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family in a silver car look up as their son stands through the moonroof and points towards the sky

Sunroof vs. Moonroof: Clearing the Confusion

Published on Jun 7, 2023 by Talia Mushinsky

As you embark on the journey to purchase or understand your vehicle, you've probably stumbled upon the terms "sunroof" and "moonroof." While they're often used interchangeably, there are technical distinctions between the two. Kunes Auto Group is here to provide clarity on these automotive features and how they contribute to your driving experience.


Diving Into the World of Sunroofs

Traditionally, a sunroof is a solid, body-colored panel that can manually slide or be tilted, introducing a refreshing burst of light and air into the vehicle's cabin. Originally, sunroofs were metal panels that could be manually cranked open or closed, with some designs even allowing complete removal.


Although sunroofs have been around for decades, they continue to be a sought-after feature for drivers who love the open air and natural light they provide while driving.


Moonroof: A Special Type of Sunroof

The moonroof, introduced by Ford in the 70s, is technically a subtype of a sunroof. However, the key distinguishing feature lies in its design: it's a glass panel, either tinted or clear, that slides between the vehicle's roof and headliner.


Unlike traditional sunroofs, moonroofs are typically electrically operated. They offer the option to tilt open at the back for ventilation or to slide open above the roof, similar to a sunroof. The distinguishing factor here is even when a moonroof is closed, it continues to let light into the vehicle due to its glass design, hence its celestial name.


Modern Vehicles and Their Moonroofs

Moonroofs are a common feature in many modern vehicles. They often include a manual or automatic sunshade that can be closed to block out light, should the need arise.


However, even with the technical differences, the terms "sunroof" and "moonroof" are frequently used interchangeably by people and even within the car industry.


The Bottom Line: All moonroofs are sunroofs, but not all sunroofs are moonroofs.

Choosing the perfect overhead feature for your vehicle ultimately depends on your personal preferences for light, ventilation, and design. Regardless of whether you choose a vehicle with a sunroof or moonroof, you're sure to enjoy a more open, brighter driving experience.


At Kunes Auto Group, we offer a wide range of vehicles with both sunroof and moonroof options. Feel free to explore our diverse inventory of new and used vehicles, and to contact us with any questions you may have. We're always here to help you understand your vehicle better.

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