Cheaper Alternative to the Toyota Highlander Roof Rack Crossbars

If you like the look of the Toyota Highlander crossbars, but aren’t crazy about the price, I have a possible solution for you… Third-party versions of the genuine Toyota (OEM) crossbars are starting to hit the market.

Consider, for example, this Amazon listing (or this one)… As of this writing, you can get a set of roof rail crossbars with the same specs and appearance as Toyota’s crossbars for much less — just $149 + free shipping.

Note that these particular crossbars require the integrated roof rails that are standard on the XLE and above, so they’re equivalent to Toyota’s PT278-48140 crossbars. As you can see from that link, the $149 price point is about 45% less than the lowest price you’ll find for the Toyota version.

As for performance, they list a weight limit of 150 lbs, which is the same as for the OEM crossbars. Since I have the OEM crossbars, I haven’t tried these out myself, and thus can’t comment on build quality. But that $100-ish price savings vs. the Toyota crossbars is certainly attractive.

It’s also worth pointing out that similar crossbars are available on eBay, where you can get the equivalent of both the PT278-48140 crossbars for the XLE and above, and the PT278-48141 crossbars for LE/Plus.

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Accessories (OEM & Aftermarket)
11 comments… add one
  • Mo Dec 4, 2014

    Thanks, yes I was going to purchase those third party cross bars from Amazon but decided to go with the OEM versions simply because I felt more confident in buying original parts for something so important.

  • Craig Mar 21, 2015

    Haven’t received any news for 2 weeks now. Always look forward to your Friday comments. Everything ok? Wondering if anyone has had engine ticking noise? Dealer says it’s the fuel injectors. They had me contact Toyota. Waiting for an answer. This happen to anyone else? If so, what was the final outcome? Thanks! Craig

    • Michael Apr 6, 2015

      Yes, all is well. Thanks for asking. No, I haven’t had any problems with engine ticking, nor have I had any other readers write in with such problems. Let us know what you learn.

      • Mark Sanford Apr 1, 2016

        I too am getting the ticking. Was not there the first 5k but after a long trip and morning start ups I can hear it in the cabin. Im watching fuel consumption and oil to ensure its not lifters or valve.

  • Bill Apr 7, 2015

    On the auto start I have an aftermarket. It is called Drone. It uses Verizon which goes to a Drone server. If you have Verizon service it will start your vehicle. Your vehicle will stop running the minute you open door. This is a safety feature because no key is used. Otherwise someone could steal your vehicle. You have to have a Smart Phone to work. You do have a yearly charge. Right now 2 plans. The basic plan and a premium plane. The premium plan has a lot of extras: GPS (where car is), restricted area you can be notified if person drives into area you do not want it to go in and several other extras. I have been very pleased with it. As I live in Iowa and we do have cold winters.

  • CF Miller May 2, 2015

    We are getting a new Highlander to replace our old Xterra that has served us well over the years. We enjoy camping with our Tepui roof tent & plan to install it on our new purchase so now considering the best approach to cargo bars.

    We like the look of the Toyota OEM bars but will probably opt for the stronger RhinoRack & Thule aftermarket now on the market. Any comments & suggestions would be appreciated.

  • Bill May 12, 2015

    I have purchased and installed the third party cross bar mentioned in this post for my 2015 XLE. Easy to install fit great, look good and appear to be of good quality.

  • Dave Dec 20, 2015

    CF how are you going to use a roof tent on crossbars that only have a 150 pound weight limit, sounds like you are going to try to put two people plus the weight of your tent and gear on a roof rack with a 150 pound weight limit.

  • Dave Dec 20, 2015

    From reading here I am under the impression that there are only some aftermarket roof racks that are nearly identical to the OEM ones. Examing the rails on the roof, one quickly sees the extra bolts attaching the chrome roof accent rails onto the vehicle, both fore and aft of the stock roof rack bars. Would I be unwise to put any load on those bolts? I would think that if they will hold any weight at all that some aftermarket company could make a killing selling us a roof rack similar to the much nicer ones that came on the older highlanders. I was really really disappointed to find out the 2015 only came with the ridiculously spaced OEM crossbars that are completely unadjustable. Am I wrong is there already a better aftermarket solution available? I don’t want to haul a roof bag or a cargo box. I am talking about Kayaks and an occasional 12 foot 2×8 from Home Depot like we hauled on the old highlander.

  • Afzal Mar 8, 2016

    Has anybody installed after market fog lights on 2016 Highlander LE V6. Mine did not come Fog Lights, what I can see a Wire harness inside Fog light Socket, which is covered with plastic.

  • Chris May 23, 2016

    Hi, does anyone know if there are any other side roof rail options other than the flush ones that are standard? I am considering buying a 2015 HL but honestly hate the flush side roof rails. I think they take away from the “sport utility” look of the car. I’d ideally like to have raised chrome roof rails like I do currently on my Chevy Equinox. Any suggestions are appreciated! Thanks.

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