Despite often being used interchangeably, the terms sunroof and moonroof can refer to different features. A sunroof is typically a solid body-colored panel that slides open or detaches, while a moonroof is a clear or tinted glass panel located between the car roof and headliner. Let’s explore the differences between a sunroof vs. a moonroof and learn how to keep them in shape. 

Sunroof vs. Moonroof: The Basics

A sunroof is an umbrella term for any panel in a car’s roof that can be opened to let air into the cabin. On the other hand, a moonroof represents a specific type of sunroof, usually composed of transparent glass, that provides a view of the sky even when it’s closed. Essentially, while every moonroof is a sunroof, not all sunroofs are moonroofs.  

Sunroof vs. Moonroof: Opening Mechanisms

A sunroof is essentially a movable panel in a car roof that can slide back or be taken out to let in light and air. In contrast, a moonroof is a specific subset of sunroof—it’s the glass panel that sits above the original sunroof. Moonroofs are located on top of the car, above a sliding panel that can open or close to let in the sunlight. Unlike sunroofs, moonroofs aren’t meant to be removed from the vehicle. However, they can open by tilting upwards to let in air. 

Sunroof vs. Moonroof: The Materials 

The biggest difference between a sunroof and a moonroof are their materials. Sunroofs can be made from various materials, including metal or opaque glass. In contrast, moonroofs are fashioned from transparent glass that can let light into the car without needing to be opened.   

What Are Panoramic Roofs?

Unlike traditional sunroofs or moonroofs, panoramic roofs extend across a larger portion of the vehicle’s roof, often spanning the front and rear seats. These expansive glass panels create a sense of openness and allow natural light to reach the entire cabin. Panoramic roofs can include fixed or sliding glass panes, depending on the vehicle.   

Choosing Your Ideal Roof: Sunroof or Moonroof?

You’re probably wondering which roof is superior—the sunroof or the moonroof? The answer comes down to personal preference. In general, modern vehicles are equipped with a moonroof instead of a sunroof, making moonroofs the more popular option.  

Are Moonroofs Safe?

Studies show that sunroofs and moonroofs are generally as safe as vehicles with steel roofs. However, there are steps you can take to protect your sunroof and extend its longevity: 

  • Inspect the seals around the sunroof for any signs of wear or damage, as these can lead to leaks. 
  • Keep the drainage channels clear of debris to prevent water accumulation. 
  • Lubricate moving parts to ensure smooth operation. 
  • Be cautious during extreme weather conditions, as hail or heavy snow can cause damage. 

Whether your vehicle has a sunroof or a moonroof, it’s important to ensure it’s protected with quality car insurance. Looking for an affordable policy? Get a car insurance quote from The General in two minutes or read more about buying a car on our blog.