This is the first report of a 17.6% champion efficiency solar cell architecture comprising monocrystalline TiO2 nanorods (TNRs) coupled with perovskite, and formed using facile solution processing without non-routine surface conditioning. Vertically oriented TNR ensembles are desirable as electron transporting layers (ETLs) in halide perovskite solar cells (HPSCs) because of potential advantages such as vectorial electron percolation pathways to balance the longer hole diffusion lengths in certain halide perovskite semiconductors, ease of incorporating nanophotonic enhancements, and optimization between a high contact surface area for charge transfer (good) versus high interfacial recombination (bad). These advantages arise from the tunable morphology of hydrothermally grown rutile TNRs, which is a strong function of the growth conditions. Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy of the HPSCs demonstrated a stronger quenching of the perovskite PL when using TNRs as compared to mesoporous/compact TiO2 thin films. Due to increased interfacial contact area between the ETL and perovskite with easier pore filling, charge separation efficiency is dramatically enhanced. Additionally, solid-state impedance spectroscopy results strongly suggested the suppression of interfacial charge recombination between TNRs and perovskite layer, compared to other ETLs. The optimal ETL morphology in this study was found to consist of an array of TNRs ~300 nm in length and ~40 nm in width. This work highlights the potential of TNR ETLs to achieve high performance solution-processed HPSCs.