Moonroof Vs. Sunroof: What’s the Difference Between the Two?

Car enthusiasts use the terms sunroof and moonroof interchangeably. However, there are several differences between the two of them. Both of them allow the sunlight and fresh air inside the car this is what makes them similar. A clear understanding of moonroof vs. sunroof can help you make a wise decision of which one to be installed within the car. This guide highlights the differences between the sunroof and the moonroof:

What is a Sunroof?


A sunroof is an opaque panel that is used to open the roof. At times it has been designed in such a way that it moves back or forth or can be tilted up and down. It helps sunlight and fresh air enter the vehicle and can be closed when not in use. Present-day vehicles don’t come with a traditional sunroof. Instead, they come with an opaque part that is covered with glass.

What is a Moonroof?


A moonroof is considered a sunroof. It comes with a tinted glass panel that works as an extra window and is installed on the top of the car. It allows the entry of light and abstains from the entry of elements within the car. They aren’t like a traditional sunroof; it’s impossible to remove them from the vehicle. They come with a tilted or a sliding panel.

Everything You Must Know About Types of Sunroof/Moonroof Designs

Folding Sunroof

folding moonroof

These were the first sunroof designs introduced in the market. It comes with a metal body that opens and helps the motorists enjoy an open-air drive. It comes with a folding fabric that is kept over the roof space. Their working is similar to convertibles as they can be rolled back. Popular models like Wokeswagon Beetle have these designs installed in them.

These were popular once, and soundproofing was performed due to the loud sounds dissipated by the vehicle. Unfortunately, the fabric of the folding sunroof would deteriorate over time and starts looking less attractive over time.

Built-in Moonroof

A built-in moonroof is the most preferred choice for car enthusiasts. It helps the glass panel powered by electric power move back and forth or tilt up or down. This category offers you a lot of fresh ventilation with an amazing view. You will be able to enjoy the view even after closing the moonroof. Sometimes leak takes place due to structural issues, so they aren’t installed in new models. You can have a moonroof in your car just by paying a small amount.

Pop-Up Moonroof

pop-up moonroof

The manual design has reduced the popularity of the pop-up moonroof. It comes with a glass panel that is pushed up and allows air entry within it. Leakage is the only drawback offered by pop-up moonroofs that leads to rust. It is installed in numerous vehicles between the 1980s and 1990s, like Honda Civic or Ford Mustang.

Spoiler Moonroof

If you want to give a sporty design to your car, install a spoiler moonroof within the car. Its design is similar to the rear spoiler installed within the car. The panel is made of glass that moves back and up and is found above the roofline. It has been slanted downwards and moves towards the vehicle’s front, thereby offering an aerodynamic style to the vehicle.

Panoramic Moonroof

panoramic moonroof

If you are planning to install a moonroof with new designs, take advantage of the Panoramic Moonroof. It offers you a convertible feeling and doesn’t have a folding or fabric hardcover. The fixed panoramic moonroof is a part of very few vehicles that don’t open, and most of them have electric open and close features. Since the extra sunlight enters the cabin, making the drive more enjoyable and bright, cleaning them would be a hassle, just like cleaning the windshield. In addition, it makes the interior hot during the summer months.

Is Moonroof a Safe Option?

Moonroof or sunroof comes with a shield that keeps you safe than a standard convertible. You would come across very few incidents related to a serious injury that happens quite often in the case of canvas with the convertible top. However, you must consider its disadvantages before considering them safe and practical for use. The most common complaint is leaks. There are chances that something might fail as the interior becomes vulnerable to weather. In addition, new cars experience the issue of exploding sunroofs, so their installation must be avoided at all costs.

In addition to this, a moonroof or sunroof adds extra weight to the top of the vehicle. This would increase the center of gravity. No matter how well you drive, handling the vehicle would become a hassle. It would take time to get used to it, and you won’t notice any issue once you’ve driven the car for a while.

The Bottom Line

Compare the benefits and drawbacks of sunroof and moonroof, then make the buying decision accordingly.

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