Fashionable Watches

2020 Nissan TITAN | The Underdog | Steve Hammes

2020 Nissan TITAN | The Underdog | Steve Hammes

We all know who the key players are in the
half ton pickup segment but I myself like to root for the underdog so the Titan has
always been a favorite of mine. And now for the 2020 model year it receives
some significant enhancements and one key omission. When the 2nd generation Titan debuted in 2016
it brought with it a bigger brother known as the Titan XD replete with a diesel engine
option. Both trucks have been extensively redesigned
for the 2020 model year but Nissan has axed the diesel, meaning both trucks are now powered
by a beefed up version of the familiar 5.6-liter V8, rising from the 390 horsepower and 394
pound-feet of torque it used to produce to the respective 400 and 413 it makes now. It also gains 2 extra gears so with the new
9-speed auto gas mileage improves by 1mpg on the highway. But there is a caveat – Nissan now recommends
premium unleaded for max performance whereas before 87 octane was just fine so annual fuel
costs for this Titan actually go up by $550 per year. But man – this is a beautiful truck powertrain
with exceptional acceleration and linearity, an uncanny smoothness and the capability to
tow 9,210 pounds when equipped with 4-wheel drive. And would you listen to that exhaust? It sounds like it belongs on a V8 sports car. It’s that good. Unfortunately, the 4-wheel drive setup doesn’t
offer an ‘auto’ setting in addition to the 4-high and 4-low ranges so when road conditions
vary 4-wheel traction won’t just kick in. Speaking of which, the trim I have this week
is the PRO-4X which is offered exclusively in the 4X4, crew cab, short box configuration. With a starting price of about $50k, this
is the off-road-oriented Titan with all-terrain tires, Bilstein shocks, a rear locker, hill
descent control and a skid plate up front. It wears lots of black and when fitted with
the trio of available packages treats its occupants to a multitude of comfort and convenience
features. The list of extras is extensive but some of
the highlights for me are the heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering
wheel, remote start, the hard-hitting 12-speaker Fender audio system, and around view monitor
which comes in really handy because this truck isn’t small. All told, it checks in at $58,455 – a number
that no longer seems at all unreasonable in a market that is truck crazy. (Running boards/Cabin stand-up) And the more I think about it, Nissan could
largely ameliorate this issue if they would simply redesign some of the buttons and switchgear
which date back to the 90s. But the biggest offender in here is oddly
the one you touch the most – the shifter – crafted of cheap-feeling plastic that
engages with the flaccidity of a banana peel. Otherwise, the leather looks great and the
new command center is big, bright and high res with easy to use controls, integrating
both CarPlay and Android Auto replete with a nifty phone holder. The driver display is more primitive looking
but includes good content like the updated off-road gauges. Nissan Safety Shield 360 is standard on all
Titans so you’re going to get blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, high beam
assist and rear automatic braking among other safety features no matter which one you choose. The refresh also includes 2 more air bags
for a total of 8. This PRO-4X model packs in even more including
Intelligent Cruise Control and Traffic Sign Recognition. The updated body still has the Titan looking
old-school pickup which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In Baja Storm it definitely grabs attention. And I’m mighty impressed with these General
Grabber tires which do an awesome job in the snow and ice. But what really grabs me about the Titan is
how well it drives…there’s a lot of precision engineered into this and it’s palpable. Press the gas pedal and despite all the power
the Titan gives you pinpoint control over how much you wish to unleash. The steering is not truck-ish either and the
ride quality is excellent. Sure, there’s still some body wiggle when
you cross the railroad tracks but by in large the Titan drives like a champ. Where the Titan distinguishes itself is with
its powertrain and it precise controls. I mean this engine is V8 perfection with gobs
of power and the kind of sounds you want to hear. And the highly engineered throttle control
puts the driver in complete control so you feel like you can precisely control the action
with your right foot. The steering, braking and off-road traction
are also stellar. The biggest knocks against this truck are
its fuel economy and some cheap interior bits. I don’t like 13mpg on premium and that’s
all I’ve mustered this week. But it’s been a bear off-road and a warrior
on it which is why I really like this particular build. It’s never going to challenge the leaders
in volume but it’s a really cool rig if you want to stand out from the crowd.

Reader Comments

  1. Nissan is the GM of Japan, good but not great , they’ve ruined Infiniti, running it into the ground . Nissan didn’t make a profit at all for 2019, same with Infiniti. Titan is too little too late . Truck was on market for 4 years and you couldn’t even get a sunroof on it .

  2. Gotta love the exuberant prices of automobiles now a days fueled by cheap credit. 60k for a pick up truck? That used to be Mercedes territory not too long ago.

  3. Whoa, look at all that snow! Here in the lower part of the state, we got zero, zilch, nada inches of snow for the month of February ☃️

  4. This is the most fraudulent thing they’ve done. The Infiniti counterparts use the same engines and require premium fuel to produce those HP/TQ numbers! They’ve done nothing to the engine except program it to take premium fuel for the new numbers. Nissan could be so good, but they cut so many corners. I hope they do a leadership shakeup and bring on an entire new team. Nissan/Inifiniti used to be innovative, but they’ve become stale.

  5. Funny that you get 13.1MPG on premium and so far after 18000 miles I'm averaging 17.6 on regular and yes you can still use regular gas 87 octane and you will loose 6 hp,frankly you won't even notice 6hp in a 6000 pound truck

  6. Regular Fuel is still perfectly fine per Nissan. It will serve up 390 HP, and 394 ft lbs.

    400HP, and 413 ft lbs on Premium. Ford is similar as they recommend Premium fuel in the Ecoboost when towing.

  7. Had a 2006 crew cab Titan until last year, great truck. Now a 2018 Titan XD crew cab 6.5' bed with the 5.6L engine. Awesome truck and what a tow vehicle (28' travel trailer loaded at 7,500 lbs). The commercial van frame (yes, different than the regular Titan), longer wheelbase and bigger brakes make a huge difference. The column shifter? After getting used to it, I prefer it. Non-towing fuel economy at 55 mph flat freeway for 20 mi was just over 20mpg. This degrades at 70-75 mph to 17-18 mpg. City mileage really sucks, it just does. Overall, I really like the truck.

  8. Well. I have seen this truck touched all the bases. So it will do well with great promotion. Make the truck to advance you will eliminate the buyers in your age group. So where do this truck stand next to f150?

  9. So you can't get the Pro 4X in King Cab? If that's the case, I've lost interest. I want the 6-1/2 foot bed.

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