Redesigned 2020 Nissan Titan Aims to Battle America's Top Pickup Trucks

Nissan claims to have focused on what today's truck buyers really want, hoping it'll revive the moribund model.

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Nissan made it clear that a reshuffling was on its way for the Titan when it dropped the single cab configuration completely along with the Cummins diesel-powered XD variant for 2020. After garnering mediocre sales and a minuscule share of the booming pickup segment, the Japanese automaker announced it would be focusing on "the heart of the truck market" with the redesigned 2020 Nissan Titan.

The new iteration boasts a facelifted exterior that features a new front end configuration across the Titan's trim levels: S, SV, PRO-4X, SL, and Platinum Reserve. Each truck's interior has also been refined in comparison to the outgoing model year, with upgraded tech such as an available 9-inch infotainment screen and standard Nissan Safety Shield 360. A 5.6-liter V-8 making 400 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque is the lone-but-potent engine option and it sends power to a nine-speed automatic transmission.

2020 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve

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The flagship Titan Platinum Reserve leads the way toward a higher tier. Plush cabin materials give the trim's cabin a premium feel that seeks to rival the Chevrolet Silverado High Country, Ford F-150 Platinum, Ram 1500 Limited, and Toyota Tundra Platinum. Over-the-air software updates ensure that the truck's infotainment and navigation systems will always be current, and an optional 12-speaker Fender audio system rewards passengers with top-notch sound quality. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also included.

Taking a page out of Ford's King Ranch book, satin Chrome accents adorn the trim's exterior with subtle luxury, as does the Platinum Reserve-specific front grille. New headlights produce 120 percent more light output than the old design, and they're standard here along with high-clarity daytime running lights that feature four 800-lumen LED boards.

Collectively, this brings the Titan within earshot of the upscale half-ton sector that's long been dominated by domestic automakers.

2020 Nissan Titan PRO-4X

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Four-wheeling aficionados will be drawn to this variant with its tough looks and adept off-road equipment. Hill Descent Control is exclusive to the PRO-4X which also receives an electronic locking rear diff for tough situations on tricky terrain. A purpose-driven Off Road Gauge also provides telemetry data such as tire angle, roll angle, and relative pitch to boot.

Additional body cladding protects the Titan model's revised design and the aforementioned lighting equipment provides optimal visibility both on and off the asphalt. Matte black components provide a sporty contrast here, further reinforcing the idea that this is the Titan to buy if you're looking for a bit of gravel-slinging fun.

2020 Nissan Titan SL

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Lastly, this is perhaps the best representation of the Titan's new attitude as it capitalizes on what Nissan hopes will draw buyers in from its rivals. It's well-equipped without being over-the-top; attainable but not bottom-of-the-barrel. It takes the crop of standard niceties and boosts them ever so slightly to create a well-rounded pickup for those who want to drive their truck daily while also being able to do a bit of work when necessary.

The Titan SL is available in both King Cab (extended cab) and crew cab layouts and can be fitted with almost every optional extra offered for the 2020 model year.

Overview

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The new Titan might not blow its competitors out of the water with extravagance, but so far, it looks to be a formidable attempt at bringing a nicely appointed alternative to the pickup market. We can't speak for how it drives yet—that'll come later—although on the surface, these 2020 upgrades place the Titan in a more logical position to contend with the established Big Three brands as well as Toyota.