Last modified: Jan 27, 2024

Glass Panel Roof

A glass panel roof is a type of window that covers part or all of the roof of the car. It is made of laminated glass, similar to windshields.

A glass panel roof allows for natural light and ventilation to enter the car and enhances the aesthetic appeal and spaciousness of the interior.


A glass panel roof can be either fixed or movable. A fixed glass panel roof is permanently attached to the car frame and cannot be opened or closed. A movable glass panel roof can be opened or closed by using a button, a switch or a hand crank. A movable glass panel roof may be considered as an extension of the power window concept.


The smallest category of glass roof is a sunroof. This is a glass panel placed above first row. This was the type of glass roof available back in the 80 and 90.

Kia EV6 sunroof

BMW i4 M50 with sunroof

Panoramic roof with front opening

This is a common design where you have two parts mounted together. Where the first part is movable and can be opened while the rear part is fixed.

Nissan Ariya Panoramic roof with front opening

Fixed panoramic roof

Tesla Model Y fixed panoramic roof

Porsche Taycan with fixed panoramic roof

BMW i5 with fixed panoramic roof

Split fixed glass

Another variant is to have to seperate glass panels.

Mercedes-Benz EQS Suv with split panoramic roof

Panoramic windshield and glass panel

Some models have a panoramic windshield that goes far up on the roof. Combined with glass panels in the rear it makes it a roof with a large panels.

Lucid Air with panoramic windshield and glass panel


The glass used typical protect against sun heat by reflecting most of the UV rays and allowing some of the heat to radiate out through the glass. However, some manufacturers add addional blending to reduce heat or increase privacy.


Curtains for glass roofs on cars are also known as sunshades or sunroofs. They are designed to block the sunlight and heat from entering the vehicle through the glass roof.

BMW i5 with curtain closed

Electrochromic glass

Electrochromic glass roof is a type of that can change its level of tint based on the amount of current running through it. It allows the driver to control the intensity of light from transparent to opaque with a push of a button. Some car manufacturers, such as Rivian, BMW and Porsche, offer this option for their models.

Porsche Taycan with electrochromic roof - open mode

Porsche Taycan with electrochromic roof - pattern mode

Porsche Taycan with electrochromic roof - blended mode

Weight & Noise

A glass panel roof is a luxury feature that adds value and comfort to the car. However, it also increases the weight and complexity of the car and may reduce its fuel efficiency and safety. A glass panel roof may also be more prone to leaks, cracks or breakage due to weather conditions, road debris or accidents.

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