Nissan Titan vs Toyota Tundra: Which is Better?

If you have your eye on a small pickup but you don’t want to consider the domestic brands, two popular 4×4 vehicle models are the Nissan Titan and the Toyota Tundra. They are both assembled in the United States, which eases some concerns. They also contain as much, and sometimes more content produced in North America as comparable trucks from Ford, Chevy, or Ram.

They don’t feature the best designs in their segment, and if you’re on the prowl for best-in-class towing, a smooth ride, or innovative cab design, you’ll want to look more closely at the competition.

However, what they do offer is simplicity. There aren’t very many configurations to choose from, so you won’t get overwhelmed deciding on which engine or axle ratio you want. Plus, most technology comes standard in all models.

Nissan offers an awesome warranty and Toyota is known for its dependability. This comparison looks specifically at the latest models and will tell you everything you need to know about which truck is better for you.

Main Differences Between Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra

The main differences between Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra are:

  • The Nissan Titan doesn’t come with any free scheduled maintenance, whereas the Toyota Tundra comes with free scheduled maintenance for 2 years or 25,000 miles.
  • The Nissan Titan comes with a much better warranty, whereas the Toyota Tundra is better known for its quality and reliability.
  • The Nissan Titan offers more towing technology, whereas the Toyota Tundra comes with a higher base tow rating.
  • The Nissan Titan comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, whereas the Toyota Tundra is only 7 inches.
  • The Nissan Titan offers more options to pack your cargo in the bed, whereas the Toyota Tundra makes the ride more comfortable for passengers.

Nissan Titan

Nissan Titan

Nissan probably isn’t the best-selling pickup on the market, but you’re bound to find something you like if you’re looking for a truck of this size and capability.

Price and Value

The Nissan Titan comes with either an extended cab, which they call the King Cab, with a 79-inch bed or a crew cab that has a 67-inch bed. The heavier Nissan Titan XD has a crew cab with a longer bed.

The crew cab may be comfortable in the back for some, but has less legroom in the rear than competitors, the Tundra included. If you need to carry taller passengers or car seats in the back, you’ll need to test drive it first to make sure it’s going to work.

The King Cab also has less legroom in the back than similar models from other manufacturers, and it also has reverse hinges on the rear doors, making them much less convenient than regular doors.

Pricing ranges from mid $30,000s to mid $60,000s depending on trim level. Trim levels include S, SV, PRO-4X, SL, and Platinum Reserve. Most trims come standard with 2WD, but they have 4WD as an option. The Titan XD and the PRO-4X offer 4WD only.

All Nissan Titans come with Nissan Connect, but services like concierge services, remote start, and automatic collision notification are only available for free for six months. However, you get anti-theft alarm notifications and remote locking free for five years, and one-month of wi-fi with a data limit of 1GB.

There are no complimentary scheduled maintenance services offered by Nissan.

Reliability and Quality

While the Nissan Titan doesn’t rank in the top three pickups of its class, it does come with an outstanding warranty. Nissan offers a standard warranty, a powertrain warranty, and roadside assistance for 5 years or 100,000 miles.

Performance and Efficiency

Nissan makes your choice simple with only one engine option. The Titan is equipped with a 5.6-liter V8 with 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. It also has a standard 9-speed automatic transmission.

The EPA rates the combined fuel economy at 18 miles per gallon with 2WD and 4WD. The PRO-4X is rated at 17 miles per gallon. The Titan XD weighs over 6000 pounds and has not been rated by the EPA, but fuel economy will be damaged for better towing.

Tow Ratings

The Nissan Titan offers a towing capacity of more than 9000 pounds, no matter which configuration you choose. The Titan XD increases this capacity to almost 11,000 pounds conventional towing. The XD also has a higher payload rating.

The Titan XD offers an integrated trailer brake controller standard while it’s an option on all other Titans. You’ll also want to consider other features that make towing easier like a surround-view camera or trailer light check capability.

Safety and Driving Assistance

Nissan Titan

The list of features on the Nissan Titan is quite impressive. It comes standard with automatic emergency braking, rear automatic braking, a forward collision warning system with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warnings, automatic high-beam headlights, and blind spot warning system with rear cross-traffic warnings. Most trim levels also include adaptive cruise control.

The NHTSA rates the Nissan Titan at 4 out of 5 stars for overall crash safety. All models have a 4-star rollover resistance rating, except the 4WD crew cab, which only gets 3 stars. The IIHS also gave the Titan Good ratings for nearly everything except for an Acceptable rating for front passenger protection. They also gave a Poor rating to the headlights.

Infotainment and Technology

The Nissan Titan comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen display. It includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone integration. Higher trim levels offer a 9-inch touchscreen that includes navigation.

Comfort and Utility

Compared to the traditional domestic brands, the Nissan Titan lacks state-of-the-art interior design. However, the Zero Gravity seats offer good comfort. There are also a number of useful features in the bed including removable built-in storage boxes that you can use as coolers and Utili-Track channels and adjustable tie-down cleats.

Nissan offers more space to organize the load in your bed, but offers less room and comfort for passengers.

Toyota Tundra

Toyota Tundra

The primary selling point for the Toyota Tundra is its dependability, but it does offer some other nice features.

Price and Value

Like the Titan, the Tundra offers two different cabs. Their extended cab is called a Double Cab and the crew cab is called the CrewMax. Both offer more room than the Nissan and the Double Cab features regular, forward-hinge rear doors.

The Double Cab comes with a 79-inch or a 98-inch bed and the CrewMax only comes with a 67-inch bed. The CrewMax makes an easier daily driver while the Double Cab will help with more cargo.

The Toyota is significantly cheaper, ranging from mid $30,000s to about $50,000. It comes in SR, SR5, Limited, TRD Pro, Platinum, and 1794 Edition trims. Every trim offers 2WD standard and 4WD as an option, while the TRD Pro is 4WD only.

Every Tundra comes with one year of Toyota’s connected services, which includes responsive roadside help, automatic collision notification, remote unlocking and engine start, and concierge services.

You’ll also get a subscription to wi-fi for three months and has a data limit of 2GB.

Unlike Nissan, Toyota offers free scheduled maintenance for 2 years or 25,000 miles. The Tundra also holds its value well, so resale is easier and more reliable.

Reliability and Quality

The Toyota Tundra, along with most Toyota vehicles, consistently ranks at the top of its class for reliability. However, the warranty isn’t as good as what Nissan offers. Toyota offers a standard warranty for 3 years or 36,000 miles, a powertrain warranty for 5 years or 60,000 miles, and roadside assistance for 2 years and unlimited miles.

Performance and Efficiency

Toyota only offers one engine choice. It’s a 5.7-liter V8, but it generates less horsepower at 381 and fewer pound-feet of torque at 401. It also comes standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Tow Ratings

Toyota Tundra

The 2WD Tundra is rated for towing a bit more than 10,000 pounds and 4WD options are a bit less. It comes standard with an integrated trailer brake controller, but no other towing features. While the Toyota has a higher standard tow rating, the Nissan has more towing technology.

Safety and Driving Assistance

All Tundras come with Toyota Safety Sense including adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, and automatic high-beam headlights. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic warnings are available as options on most trims.

NHTSA gave the Tundra 4 stars for overall crash protection. 4WD models get 4 stars for rollover resistance whereas the 2WD models only get 3 stars. IIHS rated the Tundra very poorly in its crash test for both the driver and the passenger.

Infotainment and Technology

Every Tundra comes standard with a 7-inch touchscreen interface with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The option to upgrade to an 8-inch screen with or without navigation is available.

Comfort and Utility

The Toyota Tundra offers large control knobs making them easy to use, even with gloves. The CrewMax has a large backseat, making it ideal for families. There’s also a power rear window offering a pleasant breeze if you like to roll with the windows down.

FAQ

If you’re on the fence about which pickup might be best for you, here are some frequently asked questions that may help you make a better decision.

Question: Which is Better, Nissan Titan or Tundra?

Answer: While the Nissan Titan has a bit more horsepower, the seating capacity and comfort isn’t as good as the Tundra. The Nissan Titan also makes it easier to organize your cargo, but the Tundra has a higher base tow rating.
It depends on what you’re looking for in a truck and what’s more important to you.

Question: Is the Nissan Titan a Reliable Truck?

Answer: The Nissan Titan isn’t known for its reliability. That’s not to say it’s not reliable, but Toyota is especially known for being reliable and long-lasting. If you’re looking for reliability, look into Toyota.

Question: Is a Nissan Titan Worth Buying?

Answer: The Nissan Titan comes with a pretty high price tag for what it offers. The Toyota Tundra offers a more moderate price tag with most of the same features. Other traditional truck manufacturers are likely a better value if you plan to spend upwards of $60,000.

Final Thoughts

In the battle of Nissan Titan vs. Toyota Tundra, I’d pick the clear winner as the Tundra. It offers more configurations and most of the same standard features as the Nissan at a much lower price point. It’s also much more reliable.

The Tundra offers a more comfortable ride for passengers as well as a higher towing capacity, although it does lack the towing technology that the Titan offers. However, if you’re looking for more horsepower and cargo bed features, the Nissan is a better choice.

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