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

Glass-roofed cars let the sun flood in to otherwise gloomy interiors. These are the best panoramic sunroof cars available

Craig Hale
Jul 20, 2021

A car fitted with a panoramic sunroof can help banish the winter blues and let in the summer sun by brightening up the roof with a large glass pane to give the interior a light and airy feel.

The feature is a popular choice among car buyers, and so manufacturers have responded by making a glass roof option available for virtually all types of cars. Even small city cars, such as the the VW Up And Smart ForTwo can have panoramic roofs included with high specification models.

Glass roofs are also abundant in family cars, where option packs can provide an affordable way of adding a panoramic sunroof; higher-specification models increasingly fit them as standard.

There are currently 668 cars with a panoramic roof available on BuyaCar. The variety of vehicles available with the feature mean that prices cover a wide range, from £8,456 to £132,196 with PCP finance payments starting at £152 per month.

Best cars with a panoramic sunroof

What is a panoramic sunroof?

There's no strict definition of a panoramic sunroof, but the term is generally used to describe a glass panel (or panels) covering a large proportion of a car's roof. Some slide to open and draw in fresh air, but others are fixed and only let in light. Most have a blind to provide shade when the sun is too bright for comfort.

A panoramic sunroof can make an enormous difference to a dark interior, making it feel brighter and more spacious. However, the opposite is often true: sliding sunroofs generally reduce headroom for occupants, so cars with low, sloping roofs can become tighter for passengers if one is fitted.

Adding a heavy glass roof is also likely to have a small impact on fuel economy and the car's nimbleness in corners, particularly for smaller cars where the extra weight is more noticeable.

1. Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris Hybrid front three quarters view

Price of roof as an option £495 on Design and Excel trims

The Toyota Yaris has recently been updated, which means you can get hold of the latest hybrid and safety tech and a panoramic roof in a package that doesn't cost the earth.

There's a 116hp 1.5-litre petrol-electric setup that promises upwards of 60mpg - meaning that your fuel bills should be low - and all versions include alloy wheels, automatic lights and wipers, a reversing camera, and a touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The sunroof in the Yaris is fixed, and the blind is manually operated.

MORE ABOUT THE TOYOTA YARIS

2. Ford Fiesta

Price of roof as an option £995

Thanks to the Fiesta's diminutive size, its panoramic sunroof covers the whole roof area, making this one of the brightest small cars available. There's an electric blind and the roof opens too. Because this reduces headroom, all cars with a panoramic roof come with adjustable driver and passenger seats, while the roof rails are removed on the Active model.

In a car of this size, which is quite light to begin with, a heavy glass roof does make more of an impact when it comes to roadholding, slightly dulling the sharp cornering response of the Fiesta, compared with models with a standard roof. However, this is still an enjoyable car to drive.

FORD FIESTA BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Volkswagen Tiguan

Price of roof as an option £960-£1,175 on all trims, but standard on Elegance models

The Tiguan is a popular small SUV on British roads, and the latest model is just as head-turning as the striking new Hyundai Tucson despite being a few years old. There's a pair of 1.5-litre petrol engines producing 130hp and 150hp, a pair of 2.0-litre petrol engines with 190hp and 245hp, and a pair of 2.0-litre diesel engines with 150hp and 200hp. All of these offer a good blend of punch and economy, though unless you cover tens of thousands of miles every year, we'd opt for one of the petrol versions.

There's plenty of choice, with manual and fast-shifting 'dual-clutch' automatic gearboxes, as well as two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive options, and a range-topping high-performance 320hp 2.0-litre Tiguan R. In the case of the Tiguan the tilting and sliding panoramic sunroof is built to close if the car senses a collision, too. Clever.

VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Mercedes A-Class

Price of roof as an option £3,000 (with Premium Plus pack), £5,000 (AMG Premium Plus on A35 AMG)

Considering the £3,000 price that Mercedes charges to add a sunroof to the A-Class, you might expect it to be the most lavish panoramic roof you've ever seen. In reality, it's a little on the small size, barely reaching over the rear seats, although it does tilt and slide. The reason for the high cost is that it comes as part of a pack that includes brighter LED headlights, keyless entry, electrically adjustable front seats, self-parking, and other safety equipment.

The roof is also available as part of a £5,000 pack for the high-performance Mercedes-AMG A35 - this includes even more kit than the Premium Plus pack. Go for the A35 and aside from the glass roof, you also get a potent petrol engine and all-wheel drive, which enable the A35 to rocket from 0-62mph in under five seconds.

MERCEDES A-CLASS BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Range Rover Evoque

Available on all models
Price of roof as an option £1,150 (fixed, standard on Autobiography), £1,600 (sliding, standard on HST)

A panoramic roof-equipped Range Rover Evoque is the perfect vehicle for stargazing: once it has taken you into the back of beyond, you can sink down into its cosseting interior and watch the night sky in luxury.

Both the new Range Rover Evoque, which has recently gone on sale, and the previous model have the panoramic roof as an option, and its appeal stretches far beyond amateur astronomers: the extra light it brings to the slightly gloomy rear seats will improve the mood of your passengers no end.

The roof doesn't open on the older model, so it actually increases the amount of headroom available, which is good news for taller occupants. Buyers of the latest car can choose between a fixed or sliding roof, which are both optional unless you opt for the range-topping HST or Autobiography models. The sliding roof will reduce headroom, so it's worth being aware of this, if you often transport tall passengers.

RANGE ROVER EVOQUE BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Skoda Octavia Estate

Price of roof as an option £1,175

The Skoda Octavia is an enormous car, even in hatchback form, and it offers equally considerable value for money. As an estate car, it has 610 litres of space in the boot, and 1,740 litres of room with the seats down, which isn't far off some small vans - it's only this version that can be specified with the optional panoramic sunroof.

The Octavia shares mechanical bits with the Volkswagen Golf, so is well-screwed together and doesn't have a budget feel - despite the Octavia's low costs, it very much feels like a high-quality machine. The panoramic sunroof is certainly not a budget choice here, costing £1,170 as an option across the range on new models, but it does extend far along the roof of the car, bringing light to the darkest corners of its vast interior.

Consider the fact that new car options rarely add much to the value of used cars, and going for an Octavia Estate with a glass roof fitted shouldn't cost you much more than one that does without.

SKODA OCTAVIA BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Jaguar E-Pace

Price of roof as an option £990

Jaguar's smallest SUV doesn't go short on equipment. All E-Pace models have LED headlights, a heated windscreen, automatic lights and wipers, an 11.4-inch media system and folding rear seats that split three ways, which isn't all that common despite its improved practicality.

The panoramic sunroof available in the E-Pace is fixed, but it does have a sunblind to make it more useable. It's available on all models for £990 as a new car option, though it's unlikely to add anywhere near that much to the cost of a used model, making it a more appealing feature for those looking for a second-hand car.

JAGUAR E-PACE BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Volvo XC90

Price of roof as an option £2,350-£3,150 (mild hybrid Momentum, Inscription and R-Design models), £1,500-£2,150 (plug-in hybrid Inscription and R-Design models)

All versions of the Volvo XC90 feel airy and spacious, thanks to light interior fittings and the minimalist dashboard design. However, that doesn't mean that the interior can't be made even more inviting with added glass in the roof.

So, this interior is well-suited to the large double sunroof that can be fitted to any new XC90. The front section opens to tilt and slide, and there's a blind as well. Passengers in the front two rows of seats will have a clear view of the sky, though the glass doesn't quite stretch back to the third row of seats.

VOLVO XC90 BUYERS' GUIDE

9. Tesla Model 3

Panoramic windscreen available as standard

The Tesla Model 3 electric car has a so-called panoramic windscreen that continues on above the driver's head for much greater visibility and light than most cars allow.

This feature is standard across the range, making the Tesla airy and bright. It's purely fixed, though when you have so much glass above you, we don't think you'll feel like you're missing out.

10. Mercedes C-Class Coupe

Price of roof as standard on AMG Line Night Edition Premium Plus models

The glass roof in the Mercedes C-Class Coupe is made up of a fixed panel at the rear and a sliding front section. This should provide the benefit of providing fresh air, without intruding on rear passengers' headroom which is already quite limited thanks to the C-Class Coupe's sloping roofline.

Accessing this swish glass roof is costly, though: it's only standard on top-spec models and isn't part of the options list on cheaper models. That does mean you'll benefit from a long list of other standard equipment, however. So, if you want lots of kit all-round in a stylish two-door car and you're willing to pay for it, this could be a good option for you.

MERCEDES C-CLASS COUPE BUYERS' GUIDE

 

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