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-   -   Roofrails, good or bad? (

Joris 11-19-2014 03:36 PM

Roofrails, good or bad?
I have recently removed the roofrails of my car, because they never get used and increase drag. However, on new wagons/estates I'm am noticing a trend.

All of these new cars have roofrails which are closed on the sides.

2014 Ford Mondeo Wagon

2014 Honda Civic Tourer

2014 Peugeot 308 SW

Is this a styling thing of the past, because most people want roofrails on a wagon, or are they actually channeling air across the roof to the rear spoiler in a better way?

Fat Charlie 11-19-2014 03:49 PM

It's not so much that people think wagons need side rails, as such, it's that wagons are much more likely than other cars to haul cargo. The old style clamp on roofracks are bad for door seals, so having side rails on from the factory is the best way to go. As long as you're stuck having something visible, let the stylists go at it.

Sven7 11-19-2014 03:52 PM

Many times they do double duty protecting the roof from luggage scratches and covering the roof seam. They're not there to improve aero.

aardvarcus 11-19-2014 03:56 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I think they also might be serving as drip rails/rain gutters to keep the water from the roof from soaking you when you open the door. I was noticing almost exactly the same sort of step up on the roof of my Tacoma, where the top of the door forms a higher step.

Edit: Not the best picture, but you can see the raised portion on the sides by the doors which is taller than the roof.

spacemanspif 11-19-2014 07:58 PM

Are the rails on those above pictures prepped for cross bars? They look much lower than most side rails and almost look like if they use cross bars that the bars would need a "table" type shape where the cross bars are basically propped up above the side rails in order to keep luggage off the roof. If this is the case, then it looks like the car companies have given the roof rack some much needed attention and come up with a darn good compromise. The rack on my 07 is crazy tall and MetroMPG keeps telling me to delete mine because of the added drag in cross winds specifically. Sure wish I had a nice low profile roof rack for the couple times I'll need one in my life lol

freebeard 11-20-2014 04:49 AM

Those are longitudinal fences. They are there to kill lift if you get sideways at high speed.

Piwoslaw 03-14-2017 06:40 PM


Originally Posted by freebeard (Post 456245)
Those are longitudinal fences. They are there to kill lift if you get sideways at high speed.

At high speed? Maybe... Yet another reason why ecomodders don't need them.

freebeard 03-14-2017 10:45 PM

I was making a joke. :) You don't see the similarity?

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 03-15-2017 04:10 AM

These newer roof rails seem to have a reasonably aerodynamic profile, quite like deflectors and may have some effect to reduce parasitic drag, in a way similar to the winglets fitted to aircraft.

kach22i 03-15-2017 09:59 AM


Originally Posted by spacemanspif (Post 456176)
Are the rails on those above pictures prepped for cross bars?

Yea, it's what they do to get the fleet averages up.

Do what you have to do.

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