One out of 21 is the loneliest number in U.S. half-ton full-size pickup truck sales.

While one in four purchasing U.S. Ford dealership customer drives off the lot with the super-popular F-150 pickup truck and at Chevrolet and RAM stores slightly more than one out of five buying customers takes ownership of the keys to a Silverado or RAM pickup, pickup sales are not quite so brisk at Asian brand showrooms.

In U.S. Toyota showrooms,there’s a 1/20 chance of pawning off a Tundra pickup on a buying customer. Then again, Toyota fields their TRD off-road motorsports support.

Over at Nissan dealers pickup truck purchases are rarer still. Prior to Chrysler – FIAT marriage in 2012, Nissan had planned to rely on a re-skinned RAM to bring to market as its next generation full-size half ton-ner.

Despite the planned RAM-based Titan, Nissan went ahead with talks with commercial vehicle engine maker Cummins to develop a new generation of turbo-diesel to power a heavy[-ier] duty pick-up which Nissan would go alone on. It would be called Titan XD for Extended Duty.

Wouldn’t you know it? Roadblazing.com contributors had just dismantled a house outdoor deck when a new blue 2017 Nissan Titan XD Turbo Diesel showed up.

WHAT: Year old re-designed 2017 Nissan Titan XD Diesel SL 4×4 Crew Cab

In 2016 Titan switched from passenger SUV to a commercial van, namely the NV3500 series, as a full frame donor. Diesel power is available in extended King and super Crew Cab +mid-length bed configurations.

Standard Powertrain: Cummins intercooled Holset M2 rotary control turbocharged 5.0L 32V DOHC compacted graphite block Tier 2, BIN 3 diesel V8, with NOx exhaust particulate filtration and urea injection after-treatment + 6-speed torque converter planetary automatic transmission + 2-speed part time electronic 4-wheel drive to front open, rear E-LSD differentials

WHAT (A) STYLING DIFFERENCE: Bling to the 4th Power

Trapezoid twin horizontal bar grille, with enlarged top border to accommodate etched “TITAN” lettering, bordered by vertical slats, overlaying a mesh lattice al slathered in blinding chrome;  Tall wrap around headlamp housings with LEDs; Sharper raked windshield;  Front bumper, wing mirrors also get mirror chrome treatment;  Ditto rear bumper and running boards topped with rubber step grips;  Fender-mounted “Cummins” chromed portholes.

WHY: When the job calls for a V8 diesel half-ton plus pickup

WHEN: On-Sale (in the U.S.) since late fall 2016

WHERE: Nissan new car dealers

WHERE MADE: Canton, Mississippi, U.S.A.

HOW STRONG: The theoretically thrust swollen blown small block V-8 turbo diesel in practice is confounded by plenty-o-lag, tepid throttle step-in and immense weight; Bright lining is prompt locking torque converter on 6-speed slush-box;  Electronic transfer case engagement is on the smoother side;

HOW LIMBER: Variable rate hydraulic steering is more accurate than in true heavy duty-ers during highway lane changes, but remains a flexor work-out when parking; Tuned for greater compliance than genuine 1.5 tonners, though such mass induces pitch & roll; Despite goodly-sized 4-wheel brake discs pedal reaction is too tame;

HOW FAR14 mpg combined fuel economy = 20% > gas Super Duty 2500s; = 20% < RAM 1500 Eco standard duty gas V8 powered half-ton out there. Lacking an optional 32 gallon fuel tank limits highway mile range to 470 per tankful.

HOW BIG/ LITTLE:  As long as some small houses;  Needs a 22′-foot deep garage or parking spot;  Requires 8 corrective attempts to back into a perpendicular parking space;  Feels small only next to a heavy duty trades crew-cab pick up with long bed & dualies; -1 3″-inches length, 6″-inches wheelbase > F150 SuperCrew SB, but requires an extra 5-feet turning radius! -1 2nd Row knee room < competitor’s Crew Cabs.

HOW USEFUL:  Tow Rating (at tongue) = 12,030 lbs. ;  Payload Rating = 2000 lbs. ;  Power sliding backlight window;  Box J-Channel sliding cleats;  Box integral dual locking long storage bins;  Crinkle finish sprayed-in bed liner;  Driver’s side retractable rear box step;  Wide full cab length running boards; Folding extendable tow, lower convex wing mirrors;  Easy action tailgate hinges; White LED overhead bed & under-rail lights ;   60:40 split 2nd Row bench w/ fold-up cushions, fold-down backs;  2nd Row sub-bench dual locking bins;  2nd Row 150W, box 400W 120V outlets; 1st Row full fore center console deep storage management & saddle pockets;  1st & 2nd Row door pocket management.

HOW SAFE: 6 airbags; Driver assist technology: Blind Spot Warning; Audible front & rear Park Assist w/ rear camera guidance grid.

HOW FRIENDLY:  Pebbled leather seats, heated front, driver: 8-way power w/ 2 setting memory, front pax: 4-way power;  4 Pillar grab handles; Dual analog gauge cluster flanking colorized multi-function LCD display; Night backlighting = Orange; Power tilt/ telescoping leather wrapped steering wheel w/ vertical spoke cruise control/ communication/ audio switches; 2-zone auto climate control; Contrast stitched soft-touch upper dash-top & door elbow panels;  +1 Well insulated cabin filters out much diesel clatter; +1/-1 Familiar passenger controls & layout tradesman / ranchhand grade; -1 Unconvincing imitation wood strips, faux brushed metallic accents;

HOW “APP” -LICABLE: 7″-inch capacitive touch LCD infotainment unit < 8″-inch+ competition; -1 HDD GPS voice controlled Navigation = 2000s low-resolution map graphics; +1/-1 Rockford Fosgate audio rocks loud but distorts at limits.   Siri Eyes, (Apple Car Play, Android Auto added 2017 MY);  NissanConnect apps = Pandora, IHeart, Google Destination, Facebook Destination, TripAdvisor,Twitter feed;  Sirius XM Travel link by subscription (after 90 day trial): Real-time Traffic, Weather, Sports scores & standings, Fuel prices, Movie listings, Stock prices.

HOW MUCH: $57,255 for a 2017 Nissan Titan XD  Cummins TD SL 4×4

WHAT’S MISSING: More rear knee-room; More modern infotainment w/ rotary controller; Better cabin panel fit; Active Self-Park Assistance;

ANY COMPETITION:

The 2017 Nissan Titan XD Cummins Turbo Diesel trails true Heavy Duty Diesel pick up truck tow ratings by 20% and payload ratings by 25%.

HOWEVER: Nissan Titan XD’s Cummins diesel V-8 TDI out-torques the RAM 1500’s and the new Ford F-150 3.0L turbo-diesel V-6’s by >25% and should out-tow and out-payload the comparably configured competition by >40%.

Comfortably Placing the 2017 Nissan Titan XD Cummins TD V-8 “Somewhere in the Middle”