Moonroof vs Sunroof

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 The main difference between a moonroof and a sunroof is the panel style and purpose. While a sunroof is a glass or metal panel to let air/light into the cabin, a moonroof is a tinted glass panel to only let in the fresh air. 

Both glass panels come company-installed on the car’s roof to allow sunshine or fresh air inside the cabin.   

Moonroof vs Sunroof
Larger Size Smaller
Non-removable Removable Removable
More expensive Cost Less expensive
Easily breakable Breakable Less likely to break
Allow light even when closed Transparency Does not allow light when closed

What’s a Moonroof? 

A moonroof is a transparent, sliding, tinted non-removable glass panel present on the top surface of the car. It allows the light and fresh air to get inside the vehicle cabin even when it is closed. 

Moonroofs have an interior sliding panel that provides you with access to slide it. This panel is made in a way that blends perfectly with the other vehicle material making the whole body seamless. 

Moonroofs also come with a built-in manual or power-operated retractable sunshade, which helps reduce the heat from the cabin. Panoramic moonroofs are quite popular these days.

Moonroof vs Sunroof

Moonroof Pros and Cons

Moonroofs have specific pros and cons discussed below.


  • Lets fresh air and light get inside the vehicle cabin, even if closed
  • Provides a clear view of the sky
  • Excellent, visually satisfying addition to the vehicle
  • Increases the resale value of your vehicle
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  • Expensive both in terms of installation and repair
  • Often reduces the headroom in the vehicle cabin
  • Less secure due to the glass panel. 

What’s a Sunroof

A sunroof is a movable solid body-colored opaque panel that allows fresh air and light inside the vehicle cabin when opened. However, you can’t see through it if it is closed. 

A sunroof can be both manually operated or motor driven. While older vehicles consist of manual sunroofs, all new car models come installed with automatic versions, called panoramic sunroofs. 

They are available in various shapes, sizes, and styles. Additionally, a variety of sunroofs are available, namely pop-up, spoiler, inbuilt, folding, top-mount, and solar. 

Moonroof vs Sunroof

Sunroof Pros and Cons

Sunroofs have specific pros and cons discussed below.


  • A sunroof increases the airflow and provides a better view of the surroundings when open.
  • It is less expensive to install and repair. 
  • Being a solid panel, a sunroof is challenging to break. 
  • It doesn’t restrict the headroom. 
  • It increases the resale value of the vehicle.


  • The opaque panel of the sunroof blocks the sky view when closed. 
  • It is pretty prone to leakage if there are bad seals.
  • A sunroof creates noise due to air turbulence when open.

Moonroof vs Sunroof – Key Differences 

Moonroof and sunroof are often used interchangeably when car shoppers explain the vehicle’s features. But they have significant differences. 

Here is a brief differentiation between the two based on various parameters. 


In terms of size, a moonroof is more prominent than a sunroof.


A moonroof is non-removable. However, a sunroof is removable.


In terms of price, a moonroof is expensive in terms of installation and repair. In contrast, a sunroof is less costly. 

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A moonroof comprises a glass panel and can be broken easily. On the other hand, being a solid panel, a sunroof is less likely to break. 


Moonroofs allow light to get inside the cabin even when closed because they are made of glass. 

However, sunroofs do not allow light to enter when closed because they are made up of solid opaque panels. 

Moonroof vs Sunroof: Which One Do You Need?

Remember, sunroofs are metal panels that allow light and air when open. However, moonroofs are tinted glass panels that enable light even when closed.  

The best part is that both make the car’s interior more spacious. Many car shoppers use these terms interchangeably, but now you know the difference.

If you enjoyed this post, check out our article comparing the differences between tux and suit.


Vanessa is passionate about written communication, especially after beginning her career as a middle school English teacher. She’s an experienced content marketer as well. Vanessa loves to analyze, compare, and contrast, which is why she writes for ContrastHub. Besides writing, Vanessa is a wife, mom, entrepreneur, spicy food enthusiast, comedy nerd and lifelong learner.

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