2020 Nissan Titan Chicagoland Review By Larry Nutson
SEE ALSO: Nissan Titan Content Archive
2020 Nissan Titan
A full size pickup in a full size city
By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
I don’t usually drive and evaluate full size picks from my home base in Chicago. And I do live in the heart of Chicago. Full size pickups are just too big for a big, densely populated city.
I have a secure outdoor parking space in a condo parking lot. My neighboring car owners roll their eyes as they maneuver around a big truck that sticks out by about 20 inches into the driving lane.
If all the neighboring parking spaces next to and across from mine are occupied I end up having the maneuvering task of a lifetime. Thank god for rear and front view camera systems and park distance warnings.
I don’t even consider to enter a public parking structure to maneuver through narrow drive ramps and around corners that require three-point turns. Much less, to try and park in an already too narrow parking space usually next to a concrete structural column that ends up right next to one of the front doors.
So I’m relegated to street parallel parking, which I’m quite adept at. But, with a full size pickup you need a long space, and also a wide street to make the swing while backing in.
Chicago is chock full of one way, single driving lane streets with vehicle curb parking on both sides. Of course a trash truck, or large UPS or Fed Ex van is often double-parked going about its business. Not only do you need to squeeze the pickup between them and a parked car, you more often than not need to fold in the outside mirrors.
Climbing up into the truck isn’t too bad especially with running boards. My wife is always very happy to have this additional step especially when wearing a skirt or dress. Always get the running boards unless you’re an off-roader.
So yeah, the Nissan Titan at 228.2 inches long and 79.5 inches wide is a joy (not) in a big city. Add optional outside tow mirrors, the kind that extend when you are pulling a trailer, that are not power folding. Well, that becomes fun when you are driving solo and need to fold the passenger side mirror.
Okay! You get the picture.
Midsize pickups are the smarter choice for the big city. The Nissan Frontier comes in two lengths, 205.5 inches and 219.4 inches and it’s 72.8 inches wide. Ten to twenty inches of less length and seven inches of width help out a bunch to make life a lot easier.
I don’t mean to badmouth full size pickups. They have their place, sell like crazy in many parts of the U.S., and are worth their weight in gold to many. Be it rancher, farmer, fisherman, home builder, construction contractor, the full size pickup is a must have. There’s also those that tow a trailer for show horses, farm livestock, vintage cars, boats, off-road ATVs or a large mobile home.
The Titan is available in a myriad of combinations to suite the needs of all those folks I mentioned. There’s a 2-door King Cab and 4-door Crew Cab both with either 4x2 or 4x4 drive trains. Seating is for six or five. The trim level range includes S, SV, PRO-4X (4x4 only), SL and Platinum Reserve.
All are powered by a 400 horsepower 5.6-liter V8 that makes 413 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to a new 9-speed automatic transmission. The engine has been retuned for 2020 and the transmission is upgraded from the former 7-speed. Nissan says the 400-HP is best in class.
The King Cab has a 6.5-foot bed and the Crew Cab’s is 5.5-foot. Trailer tow rating is 9,370 lbs. EPA ratings for fuel economy are 15 city mpg and 21 highway mpg for the 4x4. The 4x2 is ratted one mpg higher in both.
My last stint driving a Nissan Titan was in late summer 2016 in Central Coast California on the invite of Nissan to drive the 2017 model. This recent drive around Chicagoland was in a 2020 Titan SL Crew Cab 4X4 equipped with the optional Tow Package as well as a moonroof.
For 2020 there’s a new front end design featuring a new grille that has unique design matched with each trim level. Following this line, the tailgate finishers are also matched to each trim level. New higher output LED headlights and LED daytime running lights are available, as well as LED fog lights and LED taillights. The dual panel moonroof on my “city driver” is new for 2020.
The cabin is where you spend all your time and Nissan has made the interior of the Titan first-class. Work truck during the day, but at night or on weekends the Titan will chauffeur you in style to any social. The 5-seat SL I drove proved plenty comfortable for myself and my wife while driving around for nothing more than routine household needs.
Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite of advanced driver-assist safety (ADAS) features are now standard. Smart cruise control, driver attention warning, traffic-sign recognition are now offered. The Tow Package on the truck I drove includes extending outside mirrors, trailer brake controller, receiver hitch, trailer electrical connector plus a trailer light function check.
To get the complete picture on the 2020 Nissan Titan lineup go to www.nissanusa.com. There’s also a Titan XD you can check out if you have really big needs. Of note, the Titan is covered by Nissan's "America's Best Truck Warranty" – featuring bumper-to-bumper coverage of 5-years/100,000-miles, whichever comes first. The warranty includes basic and powertrain coverage.
Base prices run from $36,190 to $57,190 plus the $1,595 destination charge. There’s something for every trucker’s needs. Prices climb right up there. The good news is, there are no bad vehicles these days. The choice of a Nissan pickup should work out well for you.
Be safe. Be well.
© 2020 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy