If your mind is set on making your next vehicle a pickup truck, you’re entering the market at a perfect time. If you’re looking for a full-sized truck, your selection might have come down to the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 and 2019 Nissan Titan. Both these trucks are a combination of rugged and cosmopolitan – tough on the outside but luxurious inside. But which vehicle should you sink your money into? Let’s take a look at the facts and figures to see how the two match up.
Ever feel like you’re sharing the road with more trucks? Don’t worry, you’re not going crazy. While the current SUV boom is getting all of the attention, there are more pickups sitting in driveways and garages than ever before. In fact, in 2018, US pickup sales already passed the 2-million-unit mark by September. All totaled, 2018 sales should finish a full 2 percent above 2017 numbers. Put it all together, and nearly 1/5 (18%) of light vehicles sold in the US come with an open bed.
There are currently 11 models and seven brands to choose from, with Ford and Jeep adding two more models to the list later this year. While the collection may be intimidating, the intense competition between brands has put trucks at the leading edge of technology, efficiency, and capability – all to the benefit of the buyer. The 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2019 Nissan Titan are certainly no exception.
A Quick Introduction
The Sierra and its Chevy Silverado twin were introduced in August 1998 as 1999 models. Since then, the Sierra has gone through three full redesigns, with the latest coming for the 2019 model year. The Sierra comes in three configurations:
- Crew cab with short bed
- Crew cab with standard bed
- Double cab with standard bed
When it comes to seating, the Sierra can fit five or six, depending on trim choice. The Sierra has been a wide commercial success – sales numbers have exceeded 100,000 every year since 2010 and 200,000 from 2014 forward.
The Mississippi-built Titan made its debut in 2003. It has seen one full redesign since, coming in the 2015 model year. Unlike many other trucks, cab style and bed length are tied together. The three available configurations are as follows:
- Crew cab with 5.5-foot bed
- King cab with 6.5-foot bed
- Single cab (two-door) with eight-foot bed
Seating wise the Titan beats the Sierra, with options for three, five or six, depending on cab choice. When taking a look at the sales numbers, it’s clear that customers thought Nissan waited too long before completing the 2015 redesign. After easily clearing the 50,000 hurtle between 2004 and 2007, sales cratered and did not begin to rebound until 2016. The Titan once again surpassed the half-century mark in 2017 and 2018.
Although the customer base for trucks has expanded in recent years, there is a reason every pick-up commercial prominently features payload and towing capacity. Power still matters to truck drivers.
The Sierra comes with a whopping five engine choices:
- 4.3-liter V6 – 285 horsepower
- 2.7-liter 4-cylinder – 310 horsepower
- 5.3-liter V8 – 355 horsepower
- 5.3-liter V8 with dynamic fuel management – 355 horsepower
- 6.2-liter V8 – 420 horsepower
The 6.2-liter V8 will haul an incredible 12,200 pounds. For highway cruisers, the 5.3-liter V8 with dynamic fuel management will fit the bill. Payload across the spectrum ranges from 1,500 to 2,543 pounds.
On the other side, the Titan offers on engine across the entire line – a 5.6-liter V8 good for 390 horsepower. Total towing capacity varies by cab, with crew cab 4×4 getting 9,230 pounds and the single cab 4×2 hitting the 9,740-pound mark. Payload is similarly different, with a range of 1,590 to 1,950 pounds.
Fortunately, today’s modern engines don’t totally sacrifice fuel efficiency in the name of ruggedness. While pickups aren’t going to start sipping fuel like economy cars anytime soon, the sub-ten miles per gallon numbers are long in the past.
For the Sierra, those who don’t plan on towing or hauling heavy objects regularly should look to the 4-cylinder, which achieves a commendable 20 highway and 23 city miles per gallon. Dynamic fuel management technology in the 5.3-liter V8 constantly monitors accelerator input (up to 80 times per second) to decide which of the 17 different cylinder patterns will optimize power delivery and efficiency. The result is an engine that acts like a V8 for hard acceleration and towing but can use a few at two cylinders when all eight aren’t needed. The Titan’s fuel economy is middle of the pack for a V8, with a 15 city/21 highway rating.
While the Nissan Titan is comparable to the Sierra 1500 in many ways, power and fuel economy is a clear winner for the GMC. With engines that straddle both sides of the Titan’s lone V8, the Sierra offers customers more efficient and more powerful choices.
Inside, these two vehicles offer the best in modern tech. Both come with apps that enable drivers to locate, lock/unlock, alarm, and start the car from their smartphone. Touchscreens and wireless charging are available on higher-end models for the Sierra and Titan. The Sierra gets a bit of an upper hand with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a feature not yet offered on the Titan. The GMC also offers one of the most advanced features on the market, a 15-inch diagonal HUD (head-up display). The Sierra’s HUD includes four views featuring speed, audio/phone, navigation, and performance. You can also configure the display to show a tachometer, collision alert information, cruise control status, lane departure warnings, and low fuel information. HUDs have been shown to decrease the time drivers spend looking away from the road, making every journey just a little bit safer. This round goes to the Sierra.
Price and Warranty
Let’s face the facts – modern trucks aren’t cheap. The Sierra and Titan both start below $40,000 but can reach well above $55,000 with options. The 4-cylinder Sierra starts at $37,800 and the single cab Titan at $30,030, a win for the Nissan. A fully-loaded Titan will set you back around $61,000. Although a top-of-the-line Sierra Denali will set you back almost $70,000, most GMC customers would say the trim is worth the money. The Denali trim is the highest level of luxury you’ll find in any truck. Although the Titan starts lower, the luxurious Sierra Denali makes this a wash.
The Titan’s warranty edges out the Sierra 1500 for total coverage. Nissan owners will get 5 years/100,000 miles basic and 5 years/100,000 miles powertrain. New Sierra owners would get 3 years/36,000 miles basic and 5 years/60,000 miles powertrain.
We don’t necessarily believe that it is up to us to push you towards either truck. Both are quality vehicles made by respected manufacturers. Both have attractive combinations of features that appeal to slightly different buyers. What we covered here is by no means the exhaustive list of standard or available features for either vehicle. However, based solely on the comparisons presented here, the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 is a better choice for truck shoppers than the 2019 Nissan Titan. We encourage you to head out to your local dealerships and try them both on for size.