larger would have been better, in my opinion. It is a simple wing mirror and not a fancy telescopic unit. The front doors feature the ‘Titan’ moniker. Under the doors there are running boards that look quite sturdy, but don’t sit flush with the body.

The 2020 Nissan Titan comes with a fresh wheel design and it suits the overall stance of the pickup truck quite well.

All trims ride on 18-inch wheels, except for the top two trims which come with 20-inch rollers. Some trims come with black treatment, and it looks fantastic on a few colors. The 2020 Nissan Titan is offered with three new shades, other than the six existing colors that have been carried over. The three new colors are Red Alert, Baja Storm, and Cardinal Red Metallic.

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The rear looks rather quite funky, especially on trims like the Pro-4X where many elements are blackened out. You can differentiate the trims here as well. For instance, the Pro-4X has a black tailgate, while the Platinum Reserve’s is Satin Chrome, and so on. Under the rear bumper is a curved-to-the-right exhaust pipe. The bumper receives a step to climb into the bed. Unlike the front where the LED DRLs are offered only on the top three trims, all the trims receive new, refreshed LED taillights. There is a subtle lip on the tailgate but it adds so much character to the overall appearance. The ‘TITAN’ badge on the bottom-left of the tailgate is oversized. Narcissist, much? Flip open the tailgate and you’ll see the new lighting system that Nissan has offered on the 2020 Titan. There are four LEDs that light up the bed area and will prove to be extremely helpful in dark conditions.

2020 Nissan Titan Interior

  • New off-road gauge
  • Eight-inch touchscreen standard on all trims
  • Supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Spacious cabin
  • Improved storage spots
  • New dual-panel panoramic sunroof
2020 Nissan Titan Interior
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The 2020 Nissan Titan’s interior is very practical and utilitarian, to say the least. The whole layout is pleasing to the eyes, but there’s no ‘wow’ factor.

The leather-wrapped steering wheel is perfectly sized and comes with thumb contours as well.

There are quite a few buttons on it but the steering does not appear to be cluttered. The left-hand side buttons are for the media and voice controls, whereas the right-hand side buttons are for the cruise control. The instrument cluster is crisp and clear even under bright sunlight, thanks to the cowl at the top. In between the tachometer and the speedometer is an LCD screen that puts out data for the driver. My only gripe here is the super long stalk on the right-hand side. It controls the towing settings and quite literally stands out. Better integration would have gone on a long way in terms of cabin appeasement. You will get used to it, but it is still a sore thumb.

The 2020 Nissan Titan comes with a new Off-Road Gauge that displays vehicle angle, relative pitch, and roll angles. The previous model made use of a gyroscope to determine the results, but the 2020 Titan boasts a new method to calculate the orientation using accelerometer data and G-force. According to Nissan, this new gauge is the most accurate in its class at higher speeds.

2020 Nissan Titan Interior
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The center console now features an eight-inch screen as standard, as opposed to the seven-inch touchscreen in the preceding model.

Nissan now offers a new, nine-inch display with WXGA resolution as optional equipment. The display is a lot crisper and is much better than HD. The infotainment system is tweaked for improvements and now comes with a Wi-Fi hotspot that allows up to six devices and 45 Mbps connection speed. The 12-speaker, nine-channel, 485-watt Fender audio system is still available, as is NissanConnect with over-the-air software updates. Of course, it supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The console is a mix of buttons, dials, and touchscreens. However, I feel Nissan could have written off a few buttons in favor of more touch stuff. The worst thing here is the drive mode knob right under the start/stop button. It looks CHEAP! Nissan could have used a dial, or integrated this onto the huge, chunky stalk on the steering, or gone old-school by offering a lever. But, what does Nissan decide to do? Give a knob that looks like the AC controller from a 1990s entry-level hatch. Finally, the center console is hugged by two vertical AC vents that - if you look carefully – replicate the steering wheel’s design.

2020 Nissan Titan Interior
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As for the storage and seating, Nissan has that covered well.

The 2020 Nissan Titan comes in five trims - S, SV, Pro-4X, SL, and Platinum Reserve – and all of them are equally spacious.

The storage spaces were not thought out well in the preceding model. But in terms of space, you won’t find people complaining once inside. The seats are quite comfortable and placed at the right angles as well. To make things even brighter on the inside and make the feature list even richer, Nissan is offering a new dual-pane panoramic sunroof this time around. Quite a good add-on to have on a truck.

2020 Nissan Titan Drivetrain

  • 5.6-liter V-8 gasoline engine
  • 400 Horsepower
  • 413 Pound-feet of Torque
  • New nine-speed automatic transmission
  • Shorter final drive ratio
  • 5.0-liter Cummins V-8 engine discontinued
  • A host of driver assistance systems available
2020 Nissan Titan Drivetrain
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The best part about the 2020 Titan is not only about revised looks and features; it even receives changes under the hood.

Nissan has carried over the 5.6-liter, V-8 gasoline engine, but gave it a little dose of steroids before placing it in the engine bay. The previous iteration developed 390 horses and 394 pound-feet of torque. This time, it makes 400 ponies and 413 pound-feet of twist. That’s 10 horses and 19 pound-feet of torque more. Nissan calls this engine ‘Endurance’. The refreshed Titan also comes with a brand-new nine-speed automatic gearbox that replaces the seven-speed auto transmission. Depending on the trim you choose, power is sent to either two wheels or all the four wheels. A shorter 3.69:1 final-drive ratio replaces the prior 2.94:1 set which helps provide faster acceleration, thus keeping you in the right power band most of the time.

The four-wheel-drive models also feature a transfer case that’s designed to provide maximum power distribution in every gear. The transfer case distributes torque whenever the vehicle needs extra traction, especially in cases of snow, ice, sand, mud, dirt, water, or gravel. To make sure the Titan is even more off-road friendly, Nissan has included features like Hill Descent Control, Hill Start Assist, Brake Limited-Slip Differential, and the electronic locking rear differential. The 2020 Nissan Titan rides on double wishbone suspensions at the front and leaf springs in the rear. By the way, the 5.6-liter, V-8 is the only mill you can avail on the 2020 Titan.

The 5.0-liter, Cummins V-8 engine that’s offered on the current Titan will be discontinued from the 2020 Titan.
2020 Nissan Titan Exterior
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There is no word on the towing and payload capacities on the 2020 Titan. I don’t see a change in the reckoning. The maximum towing capacity is rated at 9,660 pounds and maximum payload capacity is 1,850 pounds. This is not the best-in-class and Nissan should have used this as an opportunity to enhance it further.

2020 Nissan Titan Safety

2020 Nissan Titan Exterior
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We recently saw Ram’s 1500 win the highest accolades a pickup truck has ever earned. This shows how automakers are getting serious about offering safety features even on these big beasts. Nissan did its bit by making the Nissan Safety Shield 360 Package standard on the Titan. This includes Forward Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Reverse Automatic Emergency Braking, Blind-Spot Monitoring, Rear-Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane-Departure Warning, and Automatic High-Beam Headlights. Optional items include Adaptive Cruise Control, Surround-View Camera, and Traffic-Sign-Recognition System. The Titan now comes with eight airbags and four seatbelt pre-tensioners, two each more than before. Other options include Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Around View Monitor, Intelligent Cruise Control, and Intelligent Driver Alertness and Traffic Sign Recognition.

2020 Nissan Titan Pricing

2020 Nissan Titan Exterior
- image 863725

Pricing has not yet been revealed for the 2020 Titan. But we can expect a slight increase in prices considering the number of changes Nissan has made to the truck. The current-gen Titan starts at $30,690 and goes all the way up to $57,840. The Titan XD, on the other hand, retails from $32,990 and tops out at $65,410.

2020 Nissan Titan Competition

Ram 1500

2019 Ram 1500 Exterior
- image 760707

Just like the Titan, even the Ram 1500 comes with different grilles depending on the trim. It has an intimidating stance and looks quite bulky overall. On the inside, it is one of the most luxurious trucks you can have at this price point. The top trim comes with all the bells and whistles you wish for. Also, there’s the MultiFunction tailgate that offers so much versatility. However, the biggest change in the 2020 Ram 1500 is the third-gen EcoDiesel engine.

It is a 3.0-liter V-6 mill that generates 260 horses and 480 pound-feet of torque. This is a noticeable increase over the second-gen EcoDiesel engine that produced 240 ponies and 420 pound-feet of torque. It will be mated to the existing eight-speed TorqueFlite transmission. Trucks equipped with the new mill can tow up to 12,560 pounds compared to the previous rating of 9,300 pounds. The truck also became the first official full-size pickup to earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating. Is there anything Ram can go wrong with these days? The truck starts at $31,895, whereas the ones equipped with the EcoDiesel engine start at $36,890.

Read our full review on the 2019 Ram 1500

Ford F-150

2018 Ford F-150 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Does this truck need an introduction? The F-Series has been the top-selling vehicle for four decades in a row in the States. That itself shows how much people love and adore this beast. The 2021 F-150 is expected to come with humongous changes, but for now, let’s focus on the current-gen that will take on the 2020 Titan. The truck is not a looker and does not top the list in terms of aesthetics, but it is not an eye-sore either. The F-150 comes in multiple trims and the top trim is loaded to the gill. On the flip side, the base trims are very basic and barely come with any features.

Ford offers six engines on the F-150, but here are the top three. The first one is the 2.7-liter, turbocharged V-6 EcoBoost engine that produces 325 ponies and 400 pound-feet of twist. Power is sent to the wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission. The second EcoBoost engine is the 3.5-liter, V-6 mill that churns out 375 horses and 470 pound-feet of torque. This engine is also mated to the same 10-speed automatic gearbox that is found in the 2.7-liter engine. The largest of the lot is the 5.0-liter V-8 mill that develops 395 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. The maximum towing capacity is rated at 13,200 pounds.

Read our full review on the 2019 Ford F-150

Final Thoughts

2020 Nissan Titan Exterior
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Nissan seems to have covered most of the bases on the Titan to call it ‘an improvement over the predecessor’. The discontinuation of the Cummins engine may not please everyone and dropping it on the next-gen Titan would’ve been better. But given the stringent emission norms these days and the falling demand, there is no reason for it to continue. If the Japanese automaker would have increased the towing capacity as well, the Titan could have become a strong competitor. Currently, it does not sell as much as the Fords, or the Rams, or the Chevy twins.

The company is moving less than 3,000 examples a month on an average, which is way lower than the competition. However, this attempt should see a spike in the sales graph as features like the Nissan Safety Shield, bigger touchscreen, and panoramic sunroof are quite tempting. Will this facelift help Nissan grab a bigger share of the pie? We’ll know once the truck goes on sale in early 2020.

  • Leave it
    • The 5.0-liter Cummins V-8 diesel engine will be missed
    • Hope the price is not increased significantly
    • No increase in towing and payload ratings

Further reading

2017 Nissan Titan High Resolution Exterior
- image 665129

Read our full review on the 2018 Nissan Titan.

2017 Nissan Titan PRO-4X – Driven
- image 685204

Read our full driven review on the 2017 Nissan Titan PRO-4X.

2016 Nissan Titan XD High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Nissan Titan XD.

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