2020 Nissan Titan

2020 Nissan Titan First Drive

With sales of about 25,000 so far this year, the second-generation Nissan Titan is the worst-selling full-size pickup in America. And it’s in last place by a large margin. How large? Well, lets put it this way, Nissan sells fewer Titans than Ford F-150s fall off the proverbial truck. Even the Toyota Tundra, the country’s second-worst-selling full-size pickup, outsells it by a factor of about 5 to 1. But Nissan isn’t giving up on America’s big-truck buyers. Quite the opposite, actually. Call it resilience, tenacity or just plain insanity, but the automaker has just spent $230 million giving the 2020 Nissan Titan a substantial refresh.

There’s an all-new grille that features a sizable integration of the truck’s new Titan T logo. Look closely. There are also new headlights, which Nissan says double the low-beam output, new taillights and, most important, new front fenders with less upward swoosh and without the awkward badging, both of which still plague the heavy-duty-adjacent XD (its ugliness has largely been maintained). The hood is unchanged, and it remains the truck’s only aluminum panel.

The hardware and tuning of the suspension, steering, brakes, and chassis are the same as before, and the Titan’s ride quality and dynamics fall mid-pack in the full-size pickup sphere. It doesn’t ride as well as the Ram 1500 or the Ford F-150, but it’s smoother than the Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra or the Toyota Tundra. Body motions and body roll are well controlled.

We also like the clever smartphone holders integrated into the console and the new camo-style seat fabric offered on the Pro-4X. Although we still prefer the Ram’s exquisitely detailed cabin, the Titan’s interior is very comfortable and its design is preferable to the offerings from Chevy, GMC and Toyota. It’s also no longer far behind the Ford’s.

Six driver-assist systems are standard, including forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems, lane-departure warning and rear automatic braking. A higher speed forward collision warning system comes with the optional adaptive cruise control.

Over the last few years, the Nissan Titan has been the best full-size truck few have ever heard of and even fewer chose to purchase. Although this is undoubtedly the best Titan ever, sales will probably remain hard to come by in a segment that’s not getting any less competitive. We’ll see. Pricing won’t be released until next month and sales of the improved 2020 Titan will begin early next year.

Anthony Bunch Author

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