The terms “sunroof” and “moonroof” are often used interchangeably, even if the former term is a lot more popular. However, there are a few distinctions between them to note.
A sunroof is a sort of panel, traditionally made of metal, placed on the car roof that can slide open to let sunshine and fresh air into the passenger compartment. Sunroofs are defined as opaque.
A moonroof differs from a sunroof in that the panel is made of glass. The term was coined in 1973.
A sunroof can be manual or electric-powered. However, virtually all moonroofs are electronic.
“Sunroof” Favored Over “Moonroof”
Today, the term “sunroof” is used a lot more often than “moonroof.” It applies to opaque and glass designs, either manual or electronic.
Ultimately, despite the differences, sunroofs and moonroofs have one thing in common: they both open to let light and air into the car.