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Serious looker here. Never owned a Subaru before but was really impressed by test driving an Ascent several months ago. So here is my question. Since I won't expect to haul anything, has anyone tried removing the top mounted cargo rails? Sometimes they are not meant to be removed and leave holes, etc. I think my Jeep Cherokee had them and they didn't seem to affect fuel mileage or make any extra wind noise. But I have read here that some think they are creating extra wind noise.
 

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I think you would be fine just leaving them in place and not getting the cross-bars. The Ascent is the quietest car I can ever remember driving. I have the rails and cross bars but don't hear any wind noise.
 

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Yea, they aren't designed to be removed. If they are anything like the ones on the Outback, they are inset into the body and are held down by I think 6 or 8 bolts on each side. You have to drop the head liner to access the mounting bolts. There are quite a few threads on the Outback thread that covers it in depth. The link below shows someone that replaced them with a low profile option.

https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/138-gen-5-2015-2019/381794-clean-roof-rail-system.html
 
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