Let the sun in: the best cars with a panoramic roof

Panoramic roofs let beams of natural light into your car. These are the best panoramic roof cars available

Jun 29, 2018
Citroen C4 Cactus moving

When sunroofs first came onto the car scene they kicked up quite the stir. People flocked to showrooms to check out cars that allowed light into the interior via the roof. Of course, these were quite rudimentary in design, and could mostly only be opened slightly, or tilted.

Later came electric sunroofs that opened fully, and later still, on cars like the Renault Scenic, twin, electric sunroofs. But the sunroof’s popularity waned as the years passed. In the Nineties and Noughties many cars had air conditioning as standard and the sunroof seemed obsolete to many.

Then came the mid-2000s. It’s hard to say which manufacturer first used a panoramic sunroof, as they all have different ideas of what a panoramic sunroof is, but these types of roofs shot to fame here and have remained an expensive optional extra since.

What is a panoramic roof?

They come in many different variations, but essentially, it’s a piece (or pieces) of glass which you span the entire roof. Most of them come with blinds so you can pick and choose when you want to use it, in some cars they only allow the roof to slide open for the front passengers, while some allow the entire roof to be open.

You might also see it written as a moonroof if you’re reading an article on an American website.

The idea behind the panoramic sunroof is that it allows a lot of natural light to be brought into the car’s interior. This in turn, makes the car feel larger and airier. It can really lift a cramped interior, and at least make you think that you’ve got more space than you really have.

Keep reading to see our list of the best panoramic roof cars, or, click the button to search for cars with a panoramic roof


Volkswagen up!

Best panoramic roof car for value

Available on VW High up! models Cost from new £710

Since 2012, the VW up! has been the market leader in the city car section, and also the most popular car you can buy with an exclamation mark in its name.

It’s been heavily updated inside since its launch, and it feels pretty modern inside, has room for four (on short journeys at least), and, High up! specification models get a panoramic roof. It slides and tilts, plus, has an integrated roller blind to prevent glare.
VW up! buying guide

Citroen C4 Cactus

Best Panoramic roof car for quirky looks

Available on Flair models Cost from new included in the spec

When this car arrived on the scene in 2014 it looked wacky, thanks to large plastic bubbles, known as airbumps, plonked on the side.

New cars have been toned down, but still feature these distinctive bubbles, albeit, much smaller and reduced to the bottom of the car. The Cactus is quirky and is also one of the most comfortable cars in its class. Top specification Flair models get a panoramic sunroof thrown in.
Citroen C4 Cactus buying guide

Skoda Octavia Estate

Best panoramic roof cars for big boots

Available on L&K spec cars and above Cost from new £1,160

The Octavia is an absolutely massive car, and even in hatchback form, can dwarf other estates. But in its estate form it has 610 litres worth of space, and 1,740 litres worth with the seats down.

It shares mechanical bits with the Volkswagen Golf, so it has all-round reliability too. The panoramic sunroof, although expensive, is of course much larger than it is on smaller cars.
Skoda Octavia buying guide

Volvo XC90 T8

Best panoramic roof cars for hybrid power

Available on T8 inscription Cost from new included in spec

The XC90 is an extremely impressive vehicle that can go toe-to-toe with the very best Germany has to offer, but has its own unique appeal because of its its understated Swedish design philosophy.

Hi-tech hybrid power makes the Volvo the cleanest car on this list, and the panoramic sunroof is thrown in for free on top-of-the-range models.
Read Volvo XC90 buying guide

Mercedes A-Class AMG

Best panoramic roof cars for speed freaks

Mercedes A45 AMG

Available on Mercedes A-Class AMG 45 Cost from new £900

A new A-Class has just been released, but an AMG model won’t on the horizon for quite some time. So this ‘old’ A-Class AMG will have to do you if you want a panoramic sunroof in something really fast.

And this A-Class is really fast. 376hp and a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds make it supercar-batingly quick. But it has a proper hatchback, five doors, and, as you will have guessed, a panoramic sunroof. It might be a £900 option, but it helps lift the otherwise drab interior.
Mercedes A-Class buying guide 

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