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2021 Pacifica Touring AWD Velvet Red "S"
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I get all the talk about aesthetics however many prefer the opposite to your suggestion, but first time I’m hearing that these hurt the mpgs. I can understand if the crossbars are deployed, but otherwise the rails themselves are pretty aerodynamic in my opinion and unlikely to cause any significant drag. Thoughts?
Well, I worked 37 years for Chrysler and everything makes a difference.
Any type of crosswind will catch the inner sides of the roof rails.
In a perfect world, the wind would always be at your back! Lol.
 

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2021 Pacifica Touring AWD Velvet Red "S"
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420 Posts
True, everything makes a difference, but not necessarily a significant or noticeable one. Wind resistance affects fuel economy at higher speeds, where the apparent wind vector will usually be mostly back, unless you're driving in a hurricane, so it's hard for me to imagine crosswinds on a roof rack affecting fuel economy. (15 MPH cross wind at 70 MPH = apparent wind angle of only 12 degrees.) Headwinds or tailwinds - yes.

I have a super-efficient Yakima roof box, advertised to have little effect on fuel economy. I tracked my fuel economy on several trips, with and without the box. I couldn't measure a difference in my fuel economy with that change, so it's hard for me to imagine that those roof rails without the crossbars deployed would significantly affect fuel economy.

I can understand the esthetics perceptions, but I myself prefer it with the roof rack, the chrome not as much as the S package. I'm calling it cost-cutting on Chrysler's part.
What kind of mpgs did you record on your trips?
 
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