New Model News

Significantly refreshed 2020 Nissan Titan debuts at State Fair of Texas

Nissan has listened to its customers and is giving them what they asked for in the 2020 Nissan Titan. The truck, which debuted last week at the State Fair of Texas has redesigned front and rear fascias, a boatload of new tech, and bigger differentiation between trim levels.

At the front, the truck has three new grilles, featuring varying degrees of a fresh face and color scheme. All of them have a design that incorporates the Titan "T" logo into it while the Nissan name badge and surrounding take a less prominent space in the face. This is the first time a black Nissan logo has appeared on the front of a vehicle straight from of the manufacturer.

2020 Nissan Titan side The side profile of the 2020 Nissan Titan looks much the same as the 2019 model. Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Freshly added signature boomerang headlamps help the Titan achieve a sleeker look in much the same way the Ram 1500's headlights do. The new lights project around 120 percent more low beam light than in the outgoing model and the newly available fog lights add an additional 15-degrees of visibility to the side of the truck.

Other new exterior elements include the front bumper, in-bed LED lighting, and wheel designs. The truck also will come in three new colors: Red Alert, Baja Storm, and Cardinal Red Metallic.

2020 Nissan Titan PRO_4X Nissan's old steering wheel has gotten a refresh with Titan PRO-4X badging front and center.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Titan is still powered by Nissan's 5.6-liter V8 engine, which achieves 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. It's the most powerful standard engine in the full-size truck class. The engine is now paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission, which has been calibrated to move the truck from 50 to 70 mph nearly one second faster than the 2019 version.

While the unbecoming steering wheel controls remain, the truck has replaced the Titan's outdated infotainment set up and given the truck an available 9-inch infotainment touch screen display with gloss black surround, which upgrades the look significantly. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. Up to six devices can be connected to the available Wi-Fi router.

2020 Nissan Titan SL A 9-inch infotainment touch screen display is available.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

There's also new accelerometer technology, which replaces the truck's gyroscope for what the company says are more accurate degree of pitch and roll angles, and a panoramic dual-pane sunroof, which significantly brightens up the cabin.

Every 2020 Nissan Titan comes standard with Safety Shield 360, a suite of driver assist technologies that includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, high beam assist, and rear automatic braking. A number of additional safety technologies are available.

The 2020 Nissan Titan will arrive at dealerships later this year. Pricing has yet to be announced.

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The Toyota Tundra is due for a redo, but it still has a lot to like if you're not too picky.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Americans buy millions of trucks every year. Even in the midst of a pandemic, folks are still buying trucks. In 2019, between all the various full-size truck models from Ford, Ram, GM, Nissan, and Toyota, U.S. customers bought nearly 2.5 million pickups — and that doesn't include all the smaller midsize models, which add another 600,000 to the truck total.

Nearly all of those truck sales are dominated by the big three of Ford, RAM, and GM, but there's a not insignificant niche carved out by Toyota as well. The endlessly-popular Tacoma is the best-selling midsize truck, and the full-size Toyota Tundra has a loyal and dedicated following.

2019 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition On the outside, the truck looks strong and capable - it is.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

I know a few Tundra owners who love their trucks just as passionately as Ford and Chevy owners do. I've driven most of the pickups on the market, but I haven't spent much time behind the wheel of Toyota's big truck — and I was curious to see what Toyota was doing to compete.

My test unit was the premium, Western-themed "1794 Edition" that honors the founding of the JLC Ranch in San Antonio, Texas on which Toyota now has a truck assembly plant. Unsurprisingly, it's the same plant that built this truck. 1794 is basically Toyota's version of Ford's King Ranch, only with less-impressive brand awareness.

The model weighed in at $55,199, including option-boxes ticked for the TRD Off-Road Package ($155), running boards ($345), moonroof ($850), and a spray-on bedliner ($579). All in, it's certainly not a cheap truck, but it's not crazy expensive either. The big three all have ultra-luxe truck trims that can run well-north of $70,000, so this was a very reasonable top-line truck.

It's also not nearly as well-appointed as those other trucks, but it's certainly nice enough. Inside, there is "1794" embellishment on the floor mats and the center console, plus wood trim on the steering wheel, dash, and gear shift.

2019 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition There are nods to the 1794 Edition throughout the cabin.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

It's very roomy, and things are laid out logically — which is a good thing considering how old the Tundra is. The interior was last redesigned the better half of a decade ago, and this generation of the truck is nearly old enough to enter high school. So, it's a bit old, but aging gracefully which, perhaps, shows why Tundra owners like it so much. They know what they're going to get.

One thing they'll get is a lot of stops at the pump. The 5.7-liter V8 is extremely thirsty, scoring just 14 mpg combined city and highway, though the engine itself is buttery smooth and capable. Pushing 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque, you won't have any complaints as long as fuel prices stay around two dollars per gallon. If prices shoot back up north of $4, it might be another story.

The exterior is pleasing enough, with a giant big chrome grille on the front and special 1794 badging on the doors. The Tundra has aged well and was particularly striking in the brilliant Voodoo Blue coloring that my tester sported.

2019 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition The cabin is straight out of the middle of the last decade.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The interior is solidly dated compared to the competition, but it's all functional enough. The 2020 edition of the Tundra gains Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is enough to get me to ignore the massive "Home/Apps/Audio" buttons that surround the screen.

With the competition launching enormous 12-inch-plus touchscreens, I don't think Toyota will be able to wait too much longer before reworking this interior. In the middle console are numerous cupholders and storage cubbies, surrounding an enormous phallic shifter. There's a massive center storage bin under the armrest, which will come in handy for those using their truck as an office.

The rear seats have tremendous amounts of legroom, and the seats fold up to allow for more interior storage, though I wish the rear floor was totally flat to make loading Costco water bottles a little easier.

2019 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition The rear seats fold up allowing for more versatile cargo space.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

In the back, there's a truck bed. It's for putting stuff in. There's nothing elaborate here with in-bed lighting or fancy tailgates like the GMC Sierra has. It's just a truck bed, with a tailgate, that you can fill with things.

That's perhaps the best way to describe the Toyota Tundra. It's a pickup that allows you to haul things around. No fuss, no muss, nothing crazy. It gets you and your stuff from here to there, while slurping down massive amounts of fuel.

It's a Toyota. You know what you're getting. Enjoy it.

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Carvana has revealed which used cars customers are searching for the most.

Photo courtesy of Carvana

Used car seller Carvana has released its list of the used vehicles that are most sought after by Texas shoppers. The list is mostly made up of the usual suspects - perennial best-sellers in their class. Cars, trucks, and SUVs are all represented in the rankings.

One of the most popular models is the Ford F-150, a full-size truck that is the best-selling vehicle in the country. Its rivals, the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Toyota Tundra, and Nissan Titan do not make the list.

Despite being the best-selling new SUV, the Toyota RAV4 does not make thIs list of used vehicles in high demand in Texas. However, its competition does. The Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Ford Escape are popular in Texas's biggest cities.

Carvana has vending machine locations in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas. The company can also deliver vehicles to customers. What's popular in those towns? They have broken the list down by city. You can find Houston's most popular here, Austin's here, San Antonio's info here, and Dallas picks here.

Here are the top five used vehicles Texas shoppers are searching for.

No. 5 - Ford Fusion

2019 Ford Fusion


Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Ford Fusion is a comfortable commuter car. It is available in a hybrid version, which achieves excellent fuel economy. All Fusion models share a similar interior design with comfortable seating and an easy-to-use infotainment system.

No. 4 - Nissan Altima

2020 Nissan Altima

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Altima was recently redesigned but even if you go for an older model, you'll still be getting a comfortable and fuel-efficient midsize car.

No. 3 - Nissan Rogue

2019 Nissan Rogue Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Rogue delivers premium level appointments in higher grades and can come equipped with the company's high-tech driver assistance system - just two of the factors that make it desirable.

No. 2- Toyota Camry

2019 Toyota Camry Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The Toyota Camry has many of the same desirable characteristics as the Toyota Corolla. It's reliable and comes standard with a long list of safety features. It's spacious, comfortable, and easy to drive.

No. 1 - Ford F-150

2015 Ford F-150 These five used cars have the highest demand in Dallas and Fort Worth according to Carvana Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Whether you're buying a new Ford F-150 or one that's a few years old, you're getting a strong and capable truck that is equally as comfortable on-road as it is off, worksite included.

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