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Hello all, this is my first new car in over 30 years. I’m quite excited about it. I took a trip NH to MD and it made it on one tank of gas, imagine my excitement! Coming home, same thing. 482 miles on 1 tank! I am looking to buy some roof rails if anyone has any advice, I would appreciate it. I would buy used if anyone has.
 

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I have the roof rails and would love to sell them. However, your model does not have the welded threaded studs that hold them into place. Pull off your trim and see what's under them. I'd love to see a close up picture of the roof rail area as I've never seen the base model. You may have a series of mysterious raised rectangular sheet metal strips (not the snaps for the trim) that the studs would have been welded too in other trims, or not. If they are there, you might be able to either braze studs onto them without damaging your roof, or make something that clamps to them.

Anything can be done. The worst case scenario is that you have to remove the headliner and perforate the roof to bolt the rails in place. Just want to point out that it is not just a simple bolt on. You might use an industrial adhesive if the looks are why you want them, not for a roof rack.

There is a several mpg hit from the base model to the LX (cheapest trim with rails). Almost all of that is due to the roof rails. A tiny bit of added weight, but mostly aerodynamics. They are sticking up into the wind, and there is a cost for that. It is actually more than just their cross section because if you look at their track on your car, the track is gently curved. That is effectively increasing their frontal area to the wind.

I removed mine for the aero benefit, and indeed I do better than the EPA rating for the base model. The difference between the base model and the LX was only $380 - too late now for you. I paid the up charge not because I wanted rails (I didn't), but the safety package wasn't available on the base.

You can look at generic roof racks that clamp on the door sills. Or a trailer hitch for bicycles or an additional trunk (that is also in dirty air, not as much impact on mpg as putting stuff on your roof.
 

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Thank you so much for your speedy response and so many good ideas. I need to have factory ready for Niro as 1. my vehicle is leased, 2. I'm 63 y/0 female and although perfectly happy to drill out anything, I run a very old motel and cottage business, so I am electrician, mechanic, plumber, pest chaser, and builder, painter, etc, I don't intend to do any of that. See #1.
That said, if your rails were on a Niro, they would probably fit mine. Please let me know the brand and model #, if you know it. Also what your price would be and are you East coast, West coast overseas? I'm in NH. Thanks.
 

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They definitely will fit, though as I said, they won't bolt right on the FE base model.I bought the roof trim for the FE and it snapped right into place on my LX.

In Ohio (left hand side of many people's posts, car details at bottom of post). Probably I'd like about 35% of dealer cost for rails. And likely wouldn't make much sense to ship them. Hopefully I'll take a trip your direction in the next few months if you really want them. I've done my best to dissuade you!
 

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This is slight tangent to your current conversation yticolev, but I'd love to see a picture of the bare roof after you took the rails off (before or after you dremel'd the studs off - if my memory serves me from another thread). I ask because I'm also interested in taking my rails off, but ideally would be able to trim them such that the cover strips fit on, but could reinstall the rails (e.g., I go to sell the car and the buyer wants them on). Related question: do you think there is any extra depth in the plastic trim material to make a little depression on the underside of them to accept a tad more stud height, in case I'd need to do a bit of both to make it work? I can't look myself because I haven't even bought one yet, but I'm 80% decided (will be LX or EX, again, mostly for safety features).
 

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The studs are spot welded (I presume) to these raised rectangles of sheet metal (themselves spot welded to the roof) on all but the FE model or so I'm told (a poster here confirmed they were not on his FE). So if you cut them off the studs, there may be a way to use the underlying rectangle to reattach the roof rails. You might be able to braze new studs to the rectangle without seriously damaging the paint, or drill them to thread a stud through.

Looking at the roof trim, it is possible there is enough room for it to fit with the studs attached. I pre-emptively cut them off before getting the trim. I don't regret not waiting as the chances of my selling the car to someone who would care about the roof rails is miniscule. None on the Prius!

Pictures attached. You can see the thingy that the trim snaps into, and the remains of a stud.
 

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Interesting and helpful to see this, thanks. The rail/trim "gutters" are much deeper than I would have guessed. Realistically probably not a big chance of me putting the rails back on. Ideally the car would really hold up and I'd keep it for a long time, if I go ahead with the Niro. For the maybe once a year that I want something on a rack up there, I'll just temporarily put on some old-school racks that fit into the door chines for the day, and otherwise keep things low-windage.
 

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Where does this come from? What basis?:

"There is a several mpg hit from the base model to the LX (cheapest trim with rails)."
 
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