Sunroof vs Moonroof vs Panoramic Roof: Key Differences!

You may have heard the terms sunroof and the moonroof from the car owners. These are the terms to define a specific kind of opening on the roof of the car.

While the differences among these three are small, those make huge differences in your comfort and usability of the vehicle.

While sunroof is more of an outdated thing now, moonroof has become a lot popular nowadays. However, you’ll see some cars having panoramic roofs also. Don’t get my point? Let’s jump into the details of these three types of roofs and differences among them.

What is Sunroof?

A colored glass panel attached to the roof of the car that can be moved to allow the air and sunlight to get in more easily. While you may think that this is something of a new invention, you are somewhat wrong!

sunroof vs moonroofsunroof vs moonroof


The sunroof was introduced in 1937 by the Nash Motor Company and since then, millions of cars have them till now.

However, because of different weather conditions and other factors, sunroof is becoming one of the old and outdated automobile functionality.

A Brief about Moonroof

As you’ve identified the sunroof, identifying moonroof will be easier for you. Moonroof is an upgraded version of sunroof that consists of a plastic panel and a transparent glass panel. So, you can enjoy the interior like a conventional roof and also like the moonroof when you want.

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Although you can remove the sunroof from most of the vehicles, the moonroof is non-removable and attached in the car.

Panoramic Roof: What’s this?

The last in the list is the panoramic roof, some people call it as a panoramic sunroof. This is a giant-sized sunroof that covers almost the whole of your car roof.

Although it looks so beautiful, it compromises the structural integrity of the car most of the time. That’s why we don’t recommend purchasing a car with a panoramic roof unless you have a massive budget to get the high-quality one.

Panoramic Roof vs moonroofPanoramic Roof vs moonroof

Panoramic Roof

Advantages & Disadvantages of Sunroof, Moonroof & Panoramic Roof

As our main goal is to let you know about the basic concepts of three types of car roofs, we’re not diving deep into these. That’s why covering these all under a single head.

The best advantage of having all these types of roofs is that they give your car a gorgeous and aesthetic look. Apart from the outlook, you get some fresh air to breathe and have direct sunlight coming from the roof when the roof is open.

However, these roofs differ in their functionality when they are closed. While you’ll get some sort of sunlight getting in through the sunroof as it does not come with a second layer of plastic. But you get freedom in the moonroof for the separate plastic panel.

So, if you want, you may let the sunlight in through the roof or shut the roof off completely to get a conventional car interior feeling.

Now about the disadvantages!

Unless you get a cheap car that does not come with the great build quality, the sunroof may leak sometimes. This is a terrifying experience especially when you are going to the office and it starts raining.

On the other hand, leaks in the moonroofs are less common and can protect you more than the sunroof. However, you can’t know unless you have bought a premium class car with these functionalities.

Moving parts are fragile and with the glass, no matter how greatly made it is! I would love to say like Jack from JerryRigEverything – “Glass is glass, and it can break.”

Final Thoughts

Now that you know basics about the sunroof and moonroof, you should be able to identify them when you see a car on the road.

As we have recommended earlier, unless you are going for a premium car, don’t get a cheap car with these functionalities. Cheap cars work great on the road, almost head to head with the premium ones. I don’t have any problems with them. But getting these fragile features that can break due to hails or other natural hazards, you may end up costing a lot for the repair.

And think about a leaky sunroof! It can ruin many things, not just your clothes.

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