A lot of tweaks in all the departments, but it still lacks the pizzazz

The Titan is in Nissan’s lineup since 2004. The pickup truck’s current-gen was launched four years back and now the company has already rolled out the facelift. The 2020 model brings in a few significant changes to the truck. On the outside, the changes are subtle, but they are noteworthy under the hood.

Nissan dropped the Cummins mill and the Titan can now be had only with the 5.6-liter V-8 mill. What’s more, it comes with a new transmission and a power boost. However, is the Titan a worthy alternative to the established trucks like the F-150 and the Silverado?

2020 Nissan Titan Driving Impressions

2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Exterior
- image 891928

Driving:

Nissan has carried over the 5.6-liter V-8 mill in the Titan and gave it extra power. The increase in the horsepower and torque figures doesn’t reflect in the real world and the truck more or less feels the same.

That said, the engine doesn’t feel lackluster at any point. What makes things better, however, is the new nine-speed automatic gearbox in the 2020 model that replaces the seven-speed automatic. The gearbox has better ratios and allows you to stay in the right power band more frequently than before.

Acceleration:

The 2020 Titan features a shorter 3.69:1 final-drive ratio that replaces the prior 2.94:1 set, which helps provide faster acceleration. Coupled with the new transmission, the Titan has surely improved on this front. The truck takes about seven seconds to hit the 60 mph mark from a standstill which isn’t the best when compared to the competition, but it isn’t a deal-breaker either.

2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Drivetrain
- image 891930

Brakes:

Press your foot on the B-pedal and you’ll find them to be a tad bit soft initially. It doesn’t take long to get used to, though. The brakes respond well and are confidence-inspiring even under panic situations. They have sufficient bite and enough stopping power.

Steering:

The leather-wrapped steering wheel is perfectly sized and comes with thumb contours as well for a good grip. On highways, the steering wheel weighs up well and the system itself offers good feedback to the driver. At city speeds, it is somewhat acceptable, but things aren’t very pleasant at parking speeds. The steering isn’t the very light and you will find it hard to move around, especially in cramped parking situations. It surely isn’t a breeze to park the truck in tight spots.

Handling:

The Titan features good acceleration, strong brakes, and a steering wheel that offers good feedback to the driver, but the weight of the truck dilutes the handling to a certain extent. This truck is the heaviest of the lot, so it isn’t a corner-carver by any means. The truck handles well on straight, smooth roads and the suspension does a good job. The body roll is well-controlled, but the Titan doesn’t like winding roads.

2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Interior
- image 891917

Drivability:

The big displacement engine with decent power figures makes sure the Titan drives well. There is sufficient low-end torque and the nine-speed gearbox keeps to in the rev band. Although the ratio is well-spread, the third gear could have been a little shorter. Since this is a big engine and a fuel guzzler, Nissan has calibrated the gearbox in a way where the downshifts happen at the very last moment. Overall, the Titan drives fine and won’t leave you complaining.

Off-Road:

The Titan is a robust truck and taking it off the roads is fun. Engaging the four-wheel-drive mode and the low range is easy. If you will take it on the beaten paths often, stay away from the top trims where the step bars hang low and the tires aren’t off-road suited either. Also, Nissan offers a Pro-4X package for hardcore off-road enthusiasts.

Does the Nissan Titan Make a Good Work Truck?

2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Exterior
- image 891894

The 2020 Nissan Titan is a heavy truck at the onset, so you’d naturally assume it to be a tough work truck. Like I mentioned earlier, the build is robust and it is abuse-friendly. But, if you were to consider the towing and payload figures, it’s not the best work truck out there. The 2020 Nissan Titan’s towing and payload capacities are rated at 9,210 pounds and 1,630 pounds respectively. This is far less than the Ford F-150’s and the Chevy Silverado’s ratings.

If you won’t use these capacities to their limit, the Nissan Titan would make for a decent work truck. There is plenty of cabin and in-bed storage solutions. The 5.6-liter, V-8 churns out the best power figures as compared to the rivals, so this coupled with a low towing capacity means a more comfortable and relaxed drive overall.

Is the Nissan Titan Good for Off-Roading?

2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Exterior
- image 891875

Nissan has improved majorly in this aspect. All the four-wheel-drive configuration models 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. Nissan offers a Pro-4X package on the Titan that doesn’t turn it into a Raptor or a Baja-inspired truck, but adds a lot of nice and practical features, such as:

  • 18-inch wheels wrapped around 275/65R off-terrain tires
  • Trailer brake controller
  • Matte silver radiator skid plate
  • Bilstein off-road shock absorbers
  • Electronic locking rear differential

There’s also stuff like Hill Descent Control, Hill Start Assist, Brake Limited-Slip Differential, and the electronic locking rear differential that make the Titan an off-road friendly truck.

Nissan Titan Powertrain, Performance, and Towing

2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Drivetrain
- image 891868

For the 2020 model, Nissan has carried over the 5.6-liter V-8 gasoline engine which is the only option available. Nissan calls this engine ‘Endurance’. The 5.0-liter Cummins V-8 engine that was offered on the 2019 Titan is discontinued. In the previous iteration, this mill made 390 horses and 394 pound-feet of torque. This time, Nissan has given it a steroid boost. The mill now churns out 400 ponies and 413 pound-feet of torque. That’s 10 horses and 19 pound-feet of torque more. Nissan has also swapped the seven-speed automatic gearbox in favor of a brand-new nine-speed automatic transmission.

Nissan Titan Platinum 4WD engine specifications
Engine 5.6-Liter V-8
Fuel Regular
Horsepower 400 HP
Torque 413 LB-FT
Transmission 9AT
Drive 4WD
Max Towing Capacity 9,210 LBS
Max Payload Capacity 1,630 LBS
Fuel Economy 15/21/18
Curb Weight 5,898 LBS
Fuel Capacity 26 Gal
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 7300 LBS
2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Drivetrain
- image 891867

With the increased power output, the Titan has beaten the Ford F-150 and the Chevy Silverado in this aspect. The F-150’s 5.0-liter V-8 makes 395 horses and 400 pound-feet of torque, whereas the Silverado’s 5.3-liter V-8 develops 355 ponies and 383 pound-feet of torque. The Nissan Titan also receives niceties like a transfer case on the four-wheel-drive models. As for the suspension system, the truck comes with double wishbone suspensions at the front and leaf springs in the rear.

How Much Can the Nissan Titan Tow?

2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Drivetrain
- image 891865

The towing and hauling capabilities have never been the Titan’s strong suit. In the previous model, the truck could tow up to 9,660 pounds.

Instead of getting better, these figures have worsened for the 2020 model.

Towing capacity is rated at 9,210 pounds - that’s 450 pounds less than the previous model.

This is not best-in-class and Nissan should have used this as an opportunity to enhance it further. It is far lesser than the Ford F-150’s and the Chevy Silverado’s ratings when equipped with the V-8 mills. The Ford F-150 with the 5.0-liter V-8 can tow up to 13,000 pounds, whereas the Chevy Silverado with the 5.3-liter V-8 is rated at 13,400 pounds.

How Much Cargo Can the Nissan Titan Carry?

2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Exterior
- image 891871
The 2020 Nissan Titan’s payload capacity is rated at 1,630 pounds. This is a drop from last year’s maximum rating of 1,850 pounds.

The F-150 can haul up to 2,080 pounds, and the Silverado leads the way with a payload capacity of 2,250 pounds.

The short cab version is eliminated, so the Nissan Titan is now available only in two body configurations:

  • King Cab with a 6.5-foot cargo bed
  • Full Crew Cab with a 5.5-foot cargo bed

How Fast is the Nissan Titan?

2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Exterior
- image 891944

The Nissan Titan, despite its heavy curb weight, is a fairly fast truck. The truck can sprint to 62 mph from a standstill in about seven seconds. The top speed is rated at 110 mph. While these aren’t the best figures, they are rather impressive for a truck that weighs almost 6,000 pounds.

What is the Nissan Titan’s Fuel Economy?

2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Drivetrain
- image 891862

The 2020 Nissan Titan is a heavy truck that features a big engine with impressive power outputs. Naturally, the fuel economy will take a hit. The 2020 Titan delivers 15 miles per gallon in the city, 21 mpg on the highway, and 18 mpg combined. It also comes with a 26-gallon fuel tank.

The nine-speed automatic gearbox and its tenacity to hold higher gears contribute to the engine extracting maximum efficiency possible. The F-150 and Silverado with their respective V-8s deliver 16 mpg in the city, 22 mpg on the highway, and 18 mpg combined.

Nissan Titan Exterior Design

2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Exterior
- image 891942

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 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.

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 in a few shades. The 2020 Titan also receives new LED taillights. Unlike the competition, this truck even features different tailgates on the trims. For instance, the Pro-4X has a black tailgate, while the Platinum Reserve’s is Satin Chrome, and so on. 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.

How Big is the Nissan Titan?

2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Exterior
- image 891929
The 2020 Nissan Titan is not the longest or the widest truck in the segment, but it is the tallest. It measures 228.1 inches in length, 80.7 inches in width, and 77.2 inches in height.

The F-150, on the other hand, is 231.9 inches long, 79.9 inches wide, and 77.2 inches tall. The Silverado is very similar to the F-150, measuring 231.7 inches, 81.2 inches, and 75.5 inches respectively.

Nissan Titan Platinum 4WD exterior dimensions
Length 228.1 Inches
Width 80.7 Inches
Height 77.2 Inches
Wheelbase 139.8 Inches
Ground Clearance 9.8 Inches

The Titan also has the shortest wheelbase measuring 139.8 inches. The F-150’s wheelbase measures 145 inches, whereas the Silverado takes the cake with a 147.4-inch wheelbase. That said, the Titan boasts the best ground clearance. The Japanese truck rides 9.8 inches off the ground, compared to F-150’s 9.4-inch and Silverado’s poor 8.1-inch ground clearance.

How Much Does the Nissan Titan Weigh?

2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Drivetrain
- image 891863
The Nissan Titan weighs 5,898 pounds. Nissan should’ve put it on a diet before releasing the 2020 model.

The truck weighs almost 900 pounds more than the Silverado and over 1,000 pounds more than the F-150. With the weight under the control, the Titan would be even more efficient and fast.

Nissan Titan Interior Design

2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Interior
- image 891921

The 2020 Nissan Titan’s interior is well-laid out and feels quite nice. This cabin is one of the most practical and utilitarian ones in the segment. If you’re looking for a plush and luxurious interior, check out the builds from Ram or Ford.

The Titan’s layout is pleasing to the eyes, but there’s no ‘wow’ factor.

There are quite a few buttons on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, but it does not appear to be cluttered. The super-long stalk on the right-hand-side sticks out like a sore thumb. It controls the towing settings and quite literally stands out. Better integration would have gone on a long way in terms of cabin appeasement.

2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Interior
- image 891915

The instrument cluster includes the tachometer, speedometer, and an LCD screen between these two. The 2020 Nissan Titan also comes with 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-forces. According to Nissan, this new gauge is the most accurate in its class at higher speeds.

Is the Nissan Titan Spacious?

2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Interior
- image 891901

The Nissan Titan is a fairly spacious cabin, but if you were to compare to its American rivals, it falls short.

The 41-inch headroom in the first row is slightly more than the F-150’s, but is two inches shorter than the Silverado.

The second-row headroom at 40.4 inches, however, is the best. While the headroom is still acceptable when you look at it from a mass-audience point-of-view, the legroom is not. The first-row legroom measures 41.8 inches and is good for people who are under six feet. If you are any taller, you will not be very happy with the legroom on offer. The Ford F-150 and the Silverado measure 43.9 inches and 44.5 inches respectively.

Nissan Titan Platinum 4WD interior dimensions
1st Row Headroom 41.0 Inches
1st Row Leg Room 41.8 Inches
1st Row Shoulder Room 63.3 Inches
1st Row Hip Room 60.8 Inches
2nd Row Headroom 40.4 Inches
2nd Row Leg Room 38.5 Inches
2nd Row Shoulder Room 63.6 Inches
2nd Row Hip Room 60.3 Inches
2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Interior
- image 891900

The same goes for the shoulder room as well. However, Nissan has equipped the truck with fantastic front seats which it calls the “Zero Gravity” seats. Things at the back are also the same, but the legroom just gets worse. It is almost five inches less than the F-150 and Silverado. If you are planning to use it as a family hauler, the rear occupants will not be the happiest bunch sitting there.

Is the Nissan Titan’s Infotainment Easy to Use?

2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Interior
- image 891909

Yes, the Titan’s infotainment is easy to use and will keep the tech-heads happy. The Nissan Titan now features an eight-inch screen as standard, as opposed to the seven-inch touchscreen in the preceding model. A new, nine-inch display with WXGA resolution is also available as an option on the lower trims and standard on the top trim. The display is a lot crisper and is much better than HD resolution. The infotainment system is tweaked for improvements and now comes with a WiFi hotspot that allows up to six devices and 45 Mbps connection speed. A 12-speaker, nine-channel, 485-watt Fender audio system is still available, as is NissanConnect with over-the-air software updates. It goes unsaid that the system also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Nissan Titan Pricing

2020 Nissan Titan - Driven Exterior
- image 891882

We drove the Nissan Titan in the top Platinum Reserve trim which is priced at $58,690 for the four-wheel-drive model without the destination fees. The equivalent F-150 Platinum model is priced at $59,360 and the Chevy Silverado High Country at $58,395.

Here are the prices of the other trims in their four-wheel-drive configurations:

2020 Nissan Titan - Trim Prices
S $39,990
SV $43,190
Pro-4X $47,590
SL $57,190
Platinum Reserve $58,690

The 2020 Nissan Titan has the best-in-class warranty as well. Nissan is offering a Limited Warranty plan of 5 years/100,000 miles and the same warranty on the powertrain as well.

Is the Nissan Titan Better Than the Ford F-150?

left right

The F-150 is the king of the segment and every other truck uses it as a benchmark. The Platinum trim is the second-top trim in the F-150 lineup and matches the closest with the 2020 Nissan Titan. It features the Blue Oval’s 5.0-liter, V-8 Coyote engine that makes 395 ponies and 400 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the wheels via a 10-speed automatic gearbox. The truck is spacious on the inside and is loaded to the gills in terms of features. It comes with goodies like LED lights all around, SYNC 3 infotainment system, and a horde of driver-assistance features, to name a few. The towing and payload capacities are better than the Titan, too. The Platinum trim in the four-wheel-drive avatar is priced at $59,360. The FX4 Off-Road package can be availed on the four-wheel-drive models and costs $3,425. As an overall package, we’d pick the F-150 in the Platinum trim over the 2020 Nissan Titan.

left right
Nissan Titan vs Ford F-150 specifications
Nissan Titan Platinum 4WD Ford F-150 Platinum 4WD
Engine 5.6-Liter V-8 5.0-Liter V-8
Fuel Regular Flex
Horsepower 400 HP 395 HP
Torque 413 LB-FT 400 LB-FT
Transmission 9AT 10AT
Drive 4WD 4WD ($3,425 Option)
Max Towing Capacity 9,210 LBS 13,000 LBS
Max Payload Capacity 1,630 LBS 2080 LBS
Fuel Economy 15/21/18 16/22/18
Curb Weight 5,898 LBS 4867 LBS
Fuel Capacity 26 Gal 26 Gal
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 7300 LBS 7000 LBS

Is the Nissan Titan Better Than the Chevy Silverado?

left right

Here, too, we’d pick the Titan’s rival over the Japanese truck. The Silverado in the High Country trim is spec’d closest to the Titan’s top trim in terms of pricing. It comes packed with a 5.3-liter, V-8 engine under the hood that churns out 355 horses and 383 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission. The truck comes with features like an eight-inch touchscreen system, a Bose sound system, wireless charging, and so on. The truck excels in the towing and payload department with a maximum rating of 13,400 and 2,250 pounds respectively. Unfortunately, Chevy doesn’t offer the Z71 off-road package on the High Country trim. The Chevrolet Silverado High Country is priced at $58,395.

left right
Nissan Titan vs Chevrolet Silverado specifications
Nissan Titan Platinum 4WD Chevy Silverado High Country
Engine 5.6-Liter V-8 5.3-Liter V-8
Fuel Regular Regular
Horsepower 400 HP 355 HP
Torque 413 LB-FT 383 LB-FT
Transmission 9AT 10AT
Drive 4WD 4WD
Max Towing Capacity 9,210 LBS 13,400 LBS
Max Payload Capacity 1,630 LBS 2,250 LBS
Fuel Economy 15/21/18 16/22/18
Curb Weight 5,898 LBS 5000 LBS
Fuel Capacity 26 Gal 24 Gal
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 7300 LBS 7000 LBS

Nissan Titan Safety

We recently saw Ram 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 the before. Other options include Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Around View Monitor, Intelligent Cruise Control, and Intelligent Driver Alertness and Traffic Sign Recognition.

Philippe Daix
Obsessive and Compulsive Automotive Expert - phil@topspeed.com
Always on the lookout for the latest automotive news, Philippe Daix is our most senior editor and founder of TopSpeed.com. He likes to see himself as a consumer advocate with a mission to educate motorheads of all ages.  Read More
About the author

Related Articles

2020 Nissan Titan XD

2020 Nissan Titan

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: