A Complete Guide to Sunroof vs Moonroof: Differences, Pros, Cons & Maintenance Tips

Do you have any idea about how many types of car roofs are available? You are probably familiar with the convertible ones. But there are some more types of car roofs that you may never have noticed. Choosing the roof of a car is an important decision, as it determines the appeal of your automobile, the use, the places where the car can go, and the time when you can drive the car.

Today, sunroofs, moonroofs, panoramic roofs, etc. are widely popular in the market, each offering its own benefits. If you are feeling confused about which one to pick, this article will help you. Here, we will talk about the two best types of car roofs – sunroof and moonroof. After going through this article about sunroof vs moonroof, you will definitely be able to make the best-suited decision. So, without further ado, let’s have a detailed discussion about Sunroof and Moonroof.

Sunroof Vs. Moonroof: What are the Differences?

Before talking about the difference between a sunroof and a moonroof, let’s get to know what these actually are.

What is a Sunroof?

This car roof has a movable opaque panel, which opens to allow light and air to come into the car. Sunroofs can be operated both manually and automatically. There are various shapes, sizes, and styles of sunroofs available. You can tilt the roof open to let light and fresh breeze enter the vehicle. The sunroof can also be removed completely and serve as an open window in the ceiling.

What is a Moonroof?

Just like a sunroof, a moonroof allows light and air to come into the vehicle. But what makes it different is its glass panel and inability to be removed completely. The moonroof has a sliding glass panel, helping you enjoy the scenic beauty of night without feeling the need of opening the roof completely. Some luxury cars with moonroofs include an interior sliding panel or shade that gives you the choice of turning the light off.

Different Types of Sunroof & Moonroof

Types of Car roof

Now you know what sunroofs and moonroofs actually are. Let’s have a look at what common types of sunroof and moonroof are available:

1. Built-in

The built-in sunroof or moonroof has a classic touch with its panel slider. It opens in between the car’s ceiling. The built-in car roof offers huge open space. Therefore, this is suitable for only cars with large roofs, like SUVs.

2. Spoiler

Spoiler sunroof or moonroof, also known as tilt or slide car roof, does not offer much open space. Therefore it is perfect for small-sized cars. As the name suggests, this type of roof first tilts and then slides to open for maintaining proper air ventilation inside the car.

3. Pop-up

This is mainly a type of sunroof. It pops up at the back to the car vent. Additionally, pop-up car roofs can be completely removed and again stored in some cases. It is easy to install and can be operated manually.

4. Lamella

Lamella car roof has multiple opaque or horizontal glass panels. Once you open the car roof, it vents and slides back to give a large scenic view.

5.  Panoramic

This type of sunroof or moonroof has fixed sliding glass panels. It covers a major portion of the roof of a car, giving a view to the passengers sitting in both front and rear seats.

In the next section, the discussion will be about the advantages and disadvantages of sunroof and moonroof in cars. It will help you have a clear idea and make the best decision.

Pros of Sunroof

Car Sunroof
  • Sunroof adds a stylish touch to the overall look of a vehicle.
  • It lets a fresh breeze enter the car while driving.
  • It keeps the car well-ventilated.
  • If it’s drizzling outside, the view from the car with the raindrops falling on the glass-made sunroof is extremely beautiful.
  • A sunroof allows maximum sunlight to enter in a car. Therefore, during winter day time the inside space of a car remains illuminated and you get a pleasant feeling while driving. In addition, if opened, the sunroof ventilates the car by not letting the hot, humid air come inside the vehicle. Therefore during a hot summer day, the car doesn’t get too warm inside.

Cons of Sunroof

  • As a sunroof allows maximum sunlight enters a car, its use is very minimal in places with hot climates.
  • If you are driving your car at high speed, keeping the sunroof open should be avoided. Otherwise, it can affect the aerodynamics of the vehicle.
  • Repairing or replacing sunroof if broken is quite expensive.
  • Regular maintenance is needed to keep a sunroof work in optimal condition.

Pros of Moonroof

  • It makes the cabin of a car airy and comfortable.
  • It allows air to pass through a car and reduces the use of air conditioners. Thus fuel consumption gets minimized, electricity cost gets reduced and your car’s efficiency gets improved.
  • You can enjoy a beautiful sky view while driving without even opening the roof.

Cons of Moonroof

  • The glass design of moonroof absorbs heat and makes the inside area of the car hot fast. As a result, the air conditioner in the car has to work more than usual, thereby increasing the car’s fuel consumption. That is why, there is hardly any use of cars with moonroofs in tropical climate areas.
  • It adds extra weight which may affect the handling of a vehicle.
  • Installing a moonroof in a small car leaves less headroom.
  • It is not easy to install. Maintaining the moonroof is also quite costly.

Which is Better – Sunroof or Moonroof?

Answering this question is not easy. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. You need to compare the features and benefits of each car roof and weigh those against the disadvantages to make the best decision. Furthermore, you need to check what type of sunroof or moonroof is there in the car you are choosing to buy. Depending on how much speed you normally maintain while driving a car, what climate area you live in, and what type of car will be the best fit for your daily lifestyle, you should choose a sunroof or a moonroof.

How Can You Maintain a Car Roof?

Clean the Car Roof

After going through the above discussion, you have already got an idea of which type of car roof will be most suitable for you. But buying a car with the right type of roof is not enough. Without maintaining a car roof properly, you will not get its maximum benefits. So, to keep your car roof functional, here are a few tips you can follow:

Clean Interior & Exterior Surface of Car Roof

Regular cleaning is important to keep the car roof in optimal working condition. You can use a small vacuum cleaner to clean the entire visible portion of the car roof. Use a soft microfiber cloth to wipe the moving parts. Always use a good automotive cleaner to clean the car roof. To keep the moving parts mobile, lubricate them with lightweight grease. To clean the glass, use a cleaner free of vinegar or ammonia.


Scrub the Surface

Spray car upholstery cleaner all over the surface of the car roof. Then scrub the surface with a soft toothbrush to clean any stain or remaining dust that has not been removed by the simple dry wipe-off process. Follow it up by cleaning the surface again with a microfiber cloth.

The bottom line,

Hope you find this guide on sunroof vs moonroof useful. Both of them are considered excellent car accessories and add a stylish touch to your automobile. To keep them functional and nice-looking, follow a regular maintenance routine.

Best of luck with your next car with a sunroof or moonroof shopping!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How can you fix a leaking sunroof in a car?

Use compressed air or cotton swabs to remove any debris clogging the tubes of the sunroof. Once you finish doing it, pour some water into the drain to make sure the clog is gone.

2. How can you replace the sunroof glass?

Manually open the sunroof and fix it in a full vent position. Remove the trip from the sunroof. Then remove the t20 Torx screws or bolts of the sunroof. Once all the screws are removed, you can simply lift the old glass out. Place the new glass and tighten the screws or bolts. Adjust the sunroof properly and give it an alternating test run to make sure everything is set well.

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