Roof Rack Questions and (Eventually) answers - 2018 CX5

Looks great! Where do you buy the gutter strips that have the cutouts for the mounting screws?
I found them online at a couple places, but my dealer ended up being the cheapest option on this one. The part numbers are listed in a couple different places on here. Thank you
 
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2019 CX5 GTR 2.5 Turbo AWD
Hi All!

Thanks for all the good info on this thread!

The 2019 CX5 doesn't have those little clip openings on the roof molding. Does someone know what are my options if I want to install a roof rack setup like this, without installing the OEM side rails?



Thanks!
 
Hi All!

Thanks for all the good info on this thread!

The 2019 CX5 doesn't have those little clip openings on the roof molding. Does someone know what are my options if I want to install a roof rack setup like this, without installing the OEM side rails?



Thanks!
None of our do (to my knowledge) so you have a couple options. There is a thread on here somewhere that a poster shows how to measure and drill yours out to make room for the bolts.

What I did was go to the dealer (after researching online) and bought replacement trim inserts that have the holes. Took less than 5 minutes to install them.

I went this route because I want to be able to take them on and off as needed without leaving the holes exposed.

I listed the parts up top on this thread.
 
And to be clear, when I talk about OEM inserts, I do not mean those silver rails across the side, but drop in replacements for the black flush inserts. Hope this helps.

If not, let me know and I will go take more pics.
 
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2018 CX-5 GT
Does someone know what are my options if I want to install a roof rack setup like this, without installing the OEM side rails?
I put the rhino rack setup on mine. IMO it looks a lot better than the silver OEM rails. All I did was drill a small hole through the OEM gutter strips because they didn't have the little openings. The roof rack mounts completely cover up the hole so you won't see it at all if you don't measure correctly and need to make the hole bigger for the roof rack bolts. If/when I decide to take the roof rack off, I'll just buy the OEM gutter strips with the windows. I looked a while back and believe the set for both sides was about $40.
 
I put the rhino rack setup on mine. IMO it looks a lot better than the silver OEM rails. All I did was drill a small hole through the OEM gutter strips because they didn't have the little openings. The roof rack mounts completely cover up the hole so you won't see it at all if you don't measure correctly and need to make the hole bigger for the roof rack bolts. If/when I decide to take the roof rack off, I'll just buy the OEM gutter strips with the windows. I looked a while back and believe the set for both sides was about $40.
Sounds about right. I think it was mid 30's with the discount. I agree too, they look awesome.

I take mine on and off regularly. Mostly because we get a lot of high winds and I dont want to listen to it. Plus, when the weather is nice, i keep the roof open and it gets loud with the rack on.


That said, i am about to buy a roof basket for some trips coming up. It will be interesting to see how that compares to just the bars and kayak gear.
 
Sounds about right. I think it was mid 30's with the discount. I agree too, they look awesome.

I take mine on and off regularly. Mostly because we get a lot of high winds and I dont want to listen to it. Plus, when the weather is nice, i keep the roof open and it gets loud with the rack on.


That said, i am about to buy a roof basket for some trips coming up. It will be interesting to see how that compares to just the bars and kayak gear.
Thanks to those who have posted here, particularly SaintsReturn and mox44ah, who shared their Rhino Rack set up. They look great! I've narrowed my choice down to a RR setup and a Yakima StreamLine system. Re: RhinoRack:

1. It looks like RR offers two types of racks that fit my 2018 CX-5: (1) the Vortex 2500 FMP (this appears to be used by SaintsReturn); and (2) the Vortex RCL (lower profile, and according to the website fits the CS-5 "KF," whatever that is) (this appears to be used by mox44ah).
2. Does anyone know if either or both (the Vortex 2500 and the Vortex RCL) block the sunroof from coming up? I'd like to go low profile, but not if it's going to cause problems.
3. Once you've done the installation once or twice, what is the average (1) installation time and (2) removal time? I like the idea of direct mount, but I'll only have it on there when it's in use so I can live with door clips if the direct mount is a PITA to install/remove.
4. Anyone know if Rhino is the only brand offering direct mount? I thought Yakima was an option as well, but now I'm thinking that's not the case.

Thanks again for the help!
 
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2018 CX-5 GT
Thanks to those who have posted here, particularly SaintsReturn and mox44ah, who shared their Rhino Rack set up. They look great! I've narrowed my choice down to a RR setup and a Yakima StreamLine system. Re: RhinoRack:

1. It looks like RR offers two types of racks that fit my 2018 CX-5: (1) the Vortex 2500 FMP (this appears to be used by SaintsReturn); and (2) the Vortex RCL (lower profile, and according to the website fits the CS-5 "KF," whatever that is) (this appears to be used by mox44ah).
2. Does anyone know if either or both (the Vortex 2500 and the Vortex RCL) block the sunroof from coming up? I'd like to go low profile, but not if it's going to cause problems.
3. Once you've done the installation once or twice, what is the average (1) installation time and (2) removal time? I like the idea of direct mount, but I'll only have it on there when it's in use so I can live with door clips if the direct mount is a PITA to install/remove.
4. Anyone know if Rhino is the only brand offering direct mount? I thought Yakima was an option as well, but now I'm thinking that's not the case.

Thanks again for the help!
A few answers to your questions, from my experience:

1) Yes, I have the low profile version. The only time I ran into trouble with it was when I had a friend's snowboard on it for a ski trip. When the board was flipped upside down, the snowboard bindings would hit the top of the roof. Not really a big deal, just thought I'd share.

2) No, neither of the RR setups block the sunroof from opening. They will however be positioned over the sunroof but won't interfere with operation at all.

3) It takes less than 10 minutes to remove them and/or install them once you've done it once or twice. I leave mine on all the time because I like the way they look but I will take them off from time to time if I have a long drive ahead of me. I drive back and forth from NYC to Hershey, PA once a month (takes about 3 hours) and I'll take off the front bar only to decrease wind noise during the drive when I have the sunroof open. I'll then toss the roof rack bar in the back seat, and reinstall it once I get to my destination. That should give you some idea as to how easy it is to take them on and off.

Any other questions feel free to ask or PM me. Below are a few pictures that may further answer your q's.


 
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A few answers to your questions, from my experience:

1) Yes, I have the low profile version. The only time I ran into trouble with it was when I had a friend's snowboard on it for a ski trip. When the board was flipped upside down, the snowboard bindings would hit the top of the roof. Not really a big deal, just thought I'd share.

2) No, neither of the RR setups block the sunroof from opening. They will however be positioned over the sunroof but won't interfere with operation at all.

3) It takes less than 10 minutes to remove them and/or install them once you've done it once or twice. I leave mine on all the time because I like the way they look but I will take them off from time to time if I have a long drive ahead of me. I drive back and forth from NYC to Hershey, PA once a month (takes about 3 hours) and I'll take off the front bar only to decrease wind noise during the drive when I have the sunroof open. I'll then toss the roof rack bar in the back seat, and reinstall it once I get to my destination. That should give you some idea as to how easy it is to take them on and off.

Any other questions feel free to ask or PM me. Below are a few pictures that may further answer your q's.


Super helpful - thanks a lot for this. Just ordered the Rhino Rack RCLs, which look great on the CX-5. Looking forward to getting them on and putting them to use!
 
Be sure to post pictures. For some reason I didn't get notified of your post, so my apologies for the delay. Congratulations on the purchase.

And I echo the previous comments about the fit, sunroof and all that. I timed it down to be in the 5m range when I have everything nearby to take on and off. I keep a little storage box in the car now with the clips for the rail, tools for installing and the keys.

Very easy to take on and off. I run mine off mostly because I have kayak gear on and it makes a lot of noise and I love having the sunroof open. I wish I left them on because they are sexy on our cars.
 
A few answers to your questions, from my experience:

1) Yes, I have the low profile version. The only time I ran into trouble with it was when I had a friend's snowboard on it for a ski trip. When the board was flipped upside down, the snowboard bindings would hit the top of the roof. Not really a big deal, just thought I'd share.

2) No, neither of the RR setups block the sunroof from opening. They will however be positioned over the sunroof but won't interfere with operation at all.

3) It takes less than 10 minutes to remove them and/or install them once you've done it once or twice. I leave mine on all the time because I like the way they look but I will take them off from time to time if I have a long drive ahead of me. I drive back and forth from NYC to Hershey, PA once a month (takes about 3 hours) and I'll take off the front bar only to decrease wind noise during the drive when I have the sunroof open. I'll then toss the roof rack bar in the back seat, and reinstall it once I get to my destination. That should give you some idea as to how easy it is to take them on and off.

Any other questions feel free to ask or PM me. Below are a few pictures that may further answer your q's.
Its odd, when i first read your response i did not see any pics. See them now and it looks great. Wish i would have known about the low profiles. Ill see if i can sneak out and take some pics. Side by side with yours, i bet mine are taller... noticeably.
 
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2002 Protege5
Super helpful - thanks a lot for this. Just ordered the Rhino Rack RCLs, which look great on the CX-5. Looking forward to getting them on and putting them to use!
We'll be working on buddy's CX-5 soon right after we finished installing the new brake kit and helo rims on the current truck project. I'll let him see if he will like that rack.
 
Mine mounted. Way higher lol
Thanks for the responses, guys. Took a little while to get the replacement strips from the dealer (thanks for that tip, SaintsReturn - got a good deal and they snapped them on for no charge) and the Rhino Racks just arrived. Looking forward to installing them soon and will post with pics!
 
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2019 Mazda CX-5, GT-R
SaintsReturn: Thank you!
I think you just solved my issue for me.

I'm looking at a 2019 CX-5 but it seems most of the ones in my area have the OE rails attached which I'm not really a fan of. I've spent the last few days looking at pics online and could I live with them? Yeah, maybe. I mean I've lived with the roof rails on my BMW all these years but I just prefer the clean lines of the CX-5 without them.
That said, I am now thinking it could be useful to have a mounting system on the roof for camping trips in the future so if I decide I do want something I think I might go your route especially given the ease of install / uninstall when not in use. As opposed to the OE rails being on full time.

thanks again for the excellent thread
 
I have the OEM Rails & Crossbars, and was looking for a good setup to carry two Kayaks. I have seen a few J-systems that seem to be able to hold two by being placed in an upright position but I'm not sure if that is the best option there is. I have seen Thule, Yakima and Malone and was watching a few install videos, but have no experience in carrying on my own.
 
Thanks for the responses, guys. Took a little while to get the replacement strips from the dealer (thanks for that tip, SaintsReturn - got a good deal and they snapped them on for no charge) and the Rhino Racks just arrived. Looking forward to installing them soon and will post with pics!
Glad to help and hope you enjoy!
 
SaintsReturn: Thank you!
I think you just solved my issue for me.

I'm looking at a 2019 CX-5 but it seems most of the ones in my area have the OE rails attached which I'm not really a fan of. I've spent the last few days looking at pics online and could I live with them? Yeah, maybe. I mean I've lived with the roof rails on my BMW all these years but I just prefer the clean lines of the CX-5 without them.
That said, I am now thinking it could be useful to have a mounting system on the roof for camping trips in the future so if I decide I do want something I think I might go your route especially given the ease of install / uninstall when not in use. As opposed to the OE rails being on full time.

thanks again for the excellent thread
Very happy to hear this thread helped you out. There are several options out there but I love this one the most. That's what I enjoy about this industry is that we can all have different styles and find what works.

Good luck and enjoy
 
I have the OEM Rails & Crossbars, and was looking for a good setup to carry two Kayaks. I have seen a few J-systems that seem to be able to hold two by being placed in an upright position but I'm not sure if that is the best option there is. I have seen Thule, Yakima and Malone and was watching a few install videos, but have no experience in carrying on my own.
Hey bud,
Just responded to your pm. I am on to many threads and forums so I get blown up with notifications and ignore them. Hope my response helps and if not shoot me another pm.

Best of luck in your search.

Public version of my answer: j cradles have their role and they do a great job of leaving space on your rack for other gear. But I don't care for them overall. Basically, you are turning your kayak into a large sail, and for heavier boats, they can be a PITA to load; especially after long paddles. That said, the new kuat class 4 has my eye and I may sell mine to buy that for my wife's light kayak. Mine will stay on the saddles.

Once I learned to the down properly, the saddles keep the boat flat, reduce drag (hilarious since it's still a huge sail) compared to the j frame and I can load it with my bad back.

Best of luck y'all.
 
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