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2020 Nissan Titan vs. 2020 Ram 1500: Which Is Better?

In the highly competitive half-ton pickup segment, the 2020 Nissan Titan and 2020 Ram 1500 offer different approaches to truck buying. Titan stresses simplicity, while Ram 1500 offers a myriad of choices. Which is better?

Quick Facts

  • Titan is freshened and offers equipment upgraded for 2020
  • Diesel power returns to the Ram lineup

2020 Nissan Titan

2020 Nissan Titan

Base Price: $36,000 / Read our 2020 Nissan Titan Review

What we like: Standard V8 power with a 9-speed automatic transmission, simplified produce lineup; off-road Pro-4X trim.

What we would change: Bring diesel power back in XD trim; upgrade the interior.

Overview: While the Titan isn’t a segment leader in sales or the number of variants buyers can choose from, but it does offer a relatively simple approach to buying a pickup truck. This is especially important to first-time truck buyers who may be bewildered by the complex configurations offered by more traditional rivals.  Titan offers just one powertrain, a stout V8 mated to a 9-speed automatic. As a bonus, Nissan offers the longest bumper-to-bumper warranty among light pickups with its 5-year/100,000-mile coverage.

What’s new for 2020: Titan sports a new front fascia and grille, the 9-speed automatic replaces the previous 7-speed, a regular cab is no longer available and the XD’s turbodiesel has been dropped.

Features and technology: The updated Titan comes in just extended and crew cab configurations. Trim levels include 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. Standard features include 18-in painted steel wheels, vinyl floor covering, cloth/vinyl seats, power windows, power locks with remote start. 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.

The off-road Pro-4X adds standard 4WD with all-terrain tires, Bilstein off-road shocks, a locking rear differential, underbody skid plates /ventilated front seats, a 360-degree around-view monitor, and a brushed aluminum grille surround.

What does the future hold: After the latest refresh and realignment of equipment and trim levels on the Nissan Titan, we don’t anticipate any major changes for the next model year or two. See the 2020 Nissan Titan models for sale near you

2020 Ram 1500

Base Price: $31,895 / Read our 2020 Ram 1500 Review

What we like: Coil-spring rear suspension with great ride qualities, standard mild hybrid V6 eTorque engine, user-friend infotainment system.

What we would change: Pricey diesel option, 8-speed transmission not as competitive as rival 9- and 10-speed automatics.

Overview: The Ram 1500 is fresh off a 2019 redesign imbues the pickup more capability, higher fuel economy, a more interior refinement, and a long list of features and trim options. The big selling point is Ram’s coil-spring rear suspension which gives it a ride like no other pickup. Ram also boasts a diverse engine lineup that starts with its mild hybrid 48-volt eTorque system on the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. THere’s also a regular 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and an eTorque-enhanced version of that engine available. Also, 2020 marks the return of the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6.

What’s new for 2020: In addition to the return of diesel power, the 2020 Ram 1500 also sports two new appearance trim packages, which adds black exterior trim and black wheels with your choice of body color to select models.

Features and technology: The Ram 1500 comes in sevens: Tradesman, Big Horn/Lone Star, the off-road-oriented Rebel, Laramie, Laramie Longhorn, and Limited. All but the two top trim levels come standard with a Quad Cab and 6-foot-4-in bed (a Regular Cab will be available eventually). A Crew Cab available with that bed or a shorter 5-foot-7-in bed is available on most trims, but the Rebel and Limited models are only available with a Crew Cab and 5-foot 7-in box.

Base models include 18-in steel wheels, rear privacy glass, automatic headlights, heated power mirrors, power locks, and windows, air conditioning, cruise control, a full-width rear bench seat, vinyl upholstery (cloth optional), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth, three USB ports, an auxiliary audio jack, and a 5-in touchscreen.

What does the future hold: As if 5.7-liter Hemi V8 power isn’t enough, Ram will add the SRT-tuned 700-plus horsepower Hellcat V8 in a Raptor-rivaling TRX model. See the 2020 Ram 1500 models for sale near you

Titan vs. Ram 1500: Strengths comparison

Nissan Titan: Standard V8 power with a 9-speed automatic, simple model lineup, longer warranty.

Ram 1500 Benefits: More model choices, better riding coil-spring rear suspension, hybrid-assists on V6 and V8 powertrains.

Titan vs. Ram 1500: Which is better?

If you’re a first-time truck buyer who wants a powerful V8, the Nissan Titan is the way to go. However, if you have more specific needs, want better fuel economy and a more comfortable ride, the Ram 1500 is the better truck here. In addition, it offers a refined cabin, easy-to-use Uconnect infotainment system, and the availability of a diesel powerplant. The Ram 1500 also benefits from a much lower entry-level price point. Find a Nissan Titan for sale or Find a Ram 1500 for sale

2020 Nissan Titan 2020 Ram 1500
Popular Powertrains
Engine 5.6 -liter V8 3.6-liter V6 Hybrid
Horsepower 400 hp @ 5,800 rpm 305 hp @ 6,400 rpm
Torque 413 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 269 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm
Transmission 9-spd automatic 8-spd automatic
Fuel Economy 18 mpg (16 mpg city/22  hwy) 22 mpg (20 city/25 hwy)
Also Available 4WD 360 hp 3.0-liter turbodiesel; 395 hp 5.7-liter V8 and V8 hybrid; 4WD
Specs
Warranty 5 years/100,000 miles 3-years/36,000 miles
Max Seating Capacity 6 6
Wheelbase 139.8 inches 144.6-153.5 inches
Overall Length 228.2-229.5 inches 232.9-241.8 inches
Width 79.5-80.7 inches 82.1 inches
Height 75.4 -77.2 inches 75.4-77.6 inches
Turning Diameter 48.0 feet 46.2 feet
Headroom, Front 41.0 inches 40.9 inches
Headroom, Rear 40.4 inches 39.8 inches
Legroom, Front 41.8 inches 40.9 inches
Legroom, Rear 38.5 inches 45.2 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 63.3 inches 66.0 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 63.6 inches 65. 7 inches
Max Payload 1,580 pounds 2,000 pounds
Max Towing 9,350 pounds 7,620 pounds
Matt DeLorenzo
Matt DeLorenzo is an author who specializes in writing news, advice, and car reviews. A member of the North American Car of the Year jury, he has spent more than four decades covering the auto industry and has held key posts at industry and consumer publications including Automotive News, AutoWeek, and Road & Track. He is also an author of automotive books including Modern Chrysler Concept... Read More about Matt DeLorenzo

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