In Canada when we think of trucks the F-150, Chevy Silverado and Ram 1500 are the first that come to mind. Why not the Nissan Titan? Maybe it’s because all we ever see are the others. Ford sold 145,694 F-150’s last year, whereas Nissan sold only 2,807 Titans. That explains why you rarely see Titans out in the wild. But just because something is not popular, doesn’t mean it’s not good. You don’t see Ferrari’s every day either, but you wouldn’t automatically think they were temperamental and prone to breaking down… oh, that’s not a good example. How about this… outside of North America there are virtually only 2 pickup trucks: Nissan and Toyota. They own the world the way Ford, GM and Ram own North America. Nissan is a legitimate pickup truck manufacturer, they just get overlooked here. What does the rest of the world know that we don’t? Let’s check it out and see…
What Is It?
- Full-size Pickup Truck
- 6 Trim Levels Available – the Pro-4X Luxury is more Off-Road centric
- 6 liter V-8 Engine with 9-Speed Automatic Transmission and 4WD
- Full LED Headlamps, Tail lamps, front fog lamps and DRL’s
- Intelligent Keyless Entry with Door Handle lock/unlock. This is a nice feature – when you get close to the Titan all the interior and exterior lights come on, then you press the button on either front door handle to lock/unlock
- Spray-on Bedliner comes standard! And with a 110v outlet!
- LED Under Rail Bed Lighting – something that is sorely lacking in most pickup trucks. This provides plenty of light in the bed, especially at night.
- Dual Panel Panoramic Moonroof w/ Tilt, Slide (One-Touch Open/Close)
- Trailer Sway Control, Trailer Brake Controller and Trailer Light Function Check are all standard
- Dual lockable in-bed “TITAN Box” storage boxes are standard on TITAN XD PRO-4X Luxury. They sit sight-unseen at street level and can hold a wide range of essential work and recreational equipment. Unlike other pickup bed storage boxes, the TITAN units are accessible from inside the bed without having to remove a camper top or tonneau cover. The boxes are watertight (and drainable) and can be used as a cooler for picnics or tailgating. They are also easily removable for times when extra bed capacity is required. NOTE: These were not installed on the test vehicle, so I can’t comment on them. As a truck owner I’d love to have something like that!
How Does It Look?
- I’ve never paid much attention to the Titan, probably because it’s very rare in my neck of the woods, but I really like the look of it
- Not too enamoured with the Baha Storm colour (it’s actually metallic, not flat paint), but I could live with it
- The body colour combined with black body cladding, rims and accents look great and are tastefully done
- The test vehicle had some additional options added – a roll bar and steps which are a nice aesthetic touch and make it much easier to get in and out
What’s It Like Inside?
- Centre dash is attractive with a nice ‘beefy’ look to all the gauges
- All controls for the HVAC, Stereo etc. are easy to find and operate at a glance, however… HVAC in auto doesn’t turn on the A/C until you press the A/C button. If you are too cold and turn up dial, it doesn’t actually change the temperature that much, it keeps blasting cold air until you change the settings, so it isn’t actually an automatic system (we found the same issue in other Nissan vehicles too)
- Front Manual Split Bench Seat (40/20/40) with stain-resistant seat covering with a vinyl bolster comes standard. The test truck had heated and vented seats and the driver gets 8-way power adjustments
- The driver’s power lumbar support was more of a back adjustment as it was in the middle off my back, and not in my lumbar region, no amount of adjusting the seat could get it lower for me – the seat was still very comfortable though
- 12-speaker Fender Premium Audio System with 485-watt, 9-channel amplifier with Panasonic’s proprietary Acoustic Motion Control, under-seat Fender Bassman Subwoofer & center channel speakers – the sound is amazing and ear-numbing. The audio worked well for the first couple of days using my USB jump drive, but then inexplicably switched to the radio every time it was restarted (this isn’t unique to Nissan – we’ve had it happen in other manufacturers too)
- Using the talk button/voice recognition system it sounds like the same voice / operating system that Ford uses. The first time I tried it, it would not recognize English (the message was “system does not support your language”..?!). A couple of days later it worked flawlessly. I liked that when it was waiting for a command, there was an orange voice icon on the screen telling you when to speak. Very clever, all too often you speak too soon and the system doesn’t catch what you said. Kudos to Nissan for that!
- Surround cameras were fantastic… I’ll forever miss this feature. If you want to get really close to the curb you can do so without scrubbing the tires. It also helps when parking and the vehicles on either side are close to the line. One of the best systems I’ve experienced. The same system is also available on the much lower-priced Nissan Sentra
- Rear passengers get a huge amount of space to spread out with tons of legroom
- 60/40 Rear Flip-up Bench Seat with Flat Floor Storage Boxes under the 2nd-row seats are useful and lockable too – this system is very impressive – wish I had that in my truck
- Power Slide Rear Window w/ Defrost
- Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) and rain-sensing wipers
- Intelligent Cruise control
- The glovebox is tiny compared to the size of the Titan, fortunately the center console armrest is huge. That doesn’t help if you’ve got a bench seat, but perhaps they have a cleaver storage area there – I can’t comment since I’ve not seen the Titan with a bench.
- The list of Standard equipment and Safety Features in the Titan PRO-4X is long and impressive – check out Nissan’s website for complete details
- Nissan Safety Shield 360 (see end of article for details)
So How Quick Is It & How Does It Handle?
- Plenty of torque when you give it a good prod on the gas, lift off however and it slows much quicker than anticipated, almost like the parking brake is partly on
- Nothing beats the growl of a big V-8 engine and the Titan delivers plenty of that
- As with any vehicle in this category, the interior is very quiet at any speed
- Steering input is good, but I found it over boosted at higher speeds, like on the highway, but around town it is perfect
- It feels like a big heavy-duty truck – but it’s not intimidating to drive, it’s actually a very easy truck to live with on a day to day basis
- The suspension feels stiff with the Bilstein shock absorbers, making it more suited to off-roading as opposed to on-roading. Personally, I didn’t like it much and my co-pilot commented the truck felt aggressive no matter how I drove it
- Brakes are superb and easy to modulate
- Maximum Towing Capacity – 4,178 kg (9,210 lbs), Payload: 740 kg (1,630 lbs)
- Class IV tow hitch receiver with 4-pin/7-pin wiring harness
Horsepower: 400 @ 5,800 rpm *
Torque: 413 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm *
Top Speed: 185 km/h / 115 mph (approx.)
0-60 mph (sec): 7.3
*(Premium fuel. Regular can still be used, however, with a slightly lower power output)
What Does It Cost? For up-to-date pricing and options visit: www.Nissan.ca or www.NissanUSA.com
The 2020 Nissan Titan S starts at: $52,957
Titan PRO-4X: $64,498 + Luxury Package: $5,500
– As Tested: $69,998
- Rated at (L/100 km): City – 15.1 / Highway – 11.1 / Combined – 13.3
- I averaged 16.1 L/100 km around town and 12.8 – 13.1 L/100 km on the highway at 120-130 km/h
- Complete: 5 years/160,000 km
- Powertrain: 5 years/160,000 km
- Roadside Assistance: 3 years
- Travel Planning: 3 years
Ford Raptor, Ram Rebel TRX, Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
- The Good: Great looking off-roader that gives other manufacturers a run for the money
- More Good: The flip down rear bumper step is genius and would get plenty of use from me. The Titan boxes also would be perfect for additional storage under lock and key
- The Bad: The accelerator pedal is very touchy – you can’t modulate it smoothly
- The Ugly: Heaven forbid you leave the truck unlocked ‘cause it blasts the horn loudly to let you know. It’s both annoying and embarrassing at times. If it’s so important, why doesn’t it just lock the doors itself? Every now and again it would blast the horn even though I’d just locked it! I never did find out why it does this. This may be something that could be sorted out in the myriad of menus – I hope so.
What’s The Verdict?
After a week with the 2020 Nissan Titan PRO-4X Luxury I have to say it was very impressive and worthy of being included alongside Ford and Co. as a truck we need and should have on our shopping list. If you are in the market for a V-8 truck, then the Titan has the numbers to get your attention. With 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque it, outguns the F-150’s 5.0-litre V-8 (395 hp/ 400 lb-ft torque) and the Chevy Silverado’s 5.3-litre V-8 (355 / 383) numbers.
As noted above, the accelerator pedal is very touchy – you give it a little gas and it lurches forward like it wants to take off, so you don’t actually have a nice smooth ride. Some people may like that – I like it in a sports car, but not in this truck. My wife hated the HVAC because it would never give us a consistent and comfortable temperature. I found that it took forever to cool the interior in the middle of summer. It’s not unique to the Titan, we had the same issues (less obvious) with other Nissans. The bum coolers were terrific though.
I liked the Rear Utility Bed Step (added extra) – this is very handy, especially 1) because the bed sits high off the ground making it difficult to get in and 2) I’m short. Also added were the Roll Bar and Step Bars, making it a nice complete look. The steps were especially useful as it does have quite a step up to get into/out of the Titan – worth the added cost.
Otherwise, I can’t really fault the Titan PRO-4X – it’s got a nice throaty growl from the V8 – NOTHING beats that sound of a V8! Even with that big engine, it’s not overly thirsty – my 2011 Ranger gets that same or worse L/100 kms than the Titan. It’s comfortable, easy to drive and has plenty of unique features that make it worth putting on your shopping list. The stereo is fantastic, the under-seat bins in the rear are great (wish I had them in my truck), the outside mirrors have convex mirrors in addition to the Blind Spot Warning (Ford remove it when you have Bliss –WHY?!). At the time of writing the Titan is being offered with $15k off and no freight charge, making it a downright bargain at $53,000!
Obviously, the Ford Raptor is the king of the hill in this segment, but it’ll cost you a pretty penny for that. On the other hand, there’s the Titan PRO-4X which is essentially a similar type of truck, but much cheaper (the Raptor STARTS at $76,600 + it’s not a V8 anymore). Let’s be honest here 99% of these trucks will never leave the pavement – but if need to, you can. I love the look, but don’t care about the off-road prowess, it’s just not my thing.
UPDATE: Nissan has announced they are pulling the Titan from Canada. With poor sales, it’s not a big surprise, but it is unfortunate more people didn’t buy one. Get one while you can – and save a ton of money too!
SAFETY – Nissan Safety Shield 360
(Several cameras, radar technology and sonar work together to create a system that looks in front, behind and beside the vehicle as it drives)
- High Beam Assist
- Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection – can provide audio and visual alerts and even apply the brakes to help avoid or mitigate a collisions
- Blind Spot Warning – I love where the light is placed in the door instead of on the mirror-like most manufactures – it’s so much easier to see
- Rear Intelligent Automatic Braking – watches out directly behind you for stationery items you might not see.
- Rear Cross-Traffic Alert – can alert you to approaching cars that might be out of sight
- Lane Departure Warning w/HAPTIC Steering – vibrates the steering wheel just enough to get your attention without being annoying – Nissan’s is definitely one of the best and easiest to live with
- Intelligent Forward Collision Warning – It watches two cars ahead, monitoring your speed and distance, and when it detects sudden deceleration, it can give you a warning to slow down.
- Intelligent Driver Alertness – analyzes driver steering behavior to provide an alert if signs of drowsiness or inattention are detected
Copyright © 2020 by Iain Shankland. All rights reserved.
Text: Iain Shankland / Images: Iain Shankland