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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a new Thule rack for the CT. The Thule literature says the max load is 88lbs. This is really low, and the same rack on other cars is rated at 165lbs. Meanwhile the Thule website says the load bars can withstand 800lbs of load on their own. So it has to be the car that is the issue not the rack itself. Does anybody know what about the car is the reason, like a weak roof? Anyone run a rack with some weight on it?

I plan to put a skibox and maybe a bike up there. Likely pushing 200lbs, because the empty box is 50lbs itself. Never had any issues with my Yak rack on the Subaru or the factory Saab/Thule rack on my 9-3. The Saab rack was rated at very useful 220lbs.
 

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To answer my own question, it appears to be butt covering. There is no official Lexus NA info on this so Thule has nothing to base their rating on. Meanwhile, the euro Prius has a factory rack option that is listed at 165lbs. Since there is next to no difference in chassis structure between the Prius and CT except that the CT has more adhesives and spot welds, I will assume that the 165lbs is still a conservative number.
 

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Continuing to answer my own question...

I installed the Thule rack which went pretty easily. It fits very well and securely. I then proceeded to install a Thule fork mount bicycle carrier with a 30lb bike. I added my 50lb 16cu.ft. cargo box on the other side and filled it with at least 150lbs of gear. Total weight was about 250lbs including rack. Four people in car plus a full hatch area.
I pumped up the tires to 42psi and drove 1500 kms including 120kph on divided highway. No issues whatsoever. Returned an average of 5.8l/km, so a hit of about 1l/100km.

Thule makes a great product and the CT can schlep a load of stuff.
 

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Has anyone else used a cargo box or had experience with roof weight limits?
I'm using a Thule Force 624 cargo box which works great. I've taken it on a couple weekend camping trips and loaded it up with tent, chairs, sleeping bags, etc. You can see a pic on my intro thread.

Before I bought the cargo box I emailed Thule to make sure it would fit on my car, and they said it wouldn't because the box was rated at a higher weight limit than the roof of the car. After a couple more emails I got them to confirm that it would physically fit, and the weight restriction was the only reason they state it won't.

I also read some info here about how the European manual states twice the roof weight limit for this car than the US manual, so the assumption was that it might be an error in the US manual.
 

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Continuing to answer my own question...

I installed the Thule rack which went pretty easily. It fits very well and securely. I then proceeded to install a Thule fork mount bicycle carrier with a 30lb bike. I added my 50lb 16cu.ft. cargo box on the other side and filled it with at least 150lbs of gear. Total weight was about 250lbs including rack. Four people in car plus a full hatch area.
I pumped up the tires to 42psi and drove 1500 kms including 120kph on divided highway. No issues whatsoever. Returned an average of 5.8l/km, so a hit of about 1l/100km.

Thule makes a great product and the CT can schlep a load of stuff.

Thank you for this!!! This is exactly the info I needed. I absolutely planned to exceed max limits but a friend said it would be a problem. Need to carry two 70lb hang gliders, not one. This will work, no problems (Thule) as there's another horizontal bar behind the car connected to the trailer hitch. Total weight will be much less on the roof-rack than you demonstrated. Grateful for you taking the time to post this.
 
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