Auto123 reviews the 2020 Nissan Titan truck.
Like much of Nissan's current product line, the Titan was in need of renewal. The outgoing version dated back to 2016, and while four years doesn't make the model an old man, in the pickup world, especially in North America, you can't afford to be late. For 2020, then, the new Titan has been delivered unto us, and while the changes are discreet, they're welcome.
One thing hasn't changed: the Titan still looks as imposing as ever. In terms of the impression it makes, it has no reason to feel inadequate versus rivals like the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500. Noteworthy on the 2020 version is its new exterior design with new daytime running lights consisting of four right-angle bars with LED lighting. These are standard on the PRO-4X - our test model - and Platinum Reserve versions. The new headlights are 120 percent brighter in low beam mode than previous versions.
In addition to being able to decide between six different versions of the Titan 2020, buyers can now choose their front grille as soon as it leaves the factory. In fact, each version comes with a new front bumper with a new grille. The Platinum Reserve version's snout is somewhat discreet, with a satin-finish chrome grille, but the TITAN PRO-4X's is mucho striking, with a black grille around the red Nissan badge. The tow hooks on the rugged PRO-4X feature the same accent colour.
In the back, a new LED light has been added to the truck's body, and these four light sources provide near-total illumination, which is very useful if you need to load or unload in the dark.
The 2020 Titan, which is only available in a crew cab in Canada, comes standard with a 1.67-m (5.5-foot) body that can be used in a variety of ways. To protect what may be inside the bed, there's Nissan's Utili-track system, which consists of four sturdy aluminum brackets that move and lock anywhere along rails on the sides and floor of the box.
Also new this year are four new colours. In addition to the colours already available last year, intense black, alert red, Baja storm (available on the Pro-4X only) and cardinal red metallic will be added to the Reserve Platinum.
At the rear, the new Titan is almost identical to the old version. Note the new LED headlights and a Titan logo on the tailgate.
The first thing in the interior that strikes you is the centre screen, which is very well integrated into the centre console. It measures 8 or 9 inches depending on the version. It's easy to use and there are quick keys to control the radio, navigation and 360 camera, which can be activated manually to help you when you're not sure what's around you. Also note that the camera image and the display rendering on the screen are good.
The other thing you notice immediately is the huge sunroof that takes up the entire roof of the crew cab and floods the interior of the vehicle with light. The zero-gravity seats are very comfortable both front and rear and make the ride even more comfortable. The driver's seat is 8-way power adjustable with power lumbar support while the passenger seat has only 4 adjustments. Heated front seats are available in all trim levels. Our tester, Pro-4X, also had heated rear seats and ventilated front seats. True luxury...
Finally, there is plenty of storage space of all sizes. In the back, the rear bench seat can be raised and the space can be rearranged to accommodate objects and use the entire width of the vehicle.
On the road, the Titan 2020 remains quiet ... or at least as quiet as such a vehicle can be.
Under the hood
All Titans are powered by a 5.6-litre gasoline-powered V8 that offers 400 horsepower and 413 lb. ft. of torque. The engine is mated to a 9-speed transmission as opposed to the old 7-speed gearbox. This new gearbox allows for optimal torque transmission to the wheels and minimizes shift delays. Shifts are linear from one gear to the other.
All Titans come standard with four-wheel drive and power is transmitted to both axles to improve traction in all conditions. The truck is also very well served by a double-wishbone front suspension and large springs and leaf bushings for the entry-level versions. The Pro-4X version is equipped with Bilstein monotube shock absorbers for off-road use. Wheels are a choice of 18 or 20 inch versions.
On the road
The Titan drives very well; it's easy to handle and despite its size, the 400-hp engine doesn't sag at all in traffic or at highway cruising speeds. It responds to every acceleration with a melodious sound! As for the inevitable follow-up, when it comes to stopping this Titan, you can count on 4 ventilated disc brakes with hydraulic assistance that give you a sense of control and safety. It has a slight tendency to dive, but no more pronounced than average for this size of vehicle.
However, its towing prowess unfortunately doesn't hold up against the competition. Yes, the 2020 Titan pulls more than the 2019, but that's still not enough compared to the competition. Nissan's pickup truck can tow a load of 4,250 kg (9,370 lbs) and carry a payload of 762 kg (1,680 lbs), which is still low compared to other models on the market. However, to help better control what you're towing, the Titan 2020 gets a new Trailer Sway Control feature.
Finally, when it comes to safety, the Titan 2020 is packed with all the systems on the market, such as collision warning, lane keeping, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition and more. Also noteworthy is the 360-degree safety shield that includes six advanced driver assistance systems: Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Cross Traffic Alert, High Beam Assist headlights and standard Intelligent Emergency Braking in Reverse.
The Nissan Titan Pro-4X 2020 is a modernized product, and as solid as ever. Above all, it's a version that's ready to work in all conditions. With its electronic locking rear differential, hill descent control, Bilstein damping, skid plate, red tow hooks and off-road tires, it will beg you to take it off the beaten path. On the fuel consumption side, we recorded a 16.3 L/100 km city/highway rating and 10.4 L/100 km highway rating, all with no passengers in the car.
For the most part, the pickup has nothing to envy its competition, even if it's unrealistic for Nissan to hope to compete with the big guns in this segment. In fact, we see far fewer of them on the road than the Silverado, F-150 and Ram 1500. That had the merit of turning heads when we were behind the wheel. We even got stopped by a driver of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Trail Boss who wanted to know more about the vehicle and thought the 2020 version of the Titan was very successful! So, if you like to stand out from the crowd...
We like less
Only one engine in the offer
Limited towing capacity
More expensive than the 2019 version