Stunning But Impractical: Pros and Cons of Panoramic Roof

As sunroofs become more popular, manufacturers are installing larger glass panels on many modern cars.

Stunning But Impractical: Pros and Cons of Panoramic Roof

A regular sunroof used to be considered a luxury. In the US this feature has become commonplace and many manufacturers now install complete glass panels in modern cars.

What is a panorama roof? This is a benefit or a disaster. The Indy Auto Man's used car experts dig into the details.

What is a panorama roof?

A panorama is a broad view of an area. A panoramic sunroof can be a modified version of a regular one, giving the illusion of a large space above passengers' heads.

A panoramic roof is a roof that occupies all of the roof. It rests against the top of the windshield and the rear windows on either side.

Panoramic Roofs: Benefits and Advantages

There are many benefits to a panoramic roof:

Value of your vehicle on resale and trade-in

The panoramic roof is attractive, particularly the part that runs from the windscreen to the trunk. The car instantly appears more sporty and elegant than it really is.

The residents of big cities, like Indianapolis, don't receive enough sunlight because they live most of their time indoors. This problem is partially solved by the panoramic roof.

A well-lit interior is not only good for your health, but it can also improve your mood. This creates an open, comfortable and spacious feeling.

A half-opening sunroof will allow hot air to rise when parked in direct sunlight, which prevents the cabin from becoming overheated.


A panoramic roof has some shortcomings as well.

The weight of the roof is increased by the glass panels, and their mechanisms. The center of gravity is shifted, which can negatively affect handling. Consider that replacing a roof made of carbon fiber with a glass-panoramic can have ill effects on performance.

When the panoramic sunroof is not opened upwards in vehicles, it is retracted and placed into a recess. In order to do this, the manufacturers must lower the ceiling. This can reduce the space inside by up to 1,5 inches.

The glass roof does not offer the same thermal insulation or sandwich construction as a traditional roof. This can cause condensation in the cabin.

The panoramic roof is a good way to let hot air out more quickly. However, the climate control system will be less effective because the direct sunlight will heat the cabin.

Older cars may suffer from this problem despite the improved insulation of newer sunroofs. The increased weight can also cause problems, as it makes it harder for the battery or engine to function. This is primarily a concern for hybrid vehicles.

Maintenance is difficult. The roof control system and numerous moving parts of the structure increase the risk of leaks.

Possible breakdowns. A glass panel with a uniform temper is more susceptible than a metal panel. The shocks can affect the ride and damping. They are dispersed throughout the body and cause vibrations and even the destruction of the roof. It will cost a lot to replace it.

Sunroofs come in many different types.

The following categories can be used to classify panoramic roofs:

The windshield in this case does not stop at the roofline but extends further to cover the passenger area. The car is the product of an electric vehicle startup based in the US that competes with Tesla. It features a panoramic sunroof above the front seats, and a transparent one over the back.

These cars have a glass roof that is divided into two or more panels. Each panel can be opened independently. Subaru models have a two-piece panorama roof. The mere presence of two roofs does not mean that the roof is panoramic.

This can be seen in the Tesla Model S, which was recently updated. It is a solid panel covering the entire passenger compartment.

The four removable glass panels on the new GMC Hummer are called this. Technically, it is not a panoramic roof. Fixed structural crossbars obstruct the view and nullify the panoramic features.

Does it make sense to buy a car that has a panoramic roof on top?

A panoramic roof is a great addition to luxury cars, but sports cars can do without it due to its negative effect on performance.

When buying a used vehicle, a panoramic-roof car is only worth the money if it's relatively new or is in like-new condition. Older vehicles with this roof can cause you problems.