Are there consumer complaints about the wind noise caused by the overhead luggage cross bars?
You won't know whether you'll have a problem with wind noise until you try it. I've driven 4 rack-equipped vehicles over the years. The only rack that made noise was the dealer-installed rack on an old vehicle, and that was ONLY during cold, misty weather (drizzle or very thick fog). What this shows is that wind noise can be a very finicky thing, as far as what causes it. That also means that if it occurs, you can probably come up with a trick to change the air flow which will stop it from happening (I've heard of tricks as simple as a spiral wrap of rope around the cross bar stopping wind noise, but I bet every situation is different). None of the other racks, including the boat rack for Subaru`s, which used 2x4s for the cross bars, made any noise that I could hear. In fact, the auxiliary rack for my current car (only used when needing extra width for two boats) also uses 2x4 cross bars, and it makes no noise.
I wouldn't use factory cross bars. There might be some good ones out there, but I haven't seen them. The general rule is to go with aftermarket bars, as well as the necessary bar-mounting hardware.
Some people love fold-down J-hooks, but since it only takes 30 seconds to remove them and about one minute to install them, why not just take them off, leaving bare cross bars? I take them off when not needed. I even take them off when parked by the river during a trip. After all, if I can remove both of them in 30 seconds using just my hands, so can a thief. Anyway, a folded-down J-hook is still a very bulky item to have up there compared to a bare cross bar.
Same goes for saddles. It takes only a moment to install or remove them, so if you want to keep air resistance to a minimum or not worry about the potential for wind noise, just drive with a bare rack when not carrying boats.
2015 Lexus RX...
on Jul 07, 2015