Moonroof vs. Sunroof: What’s the Difference?

woman out of sunroof

What’s the difference between a sunroof and a moonroof? When sunroofs first appeared in the 1970s, they were metal panels that opened to let air into the cabin. Moonroofs debuted as a new type of sunroof, adding a transparent or tinted glass panel that slides between the vehicle’s roof and headliner. Over time, sunroof and moonroof designs have become more similar, making it more difficult to distinguish between a moonroof vs. sunroof. Either way, a roof that opens your Mazda cabin up to light and fresh air will refresh any Lowell drive. Keep reading to explore this interior feature across the Mazda lineup!

What Are Panoramic Roof Systems?

Boston, MA drivers often ask us this question when it comes to the amount of light let into your Mazda cabin: is there a difference between a sunroof and moonroof? Both sunroofs and moonroofs come in a wide variety of designs and styles, so there’s no definitive answer. Available types include pop-up, spoiler, inbuilt sunroofs, top-mount, solar, removable, electric, and electronic. Among Nashua, NH-area drivers, we find that the panoramic variety is the most popular choice. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Panoramic sunroofs and moonroofs span the entire length of a car’s roof. They used to be offered exclusively as optional luxury features, but a growing number of luxury models are offering them as standard features.
  • Panoramic roofs come in many sizes, depending on a vehicle’s dimensions. Some vehicles employ a dual-paneled design with a supporting bar between the two glass sections, while others have one large open section.
  • In dual-paneled designs, front and rear passengers can open or close the panel as they wish.

What’s the Difference Between Sunroofs and Moonroofs in the Mazda lineup?

Drivers also ask us about the difference between a sunroof and moonroof when you look at standard vs. available features on Mazda models like the CX-9 and the CX-5. We tell them that while Mazda sunroofs come in a variety of types and sizes, standard sunroofs tend to be smaller and positioned directly above the front seats.  Panoramic sunroofs span the entire length of the roof, and are more often available as add-on features. Contact us at 495 Mazda to learn more about your moonroof vs. sunroof options across the Mazda lineup!

Test Drive a Mazda Vehicle in Lowell!

The best way to find out which features you want most in your new or used Mazda model is to get behind the wheel! While you’re here, check out even more ways to customize with genuine Mazda parts, and see how much you can save with our new vehicle specials for Wakefield, MA drivers!

Learn More With 495 Mazda


    Are you looking for a compact sedan or hatchback to help make the most of every drive through Boston, MA? Consider the 2020 Mazda3. Offering easy-going vehicle dynamics and real-world fuel economy ratings, the Mazda3 Sedan and Hatchback are great picks for Boston, MA’s eco-conscious drivers. Learn more about the new Mazda3 gas mileage ratings below with…

  • 2020 MAZDA CX-9 Towing Capacity

    Boston, MA drivers interested in a new vehicle with substantial trailering capabilities for their family know to look into the Mazda SUV and crossover lineup. Whether you’re bringing along a boat or a tent trailer to your destination, the 2020 Mazda CX-9 towing capacity and additional features can take your adventures to the next level. So,…


    Looking for a fuel efficient SUV that doesn’t compromise on capability? The 2019 Mazda CX-5 is a midsize SUV that offers Boston, MA drivers with all the power they need without guzzling gas. But just how much can the Mazda CX-5 tow? With a maximum towing capacity of up to 2,000 pounds, Mazda CX-5 towing capacity…

Saved Vehicles


You don't have any saved vehicles!

Look for this link on your favorites:


Once you've saved some vehicles, you can view them here at any time.

Contact Us


(978) 454-9300

Call Now


(978) 454-9300

Call Now


(978) 454-9300

Call Now

720 Rogers Street • Lowell, MA 01852

Get Directions

Today's Hours:

Open Today! Sales: 9am-7pm

Open Today! Service: 8am-6pm

Open Today! Parts: 8am-6pm

495 Mazda 42.6311147, -71.2791615.