Car buyers often look for luxury features such as sunroofs and moonroofs. Both have similar functions. They let in natural sunlight, provide a view above, and allow in fresh air without the drawbacks of opening the windows at highway speeds. While the terms are often used interchangeably, the features differ considerably. Knowing the differences will help you get the features you want when shopping for your next vehicle.

What Is a Sunroof?

A sunroof is a solid panel that matches the car’s body in color. When closed, no light can pass through. The panel can be tilted open, slid back, or removed to allow in natural light or a fresh breeze. Solid panel overhead sunroofs, in their traditional form, are much less common than they used to be. But sunroofs still have different designs. For example, the Porsche 911 has a sliding sunroof while the Jeep Renegade has panels that can be removed to create an open-air roof.

What Is a Moonroof?

Modern cars are often available with a moonroof, a type of sunroof that is essentially a glass window built into the roof. The panel can be tinted or covered with a fabric/mesh sunshade. Usually, the moonroof stretches horizontally across the front passenger section. Electronic controls enable users to tilt the panel up or open it completely. But when it is closed, light can still get in, so the moonroof provides benefits whether it’s open or not.

A moonroof is not removable. An increasingly popular type is the panoramic moonroof, which encompasses most of the car’s roof. While most of the roof is glass, providing light to rear seats, you can only open a panel above the two front seats. The rest of the glass is fixed but a retractable shade provides shielding, it may be manually or electrically operated.

Where Do I Get a Sunroof/Moonroof?

Depending on the vehicle model, the sunroof or moonroof may be an optional feature or come standard. You can find an optional one with most cars, trucks, and SUVs. Some vehicles are marketed with a panoramic sunroof, which is the same thing as a panoramic moonroof; they both refer to the same type of transparent glass panel.

What Impact Does One Have on Cost?

If it doesn’t come standard, a sunroof or moonroof will certainly add to the price, which must be considered in your budget. For an idea of price, the Toyota RAV4 XLE can feature a sliding moonroof for an extra $1,200, but this includes a package with features like a power-operated, height-adjustable rear cargo hatch. In terms of resale value, the vehicle’s overall specifications, condition, and mileage have more of an impact, but a sunroof/moonroof is a convenience feature that can increase resale price somewhat.

Find the Features You Want at Hawthorne Auto Square

We have a large inventory of low-mileage, pre-owned vehicles at our buy here pay here dealership. Serving all of Los Angeles and surrounding communities, Hawthorne Auto Square can help you get the car you want, with the features you need. We’re fully open during the coronavirus pandemic; our staff is wearing masks and following social distancing and sanitizing guidelines. In-house financing programs are available to help you afford your next car, truck, or SUV; apply online to be approved in minutes.

Every car on our lot has been inspected and is sold with a 30-day, 1,000-mile warranty. Extended warranty options are available. To learn more or find a high-quality used car, visit us in person, browse our online inventory, or call 866-707-7664 to speak with a sales representative.