Can't decide on the roof

Can't decide on the roof

I'm thinking of trading my 2012 Porsche 911S for a Model S with performance package. I live in Utah where the sun is very hot. I can't decide if I should get the panoramic sun roof. Will I be able to see the touch screen? Will the inside get too hot?


gagliardilou | April 10, 2013

Get it. The sun is blocked well.

Maestrokneer | April 10, 2013

I live in CA and have never had a problem. I don't think you'll regret it.

lammersc | April 10, 2013

I live in Houston, and I have the sun roof. It is very effective at blocking the sun, and the heat. I don't think you will be disappointed if you get it.

Cirrus | April 10, 2013

The sunroof is much darker than any car I have owned. Other cars I often need the shade to block the sun. With the tesla, no shade needed.

wthieldelgado | April 10, 2013

I live in California and the pano roof blocks the heat and sun extremely well. I often open it to get some air circulation to cool me down, and then realize the air circulation doesn't make up for the now hot sun bearing down on me. I've never had any problem seeing the touch screen either.

Another thing to consider is rattles from the pano roof. After 1200 miles my roof has started squeaking whenever I hit the smallest of bumps or road imperfections. Rattles drive me nuts so I'm having Tesla service look at it next week to see if it can be fixed.

swysechoice | April 10, 2013

Live in SW Florida. Pano roof is great. No glare and keeps car as cool as the metal roof would

David Trushin | April 10, 2013

I don't particularly like sun roofs, so take my comments with that grain of salt. What I've heard on the forum is that a small but not insignificant number of sun roofs have developed squeaks and rattles and possibly other problems. This I believe is more a function of sun roofs than it is of Tesla, since I have sunroofs on my ICE cars and the one that is panoramic has a noticeble rattle that service can't seem to fix. So you may feel comfortable with the heat aspect of it, I know nothing of that. But you also need to consider the maintenance aspect.

ddruz | April 10, 2013

Also consider that you gain 1.5 to 1.75 inches of headroom in the back seat with a pano roof. IMO this is the main reason for getting it.

Whalensouth | April 10, 2013

No Pano roof - no regrets. Every previous car I have had has had a sunroof... Which I used 2% of the time. Love the regular closed, non rattling roof.

jemartin | April 11, 2013

I had the same question before I finalized my car back in December. In the end I got the pano roof and I'm so glad I did. I've had sun roofs in previous cars but they were either loud or too small, and I ended up never using them. This one is different. I use it all the time. When it's cold I turn on my seat warmer. When it's really hot I open the back windows (which by the way allows you to drive over 60 with the roof 100% open - otherwise you have to open it at the 80% mark). It almost feels like a convertible sometimes. It's been my best decision as far as build options. I've had no mechanical issues. I've driven for hours in downpours and it doesn't leak. I'll gladly trade the occasional service call if something goes wrong for all the benefits I get from it.

CarlE_P439 | April 11, 2013

No problems with pano roof. Car is warm sometimes, but venting sunroof and using climate control (all by phone app) work well!

s_curve | April 11, 2013

I have the pano roof and am pleasantly surprised at how much UV and heat is blocked from the cabin. There is no seperate, opaque cover necessary even in 90 plus degree temperatures. As for the touch screen, its clarity in direct sunlight is better than my iPad. Its clear to me the engineers at TM thought these things through.

cablue | April 11, 2013

We initially got the pano because of the extra headroom in back was significant for the tall members in the family. Without it, they would be bending over just to fit in back. It is so nice, and we have it open often. No rattles, either.

Michael Hatch | April 11, 2013

I live in Tampa. it does work very well moderating glare and heat.
I agree with the rear seat headroom comments.
one drawback for sure is noise. a non sunroof car will be considerably quieter.
no doubt about that. and thats mainly a sunroof issue, not tesla. a hard screen would fix this issue but i think the screens will be soft thus doing nothing to lower cabin noise.
sunroof improves look of the car too imo. so whatever is more important to you should make your choice easier.

joe | April 11, 2013

i went back and forth on the pano roof and finally decided to get it. I'm glad I did. I haven't had the car long enough to know whether it will develop rattles or squeaks, but I haven't had any so far. I'm not historically a sunroof person. The reason I like the pano is the feel of openness it provides. I was worried about the heat aspect but it hasn't been a problem so far.

Maestrokneer | April 11, 2013

+1ddruz and cablue: The headroom was the same reason the pano roof was a "must-have" for us. It's significant and noticeable. We didn't get many options, but we found the budget for the pano-roof and haven't regretted it.

rdalcanto | April 11, 2013

I'm 6ft tall, and my boys are growing fast. My oldest is 14 and about 5'9" already. Sounds like I need to get it for headroom. I'm hoping to see a Model S soon and then I will decide. I am worried about the rattling issue some of you are having. Hopefully they have figured that out at the factory now.... Thanks for all the great replies!

neodave7 | April 11, 2013

Had the creaking noise from panoramic roof on my S few weeks after getting the car. Quite annoying and gets worse when weather is nice and warm. At this point in time, Tesla engineers still do not have a permanent fix for it.

celtrog | April 11, 2013

question I have re: pano roof:

What does the open roof do vis a vis aerodynamics??
Does it increase drag and lower your range??


rterry | April 11, 2013

no pano-no regrets here...

Chunky Jr. | April 11, 2013

I couldn't decide on pano roof or not until I went to a Tesla Store and saw both of them up close. I think the pano roof makes the car look much nicer from the inside. no issues with heat - just as warm as my other car that has a solid roof.

noshird | April 11, 2013

There is a built-in wind deflector that pops up automatically in the front when the sunroof is open, I would imagine that decreases aerodynamics a bit.
Being able to slide your finger on the touchscreen to open sunroof by a precise amount.....priceless!

CC | April 11, 2013

If you have kids, the panoroof is a great addition. My 2 boys (5 and 2 y/o) loves looking up at the sky, birds, planes, clouds, buildings...etc, and they don't stare at the DVD player any more. Probably better for their eyes :) Like most said, heat and light is NOT an issue at all, this roof blocks them very well.

olanmills | April 11, 2013

I have almost 5,000 miles with the pano roof and I have no leaks or rattles. I think the pano roof is really cool.

I haven't driven my car in very hot weather, but last year I did the test drives in hot weather and the pano roof wasn't a problem.

Also, I haven't had a problem with glare from sunlight coming through the roof. The only time I noticed glare was once during sunset. The sun was very low and the road and the light was at just the right angle to allow the sun to come through the rear windshield and cause some glare on the screen. I haven't had an issue with the roof though.

djm12 | April 12, 2013

Just comes down to if you are going to use it. Almost every car I've ever owned was either a convertable or had a sunroof of some sort. I found myself using these features very infrequently and had mechanical issues with them half the time. Needless to say, when given an option, I elected for the solid roof on my Model S. One less thing to bring it into the shop for!

olanmills | April 12, 2013

Even if you don't open it very often, having a glass roof is still nice aesthetically, in my opinion.

dockt | April 12, 2013

I did not get the pano roof b/c I never used them on my other cars. When I tried to the wind noise overpowered everything (stereo, conversation with kids) so I would just close it back up. Also, I wonder if no roof makes the car any lighter or stiffer (doubt it). Finally, I also did not want to deal with any rattles/creaks/squeaks or future problems out of of warranty. So functionally, he pano roof roof was a no for me.

Having said that, I definitely think aesthetically it is an awesome piece to have in the car and would open things up above really nicely (even when closed). And I do not like the broad expanse of polyester headliner in my standard 85kwh; the sunroof breaks that up nicely, of course.

In the end, I'm still 60/40 against it, for me... If $$ is at all an issue, consider saving your $1500 for a service plan or a myriad of Tesla upgrades/accessories that they are already coming out with.

Tomas | April 13, 2013

Get the Pano
I live in so cal. No problem with the heat

biwamura | April 13, 2013

I think the question to ask is whether the problems with the pano's are worth the the pano roof. I have always had a sun roof since I live in San Diego and realized when I was ordering the Model S that I really did not use it that much. Also since viewing the many threads reagarding the problems with the roofs and this is not an easy fix,I am glad I made that decision!!!!

David M. | April 13, 2013

I'm down here in SW Florida. Get the pano roof. It blocks a lot of heat from the sun and most of the light as well. Still you can see up when you want. Tesla got it right with the pano.

jillalameda | April 13, 2013

I think this is an item where you'll be fine either way. I don't have it, and don't regret not getting it. My family is tall and we all fit fine in the back seat. It is a nice sunroof if you like sunroofs and don't mind the noise. If you are having questions about it, save the $1,500.

GeirT | April 13, 2013

I am going through the same 'mood swings' concerning the pano. Not so much for cost but more for the need, and design aesthetics. Living in a cold and dark place as Elon described it, 10 months of the year it for sure won't be used due to cold, snow and rain. When the sun is out and it is warm, say up to 4 weeks a year in a good year, is it worth the money? Would I enjoy it so much (over time; I see the novelty being a thing for enjoyment) that I should have it? And my conclusion so far is that maybe not. On the design aesthetics side, there is no doubt in my mind, the car does not need the pano. It needs the solid same coloured roof. But that is me. So, despite how cool and how nice, I am 60:40 against pano. But, still deliberate and have time to as deliveries to this cold and dark place is way off, still...

ddruz | April 14, 2013

@Geir T, You might want to try sitting in the rear seat of cars with and without pano roof before making your decision if you have not done so already. Nothing beats first hand experience.

In your situation the pano roof decisions will not be about sun or aesthetics. First hand experience of rear seat headroom prior to purchase will easily decide it for you.

If the rear seat headroom without the pano roof is fine for you then say no to the pano roof. But if the rear seat head room without the pano roof is not sufficient for you then say yes to the pano roof.

BHayward | April 14, 2013

Heat passing through the glass is not a problem. I have been favorably surprised by this. However, my sunroof make a great deal of air noise at highway speed. Tesla will look into this next week, may be a seal problem. I am also hearing slight rattles.

cerjor | April 14, 2013

I control the pano roof from the right thumb wheel on the steering wheel. I find it much more convenient that the touch screen. When I park in the hotter weather a tap on that wheel which will open the top to the vent setting of 12% or I can roll the wheel to any percent I want. Great feature.

GeirT | April 14, 2013

I sat in the demo car with pano and with my 186 cm that was just fine. I wonder how much the regular roof will build. No no-pano demo car available yet but guess the day when I am up for my final choice. I guess by the way that 90% of the time the car will be used by the wife and myself only, so I am not so concerned about the height in the back, really... but...

RAUDIKAL | April 1, 2014

I am going to order my Model S in the next 2 weeks and the sunroof is one option that I am not 100% about. In the cars that I have purchased in the last 10 years, the sunroof is part of some luxury or convenience package so it was not an item for consideration.

When I really think of how often I use the sunroof, my use is limited to moderate temperature days in the Spring or Fall on surface streets. At highway speeds, the wind noise is too much for me to use the sunroof.

I do like the openness that the panoramic roof provides. My MB R350 has a panorama roof and the interior feels less confined and the kids love looking up at the sky especially when in the city looking at buildings or when driving to the airport and seeing a plane pass above. I will use the Model S with the kids and like the idea of a panoramic roof but other posts about wind noise, leaking, and other problems with the roof option makes me nervous. We are a busy family and on the go, as most of us, so the idea of dealing with repairs, etc adds to my apprehension.

I have been following the forums for more than a year and I appreciate all the advice & perspectives posted here. Thank you!

Olof | April 1, 2014

Disclaimer, I am not into sunroofs in general.

Got panorama roof on my MS. Almost never open it. My kids in the back seat like it because of the light and openness that it provides them but for me as a driver, no. I'd rather have a lighter, quieter, stiffer car with a solid roof.

Mathew98 | April 1, 2014

@RAUDIKAL - Earlier production with pano roof had issues. Most recent builds have incorporated fixes for wind noise and creek issues.

That goes for most of the body and panel issues reported during the first year of production. It seems like deliveries in the last 2 months have been near perfect.

Of course there are still the occasional owners with a catastrophic issue of the missing ash trays and grab handles...

Texas Tesla | April 1, 2014

No Ash trays? I'll take one off the next United flight. Sans the gum.

yamdandd | April 1, 2014

No solar gain issues yet since my Oct. 2013 delivery. I love the panoroof and wouldn't consider buying any type of car without one, including my 6-speed BMW x3. I just love the "wind in my hair" feel of a sun roof on lovely days.
However, two nights ago, after 3 days straight of driving rain, I got in my car (ironically just moments before the 60 minutes updated feature aired on Elon Musk and TESLA)and water flowed onto the top of my head and down my shirt! The sunroof had not been open for weeks due to the weather here in NJ. En route to my meeting, I opened and closed the roof to ensure its seal. It seemed fine.
I think there must be some blockage in the internal drainage channel, assuming there is one?! Has anyone had a leak problem?

amitb00 | April 1, 2014

Get the pano. Even if you don't open it, it gives a very roomy feeling. You can look up and see the sky. It is very different from a typical sun roof which you see in other cars.
I would have loved if entire roof opened but currently only the first half opens.

JAD | April 1, 2014

You will probably be happy either way. I had a 911 Targa with the similar all glass roof and was very unhappy when I sat in a newer 911 coupe with the dark headliner the germans like. Tesla uses a light colored headliner so it won't be so dark (I bought a 911 cab in the end). Also, the Targa, our BMW X5 glass roof, and my moms MB E-class all have some noise from the big tops, especially when cold or when the body flexes.

In the end, the experience with the glass is better, but the car is quieter, stiffer, lighter, and simpler without the pano roof. More to wax though! I such a quiet car as the MS, I chose not to get the roof and enjoy the 911 cab on the really nice days. I did not compare head room from one to the other as my 10 year old should be fine either way.

Does anyone know if the roll test the Tesla did so well and supposedly broke the machine for crush protection was on a standard top, pano top, or does it not matter?

Mathew98 | April 1, 2014

@JAD - It was with pano roof. TM uses rocket grade bolts to enhance the strength of the B pillars.

Thomas N. | April 1, 2014

Cannot stress getting the pano enough. The car is just really open and beautiful with it. No problems in SoCal summer sun with it last year and no problems in SoCal winter sun with it this year.

We open it about every couple weeks and that's usually just to vent or maybe to 20%. Occassionally we'll open it to 100% and cruise down PCH along the ocean. That's quite an experience.

In 9 months of ownership I've never heard so much as a squeak from it. Dead silence.

If I had to choose between choosing either the Tech Package or the Pano Roof option I'd have to really sit down and think about it.

Get the pano. You'll never regret it.

LEvans | April 1, 2014

As if you need more convincing, get the Pano Roof. I can't imagine buying a car without it. The light let in by the pano roof works especially well with a light leather interior.

amitb00 | April 1, 2014

Looks like 85, tech package, pano roof, parking sensors are kind of basic minimum.
I personally will also add twin chargers to future proof but know that many will disagree.
Depending on your family situation, third row may or may not be important.

Brian H | April 2, 2014

Thomas N;
But ... have you ever experienced rain? Much less a gulley-washer?

ir | April 2, 2014

Pano gives more than a "feeling" of roominess. It really gives you 2" more headroom (thickness of the cross beam). The solid roof's ceiling liner covers the cross beam.

AndyO | April 2, 2014

I needed it for headroom in the driver's seat but I'm taller than average from seat to head. I've only had it for 5 days but have no issues with solar heating. As to viewing out of the plano, that's mostly for the rear seat passengers.