Curbside Outtake: A Dinghy and A Galleon

nissan cube armada

I happened across this interesting tableau and it shows just how diverse manufacturer lineups are nowadays. You can thank changing consumer desires as well as globalization for Nissan offering both the tiny, quirky Cube and the lumbering Armada at the same time.


The Cube was not a success for Nissan in North America, despite its success back in Japan. Nissan launched it in Canada and the US to do battle with the Scion xB, which had been a surprising sales success. But by the time the Cube finally arrived six years later, xB sales had slumped considerably and the Cube did little better. Both the second generation xB and the Cube sold around 15-20k units from 2009-11, but Cube sales rapidly dropped off after and it was discontinued in 2014.

nissan armada

As for the Armada, this trusty old battle-axe has soldiered along with few changes for over ten years now despite global markets receiving a new full-size SUV (the Patrol, sold in North America as the Infiniti QX80). The Armada sold better in the “good ol’ days” before gas prices soared and the economy stumbled, but it still sells consistent albeit relatively small volumes. Coming from a country where a full-size, V8-powered SUV is the vehicle of choice for only a small number of wealthy people, I must admit I have never really understood America’s fascination with the full-size SUV. Still, there is something oddly alluring about this tank. I think the pragmatist in me would still opt for the Cube, though. Which vessel would you choose?