Here’s the thing about pickup trucks: they might all have big bumpers, massive grilles, tall tires, and a bed fit for a stack of sheetrock, but not all are the same. The full-size Nissan Titan has the best-in-class warranty among competitors such as the Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado, and it’s also the only non-domestic nameplate that offers a powertrain with eight cylinders. Every Titan is powered by a 400-hp V-8 backed by a nine-speed automatic transmission. Available in both rear- and four-wheel drive, the Titan can be configured with either an extended cab with a 6.6-foot bed, or a larger four-door crew cab with a shorter 5.6-foot bed. The bigger Titan XD is built for heavy-duty work and is reviewed separately. While the Titan has a comfy cabin, it’s technology-challenged versus newly redesigned trucks like the Ford F-150. Other full-sizers offer high-performance versions with massively more-powerful engines and wildly-longer-travel off-road suspensions that are named after scary dinosaurs—think Raptor and TRX. But the Titan has no counter to those; its mildly upgraded Pro-4X model only gets as crazy as its skid plates, Bilstein shocks, and badging will let it—which is not very. The current Titan is starting to feel a little prehistoric among its newer competition, so we’re hoping for a new iteration before the next mass extinction event.
What’s New for 2023?
Nissan makes only a few minor equipment changes to the Titan for 2023. Pro-4X and Platinum Reserve models now come standard with wireless Apple CarPlay. Nissan has also re-introduced the Midnight Edition package for crew-cab SV models. That package goes dark with black exterior and interior styling, as well as black 20-inch wheels.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Since the Titan is far from class-leading we think it serves best as a work truck. That means the base S model with the standard extended cab and rear-wheel drive. Of course, those who want the added capability of all-wheel drive can add it for extra coin. This choice limits the number of optional upgrades, but it still features standard equipment such as an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. It also has automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and more.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Unlike the variety of powertrains available on light-duty rivals, the Titan makes do with a single engine and transmission combo. Its venerable 5.6-liter V-8 produces 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque and pairs with a nine-speed automatic. The Titan trades handling and ride quality for off-road ruggedness and potent hauling capacities. While it can giddyap to 60 mph as quickly as competitors’ V-8 models and has sufficient stopping power, its steering and handling aren’t as refined as its rivals’. Although the Titan and the separately reviewed Titan XD share cabs and other components, they have their own specific chassis and suspensions. The Titan Pro-4X version swaps the stock shocks for an off-road set better suited for rough roads, but we noted that they feel stiffer than rivals with similar setups. When we last drove the updated-for-2020 Titan, we found that it couldn’t match the impressive ride quality of the Ram 1500. Since the Titan is essentially unchanged mechanically since that time, we think that impression will hold true for the 2023 edition as well.
Towing and Payload Capacity
When it comes to the all-important tow and payload ratings, the Titan’s maximums are at the back of the pack. Still, its ability to tow up to 9660 pounds is more than enough for most owners, and every model can pull at least 9240 pounds.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The Titan is estimated to earn up to 21 mpg on the highway, but while the rear-drive version is rated at 16 mpg in the city, the four-wheel-drive version gets 1 mpg less. The Titan Pro-4X has estimates of 15 mpg city and 20 highway. We haven’t tested a Titan on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, but we’ll evaluate its real-world mpg when we have the chance. For more information about the Titan’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Titan impresses with a serene cabin and its standard set of outrageously comfy Zero Gravity front seats, as Nissan calls them. Good-looking premium materials are reserved for the Platinum Reserve trim. Unfortunately, the Titan’s interior design is dull, the abundance of plastic disappoints, and the crew cab’s rear-seat legroom is the least of all of its competitors. When it comes to cargo control, the Titan is one of the best in the biz. Every model has a spring-assisted tailgate for easy use, and innovative add-ons such as a unique bed-channel system and discreet in-bed cargo boxes are available. However, its ample interior storage space disappoints when it comes to finding a spot for smaller items, and its cargo boxes have the least amount of storage space among rivals. The Titan’s two bed lengths tied to cab size: 6.6 feet for the extended cab and 5.6-feet for the crew cab.
The Car and Driver Difference
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every model has an 8.0-inch touchscreen that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability; a larger 9.0-inch unit is also available. Both interfaces incorporate the latest NissanConnect infotainment software, which makes for a modernized user experience. The Titan also can be had with wireless charging for smartphones, a mobile hotspot, a powerful Fender audio system, and several power-charging ports.
How to Buy and Maintain a Car
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Titan does offer a slew of standard driver-assistance technology. There also are several desirable options that include a 360-degree camera, a unique motion-detector system, and more. For more information about the Titan’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Titan has the best limited and powertrain warranties in its class. The second-shortest roadside-assistance coverage and no complimentary scheduled maintenance detract from its otherwise comprehensive protection plan.
- Limited warranty covers five years or 100,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 100,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2020 Nissan Titan
front-engine, rear- or rear/4-wheel-drive, 5- or 6-passenger, 4-door pickup
BASE PRICE C/D EST
King Cab, $36,000; Crew Cab, $39,000
DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
339 cu in, 5552 cc
400 hp @ 5800 rpm
413 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Wheelbase: 139.8 in
Length: 228.2–229.5 in
Width: 79.5–80.7 in
Height: 75.1–77.2 in
Passenger volume: 99–120 cu ft
Curb weight (C/D est): 5500–6000 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 5.7–6.4 sec
100 mph: 15.7–17.6 sec
¼-mile: 14.4–15.2 sec
Top speed: 110 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Combined/city/highway: 18–19/15/21–22 mpg
More Features and Specs