Nissan continues to tinker with its full-size pickup formula. The latest manifestation of this is the 2020 Titan, which the Japanese company pulled the wraps off at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas, Tex.
Available in two cab styles (the smaller king cab or the larger crew cab), the Titan embraces a revised exterior styling that Nissan dubs “Powerful Warrior.” Although its name is glib, the design ethos adds cohesion to the Titan’s evolutionary looks courtesy of a more prominent front grille (it’s available in three different styles), a new lower fascia, and available LED headlights with attractive, “double-boomerang” LED running lights. The latter feature comes standard on higher-end Pro-4X, SL, and Platinum Reserve trims. Nissan also offers the Titan in lower-level S and SV grades, which do without standard LED headlights.
Regardless of trim, Nissan notes all Titans benefit from refreshed LED taillights and tailgate finishes. Opening the tailgate also reveals a new lighting system that uses four LED light sources to illuminate the entire bed.
Accompanying the Titan’s updated exterior and interior design are a handful of powertrain improvements. Notably, the truck’s standard 5.6-liter V8 engine now produces 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque – 10 more horses and 19 extra pound-feet of twist than before. The Titan’s newfound grunt makes its way to the wheels by way of a new nine-speed automatic transmission, which subs in for the previous seven-speed unit. A shorter 3.69:1 final-drive ratio replaces the prior 2.94:1 gearset.
Thanks to its mechanical updates, the latest Titan cuts almost a second off of its predecessor’s 50 to 70 miles per hour acceleration time, according to Nissan.
Meanwhile, a new “Off-Road Gauge” complements the Titan’s available four-wheel-drive system, low-range transfer case, electronic-locking rear end, and hill-descent control system (the latter of which is limited to the Pro-4X trim) to make it easier than ever to take Nissan’s full-size pickup off the beaten path. Using data from an accelerometer (as opposed to a gyroscope), the gauge displays the likes of the truck’s pitch and roll angles.
The updated Titan also benefits from added safety tech, and every model of the truck comes with eight airbags (two more than before) and Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite of advanced safety features, which consists of forward automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, reverse automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and automatic high-beam headlights. Optional items include adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera, and a traffic-sign-recognition system.
No doubt, the 2020 Titan is a major improvement over the prior model thanks to its design, tech, powertrain, and safety improvements. Still, only time will tell if the Titan’s updates attract enough buyers to put it in the same sales ranks as competitors such as the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ford F-150, and Ram 1500.