For 2020, Nissan has done a mid-cycle refresh on the Titan. Physically the key change is to the grille and front bumper – taking on what Nissan calls the “Warrior look” (this refers to a Warrior concept truck shown at the Texas Auto Show a number of years ago). In addition, each trim level package will feature a different grille treatment. This is new, as are 18 and 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. These new design cues should satisfy the truck owners desire for personalization; certainly that is what Nissan is aiming for. Other exterior updates include LED headlights and LED daytime running lights; these were also inspired by the Warrior concept. Further design changes are also found in the interior and accommodation features. Infotainment and technology updates are also part of the refresh.
However, the headline Nissan is pushing, is all about new power numbers. The 5.6L Endurance V8 is the one and only powerplant – but it has been re-tuned to hit 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque – these figures are both best-in-class for the half-ton segment. Add to this the fact that Titan now matches a new 9-speed automatic transmission to this powertrain. This refresh takes on the appearance of a full generational update. By replacing the previous 7-speed transmission, the new gearbox creates more torque, smoother acceleration and a quicker 80km/h to 110km/h time – by a full second. A taller cruising gear aids fuel economy as well.
The Back Story:
Nissan’s full-size pickup truck, the Titan, has been working hard to carve out a market share for itself. Since its introduction in 2016, it has showed that it is willing to take on the domestic brands, and while sales growth is slow, there is progress. Its strategy has been to compete directly by being just like the other guys. Look at its backbone design. Titan utilizes a fully boxed, full-length ladder frame. The front suspension is a double-wishbone, and a rigid rear axle suspension utilizes leaf springs and leaf bushings, along with twin-tube shock absorbers. Hefty stabilizer bars are utilized front and rear. PRO-4X models are upgraded to Bilstein mono-tube off-road shocks. Hydraulic cab-mounts help isolate occupants from the chassis. Braking is provided by a 4-wheel disc system that utilizes ventilated discs, front and rear, along with a hydraulic power assist.
All Titans come standard with 4WD which features a shift-on-the-fly two speed transfer case which works with its other off-road systems: hill start assist, limited-slip differential, hill descent control (Pro-4X) and electronic locking rear differential (Pro-4X).
Because the Titan design team calls La Jolla, CA. home – they “get” the North American truck buyers’ desire for more and more comforts and connectivity. In this regard the last generation Titan started out strong and this new update continues this trend.
New on crew cab models is an available dual panel panoramic moonroof, one of the largest in the segment. Every 2020 Titan gets front and rear outboard zero gravity seats. Heated and cooled front seats are available, while heated front seats come standard in models with captain’s chairs. Heated rear seats are standard on leather trim packages. New materials for seats, trim and finishers are also included for each grade level, while interior storage has increased and additional assist grips will make getting in and out of the vehicle easier.
For connectivity, Nissan keeps pace with a standard 8-inch center display (or optional 9-inch screen) that is the portal for Titan next-generation software that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Titan’s internal Wi-Fi router allows rear seat passengers to stream individual content (subscription required). Up to seven devices can be connected.
In the instrument cluster, a 7-inch display gives the driver information and it’s customizable. For instance, the 2020 Titan features an enhanced off-road gauge that displays tire angle, relative pitch and roll angles. These new systems also allow over-the-air software updates. This feature will keep safety, security, traffic and infotainment systems up to date automatically.
For a sound system, Nissan reached out to Fender with its audio expertise. This available premium audio system includes 12 speakers, a Bassman subwoofer, 485-watt, 9-channel amplifier and Panasonic’s proprietary acoustic motion control.
Titan has bundled together a host of driver safety and assist features under the umbrella of Standard Safety Shield 360. These include: standard rear automatic braking, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, high beam assist, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot warning and lane departure warning. Other new tech includes intelligent forward collision warning, intelligent cruise control, intelligent driver alertness and traffic sign recognition – for when you just aren’t paying attention.
For 2020, LED lighting has been added (at four locations) to brighten the bed at night. Also, the new grille trim-level strategy will extend to the tailgate. Each grille version gets a companion tailgate look. For instance, PRO-4X features a black finisher, while Platinum Reserve shows off a satin chrome finisher. Also available in the bed are dual lockable storage boxes, these are standard on Titan XD PRO-4X Luxury and Platinum Reserve. Note that unlike other pickup bed storage boxes, the Titan units are accessible from inside the bed and are also removable. Nissan also offers a spray-on bedliner, 110V plug and a damped tailgate.
Right from its introduction Titan has put its towing ability right up front. For 2020 it again emphasizes this strength with an integrated trailer brake controller, trailer sway control (TSC), tow/haul mode with downhill speed control and a trailer light check system that allows one-person hookup operation – including checking turn signals, brake lights and running/clearance lights. Also, a rear-view monitor with trailer guides. The Titan’s max tow capacity is 9,370 lb, while max payload capacity is 1,680 lb (when properly equipped).
There are four new colours being added to a palette of eight total exterior colours. Colour availability is matched to model grades. The new colours are Super Black, Red Alert, Baja Storm (PRO-4X) and Cardinal Red Metallic (Platinum Reserve). Carryover colours include Gun Metallic, Pearl White (Platinum Reserve), Glacier White and Deep Blue Pearl.
The Titan XD:
First introduced as an “HD” half-ton truck; the XD will continue to inhabit that in-between market niche moving into 2020. Compared to the straight Titan, its 3-inches taller, 11.8-inches longer (wheelbase) and 14.8-inches in overall body length. It also comes with a 6.5-foot cargo box. Its frame, running gear and overall weight is also proportionately greater. The point to this truck – then and now – is added towing ability. Titan XD will tow up to 10,880 lb. XD also offers a range of available hitches including an integrated gooseneck hitch engineered into the frame. A satellite 7-pin electrical connector is also available in the bed.
Past these increased towing features, the XD benefits from all the updates that the regular Titan is getting for 2020, it will also feature the more powerful 5.6L V8 and the new 9-speed transmission. This is now the only available powertrain as the previously available 5.0L Cummins diesel offering has been dropped from the lineup.