How do we feel about sunroofs?

Colin
By Colin Wood
Oct 18, 2021 | convertible, hardtop, sunroof

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?

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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
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
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
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
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
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
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) GRM+ Memberand 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
Region_Rat New Reader
10/15/21 2:34 p.m.

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

ProDarwin
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
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
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
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
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
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
stanger_mussle GRM+ Memberand 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
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
rustomatic Reader
10/15/21 3:42 p.m.

One word:  leaks.

buzzboy
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
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
APEowner GRM+ Memberand 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.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/15/21 4:28 p.m.
GeddesB said:

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.  

 

As a guy with an f150 that currently sports a broken sunroof (well, half-broken, it opens but does not close), this is ominous. 

Trent
Trent PowerDork
10/15/21 4:42 p.m.

I love em, Not as much as a convertible but I love them. Sliding ragtops, ye olde crank wound metal solid ones, glass moonroofs or the panoramic one in my R55. 

They are all superior to a solid roof IMO

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/15/21 4:47 p.m.
Robbie (Forum Supporter) said:
GeddesB said:

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.  

 

As a guy with an f150 that currently sports a broken sunroof (well, half-broken, it opens but does not close), this is ominous. 

Huh, I would expect it would go through the rear glass opening as well.

On my F-250 I placed a factory order specifically to avoid getting the sunroof.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/15/21 5:04 p.m.

I've had multiple cars (Think 2nd generation RX-7) where the skylight ruined headroom for an even moderately sized person, so on that note I disliked them for many years. Then my son bought a Hyundai Sonata with the big-ass double skylight. From the front, there's not much difference besides the fact that they've figured out how to make them not eat up too much headroom, but from the back! I love it. It makes the rear seats into much less of a penalty box. That's coming from moderate Northern California. I might feel differently in other climates.

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke UltraDork
10/15/21 5:29 p.m.

I don't like them. Clogs, leaks, steals headroom, added weight, and for me when they're open it blows around the hair on the crown of my head which is annoying.

M2Pilot
M2Pilot Dork
10/15/21 5:50 p.m.

Not a fan. If buying a car and had 2 prospects that were identical except that 1 had a sunroof. I'd buy the one without, I'd even pay for for the slicktop.   One thing that I find really aggravating is that to get certain features on many new cars, one has to get the package that includes sunroof.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
10/15/21 6:04 p.m.

Since almost no one rolls down their windows anymore, why would they want a window in their roof?

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/15/21 6:24 p.m.

I hate them and refuse to buy a car with them.

 

There has never been a time where I want more sun beating down on me and a hole in my roof

j_tso
j_tso GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/15/21 6:36 p.m.

I like them in general on a daily. In a regular boring car they can make the commute better on a nice day.

However, on some cars driving with just the roof open produces awful buffeting.

Streetwiseguy said:

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 had a 940 and the sunroof's only quirk was that below a certain temperature, like 60F, it would open but not close.

 

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/15/21 7:15 p.m.

I liked them until I started warring glasses. A sun roof or even a glass roof causes weird bad glare on my glasses while driving.  So I am not a fan unless it is overcast or dawn or dusk or at night. 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
10/15/21 7:25 p.m.

Not a fan

1985 Pontiac Grand Am - factory removable glass panel stores in GM bag in trunk.  Hassle to line up tabs and it leaked.  Only cracked it open - got tired of removing it.  

2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer.  Company car and sunroof ate up the headroom.  My hair touched the fuzzy headliner for 3 years.  

2018 Honda Pilot - just like guy above the bright sun and glare was annoying.  Works great but I like to keep cover shut.  

buzzboy
buzzboy Dork
10/15/21 7:44 p.m.

I've never noticed a lack of headroom from one, but I have noticed extra headroom from one. My head was hitting the glass of the roof. Had it not been there the headliner would be about an inch lower and my neck would have been kinked driving the car.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
10/15/21 7:47 p.m.

Too many bad floors on otherwise good cars in the Builds & Project Cars section because of sunroofs. If a car is always garaged that's a different story but, you know, with a lot of our budgets...

mtn
mtn MegaDork
10/15/21 7:54 p.m.

I've had five of them. My dad has had a lot more. The only one that ever gave us any issues was an aftermarket one. 

I like them, providing there is enough headroom. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/15/21 7:54 p.m.

I did use the one in my CRX a lot. Popping it up delivered that satisfying clonk. 

Cactus
Cactus HalfDork
10/15/21 7:57 p.m.

I'd actually rather have a roofless car than one with a sunroof. My old MGB had a roll bar where the roof was supposed to fold up, so it just didn't have a top. Honestly probably less practical than a motorcycle, but fun.

jgrewe
jgrewe HalfDork
10/15/21 8:11 p.m.

I loved sunroofs when I lived where the sun only came out 5 days a year in Ohio. Now I live where the sun shines almost all the time, I don't want one.

St Petersburg set a record with 768 days in a row with sunshine back in the late 60's.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
10/15/21 8:14 p.m.

untchabl
untchabl Reader
10/15/21 8:22 p.m.

Hate them, I do everything I can to avoid buying a car that has a sunroof. To me a sunroof on a car is like a hole in the bottom of a boat, both are eventually going to leak and cause you problems.

scottdownsouth
scottdownsouth HalfDork
10/15/21 9:24 p.m.

Hard pass...they leak sooner than later.

Also I hate the glare on the back side of my glasses. 

MrChaos
MrChaos GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/15/21 9:40 p.m.

factory installed hole in the roof that will leak eventually

freetors
freetors Reader
10/15/21 10:14 p.m.

I have one in my '01 Forester that I'd love to be able to use but it broke almost immediately after I bought the car (used). It opens, but the tiny plastic pieces that attach to the return cables are broken. Subaru doesn't sell the pieces to fix it, however you can buy the whole new frame for $500+ dollars. 

GTwannaB
GTwannaB GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/15/21 10:46 p.m.

I have one in one of my cars but I rarely open it unless one of my kids asks for it. I would rather buy a car without one but would not reject a car unless I was going for a pure performance goal. I like the unicorn slicktops on cars that usually have sunroofs. 

rattfink81
rattfink81 Reader
10/16/21 1:57 a.m.

For me it depends on the car. I loved them in my e30's but on my 80's VW's they always seem to leak.

My 2012 Gti had one and since it's a VW the switch would do its own thing and I ended up disconnecting it as it got real old manually closing when it decided to not work.

My 2014 Challenger has it. I didn't want it but used Challengers were thin on the ground. I've used it maybe 3 times in 2 years.

On the other hand my wife uses her sunroof in her 2012 Civic Si every day.

madmrak351
madmrak351 New Reader
10/16/21 7:54 a.m.

Great on a daily. I have had few problems with them over the years. Hard top convertible we had became a water leak nightmare, not a fan! If it is a car with performance aspirations, slick top and crank windows all the way!!

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/16/21 8:17 a.m.
dean1484 said:

I liked them until I started warring glasses. A sun roof or even a glass roof causes weird bad glare on my glasses while driving.  So I am not a fan unless it is overcast or dawn or dusk or at night. 

This is my experience as well - glare from back of my glasses right into my eyes. If I drive a sunroof car I pull the shade closed. 

..and I am 5'-17" tall so they're pretty much a non starter anyway. 
 

+1 for slicktops

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/16/21 8:44 a.m.

Sheesh. I used to care about stuff like weight and complication, but I've owned at least a dozen cars with sunroofs, and I've never had a single one leak. I did have one fail, but it turned out to be a wiring issue that was easy to fix. And the headroom thing has never been an issue for me at 6'0".

I love them, and will always have one if it's available. All windows down and sunroof open is a great way to experience open-air motoring without the compromises of a convertible, plus it's available on literally every body style from sedans to wagons to SUVs and trucks.

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
10/16/21 10:28 a.m.

I like them.

My last Rabbit had a hand cranked one, and it made that car even more delightful on a warm, sunny day.

I like the panoramic on the Mini, too, though I don't actually open it as often, or even pull the screen back.

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
10/16/21 11:09 a.m.

Hate, hate, hate....

I don't like losing 3" of headroom. I never use it. Most look like a complete afterthought, especially in this world of amorphous blob jelly bean cars.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
10/16/21 12:15 p.m.

My favorite sun roof is the one that's on someone else's car.

GM > MG
GM > MG New Reader
10/16/21 3:44 p.m.

Don't hate them but not a fan.

One word if you want to let the sun in: 911 Targa...

Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos)
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/16/21 5:22 p.m.

Awful, for all of the reasons mentioned, plus in addition to leaking eventually, they make noise eventually. 

My wife likes them, but even then sometimes the option package required to get one is stupid. Oh? You want a sunroof? You'll have to have $2500 of extra E36 M3, minimum to get that.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
10/16/21 6:26 p.m.
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:

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.

 

 


Same this is why I have owned so many Miatas and now a Boxster.  A car that is designed as a convertible does the top down thing so well.  I've also owned a few vehicles with T tops and they are far better than sunroofs.  

madmrak351
madmrak351 New Reader
10/16/21 7:27 p.m.

If we go down the convertible road then I would rather ride a motorcycle.

jh36
jh36 HalfDork
10/16/21 8:04 p.m.

I have them on a couple of cars and rarely use them.  One is used often...my 1975 Mercedes 450sel. It opens and closes like a vault. It is huge and meaningful. 
Maybe I also just like that it works. 

Aaron_King
Aaron_King PowerDork
10/16/21 8:39 p.m.

I love them in a DD and use them quite a lot.  I will pop the back of mine up, with the shade in place, and crack the passenger side rear window. Very good air circulation without my ears taking a beating from wind or other vehicle noise.  I have also never had one leak in the 6 or so cars we have had with them.  Being only 5.9 I have never had any headroom issues but that would change my mind if it had. 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/16/21 9:49 p.m.
madmrak351 said:

If we go down the convertible road then I would rather ride a motorcycle.

Full leathers and a helmet doesn't deliver the same experience as shorts, t-shirt, and a convertible.

SnowMongoose
SnowMongoose SuperDork
10/16/21 10:29 p.m.

I'm pretty tall with a long torso... and live in a part of the country known for raining 9 months of the year.  
Sunroof is a hard no.  

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/16/21 10:31 p.m.

Heavy, complex, prone to leaks, and blocks helmet.

 

Zero stars, would not sunroof again.

grover
grover GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/17/21 12:11 a.m.

Weird, I avoid vehicles without them because they feel claustrophobic. I've only had one leak out of about 10 and that was an old Range Rover so I'm not sure that really applies.  

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass Reader
10/17/21 7:49 a.m.

Only had one vehicle with one (nissan pathfinder), and liked it, especially on a summer's night.

During the day, especially summer days - the cover was closed, too much right onto my balding head

RX8driver
RX8driver Reader
10/17/21 10:02 a.m.

Not a fan, but I'm 6'3", so headroom is important. My wife's 2019 Rav4 with a sunroof has many inches LESS headroom than my 2015 WRX without. It's to the point that I can't have sunglasses on top of my head while sitting fully upright. My first car, a 1991 RX7 had a sunroof and I did use it because it had no AC, but I had to nearly lie flat to drive it with a helmet on. I would have preferred it to not have the sunroof, but then again, I'm not a convertible fan either.

My wife's last two cars have had sunroofs due to their trim level and they get used very rarely, mostly staying closed with the sun shade pulled closed.

I just hope my next car doesn't automatically include one.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
10/17/21 12:03 p.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

Convertible wanna-be's. 

noddaz
noddaz GRM+ Memberand UberDork
10/17/21 2:59 p.m.

My 1986 GTi had a manual sunroof.  At one point the cables went bad and I replaced them during my lunch break in the parking lot with basic hand tools.  I liked the sunroof on that car.

My 1997 Jetta has an electric powered sunroof.  I use it almost daily.  I have had to clean the drains a few times and I was shown a trick to cut the end off the little valve on the end of the drain tube.  The sunroof works fine and I like the sunroof on this car.

My wife had a 1992 Maxima that had a power sunroof.  My wife and I both enjoyed the sunroof on that car until one cold winter day when my wife slowed down to stop at a traffic light and received a cold shower from the sunroof.   My wife said never again and her current Honda Accord has no sunroof.

 

madmrak351
madmrak351 New Reader
10/17/21 3:38 p.m.

In reply to codrus (Forum Supporter) :

Understand how you can feel this way. However for me I feel safer in the helmet on the bike. Had a miata for 2 years just felt more exposed and less involved in the process. I know the car should be safer but it is not how I felt. And its not like I have never been hurt on a motorcycle. Not logical but it is how I feel. And I never drove the Miata as  aggressively as I did a fixed roof car.

 

Carsandbikes
Carsandbikes Reader
10/17/21 4:23 p.m.

Out of the nearly 30 cars and 1 truck that I have owned, I had 1 car with a factory sunroof and 3 cars that were factory convertibles.   I specifically ordered a sunroof on the car that had it, a 74 Audi Fox 2 door.  As much as I wanted a silver car, I took a red one because that was the only way to get a sunroof at the end of the model year.  I thought that a German sedan " necessitated " a sunroof for the full European car effect.

To me, a sunroof or moonroof makes a car just that much more special.  It's sort of like the difference between having a shirt that you bought at a department store and having a shirt (even from the same store) that has been monogrammed.   BTW, the sunroof in the Audi never leaked and actually was the only section of roof not rippled when I had a bad accident one morning speeding to work.

The convertibles?  When I was a kid I had the top down 24/7 nearly 365 (lived in Florida).  Nowadays, even though I still live in Florida, the top is rarely lowered.  I like the styling and the ability to lower the top when I feel the need.  But as a senior citizen I find the high speed wind blast with the top down can be annoying on a daily basis.

wawazat
wawazat Dork
10/17/21 4:42 p.m.
madmrak351 said:

If we go down the convertible road then I would rather ride a motorcycle.

DD has a sunroof.  Project car one is a convertible and I have two MC's.  I'll take all three paths for the win Alex!

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
10/17/21 5:02 p.m.

When you're shopping the bargain basement, you get what you get. The only sunroof I had that didn't leak and squeak were Fieros as they were well designed into the car. My 97 Saturn SC2 had one, and one repaired I'll admit to using and sort of liking. Haven't had a sun roof since and don't miss it.

I hate sunroofs.

BA5
BA5 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/17/21 6:34 p.m.

I use it on my Prelude literally every time I drive the car. Sometimes even when it rains.

P3PPY
P3PPY GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/17/21 9:29 p.m.

I had one frighten me pretty good one night in a mildly modded 89 Prelude with a wind guard. Giving it all I had, doing about a buck 20 and I heard this awful racket. I thought for sure I'd destroyed the motor. Took it out of gear and slowed down, couldn't replicate until one time about 85 with a goofy crosswind and it turns out the wind guard was not made of very strong material and was flapping against the roof.


Also made me hate a certain Honda forum for all the snide comments when troubleshooting. 
 

As someone else just said, I buy cars that are bargains, not typically because I chose the car, but I'm always happier with my purchase if it has a sunroof. It's a little more fresh air and I suppose that's well said that it feels a little special. No, it's not a convertible but they have do their drawbacks too. Only had a couple but no leaks.

Also: Very convenient for high school shenanigans. 

fatallightning
fatallightning Reader
10/18/21 7:21 a.m.

Love em. Also love t-tops and targas. I'm also a top down/off in anything above 45* kind of guy too though. But the little bit of light and air makes cars feel more open to me. Especially modern cars with high beltlines and monster A pillars.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
10/18/21 7:35 a.m.

As if on cue, I was just handed a repair order for a 2018 Equinox with plugged sunroof drains.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/18/21 7:37 a.m.

I generally don't like sunroofs. The ones in the MINI are particularly bad - rattle and the wind noise when they're open is terrible. One of the reasons I bought my R53 is it was not optioned with the sunroof. Among my MINI friends, my hatred of the MINI sunroof is something we often joke about.

My Jetta wagon came with a sunroof because it was part of the GLS package and I had to get that package if I wanted the optional leather seating.  Since the car had roof rails that create wind noise, I almost never opened the sunroof.  Then the BCM decided to start randomly opening and closing the sunroof on its own.  After one time when it opened the sunroof and I failed to notice it didn't close, I yanked the fuse for it. 

The drains for the sunroof are also prone to clogging.  For the Jetta, VW had a recall to cut off the ends of the drains in the door hinges cavities to stop debris from building up there. In the MINI, they are known to clog and dump water onto one of the BCMs in the back of the car.

While I don't want a sunroof in my cars, I do actually like convertibles.... 

Brotus7
Brotus7 Dork
10/18/21 9:28 a.m.

I don't really care for sunroofs, and aftermarket sunroofs are the devil.  My GTI has one that I only open occasionally, whereas I always had the top down on my NB if the sun was shining and it was warmer than 40F (cold blooded New Englander here).  My Europa has an aftermarket one that is in the process of going away - replacement roof panel is hopefully in the mail today!

jerel77494
jerel77494 New Reader
10/18/21 12:16 p.m.

I use mine under two circumstances:  when I don't need the a/c and I want air to flow through the car without that low frequency buffeting I get when I open a window and in the winter when I use the heater so it doesn't get stuffy from all the heat rising to the top of the passenger compartment and staying there.

iansane
iansane HalfDork
10/18/21 12:25 p.m.

I've only owned a few cars with them. My e30s are the only ones old enough/cheap enough to leak and they functioned great until I cut the crap out of the truck's roof. I never could get the drains to function correctly and it always soaked the inside. Actually this last weekend I cut it all out and braced up the hole for a roof basket. The GF never used the sunroof anyway. Although I almost always utilize the popup function.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
10/18/21 1:27 p.m.
Duke said:
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.

 

Same here. I like having the windows down (or top down) when it's a little cool outside with the heater and seat heaters on. 

Just feels excellent. 

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/18/21 3:39 p.m.

I regret my younger days.  I used to avoided sunroofs as I couldn't stand the thought of the extra onces above my head raising the CofG and limiting that last possible 0.000000000000000001s I could potentially shave off my autocross time.  These days I consider them as essential for any car that accidentally comes from the factory without the possibility of putting the whole roof down as all cars should be able to.  I simply wont buy a car these days that isn't either a convertible or with a sunroof.  I love the big double panel glass roof on my wife's MINI, both mine and our daughters Volvo's have glass sunroofs.  Boxster is a vert.  The only non sunroof car we still have is my 08 Volvo C30 that I ordered without a sunroof for the stupid weight/height autocross argument I mentioned above.  

So, put in the the PRO column then.

P.S. I'm pretty sure the plural of sunroof is sunroofs.

 

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
10/18/21 4:15 p.m.
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) said:

I regret my younger days.  I used to avoided sunroofs as I couldn't stand the thought of the extra onces above my head raising the CofG and limiting that last possible 0.000000000000000001s I could potentially shave off my autocross time.  These days I consider them as essential for any car that accidentally comes from the factory without the possibility of putting the whole roof down as all cars should be able to.  I simply wont buy a car these days that isn't either a convertible or with a sunroof.  I love the big double panel glass roof on my wife's MINI, both mine and our daughters Volvo's have glass sunroofs.  Boxster is a vert.  The only non sunroof car we still have is my 08 Volvo C30 that I ordered without a sunroof for the stupid weight/height autocross argument I mentioned above.  

So, put in the the PRO column then.

P.S. I'm pretty sure the plural of sunroof is sunroofs.

I'm with you, except that if the car doesn't come with a sunroof, I can add one. Like the Webasto power unit I put in my Volt.

 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
10/18/21 4:22 p.m.

In reply to Chris_V :

Can you give us a cost on what the kit plus labor cost? Seems like a fairly expensive thing to do. 

 

Also, I love the wheels you have on the Volt, they really look great. 

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
10/18/21 4:24 p.m.

It honestly depends on the car. I've had a bunch of cars with them, and in those cars I enjoyed them. My past two daily drivers had them and I used them all the time. But they can be problematic in some cars. My mom's infiniti Q60 had issues with the sunroof drains clogging, which caused some issues with her car a few years ago. And anything that's older with a hacked-in sunroof is an instant pass when shopping for a project. So yeah, YMMV.

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
10/20/21 7:25 a.m.
z31maniac said:

In reply to Chris_V :

Can you give us a cost on what the kit plus labor cost? Seems like a fairly expensive thing to do. 

 

Also, I love the wheels you have on the Volt, they really look great. 

The sunroof was $1200 installed, done by an upholstery company local to me who is a Webasto dealer. Unfortunately this year Webasto stopped doing aftermarket sunroofs and only does their OEM work. But there are a number of these out there in stock at various dealers waiting to be installed. And Webasto is still warranting them. It's the Hollandia 300 series power sunroof.

 

mfennell
mfennell Reader
10/20/21 2:20 p.m.

I was thankful that my '19 VW Sportwagen has a solid roof.  VW have bought a bunch of Alltracks back because they couldn't fix the leaks. 

 

mad_machine (Forum Supporter)
mad_machine (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/20/21 10:46 p.m.

Funny this came up,  I just replaced the sunroof on my Disco.  I broke it by bringing home some wood from a big box store and thinking I could open the roof.  One of the lifting arms went snap and I spent the last year dealing with a wind whistle when closed or a rattle when opened.

Replacing it was easy peasy,  Just had to drop the front of the headliner, remove 10 bolts that held the drop pan in, and lift the assembly out the roof.  Replacement was opposite of removal.  The hardest part was putting the roof console and sunvisors back in.

 

I use from forward sunroof all year, unless it is pouring down.  During the summer, I use all four windows and both sunroofs.  Yes, I hate air conditioning. 

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
10/21/21 7:27 a.m.
mad_machine (Forum )                 Yes, I hate air conditioning. 

That is a statement I have heard in the past, and it still makes no sense to me, at all.  What's to hate?  There is air of the correct temperature blowing around.  Not really painful...

mad_machine (Forum Supporter)
mad_machine (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/21/21 8:49 a.m.
Streetwiseguy said:
mad_machine (Forum )                 Yes, I hate air conditioning. 

That is a statement I have heard in the past, and it still makes no sense to me, at all.  What's to hate?  There is air of the correct temperature blowing around.  Not really painful...

This is the guy who wears a fleece all year at work because it is too cold for me.  

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/21/21 9:30 a.m.

No hate, no love, I guess I'm indifferent to them. The Suburban, G35, and Ridgeline have them. I doubt I've opened any of them more than twice. I don't go out of my way to avoid them, but I also do look for them either. 

wspohn
wspohn SuperDork
10/21/21 11:21 a.m.

I've owned three cars with sunroofs - Jag Mk 9, Jag Mk 2 and a 76 Jensen Interceptor with a factory fitted sunroof (I found the bill for $1500 1976 dollars (that's over $7K in today's dollars).

One thing I'll tell you to never, never do is try and clear the drain tubes (normally located at each corner of the sun roof) by blowing air down them.  You  will be highly likely to blow off the probably already rotted rubber hoses that lead to the down tubes and will have to dismantle the interior of the car (in a big and expensive way) to replace them.  Use a small diameter wire, judiciously  applied to try and clear them.

And if you drive aggressively, try not to think about what cutting a giant hole like that does to torsional rigidity....

 

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