Probably the most distinctive vehicle on the street today is also the most ambiguous. The Infiniti FX35, a self-proclaimed "premium crossover," is a car/truck/minivan that endeavors to combine the practicality of a sport utility with the performance of a sports car.

That's a tall order. But somehow, the FX35 manages to bring together these disparate segments and put them under one curvaceous roof. More or less.

Produced by Infiniti, the luxury division of Nissan, the FX comes with either a 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine or, as the upmarket FX45, with a 4.5-liter V-8. Though it resembles the Nissan Murano in style and purpose, it's a completely different vehicle.

This is a rear-drive wagon built on a modified chassis from the G35 coupe and sedan, which are widely praised for exceptional road manners. The FX35's engine is the same muscular V-6 found in the G35 and Nissan 350Z sports car.

The FX is a consistent attention grabber, its bold styling and huge wheels drawing stares and glares. The look is not universally admired, though many who are at first repulsed eventually grow to appreciate it.

But the true test is behind the wheel, where the FX35 is most successful in fulfilling its strange mission.