Pros and Cons of Panoramic Sunroof (2024)

Panoramic Sunroofs are a very common luxury feature in cars nowadays. But how viable is this option and do they help a particular in any way? Let's see.

Having a sunroof was at once a luxury item that came fitted with mostly luxury cars. But now this technology has trickled down to quite the list of affordable and popular cars -like the Kia Sonet, Tata Nexon, Honda Jazz, Mahindra XUV300, and the erstwhile Ford Ecosport, to name a few. This glass-pane fitted roof technology does have its roots in open-top cars, but now vehicles almost of all sizes and types feature a sunroof. And to make this offering a bit more special, there are three types of roof-with-glass, technically speaking, available with a car. These are Sunroof, Moonroof, and Panoramic sunroof.

The first one comprises solid panels that are detachable making the car semi-convertibles. These kinds are mostly found with roadster model type cars. In India, most comes fitted with a moonroof, that has a glass panel on the outside and a separate interior cover hood mostly made up of soft plastic. The third kind aka Panoramic sunroof is its expensive kind, and it is longer and wider than the other roofs, which uplifts the cabin's ambience by many folds. But not all are jolly in La La Land. The panoramic sunroof has its set of challenges, as well as advantages. So, what are the pros and cons of the Panoramic sunroof? Lets find that out:

Pros of Panoramic Sunroof

Cabin becomes Airier

Obviously, if the roofs of your car could be opened then it will make its cabin airier. This is especially felt in large cars that come fitted with Panoramic Sunroofs, where the entire roof seems to disappear, for instance, a Land Rover Range Rover, and that makes it a really comfortable place to be seated.

Pros and Cons of Panoramic Sunroof (1)

Enhanced sense of openness

A lifestyle that mostly functions in enclosed spaces, the availability of a sunroof enhances that sense of openness. And since you dont have to worry about the fact that theres no compromising the structural integrity of the roof, that feeling of security will further encourage you to travel with the sunroof open.

Natural Air Conditioners

Since air conditioners are artificial coolers, and at times the temperature might feel too cold, the panoramic sunroof has several advantages in this case. Firstly, air conditioners increase fuel consumption by 10%, and secondly with the windows down wind resistance also increases and that shoots up the efficiency too. The sunroof is very subtly located hidden away from the wind blast, and that makes it a very clever design. Thus, aiding the vehicle's efficiency and comfort of the cabin.

Pros and Cons of Panoramic Sunroof (2)

Alternative Emergency Routes

Unexpected accidents are foreseeable in the future. Having an escape route is a must in these situations. This is where cars that come fitted with panoramic sunroofs might seem practical. Most designs are equipped to take out the glass completely, and it becomes an alternative route to escape safely from the vehicle when it becomes flooded or the windows wont open.

Improved Cellular Reception and Sunshine

This might sound a bit primitive, but oftentimes in hilly areas, receiving a good cellular reception becomes an issue. In such situations, opening up the sunroof does help improve the wireless reception.

Cons of Panoramic Sunroof

Glass design soaks more heat

This is an established fact that glass is a good receptor of heat. Most of the time in countries, like India, there are more than 300 days of sunny days. The large surface area of a panoramic sunroof absorbs heat like anything that heats up the cars cabin rapidly. This puts pressure on the air conditioner system that has to work double hard thereby increasing the vehicles fuel consumption.

Pros and Cons of Panoramic Sunroof (3)

Adds more weight

Aside from the exception of a sunroof, vehicles that come fitted with a panoramic sunroof have significantly more kerb weight than their contemporaries. This interferes with the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. A panoramic sunroof needs additional reinforcing bars, motor and drainage channels, which in turn makes the vehicle top-heavy. This interferes with the centre of gravity, and if not completely, then partially induces a tendency to roll over.

Makes vehicle Noisy and Complex

As mentioned in the point above, a panoramic sunroof equips additional equipment as well. This increases the maintenance cost, and since the roof design also changes the shape of the vehicle that in turn alters the profile of the wind going. These changes cause more noises when driving down the road. And since the roof is right above the head, the noise becomes all the more annoying.

Pros and Cons of Panoramic Sunroof (4)

Not necessary on some vehicles

This point is especially true for most of the cars that are fitted with sunroofs in India. The scope of utility of panoramic sunroofs in India is very controversial because we are a tropical country and that means - 300 plus sunny days. The wide glass pane also increases the surface area of the heat absorption and that in turn heats up the cabin quite rapidly. To top it off, the additional rise in pollution in Indian cities also makes the decision of owning with panoramic sunroof much riskier.

Less Headroom for smaller cars

As refreshing it might come across at first thought, you will also have to keep in mind, that installing a panoramic sunroof will eat into headroom space. For the glass panes needs additional motor equipment to function, they have to accommodate on the roof itself and that eats up some headroom as well. However, since most cars in India come fitted with a moonroof, these problems are negated because the glass panes are shorter and the mechanicals can be shifted above the second row, where the headroom is more.

So, what's your take on the Pros and Cons of Panoramic Sunroof?

Pros and Cons of Panoramic Sunroof (2024)
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