Toyota Roof Rack - Prius 2016

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by Absolu22, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. Absolu22

    Absolu22 Junior Member

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    Toyota Roof Rack - Fuel for thoughts…


    As an introduction, this is an excerpt from an interesting article I read few days ago...

    “For comparison, the additional fuel consumption caused by roof racks is about six times larger than anticipated fuel savings from fuel cell vehicles and 40 percent of anticipated fuel savings from battery electric vehicles in 2040.”



    Like many other car owners and certainly other Prius owners, I am exploring the idea to install a roof rack along with a cargo box mostly for summer vacation trips on my 2016 Prius. I assume it would make sense to remove the rack when not in use and to reinstall it when required. Toyota now offers the roof rack as an accessory for the Prius which is the one I will most likely buy. My primary concern is the convenience of the install/reinstall process, but I am still curious about the MPG impact.


    Perhaps there are few people here that can share their experience and provide few specifics. Roof rack & cargo box, or even carrying a canoe, kayak or bikes.
    • How long would I need to install/uninstall the Toyota roof rack, did you find it easy or difficult?

    • What type/brand of cargo box you use or recommend?

    • How bad is your MPG affected with a cargo box installed on top, most likely with a loaded car?

    Cheers and carry on!
     
  2. KenzoTH

    KenzoTH Member

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    I have a roof rack setup- not Toyota OEM, but works well- fits my 2010 as well. I marked where the racks lineup on the inside of the door frame to make positioning easy when reinstalling. I take them off and put them on as needed- only have them on for top box or bikes. I don't recommend leaving roof racks on. Every brand I've own suffer corrosion and of course affect gas mileage. With a roof rack alone the mileage hit is barely noticeable- maybe a mile or three a gallon depending on wind conditions. Top boxes make a significant difference- 5-7mpg drop depending on wind direction. I drive a 200+ mile trip to deliver my daughter to college and average 50-54mpg over hills and high speeds without the rack/top box. I have a short "aero" box, but in headwinds your MPG will suffer. The only other issue with racks and boxes is they are noisy. Wind noise can be significant- especially in a headwind and with an empty top box. I also have a hitch for my 2016 and use a rear platform carrier 16"x48" to carry luggage sometimes and it is obviously less aero drag. However, with passengers and a loaded rear accessory the rear end can get low so I am careful about clearance and only use this when there is no other choice. Most racks and top boxes are similar enough regarding how they will affect mileage (unless you leave them on all the time) that I recommend shopping on price. Hitch mount bike racks are the way to go. No contact, easy on/off, good selection.
     
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  3. Absolu22

    Absolu22 Junior Member

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    It make sense to remove it when not in use.
    I saw a guide for the OEM Toyota roof rack installation, seems fairly easy and there is a designated place to put the rack which should ease the process...
     
  4. Absolu22

    Absolu22 Junior Member

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    Confirmed with Toyota dealer technicians that it is easy to install and remove.
    I should have it next week.
     
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  5. Charlie M

    Charlie M Junior Member

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    I have a 2016 and use the roof rack to carry my kayak. I remove the rack when not using. I have used factory roof racks for many years on VW & Audi and like them much better than the aftermarket ones. The main reason to go for the OEM is that they fit MUCH better. It takes around 5 minutes to install (except for first time) and around the same time to remove. Easier with a friend. I put a small rug on roof when I install it myself. The dealer wanted $150 to install, I told them no way. MPG is lower (still better than my VW TDI Golf) and wind noise is higher but not bad. The rack makes the noise and not my kayak.
     
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  6. LewLasher

    LewLasher Member

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    I have a 2019 Prius (AWD) that came with the Toyota "factory" crossbars. I have no motivation to remove them. There is some noticeable noise at highway speed, but I cannot complain about gas mileage. In what is perhaps a small sample of 3 weeks and 2000 miles, the Prius says that the overall average mileage is over 57 MPG, and, by my own calculations, it is about 55.

    A few hours ago I got a cargo box, specifically a Thule Pulse Alpine. It is long (88.5") but not very wide (25.5"). I needed the length for cross-country skis. It is currently installed so that it does not interfere with opening the rear hatch, but it overhangs the front windshield by perhaps a foot and a half. I am willing to move it further back (and then have to be careful while opening the rear hatch) if this would improve the aerodynamics. So far, I have only driven 2 miles with the cargo box mounted, at speeds up to 20 mph. (Meaningless statistic: the Prius reported 50 MPG for that 2-mile trip.)

    I am not overly concerned about the mileage penalty caused by the cargo box, because I only intend to use the box for 2 annual weekend ski trips during which I carry passengers. (And the passengers will be chipping in for gas.)
     
  7. William Redoubt

    William Redoubt Senior Member

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    What kind of hardware is used with the OEM roof bars to connect boats, bikes, cargo boxes, etc.? I have a 8-foot Sabot sail boat I would like to carry on top.
     
  8. Charlie M

    Charlie M Junior Member

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    I have had roof racks on most of my vehicles since the 1970's. Both brand names and cheap Walmart brands. My last two vehicles a VW Golf and my current 2016 Prius 3 I have used the factory roof racks and would say that is the best way to go. On the Prius milage goes down at least 10% (highway driving) with an empty rack. With my kayak on the rack and on the interstate my milage was 41mpg. I can usually get the rack on in less than 10 minutes. Have a rag to put on the roof to rest the side of the rack you are not working on. With my kayak I purchased an additional front/rear tie down that screws into the frame.
     
  9. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Active Member

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    I felt that the OEM roof rack was the most aerodynamic, so I spec'd it when I bought mine. Currently use it with a bike rack at the top.

    I never ran the car without it, so don't know what the hit to my MPG was. But, then, the biggest hit to the MPG is the speeds people around here commute at.
     
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