Panoramic Roof: Things to Consider Before Your Purchase


– Panoramic roof: definition

– 3 Advantages of the panoramic roof

– 3 Disadvantages of the panoramic roof

– Installation of a panoramic roof as a retrofit

– Replacing a panoramic roof

Buying a vehicle equipped with a panoramic roof, isn’t it exposing yourself to more heat in the cabin in summer and reducing the strength of the vehicle structure? Should you do without this charming option? Let’s clear up this thorny issue.

Panoramic roof: definition


The panoramic roof is in the roof, i.e. the ceiling of the car, where it can occupy the entire surface from the front to the rear. It is either made of tempered glass (heat treatment) or laminated glass (a plastic film inserted between two sheets of glass) to insulate from solar heat. It can be fixed or opening, and the control can be manual or electric.

3 Advantages of the panoramic roof

1. Undeniably, the reason for choosing a panoramic view is that it frees up light and space in the passenger compartment.

2. When opened, it allows a better communion with the environment (airflow, scents, etc.).

3. The aesthetic side is also a significant plus, whether from the inside or the outside.

3 Disadvantages of the panoramic roof that are, however, being worked on…

Suppose they are exposed before the purchase of the vehicle. In that case, the disadvantages listed here are often assumed by the vehicle owner, too happy with the panoramic roof.

1. Increased temperature in summer

High temperature is the main disadvantage of the panoramic roof: the large glass surface provides a feeling of heat often localized at the head level. The motorist compensates for this by using the air conditioning more intensively. In addition to the progress made on materials, manufacturers are also working on air conditioning flows to reduce this inconvenience.

Improvements: To counter this effect, carmakers are coming up with some modification:

– the glass can be tinted in the mass and absorb the infra-reds;

– a metallic layer can be applied to reflect the rays.

2. Vehicle soundproofing

Typically, glass filters exterior sounds less than a metal roof. 

Improvements: Here, the solutions provided by manufacturers are:

– Laminated glass roofs that filter sound better than tempered glass;

– work on the materials of the vehicle walls for better sound absorption by using leather, soundproofing foams, felts for the fabrics…

3. Weight

Glass is much heavier than sheet metal (an average of 30 kg of extra weight is required).

Improvements: To limit this extra weight, manufacturers have worked on the roof structures to reinforce them and limit the thickness of the glass.

They also compensate for this extra weight using lighter materials (aluminum, plastic, etc.) for the other vehicle parts.

Retrofitting a panoramic roof

This option is simply impossible: the constraints related to the rigidification and reinforcement of the vehicle’s structure make it out of reach for car maintenance professionals.

Improvements: On the other hand, installing a sunroof (of much smaller dimensions) can be done: the intervention costs an average of $500.

This operation must be performed by an experienced professional (usually a body shop is competent in this field) because a lousy assembly will result in sealing problems.

Replacing a panoramic roof

This operation is performed by a body shop or a glazing specialist. The cost varies from $1 500 to $2 000, and in case of an accident, it is generally covered by your insurance. But, please, check in your contract to be sure.

Hope this post has been informative to you.

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