Nissan has been fighting an uphill battle with its full-size pickup truck. Despite the growing popularity of the segment, sales of the Nissan Titan have been dropping year over year. It's not a complete surprise given the level of competition on the market. Nissan is having a hard time competing with the excellent full-size trucks offered by Chevy, Ford, and Ram. According to Automotive News , the Titan only holds a 1.5 percent share of the U.S. full-size pickup segment. Through August, sales in the U.S. were down 28 percent from the previous year. With these lackluster numbers, Nissan went back to the drawing board to redesign the Titan for 2020.
Nissan claims the 2020 Titan got an "extensive redesign" but from what we've seen, the changes aren't as dramatic as we'd expect from a full redesign. Will the tweaks to the exterior, interior, tech, and powertrain be enough to turn the fate of the Titan around? Only time will tell after it goes on sale early next year.
Perhaps the most noticeable styling update to the Titan's exterior is the new grille which comes in 3 versions based on the grade you choose. For example, the 2020 Titan SL and Titan Platinum Reserve sport chrome grilles, while the Titan Pro-4X gets a dark grille for a more rugged look. Nissan claims the 3 different grille options offer more customization which is a key feature desired by pickup truck buyers.
In addition to the new grilles, the 2020 Titan features all-new headlights which produce 120 percent more light output in low beam compared to the 2019 model. This helps the driver better see the road ahead and the sides of the road. Additional tweaks to the exterior include changes to the front bumper, fog lights, badging, and new wheel design. The refreshed exterior is certainly an improvement, but overall, the 2020 Titan doesn't look all that different from the 2019 Titan. Can you spot the changes between the 2019 and 2020 models pictured below?
Interior Styling and Tech
In addition to the exterior changes, Nissan has updated the 2020 Titan's interior to make it more refined and attract the "weekend warrior" who will use the truck for personal use as opposed to a workhorse. In addition to carefully sourced seat and trim materials, the 2020 Titan gets better interior storage including front and rear door storage capacity. The crew cab models get the first-ever available Dual Panel Panoramic Moonroof which is one of the largest in the segment.
The 2020 Titan gets a 7-inch programmable instrument cluster and an infotainment system with a standard 8.0-inch center area display which is the largest standard display in the segment. If that's not large enough, an available Integrated Command Center with a 9.0-inch touchscreen with WXGA resolution (higher resolution than HD) will connect you to the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Powertrain and Safety Features
The 5.6-liter V8 engine in the 2020 Nissan Titan carries over from the previous model and offers up 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. New for the 2020 Titan's powertrain is the 9-speed automatic transmission which replaces the 2019 Titan's 7-speed transmission. It provides more torque at the wheels for a smoother and faster acceleration than the previous model. The upgraded transmission improves the 50 mph to 70 mph acceleration by making it a full second faster than the previous model.
Since the Titan is expected to be used as a personal truck and a daily driver, Nissan added new safety features to give owners confidence on the road. The entire lineup of the 2020 Nissan Titan includes the Nissan Saftey Shield 360 standard. This suite of safety tech offers six advanced driver-assist systems including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, high beam assist and rear automatic braking. The new Nissan Titan is expected to hit dealerships in early 2020 with pricing not yet announced. Will sales ever catch up to the likes of the Chevy Silverado, Ford F-150, and Ram 1500? It may be a hard fight but this redesign proves Nissan is not giving up.