There are two different types of roof that are installed on a car top. The moonroof and sunroof but people usually consider them as one as both the terms are often used interchangeably. If we define a sunroof then it is a solid metal panel through which you couldn’t see. However, you can retract it or take it off your vehicle entirely which opens up the space for sunlight & fresh air. On the other hand, moon-roofs are a solid glass panel you could see through which can be popped up slightly to let the fresh air into the cabin. So, both sunroof & moonroof allow you to enjoy sunlight & and fresh air inside the car.

Now the sunroofs and moonroofs can be further divided in new vehicles as they have adapted new changes in the cars. Sunroofs are coming with a glass panel that retracts or pops up & a sunshade you can use the block sunlight if desired. Moonroofs also have these features & are seen much larger than before in latest cars.

Panoramic Sunroofs vs Moonroofs

Automakers & manufacturers prefer the moonroofs over sunroofs because of the amazing look this design gives, even people love to have moon-roofs on their vehicle. Because of their preference the original sunroofs have slowly faded away. These days moonroof arguably & confusingly known as sunroof, dominates. This has also increased the crossovers & SUVs since their longer roof sections give more opportunities for a panoramic setup.

Panoramic roofs are moonroofs with large glass panels starting from the mid of front seat to mid of back seat. These large moonroof designs are better for crash protection and many automakers also build the necessary protections into the vehicle’s frame without interfering with large openings. Panoramic roofs usually slide open much further than the standard moonroof & they feature a retractable sunshade to keep the cabin cooler when the glass portion is closed. So you won’t feel any sunshade even if the top is made of glass.

Origin of the Sunroof

Nash Motors introduced sunroofs in 1937, offering the vehicles the advantage of sunlight & fresh air overhead without any convertible’s. In the 1960s Ford tried to promote this feature in more and more vehicles not only in the US but also in Europe. However, in the US this effort couldn’t reach the heights as much expected from it.

In the late 1960s & 1970s, Ford tried again to promote sun roofs and started mass producing cars with sunroofs. They even collaborated with American Sunroof Corporation, because they were installing German imported Golde sunroof kits in cars years before which were very costly for them. Ford mainly targeted three of its cars which were Cougars, thunderbirds, & its Lincoln division’s Continental Mark III in 1969 and 1970s. Once the sunroofs were again popular in the market, Cadillac’s Coupe Devilles, Sedan deVilles, Fleetwood Eldorados and Broughams also started supporting sunroofs in their cars.

Origin of the Moonroof

Golde GmbH created the world’s first slide and tilt sunroof module in 1973. In the same year, the Lincoln Continental Mark IV went public with a new version of sunroof, called a moonroof. This term was introduced by Ford marketing manager of that time John Atkinson. It was introduced as “When open, you see the moon and it sees you, but they could open a sliding sunshade that let in light”.

They even added tinted glass to minimize heat and glare from the sun. It allows the car owner to keep the silver tinted glass panel closed and could open a sliding sunshade that let in the light.

We hope we have clear the difference between sunroof and moonroof. Now you know whether you want to buy car which has either moonroof or sunroof, one that’s just right for you.