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