When I was picking out my new Cayenne I decided to get one without the factory roof rail system. Aesthetically, the factory roof rails look great on the Cayenne. Functionally, however, I had read some anecdotal evidence that the factory cross bars are not necessarily as strong as some of the aftermarket ones. Additionally, my research suggested that the width of the factory support/cross bars require adapters for most Thule and Yakima cargo boxes and other accessories (other than those sold directly by Porsche). With this in mind, I decided to purchase a Thule 430r Rapid Track Mounted Complete Car Roof Rack System for my Porsche Cayenne. In addition to the roof rack system, I purchased an additional set of four (4) Thule Locks in order to secure the rack to the roof.
Purchasing a Thule Roof Rack for a Porsche Cayenne
I ordered my Thule Roof Rack system and locks through Amazon.com (please note that you will need to contact the seller and specify the proper "fit kit" or foot pack for your Cayenne's configuration). For my 2009 Cayenne with no factory roof rails installed, it's the "TK1" kit. If you're not sure of the proper configuration for your
pig pepper, just make use of the Thule Fit Guide to determine your set-up. It's quite simple.
Roof Rack Installation on a Porsche Cayenne
My roof rack showed up a few days after I ordered it in three different boxes. After opening each box and discarding the packaging (I really liked that it was efficiently packaged with very little waste or extra material) I was left with the following selection of parts.
Installation was quite simple. Everything you need is included in the kit (including an allen wrench). You simply installed two bolts into each of the four feet, aligned them in your existing roof rails and tighten them up. The picture below shows what the feet look like before clipping on the Aero bars.
Once the feet are installed into your Cayenne's roof rail tracks, you simply assemble the aero cargo bars and the quick release system and clip them on. The installation was so straight forward and simple there's really no reason for me to cover it step by step. From start to finish it took me 30 minutes to put everything together and install it and that was while arranging things and taking picture knowing I was going to post about it later (and John would be critiquing). Here's a picture of the finished foot.
And here's a picture of the finished rack system.
Review of the Thule Roof Rack for the Porsche Cayenne
Aesthetically, I like the way the roof rack system looks. The silver and black compliments the trim on my Cayenne and the simplicity of the design almost makes it look like something from the factory. One of the best features of this particular rack system is the quick release function. Simply by unlocking and pushing in on the lock button, the load bars can be removed leaving only the small foot that can be capped with the black Thule rubber cap (as shown in the second picture of this post).
The reason this quick release feature is so handy, is that despite the good looks, the rail system definitely adds to the wind noise. While it's hard to hear under normal driving conditions, you can pretty much forget about driving with the sunroof open due to the whistle as wind rushes around the aero bars. According to Thule, if you are too lazy to take the bars on and off (and I'm quickly becoming that way) you can opt for a very inexpensive fix in the form of a fairing that flows air over the bars for a quieter ride. This is definitely on my list for next month.
Next up is installation of the Thule 689USXT Spirit 1600 Rooftop Cargo Box . My expectation is that this will be a very simple install based on the new quick release clamping system built into the cargo box. I'll let you know as soon as it arrives!!
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