The Struggling 2021 Nissan Titan Managed to Get Worse

Uh oh, after receiving updates, the 2021 Nissan Titan isn’t exactly a better truck. The changes actually made it less safe. See how the Nissan Titan managed to earn lower scores during safety tests when compared to previous model years. 

How safe is the 2021 Nissan Titan? 

First of all, let us clarify that despite being less safe, the 2021 Nissan Titan isn’t considered to be a death trap. It still passed the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests, but older models got higher scores. 

The Titan got a lower score in the passenger-side small overlap test. It was rated as acceptable, while the 2019 Titan earned a good rating for this test. You can earn a good, acceptable, marginal, or poor rating. So, it’s not like it got a terrible score. Acceptable is like a high C or low B score. 

The Nissan Titan is the largest pickup available from the Japanese manufacturer.
2021 Nissan Titan | Nissan

The passenger-side small overlap test determines how well the passenger remains protected in front end tests. It tests how well the head, neck, chest, hips, thighs, legs, and feet are protected. Despite gaining new side airbags for the driver and front passenger, the Titan didn’t improve its safety. 

Also, the Nissan Titan has two types of headlights that got lower scores too. The halogen reflector and LED reflector lights got a poor rating for their ability to illuminate the road due to excessive glare and inadequate visibility. The headlamps got a marginal score too. 

Why is the Titan less safe? 

According to CNET, the 2020 Nissan Titan received changes to the frontal portions of its frame. The changes altered the hinge pillar, roof rail, and lower seals. The tweaks made by engineers were not intended to bring its safety rating down. They also added a driver-side knee airbag, and models built after September of 2020 gained a side knee airbag on the front passenger side.  

RELATED: The 2020 Nissan Titan Is the Most Expensive Truck in America

The Nissan Titan got safer in a few areas too. Its crash prevention technology earned a superior score, which is like an A+! The Titan managed to safely avoid collisions while traveling at 12 and 25 mph. It also stopped before hitting a pedestrian while traveling at 37 mpg. By pedestrian, we mean a test dummy. 

Nissan North American said it is committed to the safety and security of its passengers and customers. Nissan will continue to evaluate the Titan and consider improvements if appropriate. Perhaps the 2022 model will be safer. 

What safety features come standard with the Titan? 

You can get started with the 2021 Nissan Titan for about $36,550. Each 2021 model includes the Nissan Safety Shield 360 technology. The package includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, high beam assist, and class-exclusive rear automatic braking. 

2020 Nissan Titan is on display at the 112th Annual Chicago Auto Show at
2020 Nissan Titan | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Optional features include an intelligent around-view monitor, intelligent cruise control, intelligent driver alertness, and traffic sign recognition. This must be one smart ride, ‘intelligent’ is mentioned a lot. 

The class-exclusive intelligent forward collision warning feature uses a radar sensor located at the front of the truck to detect distances between the two vehicles ahead and their speed. This allows the system to assess the situation in front of the truck.