How Safe Is the Nissan Titan?
The Nissan Titan is an average full-size pickup truck, which U.S. News & World Report called “a decent truck.” There are other trucks that tow and haul more and get better gas mileage. An advantage of this truck is that it tends to have a lower price than other options and is often discounted.
The Titan’s base price is currently $30,690. Redesigned for the 2016 model year, the Titan is available in regular and XD, built on a heavy-duty frame. Both options come in a crew, king, or single cab in either two-wheel- or four-wheel-drive.
The 2019 model year Titan has a number of safety features. With all the features, how does the Nissan Titan safety record compare to other full-size pickup trucks? And how does it stack up in a crash?
IIHS: Crash-test safety and headlights
Both the IIHS and the NHTSA tested only the 2019 Nissan Titan crew cab. While not the top-rated, the Titan was given Good marks for crash tests and Marginal marks for its headlights. The IIHS tested multiple areas of crashworthiness, including small overlap front: driver-side, small overlap front: passenger-side, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints & seats. All areas were rated Good, which is the highest level. Beginning in August 2017, the Titan’s front-end structure was improved to better protect those in the truck in the event of a small overlap crash.
Trucks tested by IIHS were often found to be less safe for passengers than drivers, so the Titan is one of the better truck options when looking at just that category. The Titan, along with the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500, receive Good ratings for passenger-side tests. The Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tacoma received Acceptable. And five trucks received Marginal ratings: Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, GMC Sierra 1500, and Nissan Frontier.
The headlights were not rated well, coming in as Marginal, the third-ranking after Good and Acceptable. They were especially inadequate when going around curves using both low beams and high beams. The IIHS looks at how far light projects from the headlights’ low beams and high beams on straightaways and curves. They also test the amount of glare oncoming drivers get from low beams.
Many pickup trucks don’t score well for their headlights. Some of the difficulties come from truck headlights being higher off the ground, making it harder to illuminate the road well without blinding other drivers. “As vehicle safety has improved in recent years, this important equipment has been overlooked,” said Matthew Brumbelow, an IIHS senior research engineer, in 2016.
Other truck models were designated as having the best safety ratings. The Honda Ridgeline cab pickup with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights was awarded the 2019 IIHS Top Safety Pick. The Top Safety Pick+ was awarded to the 2019–20 Ram 1500 Crew cab pickup with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights (built after May 2019).
NHTSA: advanced safety features
The NHTSA gave the 2019 Nissan Titan crew cab four out of five stars. It marked the Titan well in its crash test but found it doesn’t include all the advanced safety features. The truck received four stars for frontal crash tests, including both front driver side and front passenger side. For side crashes it earned five stars in all categories, from overall to combined side barrier and pole ratings, side barrier, and overall side pole star rating. It also received four stars for the rollover resistance test, measuring the risk of rolling over in a single-vehicle, loss-of-control crash.
The 2019 model is not, however, designed with advanced safety features like forward collision warning, lane departure warning, crash imminent braking, and dynamic brake support. It does come with six air bags, vehicle dynamic control, a traction control system, an anti-lock braking system, electronic brake force distribution, and a tire pressure monitoring system with easy-fill tire alert. The 2019 Nissan Intelligent Mobility features, included on higher-level trims, provide a 360-degree view around the truck with Intelligent Around View Monitor, blind spot warning, and a rear cross traffic alert.
This middle-of-the pack truck is currently average on safety. However, the arrival of the new 2020 Titan is expected to improve the advanced safety features. Both the 2020 Titan and Titan XD will come standard with Nissan Safety Shield 360. These advanced driver assist features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic braking, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot warning, lane departure warning, and high beam assist. Adaptive cruise control will be an available option. Only rear cross traffic alert and blind spot warning are already options on the 2019 Titan. The release date for the 2020 Nissan Titan isn’t known yet, aside from that it will be in early 2020.