Is there a difference between a sunroof and a moonroof? Most everybody uses the terms interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two concepts. Both are panels in the roof of a car that let light or fresh air inside the vehicle’s cabin. But that’s where the similarities end.
Related: More Advice Stories
A sunroof is typically a solid body-colored panel that can manually tilt up or be removed. A sunroof is an opaque metal panel, and you can’t see through it. From the outside, it looks like a body-colored metal panel.
A moonroof is a type of sunroof, except that it’s a transparent, sliding, tinted glass panel. This panel is not removable. More recently, the panoramic style of moonroof has become popular, in which most of the roof of the car is made of glass, but only the panel over the two front seats will slide or open — the roof glass over the rear seats stays fixed. The interior of the car is then shielded by a retractable shade in the headliner; sometimes it’s an electric one, sometimes a manual one. The majority of new cars have moonroofs, as what’s technically considered a sunroof has pretty much gone out of style.
More From Cars.com:
- Trending Option: Glass Roof
- Gas-Saving Moment of the Day: Forget Tilt-Up Mode on the Moonroof
- Hyundai’s Sunroof Airbag Fills Space Where Your Limbs Might Flail
- Consumer Reports Investigates Exploding Sunroofs
Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.