2020 Nissan Titan takes on the competition with updates for the new model year.
The Titan’s 5.6-liter V8 receives a power bump and a new nine-speed automatic.
Interior features include on-board Wi-Fi and a Fender premium audio system.
It is widely accepted that the Big Three – GM, Ford, and Ram – dominate the truck market. The Ford F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in the world for over four decades now. Not to be forgotten, the Ram 1500 surpassed the Silverado in total sales last year. Ram’s move up to number two shows how the battle between the Detroit Three is alive and well.
So is there any room for another challenger? Particularly from a brand known for their cars and ever-expanding SUV and crossover lineup? Could the 2020 Nissan Titan make a dent in this market seemingly dominated by GM, Ford, and Ram? With this 2020 redesign, Nissan is hoping to move the needle a little further in their favor.
Titan loyalists will recognize the 5.6-liter V8, which Nissan started using in 2015. Prior to 2020, the Titan produced 390 horsepower and 394 lb-ft. of torque. While not a drastic change, we do see an increase to 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft. of torque. Nissan did, however, swap their seven-speed automatic for a new nine-speed unit. Nissan’s thought process here is faster and smoother acceleration and better fuel economy.
Whether the 2020 Titan holds up to these claims remains to be determined. The extra boost will be great, however, especially for truck owners who inevitably get asked by their friends to help them move.
A Further Look At The 2020 Titan Engine
The 2020 Titan employs Variable Valve Event & Lift (VVEL). Nissan’s setup combines hydraulic-controlled variable valve timing and electronically-controlled variable valve lift. The combination allows for better overall performance and efficiency during a wide range of driving – be it off-road adventures or casual Sunday cruising.
Nissan buyers looking to move from a sedan (like the Altima) or smaller SUV (like the Rogue) may be concerned about the difference in fuel economy. While there certainly will be a difference, VVEL will provide some fuel economy benefits for the Titan.
When properly equipped, the 2020 Nissan Titan Crew Cab can tow 9,350 lbs. (4×2) and 9,210 lbs. (4×4). Max payload for a Titan Crew Cab, when properly equipped, is 1,580 lbs. (4×2) and 1,680 lbs. (4×4).
4×4 System & Off-Road Overview
We Michanganders are familiar with snow and ice, so trucks like the Nissan Titan hold a certain appeal. Those who regularly encounter dirt and mud likely have the same appreciation. With the Off-Road Gauge, drivers see information on tire angle, and relative pitch and roll angles. Without using a gyroscope, Nissan developed a new method to calculate the vehicle’s orientation using accelerometer data and the vehicle’s current G-force.
To assist with various off-road activities, Nissan also equipped the Pro-4X variant with Hill Descent Control. The 2020 Nissan Titan is also equipped with an electronic-locking, limited-slip differential for added traction.
The Titian’s solid beam construction houses LED headlights across the board. Those out at night, off-roading or working late, will appreciate being able to see in the bed of their Titan. Four LED-lights now illuminate the pickup bed so loading tools or furniture, or just trying to find something among your gear (mess) is no longer impossible.
When using the brights, High Beam Assist recognizes approaching drivers and dims down so as not to blind them. The similarities start to narrow down as you get into the different trim levels. Each of the three – PRO-4X, SL, and Platinum Reserve – get a grille design unique to their truck. Between those three trucks, nine colors are available but, similarly, it will vary depending on the trim level you choose.
Most of the time spent with your truck is in the driver’s seat, and Nissan seems to get that. Zero Gravity seats, heated or cooled, provide additional bolstering, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto provide additional connectivity. The 2020 Titan’s voice control capability makes for some pretty cool handsfree tech. You’re just a “Hey Siri” or “Okay, Google” away from maps or songs, all framed by the standard eight-inch screen (nine-inch available).
An upgrade away is the Fender 12-speaker audio system with a nine-channel amplifier. As music people, we think cruising down the highway listening to some chill jams is well deserved after a long day. On-board Wi-fi supports up to six devices (subscription required) so you can utilize that Fender system while camping or tailgating.
Upgraded Safety Features
The 2020 Nissan Titan is equipped with Safety Shield 360. The comprehensive list includes: Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection; Blind Spot Warning; Rear Cross Traffic Alert; Lane Departure Warning; High Beam Assist; and Rear Automatic Braking. Nissan also developed Rear Door Alert to beep when a driver walks away and leaves something in the backseat.
Pricing & Availability
The 2020 Nissan Titan is available now. The truck comes in three King Cab trims: S, SV, and PRO-4X; and five Crew Cab grades: S, SV, SL, Platinum Reserve, and PRO-4X. The new Titan is available in 4×2 and 4×4 configurations, although the PRO-4X is 4×4 only.
The 2020 Nissan Titan starts at $36,190 (King Cab 4×2), going as high as $58,690 for the Platinum Reserve Crew Cab 4×4. Add on another $1,595 for destination.
Emily Pruitt is fascinated by the current changes in the automotive industry, from electric vehicles and infrastructure, to new technology in general. When not reporting on cars, she can be found writing poetry and reading the latest mystery novels.