I went with Thule 450 Crossroad and the 58" square load bars for my 2012 ML350 Bluetec for the following reasons:
- I'm a long time satisfied Thule user, with existing Thule attachments. The Thule load bars have been bomb proof, and I still have two sets of bars of different lengths in good condition from 22 and 12 years ago. I would have reused one of them if they'd been 58".
- I went with the square Thule bars as I did not like the look of the new Rapid Aero bars, though they are supposedly quieter, and I did not want to invest in adapters to use the Aero bars with my existing accessories (new Thule accessories do not need adapters)
- the Crossroad roof rail adapter is super easy to install/remove. It can be used on any car with raised roof rails (so it's likely I can use it on other vehicles in the future)
- I did not like the look of MB loadbars, and it is not transferable to other vehicles
- The Yakima Whispbar has clearance issues with the pano roof
It's the first time using the Crossroad adapter for me, but it has been solid with no loosening during a recent 1800km trip with 160lbs in the cargo box. I'm happy with my choice and purchase.
Thanks for the detail.
I too am liking the way you think about the future of the rack. I do think I will go with the thule and the aero bars. I don't have the pano roof so I think I will be ok with them.
your ride looks good
Here's another thread to review: Roof Rack set up? - MBWorld.org Forums. I just picked up the OEM ones, as I had on my '06. Not as many accessory options as some of the others, but good for my needs. They've revised the mounting now so you don't need a tool (hex driver) anymore.
BenzWorld.org forum is one of the largest Mercedes-Benz owner websites offering the most comprehensive collection of Mercedes-Benz information anywhere in the world. The site includes MB Forums, News, Galleries, Publications, Classifieds, Events and much more!