2021 Nissan Titan vs. Toyota Tundra Comparison

Erin Riches-Wong | Jun 16, 2021

If you're shopping for a large light-duty pickup truck and don't want one from a traditional domestic brand, you have your pick of the Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra. Both trucks are assembled in the United States. Both also have as much or more North American content as full-size trucks from ChevroletFord, and Ram, according to American University's Kogod Made in America Auto index.

They aren't the freshest designs in the pickup segment, though. Consumers seeking high tow ratings, innovative cabin design, or a luxurious ride will likely want to check out the competition.

Instead, the Titan and Tundra offer simplicity. They come in only a few configurations, so you won't get bogged down deciding on engines and axle ratios. Moreover, most essential driver assistance technology is standard.

The Nissan has generous warranty coverage, while the Toyota has a deserved reputation for dependability. Here's a 2021 Nissan Titan vs. 2021 Toyota Tundra comparison to help you sort out the rest of the details.

Price and Value

2021 Nissan Titan Blue Front Quarter View

2021 Nissan Titan

Consumers will find that the 2021 Nissan Titan comes in two cab styles: an extended cab (known as the King Cab) with a 79-inch cargo bed and a crew cab with a 67-inch cargo bed. There's also the somewhat heavier-duty Nissan Titan XD, which combines the crew cab body style with the King Cab's longer cargo box.

The Titan crew cabs offer ample comfort in the back but have less rear legroom than rivals in this class, including the Tundra. A thorough test drive is a must if you need to fit rear-facing car seats or tall adults in the rear seat. Likewise, the Titan King Cab has a smaller back seat than other large, extended cab pickups. It's also the only one with reverse-hinged rear doors instead of more convenient, forward-hinged doors.

Pricing on the regular Nissan Titan ranges from $36,950 to $56,440, not including a $1,695 destination charge. The Titan XD ranges in price from $45,430 to $62,710.

Trim levels for the Titan are S, SV, PRO-4X, SL, and Platinum Reserve. Most trims come with two-wheel drive (2WD) and have four-wheel drive (4WD) as an option (pricing varies). The off-road-themed PRO-4X trims and all versions of the Titan XD are 4WD only.

All 2021 Titans come with Nissan Connect connected services. Some services like automatic collision notification, concierge services, and remote engine start are complimentary only for the first six months. Others like remote locking and anti-theft alarm notifications are free for five years. You'll also get one month of complimentary Wi-Fi with a 1-gigabyte data limit.

Nissan does not offer complimentary scheduled maintenance.

The 2021 Toyota Tundra also comes in two cab styles: extended cab (known as Double Cab) and crew cab (CrewMax). Both cabs are roomier than their Nissan counterparts, and the Double Cab has conventional, forward-hinged rear doors. Double cabs can be equipped with either a standard bed (79 inches) or a long bed (98 inches), while the CrewMax comes with a short bed (67 inches) exclusively. If you'll be using your truck for daily errands, the CrewMax will be easier to maneuver and park.

Pricing on the Toyota Tundra ranges from $34,025 to $49,245, not including a $1,595 destination charge. The Tundra pickup comes in SR, SR5, Limited, TRD Pro, Platinum, and 1794 Edition trim levels. All Toyota Tundra trims give you the choice of 2WD or 4WD (budget another $3,000), except the off-road-focused TRD Pro, which is 4WD only.

All 2021 Tundras come with a 1-year trial subscription to Toyota's connected services, including automatic collision notification, rapid access to roadside help, concierge services, and remote engine start and unlocking. The Wi-Fi trial subscription lasts three months (2GB data limit).

Toyota offers free scheduled maintenance for the first two years or 25,000 miles that you own a Tundra.

The Tundra holds its value well. It ranked first among large light-duty pickup trucks in the J.D. Power 2020 Resale Value Awards.

Advantage: Toyota Tundra

Reliability and Quality

2021 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Lunar Rock Front Quarter View

2021 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

The 2021 Nissan Titan did not rank among the top three large light-duty pickups in either the J.D. Power 2021 Vehicle Dependability Study or the 2020 Initial Quality Study. The Titancomes with the following warranty and roadside assistance coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 5 years or 100,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 5 years or 100,000 miles
  • Roadside assistance: 5 years or 100,000 miles

The 2021 Toyota Tundra ranked first among large light-duty pickups in both the J.D. Power 2021 Vehicle Dependability Study and the 2020 Initial Quality Study. The Tundracomes with the following warranty and roadside assistance coverage:

  • Standard warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Roadside assistance: 2 years and unlimited mileage

Advantage: Toyota Tundra

Performance and Efficiency

2021 Nissan Titan Interior Dashboard

2021 Nissan Titan

Selecting an engine for the 2021 Nissan Titan is simple. There's only one choice. Every new Titan comes with a 5.6-liter V8 engine rated at 400 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. A 9-speed automatic transmission is standard.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fuel economy in combined city and highway driving is 18 mpg with either 2WD or 4WD (17 mpg on the PRO-4X). The heavier Titan XD weighs over 6,000 pounds and therefore hasn't been rated by the EPA. In addition to its extra weight, the XD has a more aggressive rear axle ratio (4.08:1 vs. 3.69 on other Titans), which benefits towing at the expense of fuel mileage.

Like the Nissan, the 2021 Toyota Tundra comes with only one engine choice. Toyota's 5.7-liter V8 generates 381 hp and 401 pound-feet of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard. If you're looking for more variety, the redesigned 2022 Tundra will likely deliver, as Toyota plans to offer a hybrid powertrain in addition to a conventional gasoline engine.

Advantage: Nissan Titan

Tow Ratings and Trailering Equipment

All 2021 Nissan Titans have a tow rating of over 9,000 pounds, regardless of drive configuration or cab style. If that's not enough, the Titan XD is rated to tow nearly 11,000 pounds with a conventional hitch (more with a 5th-wheel hitch), and it has a significantly higher payload rating. Keep in mind, though, that the longer, heavier XD is a lot of truck to drive around when you're not towing.

An integrated trailer brake controller is optional on the regular Titan and standard on the Titan XD. Other features to consider include an available surround-view camera with angles specific to hooking up a trailer and a trailer light check feature that allows you to cycle through all your lights with your key fob.

Two-wheel-drive 2021 Toyota Tundras are rated to tow just over 10,000 pounds, while 4WD trucks come in slightly under 10,000. An integrated trailer brake controller is standard across the board, but Toyota offers no other towing aids.

Advantage: Neither

The Toyota has a higher base tow rating, but the Nissan offers solid ratings and more towing technology.

Safety and Driving Assistance

2021 Toyota Tundra Trail Edition Interior Dashboard

2021 Toyota Tundra Trail Edition

The 2021 Nissan Titan comes standard with all the must-have advanced driving assistance aids (ADAS). The list includes a forward collision warning (FCW) system with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-departure warnings (LDW), a blind-spot warning (BSW) system with rear cross-traffic warnings, rear automatic emergency braking, and automatic high-beam headlights. Adaptive cruise control is also standard on most trim levels.

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) testing, the 2021 Titan earned four stars out of five for overall crash safety. Most Titans have a 4-star rollover resistance rating, but the 4WD crew cab rates only three stars.

In testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Nissan mainly earned Good ratings except for an Acceptable rating (second highest) for front-passenger protection in the Institute's small-overlap frontal-offset crash test. The IIHS gave the Titan's headlights a Poor rating.

All 2021 Toyota Tundras come standard with Toyota Safety Sense, which includes FCW with pedestrian detection, AEB, LDW, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beam headlights. A BSW system with rear cross-traffic warnings is available on most trims.

In crash tests conducted by the NHTSA, the Tundra earned a 4-star rating for overall crash protection. Four-wheel-drive Tundras have a 4-star rollover resistance rating, but the 2WD versions rate only three stars.

In IIHS testing, the Tundra crew cab performed poorly in the small-overlap frontal-offset crash test, earning a Marginal rating for the driver and a Poor rating for the front passenger. The Tundra's extended-cab body style fared better in this test, as it earned an Acceptable rating. In addition, the crew cab rates only Acceptable for roof strength, while the Tundra extended cab (along with the Titan and most other full-size rivals) rates Good in this category.

Advantage: Nissan Titan

Infotainment and Technology

2021 Nissan Titan SL Red Rear Quarter View

2021 Nissan Titan SL

The standard infotainment interface in the 2021 Nissan Titan includes an 8-inch touchscreen display with standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. Higher trims upgrade to a higher-resolution 9-inch touchscreen interface that includes a factory navigation system.

The 2021 Toyota Tundra starts you out with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You can upgrade to an 8-inch interface with or without factory navigation.

Advantage: Neither

Take a test drive before you decide.

Comfort and Utility

2021 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Lunar Rock Rear Quarter View

2021 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

Neither of these large light-duty trucks offers state-of-the-art interior design compared to the newer offerings from the traditional domestic brands. Nevertheless, Zero Gravity seats in the 2021 Nissan Titan provide good seat comfort. Nissan also offers useful features for the cargo bed, including Utili-Track channels with adjustable tie-down cleats and lockable, built-in storage boxes (called Titan Boxes) that you can remove and use as coolers.

In the 2021 Toyota Tundra, you'll find large control knobs and dials that are easy to use while wearing gloves. In addition, the Tundra CrewMax has an enormous back seat, making it a viable option for families of five who would rather travel in a pickup than an SUV with three rows of seating. Toyota also offers a power-down rear window that makes for a pleasantly airy cabin on mild days.

Advantage: Neither

Nissan gives you more options to organize your load in the bed, while Toyota provides vast space for passengers.

Learn More About the Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra

If you'd like to learn more about these full-size trucks, be sure to read our expert reviews of the 2021 Nissan Titan and 2021 Toyota Tundra. To find out how people like you rate vehicles in this segment, be sure to check out our ratings from verified vehicle owners.

Also, please keep in mind that while the information in this article was accurate and valid on June 16, 2021, it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker's website or your local dealership.

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