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Moonroof vs. Sunroof: What Are the Differences?

If you are looking to buy a car and are contemplating which features to get, some may be no-brainers while others you aren’t so sure about. Many vehicles nowadays are available with a window in the roof that may be able to be opened to let in light or fresh… Allstate https://i2.wp.com/blog.allstate.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/ThinkstockPhotos-473690686.jpg?fit=3872%2C2592&ssl=1
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If you are looking to buy a car and are contemplating which features to get, some may be no-brainers while others you aren’t so sure about. Many vehicles nowadays are available with a window in the roof that may be able to be opened to let in light or fresh air. They can be a nice touch, but what are they called?

Some people use the term sunroof, some call it a moonroof, and others use both words interchangeably to describe this feature. But is there a difference between a sunroof and moonroof? The answer is yes, but may need some clarification.

Sunroofs

According to Kelly Blue Book (KBB), a sunroof is basically any kind of panel on the roof of a car that permits light, air or both to come into a vehicle, but only if the panel is opened, notes Open Road Auto Group. Typically, a sunroof includes two types of panels: One panel may be made of either metal or the same material as the ceiling of the car, and can be retracted to expose the glass panel above. The other panel is made of glass that can be either tilted open or completely retracted to essentially serve as an open window in the roof.

These days, many of today’s vehicles offer a range of different sunroof options. According to Sunroofs.org, the following are examples of types of sunroofs currently available:

  • Tilt-and-Slide (also called spoiler sunroofs): These sunroofs tilt to form an air vent or can slide open and sit up on top of the roof. The majority are power operated and work well in cars with a short roof that cannot accommodate slider sunroofs.
  • Top-Mount Slider: These sunroofs are large glass panels that sit in tracks on the top of the vehicle and slide open above the roof, allowing for maximum headroom.
  • Pop-Out: These sunroofs are manually operated, tilting panels that are usually made of glass. They tilt to vent or can be completely removed for an opening in the roof of the car.
  • Rag-Tops: These typically large sunroofs are made of fabric and actually fold back to open, offering a open feel similar to a convertible.

Moonroofs

A moonroof is considered a type of sunroof because it lets in light and air through the top of the vehicle. But there are also different characteristics in terms of material and functionality. As noted by KBB, a moonroof generally includes a tinted glass panel, much like an extra window on top of the car. Moonroofs typically will tilt open slightly to allow fresh air into the cabin, but won’t open completely like a sunroof.

Many times, adds KBB, a moonroof will also include an interior sliding shade/panel matching your car’s interior so you can shut the light out. Sunroofs.org says moonroofs are generally offered in luxury vehicles, which are often larger and the sliding panel can fit completely within the roof.

While they are similar in nature, there is a difference between a sunroof and moonroof. When you are shopping for a new car, consider these differences and choose the option that’s best for you.

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