2020 Nissan Titan Pickup Review: Better than Ever, Better Late than Never (2023)

The Nissan Titan has never had it easy, running far behind America's homegrown talent in the country's most beloved category. Pickup trucks are the pride of the nation—not to mention the workman's ride of choice—more so now than at any point in the last half-century. As of October, we'd bought nearly 1.7 million full-size pickups from Ford, General Motors, and Ram this year. Nissan managed to move just 25,412 Titans in that stretch. Clearly, something has to change.

So change it will. Four years into the truck's current generation, the 2020 Nissan Titan delivers a substantial refresh aimed at tapping into the ever-broader and more competitive American pickup market in a way the marque hasn't done since the mid-Aughts. It drops some of the lower-end options, pairs the standard V8 with a new nine-speed transmission, and puts a strong focus on outright comfort. The sharpened front-end design is also a clear maturation. But does it hit the mark?

Truthfully, it's close. The refresh gives the 2020 Titan a handful of honest victories over the Big Three and Toyota in areas like the standard powertrain and advanced driver assistance gear. It's a more complete, well-executed vision of an American full-size pickup than the 2016-2019 Titan. Yet its still worst-in-class max towing and payload figures (9,370 pounds and 1,680 pounds respectively) loom large, and for some buyers, the conversation will always start and end there.

2020 Nissan Titan SL, Nissan

Nissan knows this. It's banking on the great middle, the huge swath of pickup buyers who don't actually work their trucks to the max, ignoring those capability deficits and focusing on the value at hand. At its still-unannounced base price (think mid-$30K range), you'll get a King Cab truck with more power and better safety tech than the competition. It's a choice between bragging rights versus realistic utility, proven pedigree versus relative unfamiliarity, and the 2020 Titan makes it the toughest call in the model's 16-year history.

The 2020 Nissan Titan, By the Numbers

  • Base Price: Not released
  • Powertrain: 5.6-liter V8 | Nine-speed automatic transmission | Rear-wheel-drive with optional on-demand four-wheel-drive
  • Horsepower: 400 hp @ 5,800 rpm
  • Torque: 413 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
  • Ground Clearance: 8.2 - 9.1 inches depending on trim
  • Max Tow Capacity: 9,370 pounds
  • Max Payload Capacity: 1,680 pounds
  • EPA Fuel Economy: Not released
  • Quick Take: The Titan is better than ever for 2020—but it's still not a segment killer.
(Video) 2020 Nissan Titan review When good isn't good enough

Tiny Titan Tweaks

2020 Nissan Titan SV, Nissan

Walk up to the 2020 Nissan Titan, as we did in Utah last week, and first impressions are genuinely positive. Each trim has a distinctive front end, matching unique headlights and model-specific grille arrangements. From the introductory SV to the Platinum Reserve, the trims carry with them a particular theme catered toward that truck's strengths—the Pro-4X off-road model is athletic and sports flat black metal plating while the mid-range SL is heavy on chrome.

Inside, the comfortable cabin is very much an evolutionary update to the 2019 truck that mixes in some welcome flourishes like Nissan's squishy "Zero Gravity" seats, an available dual-pane moonroof, and an upgraded 9-inch infotainment screen running fresh NissanConnect software and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay. Praise be, there's still a column shifter. Notably, Nissan axed the single cab truck, leaving just the clamshell door King Cab and the proper Crew Cab as options.

2020 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve, Nissan
2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X, Nissan

The design still hews conservative, and its top-tier Platinum Reserve trim doesn't quite have the visual pop of a Ram 1500 Limited. But points for avoiding the gaudy rhinestone cowboy look that can plague higher-end pickups, and materials and overall quality feel on-par with the Ford and Ram across the board. It's certainly ahead of GM these days. Regardless, the biggest changes are the most invisible. Fanatical NVH work makes the cabin a far calmer place than the pre-refresh model, and that standard Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite brings automatic emergency braking (front and rear, pedestrians and vehicles), blind spot warning, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and rear cross-traffic alert at no extra cost. You won't find that standard kit elsewhere.

(Video) Real world test! 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid vs Nissan Titan 5.6L V8

As before, there's only one powertrain available—a 5.6-liter V8 that now makes 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, connected to a new nine-speed automatic transmission. Those numbers are enough to grab a coveted best-in-class marker for both standard powertrain and base V8s among full-size pickups, though it's more smooth operator than roaring beast. The nine-speed is a huge improvement over the old seven-speed, which felt entirely overwhelmed by the real and metaphorical stakes at hand, and its better-drawn ratios make the Titan far more responsive off the line with or without a load. Consumer choice here is limited to two- or four-wheel drive.

It Tows Well, Just Not as Much

2020 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve, Nissan

So there are some genuine differences to consider with the new Titan. But there's also the inescapable fact that not only did the Titan's tow rating not improve with the 2020 refresh, it actually dropped. Losing the single cab did away with that trim's 9,660-pound figure, sure, but a 2019 Titan King Cab RWD is still pegged at 9,450 pounds for max towing. The equivalent 2020 truck sits at 9,370 lbs. A small dip—but a dip nonetheless at a time where people are accustomed to seeing spec sheets moving lockstep in a positive direction every year. We asked Nissan about the drop, and we'll update with its explanation when it provides one.

To prove it won't matter to most, Nissan presented us with a few Titan/trailer combos to test, including a few dual-axle flatbeds bearing ATVs and a hefty Airstream Land Yacht camper. We went right for the 28-foot, 5,868-pound Airstream to get as close to the max figures as the event would allow. On a route that traversed residential areas and wide-open highways, the 2020 Titan carried driver and trailer with a solid, earned confidence. That nine-speed transmission never struggled for the right gear and made quick work of onramps, and once booking it down I-80 at 70 mph, the integrated Trailer Sway Control fought a good fight against heavy crosswinds. A few steep grades also proved to be of little consequence; the 2020 Titan handles exactly like a full-size pickup should when pulling a medium-size load.

Then again, it also handles exactly like it should this far under the max tow rating. But if all you've got is a 6,000-pound camper trailer, it's unlikely you'll notice much if any difference in the way the 2020 Titan performs with it versus, say, a 2020 Chevy Silverado rated at 11,300 pounds.

A Titan for Every Job

(Video) Toyota’s Not the Best Truck to Buy Anymore
2020 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve, Nissan

In a world where Americans are paying 61 percent more for pickups than they were a decade ago, there's an understood demand for luxury trucks. The 2020 Nissan Titan meets this need with a Platinum Reserve trim that feels nearly as nice as, say, a Ram 1500 Limited or Ford F-150 Platinum for about the same money before incentives. Although a specific price point hasn't been announced for the range-leading Titan, expect it to slot in near the outgoing model year's $54,630 figure; this puts it barely under the $55,110 Ram Limited and the $54,920 F-150.

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Alternatively, if you're looking to hit the trail, the Titan Pro-4X remains a solid choice with General Grabber 275/65/R18 tires, an electronic locking rear differential, hill descent control, and Bilstein shocks that provide stellar off-road articulation (and a generally comfy ride overall). What it doesn't have is any of the advanced terrain management or off-road cruise control tech found in the Ford and Toyota, nor the aggressive lift of the Chevy Silverado Trail Boss. The Pro-4X doesn't even offer the best ground clearance and off-road angles in the Crew Cab lineup—that distinction belongs to the Platinum Reserve with its 20-inch wheels—though it is the most able Titan in shorter King Cab form. The off-road performance here follows the "good enough for most" philosophy, though at least the optional dual-panel moonroof gives a unique view of the surrounding terrain when you're tilted at a precarious angle.

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X, Nissan

The Drive's Verdict on the 2020 Titan

(Video) 2020 Titan, more changes, is it enough to compete with the big boys
2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X, Nissan

On paper, there's no reason the 2020 Nissan Titan shouldn't finally catch people's attention and deliver those sales Nissan is looking for. It's better equipped, better to drive, and a better buy than ever should Nissan's typically generous dealer incentives keep rolling. But the psychology of truck buyers isn't that simple. Good enough doesn't play in a space full of fervent opinions and die-hard believers. Today's full-size pickup trucks need to be truly superlative—which the Titan is on some fronts. But not all.

There's no doubt that a brand-blind customer shopping for their first full-size truck would be rightfully swayed by the new Titan. What's unclear is how many of those shoppers actually exist in a market dominated by three companies for decades whose brand loyalties help offset any strategic mistakes. The Titan's improvements and outright victories with no room for error are to be commended—it's a really, really good truck. It's just not a breakthrough truck.


Which is better RAM or Titan? ›

Nissan Titan comparison reveals that the Nissan Titan has a more powerful standard engine, outperforming the standard choice for a Ram 1500 for maximum towing capacity. With a higher reliability score from J.D. Power, the Nissan Titan can be a better choice.

Why does no one like the Nissan Titan? ›

Besides the limited engine options, the towing capacity is another of the Nissan Titan's drawbacks. Towing is a primary reason people buy trucks, but the Titan fails in this category. The 2022 Nissan Titan has a maximum towing capacity of between 9,040 lbs and 9,320 lbs.

What is the best year for Titan truck? ›

The 2009 model is a great starting point if you are searching for the most reliable Nissan Titan year. This model has capitalized on the powerful 5.6L Endurance V-8 engine and the smooth five-speed transmission. Start the engine, and you'll get the powerful urge to drive the truck and play off-road.

Where does Nissan Titan rank in trucks? ›

The 2023 Nissan Titan's #6 ranking is based on its score within the Full Size Pickup Trucks category.

Which RAM engine is most reliable? ›

The Hemi family is legendary for its dependability very dependable. However, it's the 5.7L Hemi that stands out as the most reliable Ram Truck Engine Option. Even the no-compromise Hellcat Hemis are solid, going 100,000 miles or more without issue.

Is the Titan better than the tundra? ›

Tundra Engine and MPG. The Nissan Titan boasts a more powerful base engine than the Tundra, thanks to a big V-8 that churns out an impressive 400 horsepower. In the Tundra, the standard engine is a twin-turbocharged V-6 that puts out between 348 and 389 horsepower.

What years did Titans avoid? ›

Quick Answer: Avoid 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2016, and 2018 Nissan Titans. Nissan's first foray into full-size pickup trucks didn't go off without a hitch; in fact, it took them a few years to get things rolling.

What is better than a Titan? ›

The gods are said to be stronger than the titans.

Do Nissan Titans hold their value? ›

The 2021 Nissan Titan is our top pick for the best model year value for the Titan. With the 2021, you would only pay, on average, 88% of the price as new, with 92% of the vehicle's useful life remaining. The 2022 and 2020 model years are also attractive years for the Titan, and provide a relatively good value.

Is a Nissan Titan a real truck? ›

2023 Nissan TITAN & TITAN XD V8 Full-Size Pickup Trucks.

Which truck is bigger Titan or Frontier? ›

Both the 2021 Nissan Frontier and 2021 Nissan Titan are great Nissan trucks within their price range. Between the two, the Frontier has better fuel efficiency and horsepower. The Nissan Titan, on the other hand, is a larger truck with a much greater towing capacity.

How long will a Nissan Titan last? ›

Nissan took another swing in 2016 when it introduced the second generation of the Titan, and even gave it a refresh in 2020, but that wasn't enough to seriously challenge the class leaders. According to analysts, Nissan will likely kill off the Titan sometime between 2024 and 2025.

What is the top of the line Nissan Titan? ›

Crew Cab Platinum Reserve

This Platinum Reserve model of the 2021 TITAN is the top of the line, the best of the best, and features all the luxury appointments you're looking for, including leather seats with Platinum Reserve logo and two-tone painted aluminum-alloy wheels.

Is there going to be a 2023 Nissan Titan? ›

For 2023, the Nissan TITAN Crew Cab SV is available with a new Midnight Edition package that gives the truck an even more aggressive appearance, thanks to black exterior and interior trim, a gloss black front grille surround, full-LED headlights, black tailgate badges, a black headliner and A-pillar upholstery, black ...

Where does Nissan rank for quality? ›

Are Nissans reliable cars? Nissan's Reliability Rating is a decent 4.0 out of 5.0, ranking 9th out of 32 automobile manufacturers, according to Repairpal.com. This grade is based on the reliability of 245 different car models.

What's the most reliable truck brand? ›

Based on reliability, the best truck to buy in 2022 is the Toyota Tacoma, which comes in with a Consumer Reports score of 74. This truck is followed closely by the Ford Lightning, which received a 73. Both of these trucks would be a great buy in 2022.

What years to avoid for the 5.7 Hemi? ›

Here are the Dodge RAM 1500 years to avoid: 2003, 2010-2013 (5.7-liter V8), 2014, 2015, 2016. But just like the years from above, something well-maintained might offer you something worth buying; just know what you're getting yourself into.

Which Ram engine gets the best gas mileage? ›

The top Dodge Ram model for gas mileage is the 2022 Ram 1500 HFE (which stands for “high fuel efficiency”) with a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine and rear-wheel drive. configurations available on Ram's best-selling truck, it's important to make the distinction between them.

How is the weakest Titan? ›

Pieck's Cart Titan is arguably the weakest of the Nine, but it comes with several advantages. Unlike its eight brethren, the Cart Titan walks on all four legs, making it an excellent method of transport. Pieck often has large structures attached to her back, which carry both people and weapons.

Which Titan has the best ability? ›

1) Founding Titan

This is the most powerful Titan of the lot. If the shifter is of royal blood, they can turn any Eldian into a Titan, control the minds of every Titan and its subsequent shifters, and alter the memories of Eldians. These abilities make it the most powerful Titan in the show.

What is the most durable Titan? ›

1 Eren Yeager Became A Monster Beyond Human Imagination

Eren's Founding Titan form easily rendered him the most durable character of the series. Despite being reduced to a skeleton, his body stretched well into the sky and could shrug off explosives better than wall titans.

Why do Titans last 13 years? ›

Because it is impossible for anyone to surpass the Founder, each person who gained the power of the Titans was fated with the "Curse of Ymir" (ユミルの呪い Yumiru no Noroi?), which limited their remaining lifespan to only 13 years after first acquiring it.

What problems do Nissan Titans have? ›

Leaky rear axle seals. Unfortunately, from 2004 until about 2013, the Nissan Titan suffered from overheating. Because of the lack of ventilation, the rear axle seals can leak. If the loss of fluid becomes too excessive, major damage can occur to the rear differential and axle bearings.

Can Nissan Titan last 300000 miles? ›

With proper care, the Nissan Titan truck can last over 300,000 miles.

What is the difference between Titan SV and SL? ›

Enjoy standard leather seating with the Titan SL. Leather seating is only optional with the Titan SV. The Nissan Titan SV comes with silver metallic interior trim while the SL comes with premium open-pore wood-tone trim.

What is the difference between Titan SV and Titan XD? ›

First and foremost, the Titan XD is the heavy-duty version of the Titan. As a result, it offers a longer body and wheelbase, as well as a 6.5” bed (compared to the Titan's 5.5” bed). Additionally, the suspension is taller, although the amount of extra inches varies by each trim of the Titan.

Why are Nissan Titans not selling? ›

Why are Nissan Titans not selling? While the Titan is a useful truck, Nissan has never given it the same variety of powertrains or options as the trucks from Ram, Ford, and GM. Nissan lacks the brand cache and perceived reliability that Toyota uses to move the Tundra in the full-size pickup truck class.

Are Nissan Titans expensive to fix? ›

The average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on a Nissan Titan is $555, compared to an average of $936 for fullsize trucks and $652 for all vehicle models.

Does Nissan or Toyota hold value better? ›

While these manufacturers can be comparable in terms of list price, Toyota vehicles simply retain value better than your average Nissan. That's important because your investment into a vehicle matters more if that vehicle will still have value after several years on the road.

Is there a recall on the Nissan Titan transmission? ›

2022 Nissan Titan Recall

Description of Recall: Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) is recalling certain 2020-2023 Titan, 2020-2022 Frontier, and 2023 Z vehicles. The transmission parking pawl may not engage when the vehicle is shifted into park, which can result in a vehicle rollaway.

Are Nissan Titans made by Ford? ›

The Nissan Titan is a full-size pickup truck manufactured in the United States for the North American market by Nissan.

Is a Nissan Titan bigger than a Ford f150? ›

Passengers in the extended cab will be able to stretch out a lot more with the Ford F-150 than the Nissan Titan. The Ford F-150 will be a favorite with tall drivers and their passengers, since it has much greater head- and legroom than the Nissan Titan.

Which truck is bigger the Nissan Titan or the Toyota Tundra? ›

Which is bigger, the 2022 Toyota Tundra or the 2022 Nissan Titan? The 2022 Toyota Tundra is a few inches longer than the Nissan Titan but roughly the same width and height. The Titan, however, has a slightly longer bed length than the Toyota Tundra.

What truck sits the highest stock? ›

10 Highest Ground Clearance Trucks
  • Toyota Tundra - 10.6 Inches.
  • Toyota Tacoma - 9.4 Inches.
  • GMC Sierra - 9.1 Inches.
  • Nissan Titan XD - 8.8 Inches.
  • Chevrolet Silverado - 8.8 Inches.
  • Chevrolet Colorado - 8.4 Inches.
  • GMC Canyon - 8.4 Inches.
  • Nissan Frontier - 8.9 Inches.

How much bigger is the Nissan Titan than Frontier? ›

In the King Cab body style, the Frontier is 210.2 inches long, 71.7 tall, and 73 inches wide. The Titan is a much larger truck, as it's 17.9 inches longer, 3.4 inches taller, and 6.5 inches wider.

Will Nissan make a 2024 Titan? ›

Model Preview

With the large pickup truck's existence in question, we expect the Titan to return for the 2024 model year, if it will stick around, as a carryover model without any changes. On the outside, the 2024 Nissan Titan is expected to share the same design as the current truck that's on sale.

How many miles per gallon does a Nissan Titan truck get? ›

2021 Nissan Titan
EPA MPGOwner MPG Estimates
2021 Nissan Titan 2WD 8 cyl, 5.6 L, Automatic (S9)
2021 Nissan Titan 4WD PRO-4X 8 cyl, 5.6 L, Automatic (S9)
Premium GasolineNot Available How can I share my MPG?
17 combined city/highway MPG 15 city 20 highway 5.9 gals/ 100 miles
5 more rows

How many miles can a Nissan Titan go on a full tank of gas? ›

Fuel tank capacity: 26.0 gallons. Fuel type: regular unleaded. EPA mileage estimate (cty/hwy): 15/20mpg. Range in miles: 390/520 mi.

Is Nissan Titan better than Ram? ›

The 2022 Nissan Titan got a "Great" score of 85 out of 100 for Quality and Reliability3 from J.D. Power. Compare the Nissan Titan vs. Ram 1500, and you'll see that the 2022 Ram 1500 truck received an "Average" Quality and Reliability score of 80 out of 1004 from J.D. Power.

What does the SV mean on a Nissan Titan? ›

The 2021 Titan SV is an incremental upgrade, adding adaptive cruise control, heated outside mirrors, and alloy wheels. However, it also has numerous available packages, including the SV Tow package, the SV Utility package, and the SV Chrome package.

Which Nissan Titan has leather? ›


You can also feel refined in the Crew Cab with leather seats. There's even more technology in the truck bed in this trim. With the standard 120-volt AC outlet, for example, you can power up your power tools and devices while you work.

Is Nissan going to drop the Titan? ›

"Regarding Titan, it is an important part of Nissan's showroom, and we've seen a positive impact from Frontier in driving added awareness and consideration for our full-size truck," a Nissan spokesperson said in an emailed statement to CNET. "Titan remains in Nissan's truck lineup for the 2022 model year and beyond."

Will Nissan drop the Titan? ›

Titan remains in Nissan's truck lineup for the 2022 model year and beyond.” Titan is no slouch. The 2022 model comes standard with a 400-hp 5.7-liter V8 that delivers 418 lb.

Why is the Nissan Titan so expensive? ›

The Titan could be priced higher because the standard model delivers more power. It has a 5.6-liter V8 engine that cranks out 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. All of its competitors offer at least two different engine options. Configuring the Titan with four-wheel drive and the CrewCab takes it up to $46,475.

Is Nissan quality as good as Toyota? ›

When comparing Nissan vs Toyota's reliability, Toyota was ranked by Consumer Reports as the second most reliable out of all car brands for 2021. Nissan ranked a lot lower in sixteenth place. Toyota's are known to be very reliable, lasting their owners decades with few significant problems.

Is Honda or Nissan better? ›

The Consumer Reports Brand Reliability rankings put Honda in the top five. Nissan was ranked 13th. In addition, the Honda HR-V placed 5th in Consumer Reports individual model ranking for 2021.

Does Nissan have a good reputation? ›

Nissan Vehicle Reputation

The brands are often compared to one another to determine whose vehicles are the best. Nissans have an excellent reputation, second only to automotive giants Toyota and Honda.

Is RAM the most powerful truck? ›

2023 RAM TRX

And when you push against gravity with 702 horses at your command, you won't be able to shake the truth—Ram 1500 TRX is the most powerful street legal production pickup in its class 1.

Which RAM is more luxury? ›


Experience pickup truck comfort like never before with luxurious leather seating and intricate interior design in the 2023 Ram 1500 Limited Elite Package (shown) and Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn™ models.

What is the most reliable RAM? ›

Although all RAM trucks hold their value well with proper service and maintenance, some of the best performers have been RAM 2500 or 3500 trucks equipped with a Cummins turbo-diesel engine. Trucks with 100,000 miles can be found for a few thousand dollars less than a new equivalent.

Which truck is the most powerful truck? ›

Chinese truck maker Shacman has launched the world's most powerful tractor unit, a title previously held by the 770hp rated Scania V8. The X6000 800 is powered by a Weichai 16.6-litre Euro-6 engine, which is matched to a Fast Speed 16-speed fully automated transmission.

Who has the strongest pickup truck? ›

Ram 1500 TRX is the most powerful pickup truck.

Why are Ram trucks so good? ›

Comfort and Convenience

Spacious, modern, and versatile are some of the descriptions RAM owners use when describing their experience with their Dodge. Reclining rear seats, user-friendly technology, under-seat storage, and a surprisingly comfortable cabin combine to create an ideal driving experience.

Does RAM make a huge difference? ›

Adding more RAM can boost system responsiveness and improve frame rates when compared to systems with less memory. Read on to find out how RAM works, how to find compatible modules, and how much memory you really need for gaming.

Does more expensive RAM make a difference? ›

More expensive brand-name RAM is apt to have been more carefully manufactured and tested more thoroughly, but cheap, unbranded RAM can perform just as well and last just as long. It is just that the odds of getting a defective one or out of spec increase as the price goes down.

Is there a downside to more RAM? ›

Adding too much RAM will eventually jeopardize the computer's performance, even when you have enough of it. The additional RAM will start applying the law of diminishing returns at a certain point, meaning you won't get much value from it.

What is the most overkill RAM? ›

32GB of RAM is considered high and is generally overkill for most users. For most everyday use and basic tasks such as web browsing, email, and basic office work, 8GB of RAM is more than enough. Even for gaming or video editing, 16GB is typically sufficient.


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