On a chilly morning, the Nissan Titan XD’s Cummins Turbodiesel V8 fires up after a few slightly laborious cranks which suggest something big is about to awaken. Ignition is achieved promptly after a little glow-plug warming and engine cranking, before charming diesel sound effects and vibrations move through the Titan’s body and cabin. Then, the engine settles into a mildly-thudding idle that sounds like work being done.

Nowadays, diesel engines can be made to fire up and run smooth as glass, and quiet enough for those nearby to hear themselves blink. Titan XD goes another route, with signature sounds and vibrations helping validate its owner’s choice in a high-tech diesel monster-engine, every time they fire it up. You’ve got to bet it’s on purpose: after all, if you’re a truck guy and your rig’s packing heat under the hood, you’ll probably want nearby truck guys piloting the competition to know about it.

On the road, Tundra owners slow down for a look. F-150 EcoBoosts and Ram HEMIs flank the Titan XD a moment, then speed off, sounding their blow-off valves and sports exhausts (respectively) as they fire past. Truck guys in parking lots walk up and ask if this is the ‘new one, with the Cummins’. In my Northern Ontario locale, a new-to-market pickup like the Titan XD draws reactions like a drop-top Lamborghini.

They should have called it the Titanic. The Titan XD will satisfy any truck-guy need to pilot something big and tough and imposing. The tested PRO-4X model requires a hearty hop on board, lacked running board implements to preserve ground clearance levels, and rolled on a set of General Grabber tires for above average-bite into various mucks and turfs. From the driver’s seat, Titan seems to generously fill a highway lane. People stare and point at its towering body. All your friends – all of them – will respond the same way upon meeting your new Titan XD for the first time: by saying, “Oh my God, it’s so big!!”

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