When Nissan created the original Nissan Armada, its first full-size sport-utility vehicle, it did so in the traditional way, using the platform of its full-size pickup. That pickup, the Titan, had been introduced in 2003, and Nissan’s big ute, the Pathfinder Armada, arrived that same year, as a 2004 model. The Pathfinder label was supposed to leverage the name recognition of the brand’s popular mid-size SUV, but eventually it was jettisoned and the vehicle became simply the Armada.
Following the script written by Ford with the Lincoln Navigator and General Motors with the Cadillac Escalade, a luxury-brand version, the Infiniti QX56, soon followed. Dolled up with extra chrome and leather, it managed to be even gaudier than the Armada—an SUV as imagined by the Toll Brothers. In the McMansion era, that aesthetic was hardly out of step, but sales never came close to those
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