Behind the Wheel

2021 Nissan Titan Review: Looks good but isn't keeping pace with the competition

The 2021 Nissan Titan is a good daily driver.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

It's not the most powerful, for full of the most advanced technology, or capable of driving itself down the highway. But, the 2021 Nissan Titan has the most standard power, technology, and safety features in its class. Is that enough?

On the outside, the Titan is a beefy creature. Its mid-generation upgrade last year took care of that. With its Lava Red accents and black trim pieces, the Titan PRO-4X looks sportier than the S, SL, SV, and Platinum Reserve models.

The Nissan gets its power from a 5.6-liter V8 engine that produces 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, making it the best-in-class standard powertrain. Nissan says premium fuel is required to hit those numbers, however. Off the line, the truck is strong but midway through its gears, the Titan can't quite find its powertrain sweet spot.

2020 Nissan Titan PRO-4XThe Titan PRO-4X stands out on the road thanks to Red Lava and black accents. Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The truck's engine doesn't make it the most capable full-size truck on the market today, nor does it make it the most efficient. Trailer sway control is standard and a trailer brake controller is available.

Nissan has made the truck's interior perfectly adequate as well, nice even. As tested in the PRO-4X trim level, the Titan had suitable appointments for its price tag, nicer than the Chevrolet Silverado but not as upscale as what you'll find in the Ram 1500. Its seating is spacious enough for adults, but not as roomy as what you'll find in some truck cabins.

On the center of the dashboard is a nine-inch infotainment touch screen. The screen is receptive but the look of its interface is not as attractive as what you'll find in the Ford F-150. A a seven-inch programmable information display sits in front of the driver; it's bigger than what you'll find in most other trucks. There's some tech extras including NissanConnect and a Fender premium audio system that are available making the truck thoroughly modern.

2020 Nissan Titan PRO-4XThe Titan PRO-4X also has red-orange accents in the cabin. Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Thoroughly modern is not advanced, however. Despite being equipped with standard Nissan Safety Shield 360 (a suite that includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, high beam assist, and rear automatic braking (a class-exclusive), the Titan doesn't have the hands-free driving capability that is coming the Ford F-150, nor does it have the type of multi-angle camera tech that is available on the Chevrolet Silverado trucks.

Nissan's infotainment system also isn't the freshest looking, though completely functional. When compared to the smooth and sleek graphics of the systems now in Ford and Stellantis vehicles, Nissan's looks like it was designed by someone without advanced training.

Whether or not you should test drive the Titan comes down to how you answer a few questions:

  • How much do you usually tow/haul?
  • Do you prefer safety technology that interferes with your daily drive or do you prefer tech that demands more driver control?
  • How important are the finer things in life to you?
Other trucks tow/haul more. The F-150 will have more invasive safety tech, and the Ram has a nicer interior. If you're looking for a full-size truck that is well-rounded, comfortable, and leaves the driving up to you, the Nissan Titan is worth a test drive.

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The new Z starts at under $40,000.

Nissan

The new Nissan Z is finally here, and the 400-horsepower sports car is hitting the market with a reasonable price. The car starts at just $39,990 before a $1,025 destination charge. That's significantly cheaper than the least expensive Toyota Supra for a car with impressive specs and great style.

2023 Nissan ZThe Z gets a 400-horsepower V6 from Infiniti.Nissan

The 2023 Z comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that makes 400 horsepower. It's paired with either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. That's the enthusiast's dream setup, and it's one of few cars available in the U.S. with a manual gearbox. The body is stiffer and features more reinforcements from prior cars, and the steering system now features electric assistance instead of hydraulics. 18-inch wheels are standard and 19-inchers are available.

When it announced the car, Nissan made a point to talk about its retro-inspired styling and classic proportions. The coupe features a sweeping roofline, a distinct front fascia, and is unmistakeably a Z car, through and through. Inside, the car features a three anlog gauges for a classic look, 12.3-inch configurable digital gauge cluster and a 9-inch touchscreen display. The cabin looks upscale and tech-forward, with deep bucket seats.

2023 Nissan ZThe 2023 Z lands this summer. Nissan

Nissan says the new Z will go on sale in summer 2022. Pricing starts at $39,990 for the base Sport trim, $49,990 for the mid-range Performance trim, and $52,990 for the limited-edition range-topping Proto Spec trim.

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Full-size pickup truck

2022 Nissan Titan pricing announced

The 2022 Titan starts at $39,705

Nissan

The gas-powered full-size truck market is as strong as ever, even as new electric trucks start hitting the road. Toyota just released an all-new Tundra, the Ford F-150 offers an innovative hybrid powertrain, and GM recently overhauled the tech in its full-size pickup twins. Though it's not quite on the level of its competition, the Nissan Titan offers decent capability and a standard V8. Pricing for the Titan line starts just shy of $40,000.

2022 Nissan TitanNissan fully refreshed the Titan in 2020Nissan

Pricing for the 2022 Titan starts at (including $1,695 destination):

  • Titan S King Cab 4x2: $39,705
  • Titan S Crew Cab 4x2: $41,475
  • Titan Platinum Reserve Crew Cab 4x4: $61,675
  • Titan XD S Crew Cab 4x2: $47,275
  • Titan XD Platinum Reserve Crew Cab 4x4: $64,735

The Titan got an overhaul for the 2020 model year and it sees new standard features for 2022. The base Titan S adds a standard trailer hitch and Berliner, the SV trim gets navigation, dual-zone climate controls, and more. All trims get Nissan Safety Shield 360, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, lane departure warnings, blind spot warnings, rear cross-traffic alerts, and rear automatic braking.

2022 Nissan TitanThe Titan gets new standard features for 2022Nissan

A single powertrain is on offer for the 2022 Titan, but it's a good one. The truck comes standard with a 5.6-liter V8 that makes 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and either rear- or four-wheel drive. That powertrain enables a max towing rating of 9,660 pounds, which is not as strong as the Titan's rivals, but should be plenty for the average truck owner.

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