2020 Nissan Titan: Updates in All the Right Places

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Front Angle

Cars.com photos by Christian Lantry

By Aaron Bragman

The Nissan Titan has always been a bit of an outlier in the full-size pickup truck market. The original 2004 model year was billed as an "urban cowboy," with styling quite unlike its rivals, while the second-generation model from 2017-2019 went a little more conventional. Now we have an update to the second-gen version, cleaning up some of its styling, adding bling to the inside and out, and improving its multimedia system. All of it adds up to a cleaner looking, more appealing truck than its predecessor. We got our first up-close look at the truck after it debuted at the 2019 State Fair of Texas in Dallas.

Related: 2020 Nissan Titan Debuts at State Fair of Texas

Echoes of the Warrior

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Grille

The styling updates are quite successful, with new headlights, grilles, bumpers and taillights for all models. They're reminiscent of the 2016 Titan Warrior XD Concept that was a dedicated off-road sports truck study Nissan created as an answer to the Ford F-150 Raptor. While that truck never saw production, many of its elements have shown up in the styling of the 2020 model, and that's a good thing. The new look is clean and sleek with lines that match up better than the old truck's lines ever did (I always thought the last truck looked like the front and rear styling was designed by a separate committee than the one that did the truck's body). The Pro-4X off-road version looks especially wicked with its matte gray grille and orange highlighted Nissan badge and tow hooks. While the overall look is more evolutionary than revolutionary, it's well done and decidedly fresh.

A Better Interior

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Cockpit

There were two major complaints about the previous Titan's interior: the quality of the materials and the embarrassingly ancient multimedia system. Both issues have been addressed for 2020, to some degree. The interior design is a definite improvement with a bigger, higher console that houses a much larger multimedia screen. The top Platinum Reserve luxury trim feels appropriately nice, but still stops short of beating the truly luxurious Ram 1500 — but to be fair, no other pickup does. The leather and stitching in the new Titan is well done, but the wood is still fake — something Ram doesn't allow in its premium trim levels. Again, the Pro-4X trim is the most improved here with red accents and stitching throughout that is done well.

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Center Control Panel

The updates to the onboard electronics are excellent as well. The gauge cluster now looks fully competitive with a big, clear digital display between the easy-to-read dials, and the new optional 9-inch multimedia screen in the center console is impressive (an 8-inch screen is standard). It's also located nice and high on the dash, so it should be easy to use while the vehicle is in motion. It's a comfortable truck, at least to sit in, with a high seating position and decent outward visibility. The Zero Gravity seats still seem like a silly branding gimmick, but it's hard to deny that they feel big and supportive in ways that Ford still seems unable to duplicate in its trucks. The cabin doesn't feel quite as big as rivals from GM or Ram, but the new, optional panoramic moonroof overhead definitely adds to the big, airy feel of the environs, and nobody will feel cramped in any of the Titan's crew cab's five seats.

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Engine

The 5.6-liter Endurance V-8 has always been a stout powerhouse, and now with standard 400 horsepower and 413 pounds-feet of torque, it should be even more enjoyable. The new nine-speed automatic is also curious — it's an in-house effort, according to Nissan sources, made by Nissan's JATCO subsidiary, just like the current Titan's seven-speed transmission. Now we just need to see how it drives and what its fuel economy, payload and tow ratings are. We're slated to drive the new Titan in early November at the truck's launch event in Utah, so stay tuned for our driving impressions.

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2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Headlight, Tow Hook

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Rear Profile

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Taillight

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Bed With Tailgate Down

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Tire

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Undercarriage

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Shocks

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Front Row

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Steering Wheel

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Front Seats

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X moonroof

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Center Console

2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X Second Row

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