By on September 27, 2019

If a company is going to introduce a bevy of changes to one of its pickup trucks, Texas is definitely the place in which to do it. In fact, it is a popular urban legend that the Lone Star state’s piece of the pickup pie is so large, one manufacturer splits its national marketing efforts four ways: North, West, East, and Texas.

Nissan is a small but active player in the North American pickup truck game, not unlike the plucky Corgi in the dog park yapping at the Great Danes and German Shepherds. For this upcoming 2020 model year, the company has shovelled several cubic acres of development dollars at its Titan full-size truck.

It’ll be simple to spot a 2020 Titan in traffic, thanks to a liberal application of LED mascara on both the front and rear lamps. Its lighting signature is different than the older trucks, along with the addition of a new front bumper style and different badging. Taking a page from the book of Detroit, vastly different grilles will be fitted to varying trim levels, with dark and aggressive ones on the Pro-4X and chrome-bedecked units on the Platinum Reserve, for example.

Upgrades reside under the hood, too, with the 5.6-liter Endurance V8 gaining a few ponies to push its total to an even 400 horsepower. This puts it in league with the 5.0-liter V8 and 5.7-liter Hemi at Ford and Ram, both of which make 395 horses. GM continues to offer 355 hp in its 5.3L V8. The four-century rating will allow Nissan to advertise the Titan as having “the most powerful standard V8 in its class,” an assertion which is technically true.

However, it would behoove the smart shopper to recall the Titan has but one engine choice while the trucks from Detroit have several. Your author will note that the 2019 Titan has one of the best sounding exhaust notes these jaundiced ears have ever heard on a stock pickup truck. The engine is now mated to a nine-speed automatic, a ‘box that will likely improve acceleration feel and increase fuel economy. The latter is currently quite poor in real world testing, so this change is welcome.

Inside, the old infotainment system — which was as advanced and useful as a Lite Brite — has been binned in favor of a new 9-inch touchscreen which includes new features and the continuation of standard CarPlay. A dual-panel sunroof makes an appearance as well, surely pleasing the denizens of hyperborean nations.

The 2020 Titan is also a showcase for Nissan’s burgeoning array of driving aids, including automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. It’s worth noting that other, more expensive machines are devoid of this equipment.

In the States, this new 2020 Nissan Titan will be available in King and Crew Cab body styles, with the regular cab having been deep-sixed earlier this year. Look for them on dealer lots in January.

[Images: Nissan]

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29 Comments on “Texas-Sized Titan: Nissan Rolls Out a Revised Pickup...”

  • avatar

    I want to like this truck a lot, and our local Nissan dealer is stacked deep, but the price premium just isn’t reasonable for a small player. They need to Lexus themselves into relevance.

    • 0 avatar

      “They need to Lexus themselves into relevance.” Huh?

      • 0 avatar

        I’m not sure what Hummer’s talking about with the price premium. The MSRP around here on a Titan is as much a work of fiction as the MSRP on a Ford/GM/Ram truck.

        Nobody pays sticker.

      • 0 avatar

        A better product at a lower price than its competition, like the original LS400. When you’re the upstart, its not enough to be cheaper or better, you need to be both.

        • 0 avatar

          @ teddy
          What jack said.

          I understand the prices are fiction, but imo opinion instead of making the dealer take 10k off from Truckuary to truckcember they could just take 10 maybe 15k of sticker and advertise it as being “Grands” less than the competitors with a more powerful base V8 engine.

          They’re a so much play in these prices it’s not even funny.

          • 0 avatar

            @Hummer I think it’s silly too but it is now in the “everybody (except Toyota) does it” category.

            I find it mind boggling that dealers have no problem selling a $42K MSRP truck for closer to $30K out the door without blinking. What’s the window sticker for then? A good laugh?

            But that’s the way of the world in truck land.

          • 0 avatar
            Domestic Hearse

            Hummer et al,

            I get that transactional prices on trucks are often 10k lower (or more) than MSRP. And that it may be “simpler” just to advertise the price of the truck 10k less to start with.

            But Cash Back serves multiple uses, and not just a “discount.” For many cash-poor buyers, Cash Back, Regional Cash Back, Captive Finance Cash Back can be used as toward the down payment, literally as cash from various OEM entities. Without Cash Back in the downpayment box (say 10% down to get financed), many folks would not have enough liquidity to get bought.

            Sure, a cash buyer will take these Cash Backs as discounts toward the transaction price, but F&I managers need that cash applied as down payments in order to get a deal done.

            Just pricing trucks lower, and not offering thousands in “Cash Back” to the consumer, means many consumers can’t come up with enough down, either in cash or trade. And that means trucks don’t get sold.

            How did Lee Ioccoca put it? Buy a car, get a check? Think of it that way.

    • 0 avatar

      When I shopped the field in 2016 I didn’t take Nissan seriously enough to check much beyond pricing but there certainly wasn’t a premium then. They were about even with Ram, around $3,000 under Ford and $5,000 under Toyota.

      From the distance of brief googling I didn’t see a single killer feature and there were enough demerits – crap resale, subprime dealer network, low volume, fugly – that it would have taken $5,000 more than that to earn a closer look.

      Consider the economy of scale of Ford selling 20 trucks for every Titan and Nissan must already have Lexused all the profit out of the line just to get this close. There’s not $5,000 left on the table. There’s not anything that a Ford does badly that they can beat out on the product side either.

      Small players have no chance in this segment.

      • 0 avatar
        Domestic Hearse

        It’s closer to 1:40+, Titan to Ford and GM.

        And yes, GM, Ford and RAM make far greater profits per unit, as R&D, tooling, etc are amortized across hundreds of thousands (million+, even) of units per generation. Titan’s low sales numbers makes it far more difficult to refresh as often, or generate per-unit profit, in comparison to the Domestic Three.

        • 0 avatar

          “Titan’s low sales numbers makes it far more difficult to refresh as often, or generate per-unit profit”

          There are a number of things wrong with the current Titan that account for those low sales numbers, among them the harsh ride quality, sloppy handling, lethargic acceleration from a dead stop, power-to-weight ratio, interior noise and cheap interiors in all but the top trims.

          OTOH, current Titans offer generous content and excellent value for the money. A fact not lost on former owners of F150, Silverado and RAM who chose to buy a Titan.

          I’m skeptical that the 2020 Titan will be able to cure all that ails the current generation of Titans.

          One thing they could do is to put better gas-shocks on the new Titan and upgrade the interior materials to RAM quality. Maybe tires with more sidewall would help as well.

  • avatar

    On the positive side it will have much higher quality than anything from either GM or Ford. The interior looks to be of high quality, which can’t be said of recent GM trucks.

    • 0 avatar

      GM and Ford trucks are quality products.

      • 0 avatar
        Menar Fromarz

        Best snark comment of the day :)

      • 0 avatar

        That’s where Nissan may have miscalculated a bit. The Domestics have been fairly easy to beat up on in car space. But their truck offerings have never been nearly as easy to top.

        I just wish Nissan would do something different to separate themselves. Like a factory integrated liftgate or bumper crane. The aftermarket offerings are both expensive and rather industrial. Yet aging truck buyers and ever taller bed heights, are very far from a match made in heaven.

    • 0 avatar

      I have been looking at trucks and was surprised by the interior quality of the Titan ; IMO better than the Ford and especially better than the GM.

      My favorite overall is the RAM, but after driving two new ones one with a front end clunk and another with a bad highway speed vibration, now I’m not so sure.

      The Titan was quiet, refined, and had a wonderful engine note.

  • avatar

    GM trucks set a standard for cheapness. Why would anyone purchase a $50,000 truck with an interior no better than a Ford EcoSport.

    • 0 avatar
      CKNSLS Sierra SLT

      Because you don’t pay $50,000.00 While I’m not making excuses for GM’s truck interiors-I brought a new 2017 Silverado Crew Cab LTZ for around $12,000.00 off the sticker of $52,000.00

  • avatar

    That reminds me that The State Fair of Texas starts today. I might try to make it this year (it’s been at least 15 years).

  • avatar

    9-speed? About damn time. (Are you listening Toyota?)

    We will see if this has a meaningful impact on fuel economy.

  • avatar

    The center vents and radio arrangement reminds me of my ’13 Tacoma.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Looks a lot like an F-150, which I’m sure was no mistake.

  • avatar

    When will the Frontier get updated? I would think Nissan would have a better shot at selling in the mid-size market since the big 3 own the full size market.

  • avatar

    Title picture looks like a gigantic brown TRD.

  • avatar

    “one manufacturer splits its national marketing efforts four ways: North, West, East, and Texas.” I know Ford sells their trucks as “Texas Tough” and “California Smart.”

  • avatar

    Finally, a good-looking full-sized truck that doesn’t try to pretend that it’s a Big Rig. Now if they could only update the Frontier in the same way. Too late for me, mind you, but who knows how long I will ultimately keep my Colorado… I was sorely tempted when I looked over the Gladiator yesterday.

  • avatar

    Gotta give them credit- they have a much smaller market share than Toyota, yet they are investing in notable updates that Toyota just hasn’t.

    And you know? This thing isn’t half bad looking. Better than the pre-update, clean looking, tough and distinctive. Was prepared to really dislike it. Best midcycle update I’ve seen in a truck for a long time.

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