2020 Nissan Titan Pickup: For A Niche Within A Small Niche

The Nissan Titan in its current form has been with us for a long time. Since 2004 it has remained basically unchanged. For 2020 it has some styling mods but has cut lots of features and options it once had. Between its age and how much Nissan has cut from previous years, it places the Titan in a small niche. A small niche within a niche. It’s a puzzle as to why Nissan would do this when pickups are so popular? This is a segment that flourishes on different configurations available to customers. What is Nissan doing?

For years the Titan was available with a diesel engine and large V8. The V8 is still around, but the diesel is gone and there are no other options for power. One truck, one engine. Take it or leave it. It’s a 5.6-liter with 400 hp. It’s one heck of an engine and also one heck of a gas gulper. 

2020 Nissan Titan Is a Large Pickup With Big Gas Consumption

A Nissan Titan truck on display at an auto show.
Nissan Titan | GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images

A new nine-speed automatic tries to mitigate gas consumption with only a slight economy increase from previous years. Because of the Titan’s weight rating it is not required to undergo EPA testing which is good for Nissan. Recently Motor1 towed a box trailer behind a 2020 Titan and got 7 mpg.

You can still order the Titan with two- or four-wheel-drive. Also available are cab configurations in either an extended or four-door version. With the four-door, the wheelbase is extended a foot but the bed is reduced by a foot. Sort of a give-and-take. The single cab is no longer available. While not a deal-breaker it shows how Nissan has winnowed-down how it will make a Titan for you. It is aiming for a niche within a niche that we don’t see.

The 2020 Titan XD only comes with 4WD and only as a 4-door putting it in a small niche

2020 Nissan TITAN with Accessories
2020 Nissan TITAN with Accessories | Nissan

Another bit of winnowing is that the higher-trimmed XD only comes as a crew-cab and only with four-wheel-drive. The top-of-the-line XD Platinum Reserve will set you back $61,690, which is less than other range toppers from Ford or Chevy. But it feels like a lesser Ford or Chevy, too. It is hard to beat the interior found in Ram pickups-even Chevy Silverados seem like strippers next to it. The XD has a nine-inch information screen that gives some sense of a premium experience, but it really is time for Nissan to step up.

A revised Titan arrived in 2016 with the bolder front end and other bits. Since then Nissan has blessed us with small grille changes and a few upgrades to the interior. Otherwise, it has been content to see sales dwindle. For a couple of years, it saw sales of over 50,000. Last year it hit 31,500 trucks sold. The Titan is obviously not a sales leader which might explain Nissan’s reluctance to spend too much until every last inch of it is amortized.

A New Titan should soon be here we hear but…

2020 Nissan TITAN PRO-4X
2020 Nissan TITAN PRO-4X | Nissan

Supposedly, a new Titan is on the way. With the troubles Nissan is experiencing as of late priorities probably dictate SUVs and electric alternatives get addressed first. Whether we see a new Titan for 2021 is Nissan’s call, but the longer it delays getting its next trucks into the 21st century the more glaring its aged platform looks.