Trucks

2016 Nissan Titan XD long-term update: Cummins time

Two yards of mulch, one cord of wood, four bales of hay and everything else we could throw at our loaner truck.

It's been a busy month (and change) for our long-term truck. If you missed our introduction, we've been graced with a 12-month loan of a Nissan Titan XD Platinum Reserve: Nissan's biggest, beefiest behemoth.

With the addition of a Cummins diesel this year, Titan has earned itself a much-needed dose of respect in the fiercely loyal full-size truck segment. In fact, of the two strangers who've come up to me and asked me about the truck, neither of them actually called it a "Titan." Instead, they both said, "How do you like your Cummins?"

The answer is: "A hell of a lot." While this month didn't see any towing of the sort that we engaged in right after taking the truck home, where I towed a 2004 STI home from the wilds of northern New Hampshire, it's certainly seen plenty of duty.

The first time I properly put the bed to use was to haul home a new set of wheels for said STI. When you're planning to race a car you can never have enough sets of the things, and when a set of freshly powder-coated gold BBSes showed up 90 minutes away, they had to be mine. And so they were. The bed swallowed them up with plenty of room to spare.

Next up was some mulch for use around the property. An awful, awful lot of mulch, as it turns out. Despite the intrusions of the tool carriers on either side of the bed, the Titan had no problem inhaling a full 2 cubic yards of the stuff. This truck, which my wife had formerly shaken her head at, was suddenly a welcome member of the family.

She became even more enamored of the thing when she borrowed it to make a 4-hour drive to nab a good deal on a used rowing machine. She said the truck felt "uncomfortably large" when negotiating through town, but made for a stable and reassuring drive back through a prototypically messy wintery mix.

Exercise equipment is a great thing to pick up cheap and barely used on Craigslist, and indeed you might want to be thinking frugally if you were considering a Titan. In our four months of ownership, covering over 2,000 miles, we're averaging right around 17 mpg.

Yes, this truck, she's a thirsty girl.

Our Titan has also hauled four bales of hay to insulate the chicken coop, a set of vintage tools from my grandfather's barn and, most importantly, my dogs on many, many occasions. The rear bench seat is plenty commodious for those two, and while they haven't said as much, I'm pretty sure they appreciate the seat heaters back there. I know I've certainly been appreciating the Titan's remote start as the temperatures have been dropping.

Complaints? Well, the truck hasn't gotten any smaller, and so negotiating through small streets still requires a fair bit of patience and planning. I'm also wishing the infotainment system had a bigger, brighter screen, as sometimes spotting obstacles on the 360-degree cameras can be a little tricky. To date, no maintenance issues have arisen.

Soon we'll be giving the Titan the full review treatment, not to mention spending a fair bit more time running it in the snow. We may even have the chance to get on the ice in the thing, but you'll just have to wait and see about that.