The 2020 Nissan Titan occupies a unique space in the full-size pickup segment. Sitting squarely in fifth place behind the offerings of Ford, Ram, General Motors and Toyota, the Titan isn’t segment-leading in any of the major categories truck buyers typically look at, as it lacks the additional engine options, configurability and towing capacity of the American big three. Still, it offers a strong V8 engine, some great features and technology and a segment-leading 5-year/100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, all of which helps it to maintain its appeal in this extremely competitive segment. Beyond that, several key updates for 2020 help to keep the Titan a viable option within the segment.
What’s New for 2020?
The Nissan Titan receives a mid-lifecycle update for 2020. This means updated styling; a new 9-speed automatic transmission; a standard suite of active safety features like automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and automatic high beams; a large panoramic sunroof; standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; and a standard 8-in and an available 9-in infotainment screen. The Titan’s regular cab configuration has been dropped for 2020, leaving only extended — or "King Cab," as Nissan refers to it — or crew cab options. Additionally, the Titan XD will only be available as a crew cab for 2020 and loses its optional Cummins diesel engine, leaving the V8 found in the regular Titan as the only powertrain choice.
The 2020 Titan’s 5.6-liter V8 has been re-rated and Nissan now advertises it as offering 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque, provided you fill up with premium fuel at the pump. See the 2020 Nissan Titan models for sale
What We Like
Potent V8 engine
Segment-leading 5-year/100,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty
Locking rear differential on Pro-4X trim
Standard active safety tech
Clever foot-activated swing-out step under rear bumper corner
What We Don’t
Towing and hauling lag behind competitors
No more diesel option for XD model
Interior still feels a little dated
Formal pricing for the 2020 Titan has yet to be released at the time of this writing. Given the simplification of the Titan’s available configurations along with what will presumably be a small price hike relative to last year, we predict a starting price of about $36,000 for a base 2020 Titan King Cab S 4×2 and a price of $63,000 for a fully-loaded Titan XD Platinum Reserve. Both prices factor in destination fees.
The only engine available for the Titan is a 5.6-liter V8 putting newly rated at 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque for 2020, provided you feed it premium fuel. Also new for 2020 is a 9-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the 7-speed found in previous model years.
While it uses the same powertrain as the regular Titan, the Titan’s XD variant comes with beefed-up components in the interest of added towing and hauling capability. For the 2019 model year, the Titan was rated to tow up to 9,450 pounds in 4×2 King Cab configuration. Nissan has yet to release towing figures for the updated 2020 Titan, only stating that the 2020 Titan XD can haul up to 11,000 pounds and pointing out that this is over 1,600 pounds more than the regular Titan.
Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy ratings for the updated Titan have yet to be released. While the new 9-speed automatic could theoretically allow for better figures, we doubt they’ll deviate much from those of the 2019 model, which returned 15 miles per gallon in the city, 21 mpg on the highway and 18 mpg in combined driving, regardless of whether it was equipped with two- or four-wheel drive. Pro-4X models lose one mpg on the highway and in combined driving. As it classifies as a Class 2B truck, the EPA doesn’t provide fuel economy figures on the Titan XD, though we assume they fall one or two miles-per-gallon short of the regular Titan.
Standard Features & Options
The updated Titan comes in just extended and crew cab configurations — the regular cab model is dropped for 2020. Five trim levels are offered: S, SV, PRO-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve. King Cab models come with a 6.5-foot bed while crew cabs get a 5.5-foot bed. Four-wheel drive adds about $3,000 to the pricetag. For 2020, the Titan XD is only available as a crew cab but is offered in the same trims as the 2020 Titan, from S to Platinum Reserve.
As pricing for the 2020 Titan has yet to formally be announced, prices below are estimates based on the 2019 model year.
The S (King Cab, $36,000; Crew Cab, $39,000) comes standard with 18-in painted steel wheels, front 40/20/40-split bench seat, vinyl floor covering, cloth/vinyl seats, six cup holders, eight bottle holders, power windows, power locks with remote keyless entry, two 12-volt outlets, a manual sliding rear window, air conditioning, six airbags, cruise control, an 8-in color display, Bluetooth connectivity, NissanConnect with Mobile Apps, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, hands-free text messaging and a 4-speaker audio system with a USB port, redundant steering wheel-mounted controls and Rear Door Alert. Included active safety features consist of automatic emergency braking front and rear, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic assist, lane-departure warning and automatic high beams. An optional convenience package includes an overhead console, spray-on bed liner and a receiver hitch with a wiring harness.
The SV (King Cab, $39,000; Crew Cab, $42,000) adds 18-in alloy wheels, floor carpeting, power/heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals, full cloth seats, trailer sway control and an upgraded gauge package. Several options and packages offer an array of extra features such as spray-on bed liner, bucket front seats, an 8-way power driver’s seat, navigation, SiriusXM, power-sliding rear window, dual-zone climate control, a center console 12V outlet, a rear 110-volt outlet and rain-sensing wipers.
The PRO-4X (King Cab, $47,000; Crew Cab 4×4 $49,000) adds standard 4WD, all-terrain tires, Bilstein off-road shocks, a locking rear differential, underbody skid plates, hill descent control, LED low-beam/halogen high-beam headlights with auto on, LED running lights, a lower radiator skid plate and rear A/C vents. Also available on the Pro-4X for 2020 are the Titan’s new panoramic sunroof, heated leather seats, a 10-speaker Fender premium audio system with a subwoofer, a power-adjustable passenger seat and remote engine start.
The SL (Crew Cab, $51,000) trades the Pro-4X’s off-road features for some comfort items like an included heated steering wheel and Fender Audio. Additional standard features are 20-in alloy wheels, chrome outboard mirrors and leather seats. Options include the aforementioned premium sunroof, a trailer brake controller and extendable outboard mirrors for towing.
The Platinum Reserve (Crew Cab, $57,000) is the most luxurious Titan and adds stitched logos in the leather seats, ventilated front seats, a heated second-row seat, wood interior accents, that panoramic sunroof, a 360-degree around-view monitor and aluminum doorsill plates. The exterior gets a two-toned finish and a brushed aluminum grille surround for a more premium appearance.
While the 2020 Titan has yet to be crash-tested, given that it’s structurally identical to the 2019 model, we expect it to perform the same. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing, a current-generation Titan crew cab earned scores of good in all crashworthiness categories, outperforming the offerings of Toyota, Chevrolet and GMC and scoring on-par with Ram and Ford.
For 2020, the updated Titan offers standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic braking, automatic high beams, lane-departure warning, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic assist. Also available are radar cruise control, forward-collision warning, a driver attention monitor and traffic sign recognition along with a 360-degree camera system.
Behind the Wheel
While the previous-generation Titan was criticized for feeling a little soft, the current-gen Titan is certainly trucklike with a potent V8 engine and a charming exhaust note, along with loads of great storage solutions and clever features like a step that folds down off of the rear corner of the bed for increased ease-of-access and a tire pressure monitoring system that beeps the horn when the desired air pressure has been reached, which is great for airing back up after a day off-road. Altogether, the 2020 Nissan Titan offers respectable ride and handling characteristics for a full-size truck.
The only change Nissan made to the 2020 Titan that will have an appreciable impact on driving experience is the addition of a new 9-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the 7-speed found in the older model. While shifts occur more often, each one is subtler and with nine options now instead of seven, the transmission can now more easily find an ideal gear for the conditions. Nissan claims that the new 9-speed is more adept at trailering and in our experience, this appears to be an accurate claim, although this is only a marginal improvement and isn’t noticeable enough for us to recommend you run out and trade your 2019 Titan in on a new 2020 model.
While it doesn’t offer a luxury-car cabin, the Titan’s interior employs a charming design and uses high-quality materials. Nissan touts its "zero gravity" seats that it says were developed in conjunction with NASA. For obvious reasons, it’s hard for us to say whether the Titan’s seats offer an experience akin to floating through outer space. All we can say is that they aren’t uncomfortable. Beyond that, the Titan’s interior offers features like bag hooks underneath the rear seat cushions and folding rear seat backs along with clever in-bed storage solutions. Overall, the Titan is designed to be used for everything from work to play to tooling around town running errands on a Saturday afternoon.
Other Cars to Consider
2020 Toyota Tundra — The Tundra is the Titan’s main competitor. Forgoing things like a regular cab configuration, massive towing figures and non-gas V8 engine options, both of these trucks appeal to a narrower portion of the greater truck segment than do the offerings of the American Big 3. That said, either should come with good reliability and a sporty aesthetic, especially in their respective off-road trims.
2020 Ford F-150 — While it’s getting a little long in the tooth in its current generation, the F-150 still earns high marks for its variety of engine choices and class-leading max towing capacities. There’s also the high-performance F-150 Raptor, for which there is no competition.
2020 Ram 1500 — Thanks to a redesign for the 2019 model year, the Ram 1500 currently holds the crown with regard to interior refinement and it really isn’t even close. The 1500 also sets itself apart with its coil-spring rear suspension that delivers an almost boulevard smooth ride. Like the F-150 and Silverado, the Ram can be had with a diesel engine.
2019 Chevrolet Silverado — The mainstay and bestseller of Chevrolet’s lineup, the Silverado is versatile and checks all the full-size truck boxes. Engine choices include a turbocharged 4-cylinder, a V6, two V8s, and a diesel. While it was redesigned just last year, the Silverado is still behind the times with regard to interior refinement, but if you can get a good deal on one from your local dealer, it certainly remains a viable option.
Used Nissan Titan XD — Part of what set the Titan XD apart from the pack in previous model years was the availability of an optional 5.0-liter Cummins Turbodiesel V8. As Nissan has discontinued this option for 2020, you’ll have to look to the used market for a diesel-powered Titan.
The Titan’s updates for 2020 help it to stay fresh in the insanely competitive full-size truck segment. While we’re sad to see the regular cab body style and Cummins diesel options disappear for 2020, it’s fair to say that this simplified lineup is aimed towards the options and configurations Titan buyers have been most drawn to in previous years. While it doesn’t offer much in the way of engine options and body style configurations, the Titan and Titan XD are aimed toward the heart of the full-size consumer pickup truck market and will appeal primarily to buyers who drive their truck to the office during the week and use it for play on the weekends. The Titan’s trim levels pretty much speak for themselves, but we’d start our search with the SV, SL and Pro-4X trims as they offer good value while emphasizing the Titan’s strong points, especially in the case of the off-road-ready Pro-4X.
Need to consistently tow near or in excess of the regular Titan’s 9,400-pound towing capacity? The Titan XD occupies a peculiar place in the market but is worth consideration. Just make sure you cross-shop it with more capable versions of the F-150, Ram 1500 and Silverado. Find a Nissan Titan for sale