2020 Nissan Titan: First Drive Review

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2020 Nissan Titan
The Titan continues into 2020 as Nissan’s entry in the ultra-competitive full-size pickup market with a bold new exterior design, interior upgrades, a powerful V8 engine and new advanced safety technology — all intended to attract more customers to the brand. However, the uphill battle the 2020 Nissan Titan faces continues to be one of devotion: owners in the full-size truck segment are among the most brand-loyal customers in the entire automotive industry.

© Nissan North AmericaTitan Design
The Nissan Titan was already a bold truck when the team at Nissan Design America in La Jolla, California, redesigned the large pickup to grab even more attention. Aimed squarely at the American market, the new Titan has been reimagined by the same team responsible for both the original Titan and the current generation. The team emphasized a high-tech appearance for the large LED headlights, “double boomerang” LED daytime running lights and new LED lighting for the pickup bed.

© Nissan North AmericaExterior Updates
The 2020 Nissan Titan’s new exterior design features three unique grilles to differentiate between trim levels, as well as new headlights, front bumper, fog lights, badges and wheel designs. The bold grilles are flanked by headlights that have 120 percent more light output in low beam than the previous ones, and incorporate new daytime running lights with four LED boards that are standard on the PRO-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve trims. At the rear, the 2020 Titan sports new LED taillights as well as new tailgate trim panels for the tailgate, with black tailgates for the PRO-4X and satin chrome for Platinum Reserve.

© Nissan North AmericaModel Lineup
The 2020 Nissan Titan comes in King Cab and Crew Cab variations and five trim levels: S, SV, PRO-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve. King Cab is available in S, SV and PRO-4X trim levels and the Crew Cab is available with all five trim levels. King Cabs feature a 6-foot bed and the Crew Cab has a standard 5.5-foot bed.

© Nissan North AmericaPowerful V8 Engine
The 2020 Nissan Titan draws power from a retuned 5.6-liter Endurance V8 engine that produces 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque, combined with a new 9-speed automatic transmission. Both 2- and 4-wheel-drive configurations are offered for all trim levels except PRO-4X, which is only available with 4-wheel drive. Driver assistance features include hill descent control (PRO-4X only), hill start assist, an active brake limited-slip differential and an electronic locking rear differential.

© Nissan North AmericaInner Space
The 2020 Nissan Titan interiors get an update with different seat materials, trim and accents for each trim level. Interior storage has been improved, including front and rear door storage capacity. Every 2020 Titan features Zero Gravity seats front and rear for more comfortable long-distance driving, and a new flexible smartphone holder / charging system gets added.

© Nissan North AmericaRefined Details
Inside, the 2020 Titan receives new attention to detail including new premium finishes, a 7-inch information display in the instrument panel, a standard 8-inch center display, and an available Integrated Command Center high-resolution 9-inch touchscreen.

© Nissan North AmericaConnected Technology
The next-generation Nissan Connect system allows over-the-air software updates, new safety and security features, HD Traffic and Google Places / Search. Enhanced connectivity includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an internal Wi-Fi router allows rear-seat passengers to stream content; up to six devices can be connected. The Titan Crew Cab has an available dual panoramic moonroof.

© Nissan North AmericaTitan SL
The Titan S and SV occupy the work-truck category, so things begin to ramp up with the Titan SL. The third rung of Nissan’s trim ladder adds leather seats, heated driver and passenger seats, a heated steering wheel, a power passenger seat, and a powered tilt and telescoping steering wheel. Outside, the SL gets differentiated by a chrome details including the grille surround and mesh grille, front bumper, step rails and exhaust tips. Titan SL also includes a powered sliding rear glass window, puddle lamps, LED signature headlights, 20-inch painted aluminum-alloy wheels, an intelligent around-view monitor and a Fender premium audio system.

© Nissan North AmericaTitan Platinum Reserve
Titan’s premium luxury car in a truck body, the top-of-the-line Platinum Reserve features premium leather seats with Platinum Reserve branding, front heated / cooled seats, heated rear seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with a wood insert and dark chrome interior trim. The Platinum Reserve stands alone with a Satin Chrome grille surround, a chrome mesh grille, two-tone paint, two-tone painted overfenders, and metallic kickplates with Platinum Reserve logos.

© Nissan North AmericaTitan PRO-4X
Designed for improved off-road capability, the 2020 Nissan Titan PRO-4X includes Bilstein off-road shocks, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels with a painted dark finish, 275/65R18 all-terrain tires, an electronic locking rear differential, a lower radiator skidplate with the PRO-4X logo and hill descent control. Titan PRO-4X also features a black grille, LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED fog lights, a dark gray lower front fascia, a dark gray rear bumper and black tailgate trim with the PRO-4X logo. Inside, the Titan PRO-4X includes front captain’s chairs with stain-resistant seat material, leather seat bolsters, PRO-4X embroidered in the seatbacks, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and contrast stitching.

© Nissan North AmericaSafety Technology
The 2020 Nissan Titan features Nissan Intelligent Mobility with Nissan Safety Shield 360 technology standard across all trim levels. Nissan Safety Shield 360 employs six advanced driver-assist systems: automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, high-beam assist and rear automatic braking. Additional available technologies include intelligent forward collision warning, an intelligent around-view monitor, intelligent cruise control, intelligent driver alertness, traffic sign recognition and Nissan’s rear door alert.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceOn the Road
The 2020 Nissan Titan drives surprisingly well for a truck. Starting with the 5.6-liter Endurance V8 now rated at 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque, the pickup has an abundance of easy power and the new 9-speed automatic transmission is noticeably smooth. According to Nissan, the new transmission combined with a higher final gear ratio provides more torque in a given gear for smoother and faster acceleration.

© Nissan North AmericaTitan Platinum Reserve
Without a direct comparison to the previous model, the Titan Platinum Reserve 4×4 feels quick and powerful, with torque readily available at any speed. The Platinum Reserve is quiet and even, providing the comfort and amenities of a luxury sedan with the room and capability of a Crew Cab truck.

© Nissan North AmericaOff-Road
The Titan PRO-4X is a very capable performer off-road thanks to the Bilstein shocks, all-terrain tires, locking rear differential and good approach and departure angles. Really the only limiting factor off-road is the size of the vehicle — it’s a big truck and may not go where smaller, equally-capable rigs can. The ride can be a little jarring for passengers on rutted dirt roads, but that’s a trade-off for the level of off-road capability.

© Nissan North AmericaTowing
Rated to tow up to 9,370 pounds when properly equipped, we used a Titan SV King Cab to pull a trailer loaded with four snow machines, weighing in right around the 5,000-pound mark. The Titan had plenty of power and felt very stable at speed on the freeway—Titan feels like it would be a great choice for towing this size of load.

© Nissan North AmericaAvailable Soon
The 2020 Nissan Titan goes on sale early in 2020 and pricing has not been announced. For reference, the 2019 Titan S 4×2 starts at $36,680 and pricing is expected to remain near that mark. Titan also continues to offer a 5-year/100,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.

© Nissan North AmericaRight for You?
The 2020 Nissan Titan is a bold looking, great driving truck with a 400-horsepower V8 engine. Not everyone needs that much power, or this much truck, but if you do — or you simply want the power — the 2020 Nissan Titan is worth a look. Nissan has updated the Titan to make it more appealing compared to the formidable competition, and the 5-year/100,000-mile warranty is impressive. Titan is a great rig for a first-time truck buyer or someone looking for a pickup that’s a bit different from standard truck fare.

© Nissan North AmericaRating: 8.0
Pros: Bold exterior design; plenty of power; PRO-4X off-road capability; 5-year/100,000-mile warranty.
Cons: Only one engine choice; tough competition.
Bottom Line: For those who desire a stylish full-size truck with plenty of V8 horsepower and a great warranty, the 2020 Nissan Titan could be the right choice.

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