The Test: Facing a steep 40-foot-high trail of mixed rock and sand leading into the mountains east of Scottsdale, Arizona, we put Nissan’s giant new pickup into four-wheel drive, locked the rear differential, turned on the truck’s front cameras for a clear view of the terrain immediately ahead, and stepped on it. The massive five-liter V-8 turbo diesel engine churned to life and easily pulled the 8,990-pound monster to the top without breaking a sweat.
Thanks to 555 pound-feet of torque, the XD sits in that sweet spot between basic truck and commercial-grade super-hauler, and it would have no problem scrambling its way to a remote riverbed packed with equipment, dogs, and friends. Nissan is catering to the trailhead camper with the XD’s optional locking cargo boxes ($985), which provide handy storage in the bed yet still allow for a sleeper-shell setup. Ambient LED lighting and a 110-volt outlet near the tailgate make the XD seem purpose-built as a rolling base camp.
The Verdict: Plenty of truck to handle shuttle duty for decades to come.
$40,000; estimated 19 mpg combined