I guess I've pondered on this question in the past, but it finally just came to mind; what is the difference between a sunroof and a moonroof? Was there a difference in the beginning and now they've all melded into the same thing? Actually, the answer is somewhat complicated.

AM 1240 WJON logo
Get our free mobile app
Element 5/Unsplash
Element 5/Unsplash


The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a sunroof as follows:
A panel in the roof of a vehicle that can be opened.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a moonroof as follows:
A glass sunroof.

Clearly, there has to be more of a definition of that, you're just not going to find it in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.  Allstate said this about the difference between the two:

A sunroof is a panel on the roof of a vehicle that can either slide back or be taken out to allow air and sunlight into a vehicle. MotorTrend.com says that originally it was not glass. It was an opaque material that matched the color of the vehicle, but these days, sunroofs aren't typically sold anymore.

A Moonroof is much more common these days, as a moonroof usually has a tinted glass panel, and was not originally designed to be removed. Many moonroofs now come with a sliding panel that matches the vehicle, and when it is closed, no light comes into the vehicle. But once the panel is opened, the moonroof is revealed, and some sunlight can enter the vehicle.


Adding to the sunroof confusion, there is now a roof called a Panoramic Roof; which features a large glass panel that runs the length of the vehicle roof. These designs let light in the front and back seats and have been designed as fixed in place and also offer a sliding option. I believe I have a Panoramic Roof on my Kia Sportage, and I think this is what I also had on my 2018 Chrysler Pacifica.

So, what kind of roof does your car have?

Crow Wing State Park's 1800s Ghost Town

15 Minnesota Town Names That Are Hard to Pronounce

10 Unique Things You Only Say If You're In Minnesota

More From AM 1240 WJON