2020 Nissan Titan – The Underdog

2020 Nissan Titan CC Pro-4X

2020 Nissan Titan CC Gas Pro4X

Interesting color choice, but it looks very sturdy

Like crossovers, the popularity of trucks has significantly increased over the past several years. Trucks are not only good in construction sites anymore, they have to be good in the city, on the highway, family-hauling, grocery getting and so on. Of course, there is a huge competition in the market, and patriotism fuels this competition even more. As being a domestic brand, like the other Japanese trucks, it is suffering when it comes to sales numbers. In our review, we will explain why 2020 Nissan Titan is severely underrated in this class.

Exterior and Interior

It is a hate or love situation when it comes to overall design of any truck. As they are very functional vehicles, the function has priority over form. However, at least for the off-road oriented Pro-4X trim and this interesting beige-brown color option, it honestly doesn’t look too bad. It has blacked out huge front grille, Pro-4X specific wheels and orange tow hooks, it looks different right of the bat. Off-road oriented Pro-4X trim also comes with protective skid plates to protect the engine and transmission when it is off-road.

Rear-end design is a great match with the overall design of the Titan

The Rear-end design matches very well with the front, it has some off-road look as well as extra plastic trim and blacked out Titan badge. Our tester had the optional top steel bars for a more modern look. It also comes with a rear hitch for towing, as well as a retractable floor on the left side, so you can climb to the bed easier.

Inside the Titan is huge, like the exterior. It offers a comfortable ride for 4+ adults

When we get inside the 2020 Titan, unsurprisingly it feels like a truck. It’s huge, it is comfortable. However, Nissan spent extra time and engineering to make it feel less like a truck. It is a very comfortable cabin, and there is little to no tire-wind noise especially at higher speeds. No matter how hard you try, it drives like a truck. You should not expect any kind of sportiness. There is a noticeable body roll, but it is normal for a truck, nothing surprising here.

The infotainment system with a big 9″ display is a nice addition, and it is 100% compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Overall cabin quality is on par with “American” trucks, there is no significant difference. There are some common parts from other Nissan models. Though it has a huge infotainment screen and Apple CarPlay works very well, and it is the biggest CarPlay screen in any truck. It also has heated-ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, parking assistant, keyless entry and so on. For the complete features list – please scroll down to the spec sheet.

As expected, tons of space in the rear. A very civilized place for a truck

In the rear seats, Titan has plenty of space for everything. Nissan’s full-size truck can carry 4+ adults easily, or you can fold the bottom cushions up, and have an enormous space for large items. It has some luxury features like heated seats in the rear, as well as power output and extra 2 USB ports. Those features show the Titan is not only for work, but you can comfortably drive it with your family.

The bed is standard size, it comes with a protective layer against dents or scratches

As we review a truck, we must mention the “trunk”, which people call it the bed. It is a standard 5.5 ft size bed, which you will find similarly sized beds in this segment. As this is an off-road-oriented version, you can’t choose a bigger bed, and steel bars on top makes it harder to put large stuff inside the bed. The good thing is, it has 8 different points you can use tie-down straps and you can load very big items easily. Also, it comes with a matte-black protective layer which makes it very sturdy and impossible to dent or scratch.

Engine and Drivetrain

Only one engine option is available: A 5.6L V8 that pumps out 400 hp and 416 lb-ft of torque

Nissan Titan comes with one engine and transmission option. Like its American rivals, it has a 5.6L V8 engine that produces 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. This behemoth is able to move this almost 6000 lbs truck like a hot-hatch. Obviously, this powerplant does not make the Titan a race car, but the power is more than enough for cruising on public roads effortlessly. The V8 engine mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission, which sometimes can be herky-jerky. It is a solid platform, but just not the smoothest in terms of shifting.

Combination of a 400-hp V8 and 6000 lbs weight means a higher monthly bill of gas

Well, if you drive the powerful V8 as you stole it, you must pay the price. Our average fuel consumption was approximately 17.5L / 100 km and it is kind of expected from an almost 6000 lbs truck. If you are on the highway and drive carefully, you can get an average consumption of 15.5L / 100 km. The good thing is, the engine sounds great, and it is extremely smooth, unlike the transmission. The V8 engine also has a good record of reliability. Nissan decided to use a proven platform in their trucks, and it is a nice powertrain package, just not the most fuel-efficient one where some of its rivals are downsizing and rely on forced induction for better fuel economy.

You can easily choose 2WD or 4WD options with a physical knob

As an “off-road” worthy truck, Titan has lots of physical buttons for essential features, which is great. It also has a locking differential knob where you can switch to 2WD – 4WD HI or 4WD LO. As soon as you switch to any kind of 4WD mode, it locks the center differential. So it is not recommended to use it daily unless you always drive it in mud or snow. Also, you can only enable locking rear differential when you are in low (4LO) gear mode, so that’s only for very harsh off-road conditions.

Pro-4X version comes with off-road-oriented General Grabber tires

We didn’t have a chance to take the Titan to hardcore off-road, but it gives you a lot of confidence with locking center, rear differentials and off-road-oriented General Grabber tires. Titan does not rely on electronics when it comes to off-road, everything is purely mechanical. Usually, off-road vehicles have bad high-speed stability, but that’s not the case with the Titan. Also when it comes to towing capacity, this is where all manufacturers love to brag about. Nissan Titan has a towing capacity of 9270 lbs which is slightly lower than American trucks. However, it is on par with its Japanese rivals, even better than some of them. Interestingly, if you choose the off-road-oriented Pro-4X model, towing capacity drops down to 8900 lbs.

Price and Conclusion

Nissan Titan is the most underrated option, and Pro-4X is a great option for off-road enthusiasts

Like the other import trucks, which are all Japanese brands, Nissan Titan is a victim of patriotism. Their sales numbers are not as good as American rivals, even they are also made in North America. It is true that trucks are American manufacturers stronghold, as they suck in terms of sales numbers when it comes to smaller vehicles, sedans or hatchbacks. In fact, some manufacturers decide to stop their production of hatchback/sedans in North America, as they want to focus on more SUVs and trucks.

Made in America, but not “American” enough for some people

Nissan can’t focus solely on the truck segment, as small vehicles and small-size SUVs are their strongholds. As a result, Nissan Titan may not be the absolute best in this segment, but it definitely is a good option and worth considering especially if maximum towing capacity is not your priority. It has a solid platform with a proven V8 and a decent drivetrain. With the Pro-4X trim, you get more off-road capability and you don’t sacrifice daily driving comfort. Nissan did a great job creating a nice balance of a truck and off-road vehicle with the Titan Pro-4X. If you are looking for an off-road capable truck, this would be one of my first choices.

2020 Titan starts at $50,498 and our tester has the price tag of $64,498 out the door. Considering this is a high-end trim, we think the price is not too bad, especially if you compare some mid-size trucks that are priced closer to the $60k range. Unlike the American rivals, there is a higher chance you can find a great deal on the Titan, so it would even be a better deal depending on the timing or region.

For detailed pricing and specifications, please see the window sticker below:

For more details, please go to www.nissan.ca

Article and photos – Dan Gunay