There’s no denying that full-size, light-duty trucks are some of the most popular vehicles out there, and that means we see a ton of competition between different manufacturers to dominate the market. With so many competitors in the market, there’s clearly an effort by some brands to establish themselves by offering something different, such as how Ram trucks focus on interior luxury and technology. Those sorts of features are nice, but to me, what really makes this kind of truck stand out amidst so many options is the sort of power and capability it can offer.
At the end of the day, anyone can design a comfortable interior or buy electronics from other companies, but certain manufacturers really shine when it comes to engineering trucks designed to perform. Looking at the 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2022 Nissan Titan, for example, we can see a massive disparity in terms of engineering and the performance that comes from that. While the Titan does its best to perform, Nissan has only given it a single engine that puts out adequate but not mind-blowing power. With the Silverado 1500, on the other hand, Chevy has loaded it up with four different powerful engines that allow it to haul a massive amount of weight behind it.
The Nissan Titan Engine
The real downfall that puts the Nissan Titan behind and ensures it’s never able to catch up (or keep up) with the Silverado is right there: “Nissan Titan Engine,” singular. With just one engine on offer, it would have to be a truly remarkable offering to try to compete with the numerous engines that Chevy offers on the Silverado. The one thing I’ll say on behalf of the Titan is that it is an impressive engine, so at least Nissan didn’t skimp on it. Ultimately, though, it just can’t hope to compete with a multitude of options on something like the Silverado.
With the Nissan Titan, you’ll find a 5.6L V8 engine called “Endurance,” which delivers an impressive 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. As I said, this is a great choice by Nissan, and they’re clearly trying to pack a lot of power into this thing. It comes paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission, and fuel economy is decent, if not amazing, with an estimated 18 MPG of combined fuel efficiency. If you’re only going to offer one engine on your truck, then it needs to be better than this, simply because more options will almost always outshine it.
The Chevy Silverado 1500 Engines
It’s in the area of “options” that Chevy has been leading the pack lately with the Silverado 1500 and everything it has to offer. Just a couple of years ago, the number of engines on the Silverado was arguably excessive, but they’ve since simplified things a bit, and now you really just have the cream of the crop on offer. It starts with a 2.7L Turbo I-4 High Output engine standard on the Silverado that has been updated for boosted performance this year. The standard engine delivers 310 hp and a massive 430 lb-ft of torque, which helps it provide incredible towing capacity (more on that below).
If you want more power in the Silverado, then you have several options starting with a 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 that delivers 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. There is also a 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 that gives you 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, which is the most powerful engine offered on the Silverado, and it makes for an incredible driving experience. Finally, there’s a 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel I-6 engine available with 277 hp and a beastly 460 lb-ft of torque. Nissan doesn’t offer a diesel option, so if that’s something you’re into, then the Titan has nothing for you.
Towing With the Nissan Titan
Comparing engines in terms of performance and power is all well and good, but it’s a lot of numbers on the page that may or may not mean anything in the real world. You’ll likely feel the difference between a truck with 413 lb-ft of torque and one with 460 lb-ft of torque, especially if you’re going uphill, but it might not really change your work day. When it comes to how those engines translate into actual functionality and capability, however, then the numbers really matter. And the number we’re talking about here is a big one: towing capability.
Since the Nissan Titan has just one engine, there’s only going to be one number to look at, and I’ll tell you right now, it falls well short of where it should. The Titan can handle up to 9,320 lbs of maximum towing capacity with its engine as long as it’s properly equipped for the most power and ability possible. I’ll be fair, that’s a lot of towing, and it will likely work for many drivers out there, but if you need to haul more than 10,000 lbs behind you, then you’re out of luck. Considering the difference in horsepower between the Titan’s engine and the standard engine on the Chevy Silverado, you might think Nissan has an advantage here. You’d be wrong.
Towing With the Chevy Silverado
With four engines available, we’ll need to look at the kind of work that all of Chevy’s engines allow the Silverado 1500 to tackle. The bad news for Nissan is that for the 2022 model year, Chevy has boosted the performance of their engines to put the Nissan Titan to shame. Here are the numbers, then we’ll talk about them:
- 2.7L I-4: 9,500 lbs
- 5.3L V8: 11,200 lbs
- 6.2L V8: 13,300 lbs
- 3.0L Turbo-Diesel: 13,300 lbs
See what I mean? Just from the very start, the standard engine on the Silverado surpasses the towing capacity available on the Nissan Titan, even though it offers less horsepower. All you have to do is look at the difference in torque, and the fact that the Silverado’s starting engine is engineered for high output, to see why the Titan falls behind. Going from there, the story just gets worse for Nissan as Chevy’s truck has clearly been designed and built to handle massive amounts of weight. By the time you’re looking at the most powerful engines on the Silverado, you’re now pulling almost 4,000 lbs more weight than the Titan can manage.
The diesel engine had been a bit of a weak point for the Silverado in the last couple of years, falling behind what the more-powerful V8 could manage. This year, however, Chevy has boosted what the diesel can do and brought its capability up to the same level as the standard gas engine. This means that you can choose either diesel or gas and still haul more than 13,000 lbs of weight behind the Silverado. And since the diesel engine gets an estimated 26 MPG of combined fuel economy, it becomes a big win for anyone who prefers to go diesel.
The Results Are Clear
Ultimately, in terms of engine options, engine performance, and real-world capability through towing capacity, the Nissan Titan falls well short of the Chevy Silverado. I know there are plenty of Nissan fans who won’t care about all that or point at the higher horsepower of the Titan’s engine compared to the standard Silverado powertrain––that’s fine. The numbers still make it clear just what you’re dealing with if you’re a fan of powerful, light-duty trucks that can get a lot of work done. I’m not here to convince you or sell you a pickup, just to highlight the differences between them so you can see which one is engineered to do more.