Tesla Roof Rack for Model Y Reviewed

With every new Tesla release, you can always expect new accessories to come with it, and the new Tesla Model Y is no exception. With its unveiling also comes a newly designed roof rack, and it comes with features you just have to know about.

Compared to other racks in its class, Tesla’s Model Y roof rack is a fantastic option for your Model Y. The redesigned rack is reasonably priced, aerodynamic, and easy to install. The rack also has many options for rack attachments, giving you the flexibility to transport gear with ease.

In addition to the roof rack, Tesla was teasing a tow hitch for the Model Y. However, whether they will come through on this promise is unknown. For now, everyone can be content with the roof rack addition. Keep reading for a more comprehensive review, focusing on factors such as price, efficiency, ease of installation, and functionality.

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Tesla Roof Rack for Model Y

Any good roof rack is light, easy to install, and offers many attachment options. Besides, especially for a Tesla, efficiency is a key factor when comparing one rack to another. The engineers at Tesla did not disappoint, specifically when one compares the new Model Y rack to its predecessor for the Model 3.

The newly redesigned rack is very similar to the original, but it has made substantial improvements on various aspects. A few of the major improvements between the redesigned rack and the original are:

  • Load rating
  • Aerodynamic efficiency

Both the Model 3 and Model Y racks are constructed with the same material: an aluminum powder-coated metal. The bars are neither solid nor hollow, as this would make the bar either too heavy or light, respectively. Instead, they are crafted using hollow channels of aluminum that run the length of the bar, fortifying the construction.

The design used to create the bars ensures their durability while still maintaining an ideal weight to sit on the roof of your car. The best part is the Model Y version clocks in at about 16 pounds, which will not do much to your efficiency considering its aerodynamic construction.

What the Models Come With

Both models come with two bars, one for the rear and front of your vehicle, and clock in at the same price of $450. As this is a review of the current Model Y, this article is focused on key aspects when considering other comparable racks in its class. Key aspects that were focused on include:

  • Price
  • Efficiency
  • Functionality
  • Ease of installation

Price of Model Y Rack

Tesla is good at delivering a quality product without compromising your budget. The Mode Y rack is an exemplary product in this sense, as it retails at the same price as the Model 3 rack. Though Tesla redesigned a whole new product, improving it all around, they did not increase the price by a penny.

When looking at prices of other comparable racks for bare roof cars, from brands like Thule or Rhino-Rack, for example, you see that Tesla beats them out by a long shot. This article chose one rack from each brand to compare to Tesla’s model.

Racks were specifically chosen according to their similarities to the Model Y. This was to ensure that each rack was almost identical in quality and design, therefore making them comparable on a level playing field. Prices are as follows:

Thule Evo Clamp WingBar Evo Complete Roof RackAbout $570
Rhino-Rack Vortex 2500 Aero Complete Base Roof RackAbout $500
Tesla’s Model Y Roof RackAbout $450

As you can see, Tesla has around a $70 lead on the next comparable brand, which is Rhino-Rack in this case. Thule prices jump even more, with around a $120 difference to what Tesla offers to their consumers.

While all these racks offer a similar quality, reliability, and efficiency, in terms of price Tesla has been able to take the win by a long shot. If you are looking for a reasonably priced rack, no need to look farther than Tesla’s own for Model Y. In this case, Tesla gets an A+ for the price point.

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Another main concern when it comes to roof racks is their effects on the efficiency of your car. This concern is especially true for Tesla owners, who are generally very eco-conscience and focused on the range and capability of their vehicles.

Aerodynamics age is a huge component of rack design, including the weight of the bar itself. If a rack is too heavy or too bulky, it can affect the car’s use of energy. In this case, electricity. However, it is important to note that no matter how well designed a rack may be, it is still going to bring down your efficiency to some degree.

Taking a look at the Model Y’s aerodynamic qualities, you will be pleasantly surprised. One experiment conducted by driving 60 miles both with and without the rack attached showed that the efficiency dropped by a whopping one percent, which is a negligible amount. Therefore, for anyone concerned, do not be.

You should consider that the study was performed without any cargo and that adding any cargo would inevitably decrease productivity further. However, Tesla has offset this with design features that stand up to competitors. Some of the features are:

  • Sleek and lightweight engineering, clocking in at only 16 pounds
  • Aerodynamic airplane wing design cuts through wind resistance with ease
  • As a bonus, there is minimal interior noise


The Tesla Model Y rack was created to meet all of your adventurous imaginations, allowing owners to mount anything from a bike rack to cargo. Tesla racks are crafted with a two T-slot design, meaning you have endless possibilities when it comes to attachments.

One of the coolest parts is that Tesla’s Model Y rack is manufactured by Yakima, a brand known for its high-quality car racks and accessories. Tesla collaborating with Yakima guarantees that you will receive a premium product, and it opens you up to a world of rack attachments.

All Yakima rack attachments are compatible with the Model Y. As for the racks, a wide range of options exists, including racks for:

  • Bikes
  • Cargo
  • Kayaks and canoes
  • Fishing rod carriers
  • Skis and snowboards

The extensive list of attachments guarantees the owner an endless supply of fun and adventure. Compared to other brands, the Tesla Model Y rack stacks up pretty well in terms of versatility and functionality.

Load-Bearing Capacity

Load-bearing capacity is another important aspect of the functionality of your racks. If you cannot tow higher loads, you will not be able to mount things like cargo or canoes. Now consider this: in terms of load-bearing capacity, Tesla is on par with other comparable products, like:

  • Thule Evo Clamp WingBar Evo Complete Roof Rack
  • Rhino-Rack Vortex 2500 Aero Complete Base Roof Rack

All three racks have the same capabilities to carry up to 165 pounds. All around, Tesla offers their consumer a wide array of options, and for that, you can give them a big thumbs up. There is something for everyone.

» MORE: Tesla Model Y Towing Capabilities [Tested]

Ease of Installation

Often a huge deterrent for consumers is how complicated the attachment process can be for your car rack. Some racks even require you to take in your car and pay for someone to mount your rack for you. Luckily, with the Tesla Model Y rack, you will not have to worry about that.

Tesla ensured that the rack would be easy to attach for any consumer in the comfort of their own home. By making a straightforward and simple attachment process, Tesla took out the extra step (and money) between receiving your rack and installing it. Any consumer can buy their rack online and have it shipped free directly to their home.

Each order comes with all the tools and equipment you need to mount and install your rack yourself. Tools you will receive to mount your rack include:

  • Clip tool
  • Hex wrench
  • Tape measure
  • Keys
  • Wingnuts

In addition to the tools you need, the product itself includes everything else you might need, including:

  • Main front crossbar
  • Rear crossbar
  • Flexible pads
  • Anti-abrasion tape pads
  • Clips


Tesla also provides you with a detailed step-by-step process for how to install your rack. Though it is possible to install on your own, it may be best to ask a friend for some help, especially when it comes to actually mounting the racks in place on your roof. Total installation time should only take you about 15 minutes, so it is quick and easy.

Removal is just as important and just as straightforward. Once you are done towing your cargo or transporting your kayak, you can remove the bars by going through the steps you used to install it, but in reverse order. Again, the process should not take you any longer than 15 minutes.

How to Install Tesla Roof Rack

To show you just how easy it is to mount the rack on your own, this article has included an installation guide for you. Just complete the following steps, and you will be on your way to a new adventure with your Model Y roof rack!

1Wipe down your car with a microfiber car towel to ensure the surface is clean, then locate the arrows on your roof indicating ideal rack placement.
2Using the measuring tape, find the precise location of where you will place your anti-abrasion tape: the front bar should be placed 277 mm from the front edge of the glass top, the back bar 412mm from the rear edge of the glass top.
3Once you have identified these areas, adhere the anti-abrasion tape to the roof of your car according to your placement measurements and placement arrows. Be careful to adhere the appropriate tape pieces to their proper location, as indicated in the diagrams provided for you.
4Use the plastic tool provided to you in order to peel back the rubber gasket, then insert a clip in line with the arrow located on your car. Remove the clip tool, and double-check that your clip is correctly placed by tugging on it a few times. Repeat on all other sides of your vehicle.
5Slide rack pads into place over all four clips, then mount your front and rear bars into place over the clip and pads that you just installed.
6Place wing nuts and tighten them using the hex wrench provided for you. They should be tightened to a 2.5-3.5 Nm of torque. Make sure not to overtighten as this could damage your vehicle.
7Use the key provided for you to lock all four towers of your racks in place, then test stability by pulling on both racks vigorously in all directions. If they do not budge, you are good to go!

As you can see, the seven-step process is easy to follow and complete, just like the guide provided for you with your produce. Compared to the Rhino-Rack, many consumers have complained about the installation process being too complicated and that instructions are too confusing. With Tesla, you will not have to worry about that.

Though you could pay to have it installed, Tesla has made it possible to do it yourself. And for that reason, Tesla wins big points.

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One last key component of choosing the best rack for your car is aesthetics. No one wants to add a rack that is going to take away from the sleek, modern look of their brand new Model Y. Racks come in all different shapes and sizes, so it is important to consider your priorities.

In true Tesla fashion, the Model Y racks were created with aesthetics in mind. Remember that other racks on the market were designed for universal use and not made just for Tesla. The result: many of the designs clash, instead of blend in, with your car. No one wants to be stuck picking between aesthetics and functionality.

Consider a competitor’s rack, like the Thule Wingbar. Though the product is high-quality and comparable to Tesla’s own Model Y rack, the design is square and bulky. The more clunky design of the rack confronts directly with the sleek, fluid lines of a Tesla vehicle.

Unlike Thule’s Wingbar, the Model Y crossbars were instead designed in an elegant curved shape. They are a sleek black chrome color that blends in seamlessly with the black accents on the windows. The bonus part is that their aerodynamic design adds to the sleek style lines, contributing to your car’s aesthetics.

The bottom line: Tesla making its own products for its own vehicles increases the likelihood of perfect compatibility. In this case, Tesla takes an obvious “win” for the style, design, and compatibility of their Model Y rack.

Size Compatibility

Though the Thule Wingbar may be a high-quality product, that does not mean it is the right one for you. That also applies to size compatibility with your vehicle. Every car is different, therefore requiring a length, width, and weight of rack bars. Tesla specifically requires a front bar of 45.5 inches and a rear bar of 40.75 inches long.

Generally, there are three components that are a determining factor in what kind of rack you can purchase. These aspects about your car include:

  • Year
  • Make
  • Model

Some racks on the market are crafted with modular components, making the same model adaptable to multiple vehicles. However, it is still much more common and appropriate to buy according to these three key components. This will ensure a better fit and, therefore, better performance out of your product.

Considering that the Model Y racks were designed and engineered specifically for the Model Y car, it is clear that they would be the perfect fit for the vehicle. Not only in terms of dimensions but also weight. Efficiency is a top priority, so Tesla made sure to think outside of the box with their roof racks.

By using a powdered aluminum material for their crossbars, Tesla made sure that their product would be not only extremely sturdy but also light enough to not weigh down your efficiency. Both crossbars in total weigh only 16 pounds, a perfect balance between functionality and practicality for any Tesla owner – another slam dunk.

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Tesla’s Model Y is another fantastic addition to the Tesla car family, and that includes its new Model Y roof rack. The rack offers a plethora of attachments, and therefore endless options for you to transport sports gear and cargo, up to 165 pounds. When comparing the Tesla Model Y roof rack to competitors, it held its own ground.

Comparing price, efficiency, functionality, and ease of installation, the Tesla rack beat out competitors like Rhino-Rack and Thule on many key points. Though it has the same load-bearing capacity, Tesla Model Y racks offer better efficiency and functionality for consumers. They beat out competitors by a mile with price and ease of installation.

Tesla Discounts:


The articles here on ThatTeslaChannel.com are created by Greg, a Tesla vehicle and Tesla solar expert with nearly half a decade of hands-on experience. The information on this site is fact-checked and tested in-person to ensure the best possible level of accuracy.

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