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2020 Nissan Titan: First Look

  • New 9-speed automatic transmission and available panoramic sunroof among biggest changes

  • Standard V8 engine gets a power bump to 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft when using premium gas

  • Redesigned infotainment systems come standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

  • The 2020 Nissan Titan goes on sale in early 2020

Nissan’s Titan sits in an odd place within the full-size pickup segment. Firmly entrenched in fifth-place in terms of sales volume behind Ford, General Motors, Ram and Toyota, the Titan’s last-place status may lead you to believe it falls short of being a competent and capable utility vehicle. But here’s the thing — it most certainly doesn’t. With a great V8 engine and nearly all of the features buyers have come to expect in the half-ton truck segment, the Titan is a strong offering that suffers primarily due to Nissan‘s lack of brand-recognition in the truck world rather than any shortcomings of the truck itself.

As it’s been on sale for a few years now since its last major redesign, the Titan gets some major upgrades as we head into the 2020 model year. Nissan opted to introduce the facelifted 2020 Titan at the 2019 State Fair of Texas. Autotrader was in attendance at the reveal, where we got a hands-on look at the reworked Titan.

Powertrain Improvements

The 2020 Nissan Titan gets a new 9-speed automatic transmission, replacing the 7-speed auto found on previous model years. The transmission was developed in-house by Nissan and is making its debut in the Titan. Nissan states that the new 9-speed should offer “more torque at the wheels in a given gear and smoother and faster acceleration.” The company says acceleration overall should be more linear and states that 50 to 70 mph acceleration has been improved by almost a full second when compared to the outgoing Titan with the 7-speed.

Nissan also re-tuned the Titan’s 5.6-liter V8 engine and now advertises it as offering 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque when using premium fuel. The company is quick to point out that this gives the Titan the most powerful standard V8 engine in its class but worth noting here is that this is simply because the Titan isn’t offered with any other engine.

Safety & Tech

We’ll start off here with safety. The 2020 Titan gains Nissan’s “Safety Shield 360” as standard across all configurations and trim levels. This means that every 2020 Titan will offer forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, automatic high beams and a rear automatic braking system that Nissan points out is exclusive in the half-ton truck class.

Also available (but not standard) are adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, a 360-degree surround-view camera system and a driver alertness monitor. Nissan’s rear-door alert system is included on all trim levels and is designed to help remind you if you may have precious cargo in the back seat any time you exit the vehicle. The 2020 Titan now comes standard with eight air bags to the previous model’s six and four seatbelt pre-tensioners to the previous model’s two.

In addition to all of that new safety tech are some other noteworthy tech upgrades. Most notable is the inclusion of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard across all trims. An 8-in infotainment screen comes standard, while a new optional 9.0-in unit enters the fray for 2020 and includes an internal 4G LTE connection that turns the vehicle into a Wi-Fi hotspot, enabling the connection of up to six devices at a speed of up to 45Mbps. Nissan’s new infotainment system allows for over-the-air software updates, additional safety features, HD Traffic, and Google Places and Search integration.

Also new to the 2020 Titan is an available dual-panel moonroof. In previous model years, the Titan wasn’t offered with a sunroof at all, so not only is this a welcomed addition for 2020 but its massive three square feet of glass can let in a ton of natural light, which helps to brighten up the cabin.

Aggressive, Warrior-Inspired Looks

Outside of its slew of functional upgrades, the 2020 Nissan Titan gets its fair share of cosmetic tweaks, many of which are inspired by the Titan Warrior concept Nissan showed off in 2016.

The 2020 Titan gets new bumpers, fog lights, badging and wheel options. Up front, the headlights have been redesigned and now feature what Nissan calls a “double boomerang” design for the truck’s LED daytime running lights. There are also three new and unique grilles, with the Pro-4X and Platinum Reserve trims getting their own designs. Nissan also notes that the Titan’s new headlights put out about 120% more light than those on previous model years.

Around back, the Titan gets new taillights and a new tailgate applique, which is black on the Pro-4X and brushed chrome on the Platinum Reserve. Finally, four LED lights have been added to the bed, which Nissan says provide “full surround lighting.”

Three new colors join for 2020: Red Alert, Baja Storm and Cardinal Red Metallic. Baja Storm is likely limited to the Pro-4X model and is our new favorite.

Inside, in addition to the redesigned center-stack, the Titan gets some new interior trim, a new smartphone holder slot in the center console, enhanced storage space in the front and rear door panels, and additional interior grab handles.

When and How Much?

The updated Titan will go on sale in early 2020. While pricing has yet to be announced, expect it to come in at a short bump over 2019 models, which start at about $35,000 for a basic two-wheel drive King Cab model and top out just shy of $61,000 for a loaded four-wheel drive Platinum Reserve model. Find a Nissan Titan for sale

Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill is an author specializing in competitive analysis, consumer recommendations, and adventure-driven enthusiast content. A lifelong car enthusiast, he worked in the auto industry for a bit, helping Germans design cars for Americans, and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He runs an Instagram account, @MountainWestCarSpotter, which in his own words is "actually pretty good", and has a... Read More about Chris O'Neill

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