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Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
10/15/21 1:43 p.m.

Sure, sunroofs are a great way to get some sunlight and fresh air into a car's interior, but how important are these openings in the roof to you?

Are they a decent compromise between a hardtop and a convertible, or are they just unnecessary holes added to a perfectly good car?

Read the rest of the story

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
10/15/21 1:45 p.m.

I'll admit that I'm a fan, especially for a good panoramic that lets in lots of light.

I know it's another part that can (and probably will) fail sometime in the future, but I just think they're neat.

aw614 Reader
10/15/21 1:50 p.m.

I am mixed, I like the moonroof function and leaving the shade open or tilting it open. But I've had so many issues with drains clogging causing leaks in the trunk, etc. I won't pay extra for one, but if I have it I'll use it. 

But I do think I prefer the conventional sunroof/moonroof over the new panoroofs that are on a lot of new cars. 

Duke MegaDork
10/15/21 1:51 p.m.
Colin Wood said:

I'll admit that I'm a fan, especially for a good panoramic that lets in lots of light.

I know it's another part that can (and probably will) fail sometime in the future, but I just think they're neat.

I'm with you.

I'm not trying to shave the last few pounds off my daily, even if it is as high as it can be above the CG.

And any time the weather is decent, I run with the roof open and windows down, even if it means seat and steering wheel heaters are on.  In fact, I prefer that.


calteg Dork
10/15/21 1:54 p.m.

I know a sunroof is among the least used features on a car, but I use mine pretty frequently. Especially in TX Summer, tilting it open in the parking lot is a great way to shed a little heat without inviting theft.

GeddesB New Reader
10/15/21 1:57 p.m.

They are great until they break, and it seems all of them eventually do.  I know I wouldn't want  a new F150 with one.  Whilst touring the Rouge Plant where they are built, we witnessed them being installed through the windshield opening as they are too big to be installed elsewhere.  With all the  little gizmos attached to the windshield it seems having to get one replaced would be a HUGE deal.  


Tom1200 UltraDork
10/15/21 2:03 p.m.

I think I opened the one in my Protege twice; my wife opened it every time she drove the car.

Driven5 UltraDork
10/15/21 2:20 p.m.

They add a nice feel to the interior on street cars, but are placed too far back to provide any meaningful convertible feel. I've had numerous cars with them, and never had one leak or break.

06HHR (Forum Supporter)
06HHR (Forum Supporter) Dork
10/15/21 2:24 p.m.

I love them, until they leak.  In older cars they seem to all leak eventually, which mine has begun to do, horribly. And because of the leaks the motor has rusted solid, so now it doesn't work either.  IMHO Honda sunroofs seem to hold up better than most, never had a problem with them.  Nissan/Infiniti sunroofs (My leaky one at the moment) are horrible angry

amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter)
amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
10/15/21 2:29 p.m.

I hate the glass roofs. They tend to let a lot of heat through. 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
10/15/21 2:34 p.m.

I used to think they were cool until I got a Miata -- a sunroof is a pale imitation of what a real convertible will give you.  Now I prefer not to have them because the small utility of them isn't worth the loss of headroom, additional weight, and potential leaks.



Region_Rat New Reader
10/15/21 2:34 p.m.

I'm a fan on a daily, not so much anything else.

ProDarwin MegaDork
10/15/21 2:35 p.m.

heavier, more complex, more noise, less headroom, additional failure point.

The "pros" of them dont outweigh the above IMO.

NickD MegaDork
10/15/21 2:40 p.m.

I hate them. They cut into headroom, important when you are 6'3" like me. I'm pretty certain that 90% of my Acura Legend's electrical issues were due to the fact that the sunroof leaked. Also, as a mechanic, they are an untold source of complaints and issues, and they usually suck to work on. Dropping a headliner down without putting a single wrinkle in it or getting it even a little dirty is nigh impossible.

msterbeau New Reader
10/15/21 2:41 p.m.

More weight, complexity and it takes away some amount of structural integrity/stiffness.  F**k off.  

MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
10/15/21 2:53 p.m.

Current DD has one, but it wasn't my preference. I'd generally prefer the lighter weight, increased headroom, and fewer things to go wrong.

But I used to have an Isuzu Amigo with a half-convertible top. The sunroof was welcome there. Pretty close to a full convertible with a cage when you took the rear top down, the sunroof out, and put downt he windows.

Cactus HalfDork
10/15/21 3:03 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

I'm in total agreement. I'm disproportionally tall between my waist and head, so it's even worse. I instruct HPDEs and I've been in multiple student cars that were very headroom limited with a helmet on, and almost all of them were because of the sunroof. Give me a dark roof over a glass one too, even if it doesn't open.


matthewmcl HalfDork
10/15/21 3:03 p.m.

If I have one, I will use it to let heat out when parked, but that is it. I sit fairly upright and if I open a sunroof on anything smaller than an SUV, it just pulls my hair out of the vehicle and smacks it on the roof. I swapped the roof on my car, largely to get rid of the sunroof.

stanger_mussle UberDork
10/15/21 3:22 p.m.

I'm not tall enough to where is impacts my headroom but every car I have owned a sunroof, I have opened maybe twice. I not a fan as they let in a huge amount of heat, even with the shade closed. Its very noticeable here in central Florida. The sun is relentless. They add weight and complexity to an already complex machine not to mention the possibility of leaks.


I'm not a fan.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
10/15/21 3:24 p.m.

Cutting a big hole in the roof never made a lot of sense to me, it's just going to be a source of leaks sooner or later (particularly when the drain tubes clog up.)  I have them on two of my cars but never use them.

Mr_Asa PowerDork
10/15/21 3:30 p.m.

I like em. They don't take the place of a convertible at all, but any time I get to enjoy one I do.

Has influenced more than one car rental decision

rustomatic Reader
10/15/21 3:42 p.m.

One word:  leaks.

buzzboy Dork
10/15/21 3:50 p.m.

I always thought they were stupid until I bought my E36 with a metal sunroof. I love it. That thing get's opened all the time. And it has a mechanical backup(that I keep in the glovebox) in case it breaks.

I also spent some time in an E36/8 and I wouldn't have fit in it without the sunroof. My head actually touched the glass. But generally I don't like the glass ones.

Streetwiseguy MegaDork
10/15/21 3:51 p.m.

I close the sun shade before I drive a customers car from the front parking lot to the overhead door to get in the shop.

Hate having the sun shine on my head while i am driving.  Hate, with a passion bordering on insanity.

When I was about 20, I thought a T roof car would be cool.  Took a 78 Cutlass for a test drive, and realized that, No, I do not want a car with a T roof.

Have I mentioned that I hate them?  Sometimes, when I'm selling a car, people will ask whether the sunroof works.  I always respond with, "I have no idea.  Never opened it."

They suck donkey balls.  I worked in a Volvo dealership in the early 80's.  The 240 steel ones, that only went one direction, were not too bad to repair.  New set of cables and a transmission, and they would generally work ok.  700's came out, with the flippy up and slidey back units, made of aluminum chunks that didn't have the strength to support the weight of the rubber seal, let alone the steel roof..  They also generally required a little tap to transition from flippy up to slidey back, and owners of new cars did not generally appreciate that.  

I really hate them.  The drain tubes will plug, and when I (or a customer)  gets a lap full of rain water the first time  the brakes are applied in the morning, there will be some extremely unpleasant words for the people who designed that useless POS.

I havent't even mentioned that i'm 6'2 and sit very tall.

APEowner SuperDork
10/15/21 3:54 p.m.

Yes, the cut into headroom, they can break and if the vents get clogged up or they're just badly designed in the first place, they can leak but, I like them.  It's the one option that my truck doesn't have that I wish it did.

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