2020 Nissan Titan offers a quiet ride with hauling power
We didn’t expect to get the warm fuzzies for the Nissan Titan crew-cab pickup truck, especially upon discovering it was built for off-road capabilities, including all-terrain tires ill suited for highway driving. But after just a few miles of highway and suburban driving in western Connecticut, we moved it up to third place among our favorite pickup trucks, trailing only the medium-sized Honda Ridgeline and full-sized Ram 1500.
What changed? Well, we’d never driven a Titan before, though we test-drove a Nissan Armada two years ago. The Armada is beefy sport-utility vehicle built on the same platform as the Titan. It didn’t make a great impression on us, though we were able to understand its appeal. The relatively small subset of drivers who need to tow very heavy trailers, may occasionally go off-road, and want a fairly comfortable ride, gravitate toward heavy-duty rigs like the Armada.
The Titan impressed us immediately with its placid, quiet ride and its competent handling. Thanks in part to its acoustic laminated glass, which Nissan says “drastically cuts down on high-frequency wind noise,” the Titan is one of the quietest trucks we’ve driven.
Price-wise, it’s a lot like the competition — pretty expensive. Our Titan, in PRO-4X 4x4 trim and with several major option packages, came in at $60,180. That’s about $5,000 more than the Toyota Tundra pickup we test-drove a few weeks ago. (Excluding options, the Tundra TRD 4x4 1794 Edition is priced about $2,000 more than the Titan PRO-4X 4x4.)
Built in Canton, Miss., the Titan is available as a king cab or crew cab. The base Titan King Cab S starts at $36,100 with rear-wheel drive. All Titans come with the class-leading 400-horsepower Endurance V-8 engine and 9-speed automatic transmission.
Nissan strives to set the Titan apart from the competition, in part, by making the big, powerful V-8 engine standard equipment. For example, the least expensive Chevrolet Silverado king cab starts about $8,000 less than the base Titan, but it also has a lot less punch — a 2.7-liter, 310-horsepower turbocharged inline Four, compared with the Titan’s muscular 400-horsepower V-8. The lowest-priced Chevy also is a work truck whose accoutrements don’t stack up well against the Titan’s.
Equipped with all-wheel drive, the Chevy delivers better fuel economy — 19 mpg, 22 city, compared with the Titan’s 15/21. But the Titan’s mileage is far superior to the comparable Tundra’s: 13/17.
Engine: 5.6-liter V-8, 400 horsepower, 413 lb.-ft. torque
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Drive: shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel-drive system, 2-speed transfer case
Ground clearance: 10.6 in.
Weight: 5,824 lb.
Suspension: independent double-wishbone front, multi-leaf rear with solid axle
Wheels: 18-in. painted alloy
Tires: P275/70R18 all-terrain
Seating capacity: 5
Maximum payload: 1,490 lb.
Maximum towing capacity: 9,210 lb.
Fuel capacity: 26 gal.
Fuel economy: 15 mpg city, 21 mpg highway
Fuel type: regular unleaded gasoline
Among our Titan’s standard features were blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, intelligent forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation system, Wi-Fi hotspot, satellite radio, power driver’s seat, remote keyless entry, dual heated exterior mirrors and removable locking tailgate.
Another strong suit for Nissan’s entry in the full-sized pickup-truck sweepstakes is an unusually comprehensive warranty: five years and 100,000 miles, bumper to bumper.
Major competitors, in addition to the Tundra, are the Silverado, GMC Sierra, Ford F150 and Ram 1500. Nissan also builds a midsize pickup truck, the Frontier.
Steven Macoy (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a longtime car enthusiast and full-time editor who lives in Bethel.
Correction: The fuel-tank capacity for the 2020 Nissan Titan pickup truck was incorrect as listed in the specifications last week. The Titan holds 26 gallons of gasoline.