What Is A Panoramic Sunroof – What Makes it Special?

A panoramic sunroof is one that spans across the entire car roof. The main difference from a regular sunroof is its size. A sunroof is a sliding roof that can be opened when needed. There is no compulsion that a regular sunroof has to be of glass materials. The panoramic sunroof covers both the front and back seats of the vehicle. And it’s available in both sedans and SUVs. A panoramic sunroof can be opened by sliding or tilting. 

That was a quick brief on what a panoramic sunroof is. But now, let’s dig deeper into the panoramic sunroof. 

What Is a Panoramic Sunroof?

A panoramic sunroof covers the entire roof. You will get a panoramic view of the sky through this big sunroof. 

There are different technologies used in panoramic sunroofs. A panoramic sunroof provides more light to the cabin and makes it feel bigger. You can even open some of the panoramic sunroofs.

But how will you know the car has a panoramic sunroof? 

What Does a Panoramic Sunroof Look Like?

In the market, there are a lot of variants of a sunroof. So, how will you know which type you are getting? Well, the main differentiator of a panoramic sunroof is it’s big. (1)

Sometimes you can open both parts of the sunroof at the same time. But there are some sunroofs which cannot be opened. Like in some of the Tesla cars. 

In most cases, a panoramic sunroof is slightly tinted. Because the car can get too warm because of the sunlight. But often, depending on the manufacturer, the sunroof can come with shades. 

Automated and Manual Sunroofs

Operating with a panoramic sunroof is really easy. You can find the sunroof button just like the window button on the car’s dash. Using that, you can open or close the sunroof. The button is labeled with a sunroof icon. 

But there are some sunroofs that are not automated, and those sunroofs can only be tilted. You have to unlock the side latches on those sunroofs and push them upwards to open. Pulling towards you will close the sunroof.

If your panoramic sunroof comes with shade, the panoramic sunroof button should do the trick. Using the same button, you can open the shades of the sunroof. After you open the shades, you can slide the sunroof too. 


The purpose of the panoramic sunroof is to make the cabin less claustrophobic. And you can open the sunroof using the sunroof button on the dash. Or use the manual latch of the sunroof. 

What Are the Types of Panoramic Sunroofs?

There are different types of panoramic sunroofs available in the market. And there are specific distinctions between types of sunroofs. Check the different types below. 


Some of the panoramic sunroofs are fixed in place and cannot be opened. Usually, fixed sunroofs come tinted. Because not all car manufacturers offer shade with fixed panoramic sunroofs. 


Some of the sunroofs are moveable and can be opened as needed. They come in different shades, mechanisms, and sizes. Usually, these panoramic sunroofs can be opened either on the front side or the backside. The back part normally opens on luxury cars, where the main focus is on the back seats. 


A dual-pane panoramic sunroof has 2 parts, one above the front seats and one on the back. The bar which separates the two parts adds durability to the roof and lets one part open. While the other part is open, you can still get light through the other part.


Some panoramic sunroofs have a seamless design. Those sunroofs are also fixed in place and cannot be opened. These sunroofs are often extended from the windshield. In this case, the sunroof is also tinted. You can see similar sunroofs in Tesla. (3)


These are 4 different types of panoramic sunroofs. Which are fixed, openable, and seamless design panoramic sunroofs.
Types of Panoramic Sunroofs Infographic

Difference Between Panoramic Sunroof, Regular Sunroof, and Moonroof.

There are some differences between a moonroof and a sunroof. But is there more in panoramic roof vs. sunroof?

Factors/Roof typeSunroof Moonroof Panoramic Sunroof
PlacementSpans across only front or back seats of the cabinSpans across only front or back seats of the cabinSpans across both front and back seats of the cabin
Material UsedMade out of painted metal Made out of clear or tinted glass panelTypically made out of laminated glass
MechanismSlides open or pops up Slides between the roof and the headliner or pop openFixed in place or can be wither slide open or pop open
Weight & Fuel EfficiencyBetter fuel efficiency because of lower weight on the roofBetter fuel efficiency because of lower weight on roofLow fuel efficiency because of higher weight on the roof
RigidityBetter structural protection on the roofBetter structural protection on the roofLower structural support on the roof
Intake AreaNarrower sunlight or air intake Narrower sunlight or air intakeBigger sunlight and air intake

These are the main difference between a sunroof and a panoramic sunroof. (2) Also, there are some more differences between Sunroof And Moonroof.


The main difference is the size. Panoramic sunroofs spread across front and back seats. The sunroof covers either the front or the back seats. 

What Are the Pros and Cons of Panoramic Sunroof?

So, it seems like a panoramic sunroof is the best sunroof you can get. But there are both pros and cons of any panoramic sunroof. Check the table below to learn about the pros and cons.

1. Make the car cabin less claustrophobic. 1. More weight on the roof of the car
2. More visibility from inside the car2. More expensive to repair if broken
3. Make the car more stylish.3. Less headspace on the roof because of the mechanism
4. More ventilation inside the car4. More complexity in dealing with the mechanism and water leaking problem

Which Car/Suvs Come With a Panoramic Sunroof

Nowadays, all automakers have a panoramic sunroof. But that doesn’t mean all cars get a panoramic sunroof. There are specific models and options available for you to pick the panoramic sunroof. There is a long list of automakers and models which have a panoramic sunroof. 

Manufacturer Models 
Acura RDX
Alfa RomeoStelvio and Giulia
Audi A4, 6, 8, E-Tron, Q3, 5, 7, 8
Bentley Flying Spur and Bantayga
BMW2 Series, 7 series, 8 series, X1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
BuickEncore GX, Envision, Enclave
CadillacCT5, Escalade, XT4, 5, 6
ChevroletBlazer, Equinox, Malibu, Suburban. Tahoe, Trailblazer, Traverse
ChryslerPacifica, and 300
Ford Edge, Escape, Expedition, F-150, F-Seris Super Duty, Transit Connect
Genesis G80 and GV80
GMCAcadia, Terrain, Yukon
Hyundai Palisade, Santa Fe, Sonata, Tucson
Infinity QX50
Jaguar E-Pace, F-Pace, XF
Jeep Cherokee, Compass, Gladiator, Grand Cherokee, Renegade, Wrangler
Kia K5, Sorento, Sportage, Telluride
Lamborghini Urus
Land Rover Defender, Discovery, Range Rover, Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover Spots, Range Rover Velar
Lexus ES, LS, RX
Maserati Levante
Mercedes-BenzClass- A, C, CLA, E,  GLA, GLB, GLC, GLE, GLS, S, and AMG-GT
MiniClubman, Countryman, Hardtop
NissanMaxima, Murano, Rogue, Titan
Porsche Cayenne, Macan, Panamera, Taycan
Ram 1500
Rolls-RoyceCullinan, Ghost
SubaruAscent, Forester
Toyota Camry, Highlander, RAV4
VolkswagenAtlas, Atlas Cross Sport, Tiguan
VolvoS 60 and 90, V 60 and 90, X 40 and 60 and 90

So, these are all the cars which have a panoramic sunroof. Here are both suv with panoramic sunroof and sedans with a panoramic sunroof. 

Can You Install a Panoramic Sunroof 

It is possible for you to get an aftermarket sunroof for your car. But this requires a highly professional technician who knows his way around. There are specific reasons why it’s tricky to attach an after-market sunroof. The list of reasons is given below. 

  1. The roof consists of electrical wiring and can be damaged while doing so. 
  2. The resale value of the car can go down after installation.
  3. Not as durable as the sunroof which is made by the manufacturer. 
  4. Safety concerns if installed improperly. 
  5. Chances of leakage and a proper seal on the roof. 

These are the reasons why installing an aftermarket sunroof is not a good idea. But it’s possible for a panoramic sunroof installation. 

How Much Does it Cost For A Panoramic Sunroof?

Among all the aftermarket sunroofs, panoramic sunroofs are the most expensive. Because panoramic sunroofs are big and cover the entire roof of the car. So, what is the panoramic sunroof price? It Depends on the car size; a panoramic roof will cost around $1,500 to $3,000. 

On the other hand, sunroofs cost $1,200 to $2,500. The pricing also depends on how the roof can be opened and closed. If it’s a pop-up sunroof, then it will be cheaper. 


It is possible to install an aftermarket panoramic sunroof. But it is risky and expensive. 

Can You Repair Panoramic Sunroof?

No, you cannot repair a broken or cracked panoramic sunroof. But you can fix it if the problem is with the sunroof mechanism. If the glass of the sunroof breaks, you need to replace it as soon as possible. Because it’s not safe to have cracking glass up on your head. 

A crack on the sunroof can grow over time. And it can fall apart at any moment. That is why it’s better to replace the sunroof. 

But if there are problems with the mechanism of the sunroof, it’s fixable. There are motors and gears which make the sunroof slide open. If the motor fails or jams, replacing it is cheaper than a new sunroof. (4)

How Much Does Replacing a Panoramic Sunroof Cost?

Among all the other sunroofs, the panoramic sunroof is the most expensive one. It will cost you around $1,500 to $3,000 to replace the sunroof. But if you are replacing it through the car dealer, the cost can vary. 

The price of replacing the sunroof varies between auto manufacturers. 


Are Panoramic Sunroofs as Durable as Normal Car Roofs?

No, traditional roofs are much more durable than panoramic sunroofs. Apparently, panoramic sunroofs have similar protection if there was a hole in the roof. Since there are no metal structures on the roof, it’s less durable. 

What Are the Problems with Panoramic Sunroofs?

The main problem with panoramic sunroofs is beating the heat in summer. That is why sunroofs often come tinted. And glass makes it much warmer. Also, you cannot open the sunroof in the snow, because it will be stuck. It can even cause moisture dip in the cabin in winter. 

Does the Panoramic Sunroof Open All the Way?

No, the panoramic sunroof doesn’t open all the way. In most cases, one part of the panoramic sunroof opens and another part stays fixed. The part which opens usually slides open on top of the fixed part or tilts open. 


So, that was everything on what is a panoramic sunroof. It’s a great addition to your car if you feel claustrophobic in the back. 

The panoramic sunroofs are fun on road trips and for the kids as well. But it can be an expensive option. So, choose wisely.

Written By

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Gary Wright

Hi, I'm Gary Wright, an automotive industry specialist. I'm an installation, repair, and maintenance specialist of automotive sunroofs, moonroofs, and panoramic sunroofs/moonroofs.

Fact Checked And Mechanically Reviewed By


Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at Autoglobes.com with a passion for the automotive industry.