The 2019 version of the Titan did a better job of protecting the front-seat passenger.

These days, it’s a challenge to find a new vehicle that doesn’t ace its crashworthiness tests. Along with structures that are better at absorbing an impact, the latest active and passive safety features have made new cars safer than ever before. However, the 2021 Nissan Titan pickup has somehow moved in the opposite direction and returned a lower crash score relative to the older 2019 version of the truck. This score relates to the passenger-side small overlap test and was evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

According to the IIHS, a Crew Cab version of the 2019 Titan achieved a Good rating in all six crashworthiness tests. However, a newer 2021 Titan only managed an Acceptable rating for the passenger-side small overlap test due to more intrusion in the space where the front passenger is seated. Nissan made changes to the truck’s structure in 2020, including the front frame structure as well as the hinge pillar. 2021 versions also received a passenger-side knee airbag, so in theory, they should be safer. The latest results will not please Nissan, especially as the Titan has been struggling on the sales charts – it lags far behind the class-leading Ford F-150.

In terms of headlight ratings, the 2021 Titan also took a few steps back with a current Poor rating in comparison to a Marginal rating for the 2019 variant. However, in most cases, this is still a safe truck. The 2021 Titan achieved a Good rating in all other crashworthiness tests and excellent results for crash prevention, with the pickup successfully avoiding a collision in both the 12 and 25 mph tests. Still, the poorer results in some aspects won’t make life any easier for the Titan. Hopefully, the long-awaited 2022 Nissan Frontier won’t suffer the same fate as its bigger brother when it is crash-tested.