Trucks & SUVs

The 2020 Nissan Titan Is Even Less Fuel Efficient Than You Think

This Nissan Titan is known for its comfortable interior and excellent ride quality. For 2020, the truck received an exterior refresh as well as a few other useful new features. The Titan is now available with a nine-speed transmission, a standard advanced safety suite, and improved headlights. 

However, there are a few areas where the Titan falls short of its rivals. It’s not as powerful as other full-size trucks, with a maximum towing capacity of 9,660 pounds. The Nissan Titan also has a very low fuel economy rating, even by truck standards. Could this be one of the reasons why it’s receiving such poor sales numbers?

Official EPA estimates for the Nissan Titan

The Nissan Titan only comes with one available engine option. Under the 2020 model’s hood, you get a 5.6-liter V8 with 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. This is a slightly bigger upgrade from last year’s model, which could only produce 390 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque.

It’s paired with a nine-speed transmission, replacing the seven-speed automatic from last year. Despite these powertrain improvements, the truck’s EPA-estimated fuel economy is pretty much the same. Titan models with all-wheel drive and two-wheel drive only have a combined score of 18 mpg. The Pro-4X trim is rated at 17 mpg combined.

What Consumer Reports found

2017 Nissan Titan is on display at the 109th Annual Chicago Auto Show
The Nissan Titan | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Consumer Reports gave the Nissan Titan even lower gas mileage estimates. Testers found that the truck only gets 11 mpg in the city, four points lower than the EPA’s official rating. However, the truck did perform slightly better on the highway: 22 mpg as opposed to 21 mpg.

How much does it cost to fill up the Titan’s tank per year? According to Edmunds, last year’s model was estimated to cost $2,225, earning a combined 18 mpg. CR reported that the 2020 Nissan Titan is slightly cheaper, with an annual cost of $1,855.

Even with its low gas mileage, CR testers fairly enjoyed riding in the Nissan Titan during its road test. They liked its quick acceleration, steady handling, short stopping distance, and all of its useful trailering features. They also liked the variety of interior comfort options, like heated seats and leather upholstery.

Even though Consumer Reports liked driving the truck, it still has a lower owner satisfaction rating than most pickup trucks. It also has a below-average reliability rating. Still, this rating has improved slightly compared to its score in 2017, a troubling one out of five.

How other pickup trucks compare

The most fuel-efficient truck on the market for 2020 is the Ram 1500 with its standard V6 engine. Even though it doesn’t produce as much horsepower as the Titan’s engine, it has a mild-hybrid eTorque system. This gives the truck an impressive rating of 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on highway roads.

The Ford F-150 also offers a few great motors for drivers who want to save on gas. The best option is the turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 engine. It gets 20 mpg during city driving and 26 mpg while traveling highway speeds.

Is there hope for improvement in the Nissan Titan?

The Nissan Titan’s high fuel requirement is definitely a big issue, especially with the truck’s yearly price hike. However, it’s still a great option for new truck drivers who want to get used to driving brawnier vehicles. The added safety features and standard trailering technology are also great improvements.

However, the 2020 Nissan Titan has still failed to win over most critics. It lacks a few features that many rivals offer, such as a suspension lift. The added horsepower is appreciated, but the truck’s gas mileage could definitely be better.