Over the river and through the woods, to grandmothers house we go! That would be my husband and I, our two daughters, and three dogs PLUS all the gear that each of us requires. Then add in holiday gifts for everyone, and that is one PACKED car. We decided to invest in a Thule carrier. What a fabulous purchase.
First of all, the installation was pretty simple. It attached easily to the factory luggage rack on the top of our Toyota Highlander. Four brackets, and it was on.
As far as the cargo capacity, I could not believe how much stuff we could fit into 17 cubic feet. We always have room left over.
The Thule does add some drag. We did notice a dip in the MPG, but not enough of a difference to even consider not using it! I don't know the exact figures, but it wasn't major.
First impressions can be so wrong. I was a little surprised at how "flimsy" the plastic felt the first time we were handling the Thule. I had imagined the cargo boxes to be very stiff rigid and heavy. The engineering of these boxes is amazing. They are thin, yet durable, tough but light. My husband can install/uninstall solo. I think the weight contributes to the decreased effect on gas consumption.
If you have a need for a little extra storage space on your travels, I highly recommend a Thule!