Panoramic Glass Roof Heat questions

Panoramic Glass Roof Heat questions

Looking to finalize my Tesla and live in Florida. Any new owners out there in HOT states with Pano Roof option think it is too hot when left outside?
I know Tesla says blocks 98% visible (is this UV?) and 81% heat blockage also.
Just want real world answer. Will be kept in garage majority of time but when at work do not have that option and it gets pretty toasty here in FLORIDA.
Thanks for any comments on the matter.

Steve841 | August 13, 2012

I drove the perf model with pano last month ... hot day in Ft. Lauderdale. And I was very skeptical.

NO ISSUES whatsoever.

Riding in it completely alleviated my concerns.

Tesla S1 | August 13, 2012

I did the same drive in Dania but when I went was too overcast to determine

nickjhowe | August 13, 2012

I've had my Range Rover for six years (in Florida) and never opened the roof.

Why do people want the Pano? Cabin light, headroom? I sat in a pano car yesterday and had the same comment that someone else on the forum did - the majority of the pano opening is behind the driver and almost (IMHO) not noticeable.

I also didn't notice a significant difference in cabin light between the pano and solid roof (i.e. the pano didn't make the car any lighter). That was in a direct side-by-side test of a pano S vs a solid roof S.

Despite how good it is at blocking heat there is (for me ) virtually no upside and a lot of downside (heat, cost, something else to break). One of the few upsides is the potential to add roof rails - so far these are exclusive to the pano.

What do others (esp those in hot climates) think?

BYT | August 13, 2012

Pano roof feels more open and I love the idea of a sunroof as I opened mine frequently in my Accord. With the Pearl White and contrasting Pano roof, it's a MUST BUY for me!

jerry3 | August 13, 2012


I don't like roof openings of any kind. However, the additional rear headroom and the crew ports appear to make it an almost mandatory purchase.

ddruz | August 13, 2012

nickjhowe, I concur with jerry3. The pano roof is almost a mandatory purchase. IMO if a person is choosing only one option it should be the pano roof because it effectively buys a functional rear seat and turns the car into a true 5 seater. I had planned on the hard top both to save the $1500 and because I had a sunroof on a previous car which I rarely used. This was till I sat in the rear seats of cars with and without the pano roof and took measurements with a tape measure.

The head room in the rear seat is so cramped without the pano roof and so noticeably better with the pano roof that buying the car without the pano roof would be sacrificing functional use of the rear seat for many of my potential passengers. There are many corroborating statements about the differences in rear seat headroom with and without the pano roof both here and on the TMC forums. In my mind buying the pano roof is generally more about rear seat headroom than about light, air and ventilation.

Brian H | August 13, 2012

Check the comments coming in from the Houston event:

Your doubts will be silenced. :D

Superliner | August 13, 2012

A nice 100 + degree day in the BLAZING Arizona sunshine will make most dark colored things too hot to touch if left outside. My last experience with a "Sun / Moonroof" was not very positive, NOT because the roof itself was bad or problematic. but because I found that I NEVER used it and rarely opened the sunshade. Driving with it open caused too much wind buffeting and noise to enjoy conversation or music w/o headphones and like many even when closed the additional wind noise was noticable over my other car with no sunroof. (Note cars were both 2002 Lincoln Town Car Cartier Series) We had one with sunroof and one without and they were both owned driven during the same time period.

That said ... I did not notice any appreciable difference in cabin heating when parked in direct sunlight in the summer. Probably apples to oranges to compare with the Panoramic Tesla offering

"FAST FORWARD" to 2013 Tesla. for me?? Probably No Panoramic Roof. Great when new perhaps but seals drying out, potential leaks, additional wind noise, squeaks etc. I likely will keep my Model S (if I can get the purchase done) for a considerable amount of time. And one thing I know FOR SURE,.. the solid roof panel will NOT have any of those potential problems.

As was written elsewhere in this thread.. It's just something else to break

cerjor | August 13, 2012

Can anyone comment on how much wind noise occurred when the roof was open? In our Lexus it is the main reason the sun roof is not opened that often.

Michael23 | August 14, 2012

Hardly any noise when I was going 80 compared to my fx and mini s. if you don't need more headroom at least get black top because it looks much better and lower to the ground IMO.

jerry3 | August 14, 2012


There are a number of youtube videos of the various Get Amped tours. A number of these have the pano roof open and you can still hear what is being said (no so with some of the ones they have the audio system on). Noise doesn't appear to be a problem.

jerry3 | August 14, 2012

Not so with

Electric Machete | August 14, 2012

I also live in South Florida and I would love to hear from someone with a roof similar to the pano roof in the Model S. I'm not looking to see if it is comfortable to drive while the AC is on, that is not my concern. I am wondering how much hotter the car gets while it is baking in the sun while it's parked.

The idea of being able to turn the AC on remotely through the iPhone app alleviates a significant portion of my concern, but I am curious to know if anyone has any real world experience with a panoramic roof in a hot, sunny climate.

jerry3 | August 14, 2012

- I am wondering how much hotter the car gets while it is baking in the sun while it's parked.

Me too.

Michael37 | August 14, 2012

On one of the drives I role along on last weekend, we had the pano roof full open. There was some wind buffeting (the thwub thwub thwub resonant sound like you get sometimes with a window open) at a particular speed. Our co-pilot closed the roof, but really as soon as the roof started to close the sound went away, so I think it is likely to be possible to eliminate the effect by adjusting the roof's position.

I drove with the sunroof open all the time on my 1996 BMW, and I missed it when I got my EV-1 and then my RAV4-EV. I can't wait to have an open roof again!

Michael37 | August 14, 2012

Jeez, I wish you could edit posts. "rode along on"

Rod and Barbara | August 14, 2012

The Guide for Owners, when describing the Sunroof control on the touchscreen, states "Drag the slider bar to the indents to minimize wind noise. This moves the sunroof to the 80% open position." The sunroof open to 80% is relatively quiet. The sunroof open to 100% has enough noise to impede easy conversation between the front and rear seats.

Electric Machete | August 14, 2012

Rod and Barbara, I wanted to personally thank you for answering so many questions on this forum. I appreciate that you haven't abandoned the forum now that you have your Model S. Hopefully other owners will follow your lead and help the rest of us who are still waiting.

Have you left the car in the sun? If so, have you noticed any difference in how hot the interior is in comparison to other vehicles?

Larry Chanin | August 14, 2012

Yes, I'd like to echo Electric Machete's remarks. I greatly appreciate the contributions that Rod and Barbara have made in providing frequent and helpful postings.



ddruz | August 14, 2012

Ditto big time. Rod and Barbara, you are the best.

TikiMan | August 14, 2012

One thing I don't see mentioned much is weight. I don't know this for sure, however, glass is usually heaver than body metal and headliner, plus I am sure the motor that opens the pano roof also weighs a bit more than not.

Thus I opted to just get a body-color roof, so my peformance Sig S will be extra lean and fast!

Brian H | August 14, 2012

So you can out-drag Perfs with pano? That's greedy.

Rod and Barbara | August 14, 2012

@ Electric, Larry, ddruz – Thanks for the kind words. We are enjoying our Model S very much and we love to talk about our experiences.

With respect to Electric’s question about the car sitting in the sun, we live in Southern California, known for it’s temperate climate. However, we are going through a hot spell lately with highs approaching 95 deg F. Our Model S sits in the driveway fully exposed to the sun (Roadster owns the garage). The sun definitely bakes the car and the chrome door handles on the side facing the sun can become almost too hot to touch. The interior of the car, qualitatively, feels to us the same as our Sienna minivan that also sits outside in the sun. After riding in the car for some time, if think if there is any difference in heating under a baking sun between the Model S and Sienna it would most likely be due to the board horizontal expanse of the windshield on the S compared to the Sienna than to the pano vs hard roof.

TikiMan | August 14, 2012


LOL! I guess I still think like a racer ;-)

But seriously, I can't wait to watch Rustdang and Camero owners mouths hit their floorboards!

BYT | August 14, 2012

Model S, the next generation of American made muscle car?

Brian H | August 15, 2012

Family muscle car -- please!! >:(

BYT | August 15, 2012

I forgot, your Canadian, right Brian H? :)

For your sake "Model S, the next generation of North American made family muscle car" ... and your welcome... :D

Electric Machete | August 15, 2012

Thanks Rod and Barbara. Great answer. Interesting comment about the door handles getting too hot.

Brian H | August 15, 2012

Bumpkin! It's "you're". If you're Texan, you get to use "yer" for your and you're, but not "yore".

Brian H | August 15, 2012

Or is that Brooklyn? I ferget.


Cattledog | August 15, 2012

Just test drove in Austin, 103 degrees, pano roof, NOT an issue. Sat in pano roof static car that had been sitting in the sun for hours, windows open mind you, warm inside, not hot (probably 103, screen readout said 109 for outdoor temp, probably from sun/pavement). Closed windows, turned on AC, quickly cooled.

Everyone worried about the pano roof in a hot climate, turn your attention back to cupholders and consoles...

BYT | August 15, 2012

@Brian H, I'm a pirate, I'll use yar! ;)

Robert22 | August 15, 2012

Don't forget the retractable black mesh shades which will also have some effect on residual transmitted heat/ light.

swhardy | March 5, 2013

I'm bumping this thread in hopes to get some feedback from folks in warmer clients who have received their cars with the pano roof. I live in Arizona and have to finalize by the end of the week. I'm leaning towards getting the pano roof but have concerns about the heat (yes it blocks 89% of the heat, which means 11% of it is getting through). Thanks.

shop | March 5, 2013

I've had mine less than a week, but drove 430 miles in sunny CA weather. Didn't notice any heat from the pano roof at all.

Mark Z | March 6, 2013

We enjoyed our Test Drive at the Scottsdale Fashion Square during the heat. The AC was not even at the highest fan setting. You might want to call them directly or visit for their suggestion.

Don't forget the ability to vent Model S on a hot day. The remote application on iPhone or Android allows for venting. At the vehicle, all windows down is on the fob. Opening the Pano roof manually to 80% or 100% could quickly remove extra heat.

There are no included "black mesh shades" as Robert22 mentions above, they were not necessary with the 89% blockage.

However, there could be third party solutions for heat extremes. For example, why not use an insulated foil sunshade that is manually placed below the glass? The Pano roof gives the added room for this type of solution if you required it later. A "black mesh" could be in an expandable frame to fit in the space too.

For those who need the ultimate in extra cooling or to save AC power, consider this:

Remember, the race car driver is fighting the heat of the engine. Not a problem with a Tesla Model S.

danielccc | March 6, 2013

I'd be interested in a non-opening pano roof option, if there was one. I'm concerned more about seals and mechanical reliability than about heat or the weight of the glass.

I also agree that it's mostly a benefit for headroom and visibility for rear passengers. But to those of us who often have rear passengers, this is an important feature, not a bug.

DouglasR | March 6, 2013

A little OT, but has anyone tried to gauge the effect on range of putting the Pano roof in the vented position? I would think it has less of a hit than running the AC, but what about compared to running just the fan + outside air?

jim b | March 7, 2013

SUNSHADE IS COMING! Don't forget the soon Tesla will build cars with a Sunshade. The menlo park store told me that my car with pano won't be delivered with it (in a few weeks) but the service center will add in later at no cost.

BarryD | March 7, 2013

We live in LA and opted to spend the $1500 on the jumpseats instead of the sunroof. We never used the sunroof in our Volvo XC90 anyway, and our kids LOVE the jumpseats. It's like a futuristic Olds Vista Criuser, for those old enuff
to remember it.,l,

Brian H | March 8, 2013

For the non-opening pano roof: just resist the temptation!

shashi | August 27, 2015

it is now Aug 2015 and after 9mo of driving MS in Texas a few things are obvious

- sure the pano roof blocks 90% light from getting through but it still glass, it is dark, and conducts heat. this means the inside of the glass easily reaches 145-160F. naturally this heat is now raining down into the car and has to be pumped out by the AC. contrast with an insulated headliner.

- with outside temp of 95F, an AC setting of 74F feels very comfortable in a Lexus430. to achieve the same comfort level with the pano, I have to set the MS at 65F.

- this lower setting means the AC is working harder and makes somewhat of a racket and almost sounds like I'm driving a gas engine again

- the brilliantly designed jumpseats are sadly rendered completely useless because of total oversight in climate control design in the rear. problem is accentuated with a pano roof.

so basically unless you can find a good accessory to block the pano and the moonroof, skip the option. on the other hand if you are blessed with mostly winter months, go for it by all means and safely toast your kids in the jumpseats.

carlk | August 27, 2015

@shashi There are whole lot more heats coming through windows than from the pano, in particular the windshield and back window where there are large areas exposed to the sunlight. Just put your hands close to them to feel the difference. You need to install window tint films if heat is an issue. Mine with PhotoSync all around except pano doesn't get much above 110F even after sitting under the hot NorCal summer sun for hours.

No need to install tine film on the pano but you could do that too if you think it still causes some heat peoblem.

alex | August 27, 2015

We've had 90-99 degree weather here in California. My August-delivery 85D (with the new pano) does just fine in the heat. I've not seen the interior temperature exceed 104 degrees, even after leaving it in the sun while I'm at work.

hemant_v | August 27, 2015


I have a red one with pano roof - and i love it. HEat is not a problem at all and I will highly recommend it. Go for it:)

- Hemant

CSFTN | August 27, 2015

Memphis TN resident here ... I have a P85D which I bought sans pano roof. Just had a brand-new P85D loaner, with pano roof. It was 92 and sunny, August day. I think Californians don't realize that they have great weather. With the Pano roof, I had to set the AC to 66 (rather than 69) to stay reasonably comfortable, and with such the center of my back was still uncomfortably warm; lastly, the glass in the pano was almost too hot to touch. Plus, it was louder (could hear the trucks coming from above instead of next to me). Lastly, I have known several people who have had to send their car in for service after the sunroof me out of alignment during use.

Now, since it was a loaner I couldn't connect with my app to pre-cool, so that is a significant confounding factor.

If you live in a hot and sunny area (as most of Florida?), and there isn't yet a sunshade, I think no pano.

Red70D.Martinez.CA | August 27, 2015

Living in the Sunny Bay Area and being bald. I love my pano!!! Yes, I feel some heat but nothing like the roof in my wife's VW EOS with the shade pulled back. I am thrilled that I got the Pano and don't think the heat is an issue at all. BTW: was 95 today here. Last week was 105.

ca-blessed | August 28, 2015

Love love love the Pano. Maybe if I didn't live in CA, I wouldn't see any need for it.
But with our constant blue skies, it's a real treat to drive with a Pano.
I feel like the benefits outweigh the negatives of negligible heat and noise.

It's the #2 feature passengers remark about. #1 is usually the door handles or the touch screen.

brian_in_TX | August 28, 2015

Just moved to TX during a week where consistent high temps were 103-106 (DFW area), and it's been a bright sunny day for two weeks.

The Pano roof is excellent, and the interior of the car gets hot, but because it's hot outside, not because of the pano. When I'm in the car in direct sun, I don't feel the baking at all like I do in our LX570 or other vehicles.

Not a problem.

feverdoc | August 28, 2015

I have had my MS for about 4 weeks. I live in Florida(Dunedin near Clearwater)and often leave my Tesla out for 4-5 hours while playing golf. I had planned on tinting the windows but so far I don't think there's any need to. The temperatures are in the 90-93 degree range most days. When I check the inside temperature with the I-phone app it can be 100-109 degrees in the car. I often vent the pano roof and turn on the AC before I drive in it and it cools pretty quickly. I think if I had additional tinting it would take longer for the car to reach maximum temperature but I suspect within and hour the car would be the same temperature with or without tinting. I've not had any problems keeping the car cool while driving. One can also vent the roof to keep the temperature lower in the car when it doesn't rain. The handles do get hot.