Moonroof vs. Sunroof

Whether you’re cruising through the countryside at night or driving to the beach on a sunny day, a moonroof or sunroof is a delightful feature available on many vehicles that allows fresh air and natural light into the cabin from overhead.The terms moonroof and sunroof are often used interchangeably. Both tend to offer similar functionality and even overlap in certain ways, sometimes making it difficult to distinguish between the two. Generally, “sunroof” is the more widely used term, but a moonroof may offer its own distinct features or aesthetics. A good way to think about it is that a sunroof is not necessarily a moonroof, but many moonroofs are also sunroofs. 

Let’s explore the characteristics of sunroofs and moonroofs in greater detail, including their construction, functionality, and benefits.

What is a Sunroof?

“Sunroof” is a broad term for any panel built (or installed) into the roof of a car or SUV that can be manually or electronically opened to allow ventilation and light into the vehicle. In some instances, a sunroof can be removed entirely to let light and air stream in while driving. Traditional sunroofs are often opaque, matching the color of the roof on the exterior and block sunlight when closed. However, many modern sunroofs come in a wide range of styles and materials, depending on the vehicle and manufacturer.

What is a Moonroof?

Like a sunroof, a moonroof is a panel built or installed into the roof of a vehicle. Generally, moonroofs are made of (often tinted) glass and may be fully or partially retractable, can tilt or pop open, or remain in a fixed position. Unlike classic sunroofs, moonroofs are not fully removable. Think of a moonroof as a window in the ceiling of a car. 

One key feature of a moonroof is its ability to let natural light into the cabin while protecting passengers from the elements. By contrast, a classic sunroof must be opened or removed to let light in, exposing passengers to whatever weather conditions are in play at a given time. In those instances when it’s preferable to block outside light from getting into the cabin, many moonroofs are outfitted with an interior retractable shade that matches the interior upholstery when closed.

What is a Panoramic Roof?

A panoramic roof is an even more modern take on the classic moonroof or sunroof. Made of two or more glass panels or even spanning the entire ceiling of a vehicle, a panoramic roof provides an expansive view of the sky, bathing the cabin in natural light for an open, spacious feel. Some panoramic roofs are entirely fixed in place and do not open, but others feature multiple panels that retract or tilt open to let air in, allowing both front and backseat a breath of fresh air. 

Advantages of Moonroofs and Sunroofs

For many drivers, having a sunroof or moonroof can significantly enhance their overall experience on the road, particularly with regard to comfort and convenience. If you are considering a sunroof, moonroof, or panoramic roof in your next vehicle, it may help to think about some of the advantages they can offer:

  • Excellent ventilation: Both sunroofs and moonroofs help air circulate throughout the cabin comfortably, without the more intense wind flow that might come through an open window. On hot, humid summer days, immediately opening the roof panel when you enter a hot car can allow the heat to escape rapidly, quickly cooling down the inside temperature of your vehicle for a more comfortable drive.
  • Natural light: Both moonroofs and sunroofs allow natural light into your vehicle, brightening the interior and creating a roomy, open feel.
  • Panoramic views: Especially on road trips and other scenic adventures, a panoramic roof provides unbeatable views of majestic landscapes, awe-inspiring sunsets, and colorful seasonal foliage.
  • Resale value: Sunroofs and moonroofs are often considered premium features. Vehicles equipped with them tend to command higher resale values than those without.
  • Versatility: Moonroofs, in particular, offer drivers and passengers versatility whether they want to drive while enjoying both natural light and fresh air, one or the other, or neither.

Subaru Vehicles with Moonroofs and Sunroofs

Many Subaru models are available with either a Power tilt/sliding glass moonroof and/or a panoramic moonroof; on many trims, a moonroof comes standard. Additionally, most models are built with 95% UV light-reducing glass. Check out the Subaru models below with a moonroof available:

  • Subaru Ascent
  • Subaru Crosstrek
  • Subaru Forester
  • Subaru Impreza
  • Subaru Legacy
  • Subaru Outback
  • Subaru Solterra
  • Subaru WRX

Discover vehicles equipped with moonroofs and sunroofs at our dealership. Enhance your driving experience with added luxury and comfort!

Whether you’re running errands or racing off to your next adventure, half the fun is in getting there. A sunroof, moonroof, or panoramic roof adds to the total driving experience. If you’re looking for a vehicle that embraces the outdoors and lets in plenty of natural light and/or fresh air, Subaru has you covered. 

Check out our full vehicle lineup!