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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, looking for an external cargo box to carry nonessential overflow gear for hiking etc. If you guys that have one could post the type of box ( Yakima, Thule, etc with the model/size, and MPG at a set miles per hour for travel, say XX mph and I get XX mpg, I would appreciate it. I have a 2015 Outback.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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Too many variables here to really get useful information - car, cargo box, speed, weight, etc.You're not going to be able to reduce this data to "Box x gets better mileage than box y by z MPG average".

Honestly, most modern aerodynamic cargo boxes might cost you a couple MPG at highway speeds, per anecdotes posted here. That's not a lot to worry about. Just buy what pleases you that meets your needs and fits your budget.
 

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2018 Outback 3.6R Limited
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@thegrinch911, I have the Yakima Showcase15 and on a trip south I saw a reduction of 1-3mpg with the cargo box.
As @johnre mentioned, there are a ton of variables.... I have a 3.6R and a number of modifications.


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2017 OB 2.5 Lim/ 2005 STI 400 WHP
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I have had several boxes over the years. I've commented on all of them in detail in other places. I use them as much as anyone. I worked as beach patrol for 20 years. All work equipment went up top to keep sand out of the car.

I do not see any noticeable difference in gas milage with any box. Longer road trips higher speed and loaded cars make a larger impact on mpg.

Buy the one that fits your stuff. Just like the plastic surgeon said to my wife....go big. Nobody wishes they went smaller.

Thule >YAKIMA


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2017 OB 2.5 Lim/ 2005 STI 400 WHP
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Let me ask what you plan on putting in your box. I allways got the long boxes so they would fit beach umbrellas, surf boards, and skiis. They are also more aero.

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Discussion Starter #7
Looking at a longer Yakima box for carrying camping gear, ski poles and a tool kit. So I am thinking 3 mpg worse with my 2.5? At around 65 mph? Would a cargo cage do worse? Yakima Mega warrior?
 

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2017 Outback
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I carry canoes and kayaks on top and they actually improve gas mileage, but that’s because something that big acts as a sail, and bytacking back and forth between the lanes …. J
Seriously, my experience is that even carrying something that big only affects it by a couple miles per hour, sometimes it isn’t even noticeable. A stiff headwind with no boat on top actually affects it more. And if you insist upon driving 15mph over the speed limit you are also going to notice and so will your fuel gauge. At two lane highway speed you aren’t going to notice.
 

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Go long and narrow for 3 reasons.

1 rack combo options my 30 in wild 6ft long Thule I can run two bikes on each side of the box on 54inch bars. Or a 18ft canoe side by side on 66 inch bars

2 Easier to take off and store ie it’s easier to carry

3 fits longer items

Mpg hit?

1993 Land Cruiser zero impact on the 13mpg average
2005 Sequoia zero impact

2001 Legacy GT 1-2mpg no head winds at 70-75mph 65 and under no obvious impact
2001 1.8t Jetta 1-2mpg hit at 70-75mpg under 65 no obvious impact

2010 OB same as above two cars

Big head winds box or no box I have seen as high as 5mpg hit at 70-75mph in all three cars.

The roof basket I used some was an instant 5mpg hit 65mph and up.
 

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17 OB Premium, White w/black
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Thule Evolution (old school) on my 17 2.5 OB. 2-3mpg hit in headwinds, worse at 75 into the wind. Gets 1-2+mpg boost in tailwinds. Holds skis up to 210's and all kinds of other stuff.
 

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2016 Carbide Grey 2.5 Limited Outback with Eyesight. Add-on: Geolandar GO15's on 17" WRX rims, Ecohitch
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I have a SportRack XL...because I got it for $40 new (massive Home Depot clearance). It's a very high profile box but when it's empty, there is a negligible difference in MPG. My first road trip I had a 3-4 MPG hit, but that was more due to weight.
 

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2015 Carbide Gray 3.6R
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We use a Yakima Skybox 16 and are very happy with it. Even with the Skybox, our 3.6R gets 22-23mpg on the highway when traveling 75-80mph.
 

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2015 Outback Limited, 2018 Lexus LX570, 1998 Toyota LC 100, 1987 Toyota FJ60
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I have a 30 year old Yakima Rocketbox and a newish Yakima Skybox 18 that I use on my Outback. I haven't really noticed any difference in mileage at highway speeds with either one. What I have found kills mileage is snowboard and ski racks on the roof. Those drop my mileage by 5-6 MPG over what I get with the box on there. I quit using the ski racks.
 

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2017 Outback Premium, 2.5l, Venetian Red Pearl
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Hey, looking for an external cargo box to carry nonessential overflow gear for hiking etc. If you guys that have one could post the type of box ( Yakima, Thule, etc with the model/size, and MPG at a set miles per hour for travel, say XX mph and I get XX mpg, I would appreciate it. I have a 2015 Outback.
I bought the Thule Pulse (Medium) for my travels. It's an absolutely perfect box for the Outback, since it sort of follows the lines of the car (see photo below).

This summer, I was getting 33mpg WITH the box, with speed kept at 65mph or less. The box makes no noise whatsoever - you basically forget it's up there. I suspect it has little hit on the mileage since it is fairly aerodynamic and follows the Outback's lines so well.
 

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Thule Atlantis 1600.
About 1.5-2mpg hit
 
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2018 OB 2.5i Premium, CVT, Ice Silver Metallic
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Has anyone used a box to carry a full sized spare tire?
 
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