I just installed the Curt hitch this weekend and can say that the installation is a pain in the butt. According to the instructions you need to lower the mufflers by getting the little rubber pieces off, removing the heat guards, cutting them, etc. Then, screwing in the actual hitch is a royal pain because you have so little room to work with. I lowered one muffler and actually avoided having to lower the other one using a palm ratchet tool but believe me it was a tedious process. It does stick out quite a bit. Would I do it again - not sure. I'll try and post some pics tomorrow.
My (humble) opinion is that anything that hangs on straps will eventually lead to weird gaps around the body. Been there done that. Roof alternative is much better. However, it degrades aerodynamics and if you happen to be a moron like I was when I started to drive 10 years ago - driving into a parking garage is not a good idea. Ruined the roof rack, bike, and caused about 3,000 in body damage to my Nissan Maxima. ---> Therefore hitch is probably your best bet. If you want to splurge I'd go with the oem one though.
After a long debate with myself, I joined the don't leave anything hangin camp
Had a hitch installed... one thing I noticed is the exhaust sounds slightly more throaty from inside the car. Had them check for leaks twice and none found so I guess it is vibration or resonance related.
Now trying to determine which rack to get...
Contenders are Thule T2, Yakima Holdup and 1upUSA.
Anyone have good/bad experiences with them or want to recommend another option? I need trays for my bikes because one of them does not have a straight bar across the top and I do not want to use one of those seat post-handlebar stem things on it.
Update: I returned Draw-Tite hitch today. It looked good installed but unfortunately caused some strange exhaust noise that could not be resolved. I was concerned that my exhaust was damaged during installation but removing it made the low growl (that sounded darn close to an exhaust leak under the front seats) go away. I noticed the lower sound straight away when I started the car and at various speeds going up hill when pressing on the gas and significantly more annoying between 30-40 MPH and 60-70 MPH. Dunno if I'm going to spring for the OEM one or not : /