While the likes of the ‘Detroit 3’ retain a firm lock on American truck buying, it’s a fair statement to say the the face of the American truck market has changed. Part of this can be attributed to the physical change in the demographic, with trucks having long-since evolved past a solitary existence as beaten up work trucks for the blue-collar American. But there’s another element to be taken into consideration. In addition to changes in who are buying trucks, there have been changes in who are making trucks.
As the buying market expanded in recent decades, a number of upstart offerings made their way into the cultural mindset. Manufacturers, such as Toyota, Honda, and Nissan all began to leave indelible footprints on the landscape, leaving many buyers considering a jump from the familiarity of domestic manufacturers.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the 2017 Nissan Titan vs 2017 Chevy Silverado starting with price. While the Titan also offers the beefier gas / diesel option of the XD, we’re going to base this comparison on the standard model priced to start at $29,580 MSRP. Likewise, the Silverado serves up the 1500 base model, as well as the 2500HD and 3500HD, so we’ll stick with the 1500, priced to start at $27,785.
Performance and Handling
In 2017, the Nissan Titan returned after a year off, boasting a full redesign which includes a brand new engine. Powered by this 5.6-liter V8 (paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission) theTitan serves up a potent 390 horsepower and 394 lbs-ft of torque.
Available in RWD or 4WD, you can expect an estimated 18 mpg combined, while the Pro-4X variant comes in slightly lower at 17 mpg. And while the XD is a preferable option for any kinds of major towing, the base Titan can still pull over 9,200 with a maximum payload of approximately 1,600 LBS.
In terms of overall performance, the Titan rides smoothly and with confidence. As expected there is far more agility than you’d see in the XD; and the combination of nimble handling and responsive braking leaves a favorable impression.
At most trim levels, the Chevy Silverado is powered by a 4.3-liter V6 (matched to a six-speed automatic transmission). Delivering 355 horsepower and 383 lbs-ft of torque, fuel economy is estimated at 20 mpg combined for RWD with 4WD dropping to 19 mpg. Properly-equipped the max towing capacity for the V6 option is 7,600 LBS with a payload rating of 1,980 LBS.
So, based on these configurations the Titan offers a better base engine and better overall performance. (1:0 Nissan)
In matters of design, judgment becomes subjective. But in this case, it might (hands down) be the easiest comparison I’ve ever had to make. One of the attributes that empowered the Titan to turn so many heads since day one was its outside-the-box design. Not only does its distinctive look resonate with consumers as being different than the domestic competition, the overall design of the Silverado feels somewhat…dated.
And this lack of compelling design leaves the Titan with a lead too far to calculate. Not even a competition. (2:0 Nissan)
While the single cab seats three, the Titan can seat up to six in the Crew and King Cab builds. Depending on which best suits you, and the trim level selected, there a number of forms that the interior cabins can take. Truth be told, the Titan’s interior design serves up nothing revolutionary, and is fairly standard overall; but the clean design that may seem lackluster on lower trims, compliments some of the superior materials used at the higher trim levels.
In many ways, the same could be said of the Silverado. But where the Silverado may be lacking somewhat in terms of exterior refinements, it might just edge out the Titan within the interior (especially at the base trim levels). Overall, it comes across as more spacious and accommodating and is well supported by the amenities offered. While it’s close, and there’s certainly nothing substandard about the Titan’s interior, we’ll give credit where it’s due. (2:1 Nissan)
Bluetooth-enabled for both phone and music streaming, the Titan’s infotainment system is built around a 5-inch display and six-speaker audio system, with a CD player, USB, and auxiliary inputs standard. As you jump trim levels, you can expect a number of additional amenities, such as a 7-inch touchscreen with navigation system and rear camera, satellite radio, and up to a 12-speaker system. Add in high-level options, such as remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, and inclusion of a 120-volt outlet, Nissan serves up a wealth of options.
The base Silverado comes standard with a 4.2-inch display and six-speaker audio system, with USB and auxiliary ports. You can opt for the upgraded package that includes a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple/Android Connectivity, 4G LTE WiFi with OnStar, and Voice Controls, which enable the vehicle for Bluetooth phone and audio. That said, those options come standard with the LS trim and, as expected, further refinements are available at higher trim levels.
With this in mind, both Nissan and Chevy provide a consistent base of features and do a nice job of incentivizing the jump to various trim levels. While the Silverado benefits from Chevy’s strong inclusion of entertainment-based tech, the Titan’s offerings are compelling in their own right, leaving the two neck and neck. Let’s call it a tie (3:2 Nissan).
Both the Nissan Titan and Chevy Silverado are strong offerings, even at base levels. Neither is going to leave you wanting, and there is no shortage of cab configurations, trim levels, and enhancement packages to customize your experience. In our opinion, the Titan edges out the Silverado based on stronger overall performance and a more compelling design.