Outdoorsy folks love their roof racks. Sure, they carry boats and bikes. But based on the amount of time they are actually used, they are mostly underutilized ¬†ornaments of faux achievement for the semi-active weekend warrior. Are these badges of cool worth it when it comes to their impact on gas mileage? MetroMPG, a website dedicated to “fuel efficiency geekery” put it to the very casual test and found that an empty rack reduced MPG by 12.7%, while a rack with a bike reduced it by¬†27.3%.

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