Conventional wisdom would lead you to think that cars and trucks that have been updated or are brand new fare better in crash tests than their predecessors. That’s not the case with the 2021 Nissan Titan, which scored lower in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s minor overlap test on the passenger side after changes to the underlying structure, the safety attorney says. What did the people of Mopar say in the past? If you can’t dodge it, ram it? Well, maybe don’t try that in a new Titan.
According to the announcement, Nissan has made changes to the 2020 Titan’s frame and several cab components, including the A-pillar, roof rail and lower sill. More changes were made in the mid-2021 model year, including the addition of passenger side knee airbags. This all sounds like good news on paper, but it looks like some of those structural changes had unforeseen consequences.
“While the 2019 crew cabin in all six [IIHS]According to crashworthiness evaluations, the 2021 model will receive an acceptable passenger-side rating due to increased intrusion into the front passenger compartment, “the organization said in its announcement.” The rating also applies to the Titan extended cabin from 2021. The 2020 models were not suitable for protection against small passenger side overlap. “
There’s more bad news for the Titan too, as Nissan’s revisions along with IIHS’s stricter 2021 lighting performance requirements resulted in worse numbers for the Titan’s available headlights, both of which received the lowest “Poor” rating. In 2020 Nissan had at least one “marginal” configuration.
There is good news, though, especially if you still prefer the “Dodge it” approach to pickup driving. Apparently the 2021 Titan is better at that, earning the best “Superior” ratings for both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian scenarios thanks to its updated suite of active safety systems.