Refreshed Nissan Titan Gets More Tech, New Look

On sale early next year, the updated pickup has a new transmission and gobs of new active safety technology it lacked in previous model years.

Christie Schweinsberg, Senior Editor

September 26, 2019

5 Min Read
2020 Nissan TITAN Platinum Reserve-1 cropped main
Platinum Reserve grade of '20 Titan gets high-tech-look headlights, new grille.

Nissan unveils a major refresh of its Titan fullsize pickup, giving the vehicle more technology, a new transmission and a new appearance inside and out.

The automaker stages the truck’s debut this morning at the State Fair of Texas, in a region filled with pickup lovers and at an event which has become a hot spot for truck introductions in recent years. Nissan, in a statement provided to media ahead of the Titan’s unveiling, notes the fair attracts more than 2 million people annually.

Nissan upgrades the truck’s automatic transmission from a 7-speed unit to a 9-speed. This quickens by nearly one second 50-70 mph (80-113 km/h) acceleration, thanks to a larger final-gear ratio putting “more torque at the wheels in a given gear” and a more linear powertrain feel through the gears, Nissan says.

Nissan continues to offer the Titan in 4x2 and 4x4 configurations, and with off-road-oriented technology such as a limited-slip brake differential, hill start assist and electronic locking rear differential. For ’20 models there is an enhanced off-road gauge with tire angle, relative pitch and roll angles displayed. The automaker expects the gauge to be the most accurate in its class at higher speeds, as it says it uses accelerometer data and G-force, not a gyroscope, to determine vehicle orientation.

Until now the Titan hasn’t had much active safety technology, but for ’20 Nissan makes standard on the vehicle its Safety Shield 360 suite of advanced driver assist system technologies. Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blindspot warning, rear-cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, high beam assist and rear-automatic braking (the latter it claims as a class exclusive) are the six techs featured in the suite.

Optional safety technologies forward-collision warning, around-view monitor, adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition and a driver alertness monitor also are available for ’20.

The truck also gets more airbags (eight instead of six) and seatbelt pretensioners (four instead of two) for the new model year.

Already seen on the new ’20 Versa subcompact, Nissan’s rear-door alert, which tracks when a rear door was opened at the start of a journey and tells a driver to check the backseat upon engine shutdown, is standard on all grades (S, SV, PRO-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve) of the Titan.

The Titan gets freshened styling, with LED headlights on the PRO-4X trim wearing a new “high-tech” design (pic below). The lights, which are said to have improved low-beam output, also are standard on SL and Platinum Reserve grades.

2020 Nissan TITAN PRO-4X-15.jpg

2020 Nissan TITAN PRO-4X-15_0

Meanwhile, the “double-boomerang” DRLs are standard on the same grades and are “among the largest ever produced by Nissan,” with four LED boards putting out 800 lumens each, the automaker says.

The rear of the truck receives updated LED lights and tailgate finishers (black for the PRO-4X, satin chrome for the Platinum Reserve) while all-LED lighting from four sources is added to the bed.

Nissan’s La Jolla, CA-based design studio further updated the Titan with unique grilles to differentiate certain grades. One design is interlocking (pic below), helping cool the 5.6L. A new front bumper and new wheel designs also can be found on the ’20 Titan.

2020 Nissan TITAN PRO-4X-4.jpg

2020 Nissan TITAN PRO-4X-4

After upgrading the standard screen size in ’18, Nissan goes bigger still with an optional 9-in. (23-cm) touchscreen for ’20. Nissan touts the screen’s WXGA resolution as higher than that of a HD screen. The ’20 Titan’s standard screen grows to 8 ins. (20 cm), making it the largest standard screen in the class, Nissan says.

The truck has next-gen connectivity as well, including an internal Wi-Fi router able to connect as many as six devices at speeds up to 45 Mbps; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.

Over-the-air software updates now are possible on the pickup via the NissanConnect telematics service, the automaker says.

Design changes to the interior include a new smartphone holder/charging system, newly positioned assist grips and bigger front and rear door storage cubbies.

The PRO-4X grade gets red/orange stitching on seats and carbon and gloss black trim, while all-brown leather seats (pic below, a switch from black-brown seats in ’19) and brighter chrome trim are new in the Platinum grade.

2020 Nissan TITAN Platinum Reserve-35.jpg

2020 Nissan TITAN Platinum Reserve-35

A dual-panoramic moonroof is a new option for the Titan and, measuring more than 3 ft. (91 cm) square it is among the largest in the segment, Nissan says.

The automaker says the Titan now has the highest-horsepower standard gasoline V-8 among large pickup competitors in the Wards Large Pickup segment. However, the new figures were calculated using premium fuel. The Endurance 5.6L V-8 makes 400 hp with premium, but using regular unleaded keeps the figure at the 390 hp achieved in the ’19 Titan. A Nissan spokesman says 400 hp couldn’t have been achieved in ’19 5.6L Titans running premium, as the new 9-speed automatic in combination with 93 octane is a factor.

General Motors’ Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra have a 355-hp 5.3L as their base V-8, while the Ford F-150 churns out 395 hp from its 5.0L V-8. The Ram uses a 395-hp 5.7L V-8 and Toyota’s Tundra also has a 5.7L, making 381 hp. All ratings are using regular fuel, although Ram recommends 87 or 89 octane.

The Nissan mill continues to use hydraulic-controlled variable valve timing and electronically controlled variable valve lift on the intake side (Nissan’s Variable Valve Event & Lift technology), as well as direct injection.

Nissan announced last month it has discontinued the Cummins diesel engine that was available in the Titan, with ’19 the final model year of availability.

The Titan will continue to be offered in king and crew cab variants. The regular cab body style has been discontinued.

As Wards recently reported, the Titan and Tundra both have struggled in recent years to make a dent in the large pickup segment dominated by the Detroit Three.

The Titan’s best share in the segment (3.5%) was realized in 2005, Wards Intelligence data shows. Its share through July stood at 1.5%, compared with 36.5% share for the F-Series in the period, and share in the 20% range for both Ram and Silverado.

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