One-Day Drive

First Drive Review: 2020 Nissan Titan is everything it needs to be, but is that enough?

The Nissan Titan has been significantly refreshed for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Forget the challenge of having the fastest lap around the Nürburgring. There may be no greater feat in the automotive industry at the moment than gaining full-size truck market share from the Big Three. That's exactly what Nissan is aiming to do with its refreshed 2020 Titan.

To get to the 2020 Nissan Titan, the automaker listened to its customers, who were vocal about a number of issues they had with everything from the truck's infotainment system to the dealership experience.

2020 Nissan Titan PRO-4X Nissan has given the PRO-4X trim a distinct new exterior design.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

On the outside of the truck there are more differences between trim levels than before. The PRO-4X grade is the most aesthetically robust with a big, black grille that features a blacked-out Nissan logo for the first time alongside 18-inch wheels; lava red badging, stitching, and tow hooks; and a skid plate. Other trim levels got flashy chrome trim and new chrome grilles.

There are numerous other highlights of the refresh. The Titan's new headlight design doubles the light output on low beams and reduces the glare for oncoming traffic. There are new LED fog lights that add an additional 15 degrees of visibility. Nissan has also given the Titan an available panoramic moonroof that is the largest in the segment. The company also employed new acoustic laminated glass to keep road and engine noise at bay.

2020 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve headlights front Nissan showed off their new LED headlight design as part of the first drive event.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Each trim level of the Titan is powered by a 400-horsepower 5.6-liter V8 engine that has 413 pound-feet of torque. That's a significant upgrade from the 2019 model and makes the engine the most powerful base offering of all full-size pickups. In testing on the roads and trails of Utah, Titan's nine-speed automatic transmission was sufficiently smooth shifting and its improved ratios worked in the Titan's favor. With 4,500 pounds of weight towed behind the truck and when traveling up steep off road climbs, the 2020 Titan did not show any strain while being tested.

2020 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve With its powertrain enhancements, the Nissan Titan didn't flinch when towing 4,500 pounds.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Inside, the Titan is improved where it matters. A new 9-inch touch screen is available and features the latest version of Nissan Connect and hardware. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. The system looks good, especially in its handsome housing, and works as advertised with much more responsiveness and quicker command activation than what you'll find in any other Nissan infotainment system to date.

Nissan has included numerous safety and driver assistance technologies in the Titan as part of the automaker's commitment to what they call "intelligent mobility." Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic braking, high beam assist, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, and eight airbags are standard equipment on every 2020 Titan.

2020 Nissan Titan infotainment screen system The truck now comes with an available 9-inch infotainment screen.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

With the revisions, the Titan is a complete package that doesn't feel left behind. It's not as nice on the inside as the Ram 1500, nor is it as easy to drive. It's also not as capable as the Ford F-150. However, the Titan is nicer all-around than the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, mainly because of its interior.

Pricing and fuel economy numbers will be released closer to the model's on-sale date in early 2020. Those factors will be the tipping factor as to whether or not Nissan truly boast about its improvements and value. Either way, the Titan is worth cross-shopping, especially if you're getting into a full-size truck for the first time.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The redesigned 2021 Nissan Rogue includes the technology.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan continues to roll out its Rear Door Alert (RDA) technology across its lineup. An announcement this week by the company confirmed that the alert is now available on 12 vehicles. It is expected to be available on all four-door trucks, sedans, and SUVs by 2022. That date is important as it marks the completion of a series of product rollouts the company has planned.

For model year 2020, RDA is standard on the Nissan Altima, Armada, Kicks (SV and SR), LEAF, Murano, Maxima, Pathfinder, Rogue, Rogue Sport, Sentra, TITAN (King Cab and Crew Cab) and Versa (SV and SR).

2020 Nissan rear door alert Drivers can temporarily or permanently disable the alerts in Nissan vehicles.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Rear Door Alert was developed by a pair of Nissan engineers and first installed in the 2018 Pathfinder. RDA was the industry's first system to use the horn, door sensors, and message display on the center instrument panel, to remind drivers to check the back seat after the vehicle is parked.

In Nissan vehicles, RDA works by monitoring when a rear door is open and closed before and after the vehicle is in motion. If a rear door was opened and shut before the vehicle is in motion. Once the vehicle is in park, the system will first display a notification in the instrument panel. If the driver exits the vehicle and does not open a rear door, the system progresses to distinctive chirps of the horn.

Drivers can configure and temporarily or permanently turn off RDA though a menu in the instrument cluster display or through separate RDA switch, depending on the model.

Last year, Nissan joined other vehicle manufacturers in a pledge to have a rear seat reminder feature in essentially all cars and trucks by model year 2025 or sooner. The approach that each automaker takes may be different.

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The Ford Bronco is back.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The debut of the 2021 Ford Bronco family of SUVs is perhaps the most anticipated vehicle launch in the last decade. Maybe longer. Now, the wait is over.

The 2021 Ford Bronco will come in three variants. There's the two- and four-door Bronco and the four-door Bronco Sport. The Bronco models feature body lines and attributes most similar to the original Broncos while the Bronco Sport is a lifestyle-focused off-road capable model.

Ford's design team has given the Bronco, more so than the Bronco Sport, a look that balances heritage and modernity equally. While there's always enthusiasts who will be disappointed, it's hard to find too much fault with the translation.

Two- and Four-Door 2021 Ford Bronco

The two- and four-door Bronco 4x4 comes standard with a turbocharged 2.3-liter engine that achieves 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a standard seven-speed automatic transmission (six traditional gears and one crawler gear). A 10-speed automatic is available.

2021 Ford Bronco The models can have their doors and roof removed.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Buyers can upgrade to a turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 that gets 310 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque.

The two-door has a 100.4-inch wheelbase and the four-door comes in at 116.1 inches. Under the body are Dana 44-inch AdvanTEX axles and locking differentials at the front and back. Length varies slightly by trim level, as does height.

Part-time selectable engagement 4x4 capability comes standard. Advanced 4x4 with automatic, on-demand 4H engagement is available. Technology allows for electronic shift-on-the-fly capability.

Ford has equipped the models with up to seven G.O.A.T. Modes, via the Terrain Management System. The drive modes allow drivers to have confidence in the capability of their vehicle and take advantage of some technology while they're at it. The modes are Normal, Sport, Slippery, Sand, Baja, Mud/Ruts, and Rock Crawl.

2021 Ford Bronco The Bronco and Bronco Sport come with G.O.A.T. Modes.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Two-door Broncos come standard with a three-section roof system that's removable. A four-section removable roof is available. Roof panels are able to be removed by one person and stored in the vehicle.

A cloth top is standard on four-door models. A removable hardtop is available.

The two-door has a base ground clearance of 8.4 inches and up to 11.6 inches of clearance. The four-door has one-tenth inch less ground clearance.

It rides on wheels ranging from 16- to 18-inches, depending on trim level. Tires ranging from 30 to 35 inches are standard issue, supplied by Bridgestone, General Tire, BF Goodrich, and Goodyear.

2021 Ford Bronco The 2021 Ford Bronco can be optioned up to look bug-out ready.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

All models have a 3,500-pound towing capacity. Trail sights on the front fenders allow for up to 150 pounds of tie-down capacity.

Buyers will have access to over 200 factory-backed accessories at launch when the vehicles arrive in dealership in the spring.

The interior of the Bronco is available with rinse-out and drainage solutions. It's home to a classic dashboard that features up to a 12-inch, SYNC 4-run infotainment touch screen. More than 1,000 trail maps are available through the screen's trail guides system. Content can be created and shared with friends via on-screen functionality.

The 2021 Ford Bronco starts at $29,995 and comes in Base, Big Bed, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Wildtrak, Badlands, and First Edition trim levels.

2021 Ford Bronco The interior of the Bronco holds true to its heritage, with refined, modern touches.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

2021 Ford Bronco Sport

Built alongside the Ford Escape, the 2021 Bronco Sport is very different than the hot-selling SUV. It has a completely different look inside and out, and a different wheelbase. Though still rugged, the Bronco Sport isn't as capable as its two- and four-door family members. However, its thoughtful innovations are smart ways to win over adventurers.

Ford will sell the Bronco Sport in Base, Big Bend, Outer Banks, Badlands, and First Edition trim levels. Reservations are open now and the vehicles will arrive at dealerships later this year.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Ford will make over 100 accessories available for the Bronco Sport when it arrives at dealerships nationwide later this year.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Bronco Sport comes standard with a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that gets 181 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque. An upgraded 2.0-liter EcoBoost is available that yields 245 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Like the Bronco, the Bronco Sport has a Terrain Management System with up to seven available G.O.A.T. Modes. In its top Badlands grade, the model features four steel bash plates, frame-mounted tow hooks, and up to 23.6 inches of water fording capability. The small SUV is no slouch.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport The Bronco Sport is capable of some serious off-roading.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The five-seater has best-in-class first- and second-row headroom. Folding down the rear seats allows enough room for two standing 27.5-inch wheel mountain bikes to be stowed on an interior Yakima bike accessory rack. A slide-out working table is available as well as a 400-watt inverter, and liftgate floodlamps.

A flip-glass rear window, low-load cargo floor, and roof rack are designed to make life on the trail easier. Bronco Sport will launch with over 100 available accessories.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport Large mountain bikes fit in the cargo area of the model.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford is giving every Bronco Sport an 8.0-inch infotainment touch screen display that features the SYNC 3 operating system and has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.

The Ford Co-Pilot360 suite of driver assist and safety technology is standard across the lineup.

2021 Ford Bronco Sport The interior of the Bronco Sport is more refined than the Bronco's.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport starts at $28,115.

Find out more

You can find out more about the trim levels, color options, off-road prowess, and history of the Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport by growing AutomotiveMap's laundry list of Bronco family premier coverage.

The competition

The three-model debut has already begun to draw comparisons between the Jeep Wrangler and the Ford Bronco. We sorted it out here.

Jeep tried to take a bite out of Bronco's big debut with a large horsepower announcement of their own. Read more here.

Reserve yours today

You can reserve yours now for just $100. Find out more here.

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