The Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra have been rivals for years. Although neither of these two full-size pickups has ever been in direct competition with the big American truck giants, the two continue to battle it out amongst each other to be the best of the less-best. But a new 2020 Nissan Titan is making the competition even stiffer, giving the oldest pickup on the market a run for its money.
The 2020 Nissan Titan vs. 2020 Toyota Tundra: what each pickup offers
The 2020 Nissan Titan comes into the model year with a complete design refresh. New for the Titan is updated styling on the exterior, a more powerful V8 engine, and an improved standard nine-speed automatic transmission.
The 2020 Nissan Titan comes with a “long list of standard infotainment and safety features,” according to U.S. News, including an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen (a 9-inch screen is available) and Nissan’s Safety Shield 360. Its maximum payload and towing capacity of nearly 2,500 and 11,000 lbs, respectively, make it a stronger contender in capability. Upgrade to the XD version of the Titan and buyers get access to even more capability, with towing limits near 13,000 lbs.
The 2020 Toyota Tundra receives a few updates for the new model year, with U.S. News experts stating that it’s “not enough to keep it from the bottom” of the rankings. While Toyota improved its standard V8 engine and offer a few more updates in the technology department, U.S. News claims that the 2020 Tundra has “poor driving dynamics, low towing and hauling capabilities, and outdated cabin styling.” In all, there isn’t much to be said about the new Toyota Tundra.
Both trucks sit around the same starting prices, with trim levels ranging from around $33,000 to more than $50,000.
Why experts think the 2020 Nissan Titan is the better pickup
Experts are impressed with the updated 2020 Nissan Titan, receiving a decent overall score from U.S. News of 7.4 (out of 10). Although this places the Titan in the fifth spot among all U.S. News’ pickup rankings, it still places significantly higher than the sixth-ranked Toyota Tundra, which only receives an overall score of 6.5.
When comparing the two, U.S. News experts found that Toyota may have better reliability ratings, but it’s the Titan that “is better in most other regards.” Experts claim that the 2020 Nissan Titan is more capable, nicer on the inside, and is an overall better ride.
Even the experts at AutoTrader recognize the 2020 Nissan Titan’s major facelift, stating that even without its most recent updates, “the Titan is an all-around newer truck than the Tundra, and it isn’t hard to see how this makes it a more competitive entry heading into 2020.” After all, the Tundra is “the oldest pickup on the market” and the Nissan Titan seems to have the upper hand in a variety of areas.
According to Cars.com, of both truck brands, “it’s safe to say that Nissan tries harder.” While the Toyota Tundra has been “largely the same” since it first stepped off the production line, Nissan has introduced more refreshed versions of the Titan, including the new 2020 model.
Are the Titan’s better ratings enough to outpace Toyota sales?
The experts may agree that the Titan is the better-performing, better-bargain truck, that doesn’t mean the 2020 Nissan Titan will outsell the Toyota Tundra. Overall, the Tundra falls under Toyota’s blanket of reliability and loyalty, as we as its giant capabilities in production.
Although neither brand can come close to matching the monstrous capabilities of the three American truck giants (Ford, Chevy, and Ram), could the 2020 Nissan Titan be the reason Toyota becomes the least-bought truck maker?
The 2020 Toyota Tundra had a head start with its newest model hitting dealerships in the summer of 2019. The 2020 Nissan Titan didn’t go on sale until the start of the new year (2020), but Nissan will have to do a lot more with its full-size Titan in order to match Toyota’s massive numbers. In 2019, Toyota sold more than 111,000 Tundras while Nissan only sold little more than 31,000 Titans during the same period.
So far in 2020, Nissan’s sales are still down, only selling 5,732 Titans in the first quarter of 2020. And even though Nissan may have made the better truck, Toyota has still managed to sell more than 21,000 Tundras within the first quarter of 2020. Regardless of both the Tundra and Titan’s sales numbers, Nissan and Toyota are still the only two fighting for the bottom American truck spot.