6 things to know about driving a lifted pickup truck

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They go by various names: bro trucks, monster trucks, bruisers, mud trucks, the list goes on.

Nissan has named its highly modified Glacier White Titan XD, appropriately, “The Beast.”

With a Rough Country 6-inch (!) lift kit, MKW M91 20-inch wheels wrapped with Mastercraft MXT 35-inch tires, EGR fender flares, a ZROADZ 50-inch LED light bar, a prototype EGR Sport Bar, and a bumper-mounted Weldex 9-inch LED, The Beast just begins to describe this mechanical monster.

I had some ideas of what it would be like to drive before taking the keys, but after spending a weekend bombing around Nashville and the surrounding area in The Beast, it’s clear that driving a highly modified pickup truck is hard to imagine without experiencing it.

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Here is some of what I learned:

2018 Nissan Titan XD,

2018 Nissan Titan XD,

Enlarge Photo
2018 Nissan Titan XD,

2018 Nissan Titan XD,

Enlarge Photo
2018 Nissan Titan XD,

2018 Nissan Titan XD,

Enlarge Photo
2018 Nissan Titan XD,

2018 Nissan Titan XD,

Enlarge Photo

It’s huge

With a 6-inch lift and 35-inch tires, The Beast is huge. It’s even bigger than you think, no matter how large you think it is.

Pictures don’t convey the sheer size of Nissan’s creation. The truck is 20.3 feet long, 6.7 feet wide, and 6.5 feet tall in stock form. Add on a 6-inch lift kit and 35-inch tires on 20-inch wheels, and it’s simply massive. Want an example? A 5-foot-2-inch person can actually stand under the side mirror and clear it. You won’t understand it unless you witness it in person.

2018 Nissan Titan XD,

2018 Nissan Titan XD,

Enlarge Photo

Physics is a thing

When you lift an automobile up, moving the mass further into the air, the dynamics change. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t improve them. Ask any racer, and they’ll tell you that placing the mass as low as possible will improve handling and overall dynamics. Lifting the Titan XD did the opposite. The handling is sloppier, turns can’t be taken as quickly, and whatever road feel the vehicle had is now muddied.

Some good came out of it, as the 12.6-foot wheelbase combined with the meaty 35-inch off-road tires make for an extremely cushy ride. Wafting down the highway one could easily be convinced they are riding in an expensive luxury car based on the ride alone.

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2018 Nissan Titan XD,

2018 Nissan Titan XD,

Enlarge Photo
2018 Nissan Titan XD,

2018 Nissan Titan XD,

Enlarge Photo
2018 Nissan Titan XD,

2018 Nissan Titan XD,

Enlarge Photo

It’s mean

Park The Beast next to any ordinary light- or even heavy-duty pickup and the Glacier White Titan XD towers over it. In a lineup next to a Ford Super Duty and a Chevrolet Silverado HD, the Titan XD made the two Americans look like toys. Line The Beast up next to a stock Titan XD and the stock truck looks plain and boring. It’s not just one thing, it’s the combination of the increased height, massive off-road tires, fender flares, off-road lights, and Sports Bar. The fender flares alone change the attitude of the truck.

2018 Nissan Titan XD,

2018 Nissan Titan XD,

Enlarge Photo

Stay humble

For most of my weekend with The Beast it seemed like I was king of the road. Looking down on Ford F-150s at stoplight and thinking, “that’s cute,” was a new experience, but it didn’t last. While cruising down the highway, a black speck in the rearview mirror seemed to be closing in fast. Within a minute, a Ford F-350 duallie with dual exhaust stacks, a large lift kit, and huge tires blew past as if I was standing still. The black F-350 was ginormous, and it was the first time The Beast seemed small as the F-350 sat even higher in the air. Like all situations in life, there’s always someone more powerful, stronger, and bigger than you.


 
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