Panoramic roof...or not so much...

Panoramic roof...or not so much...

This may have been covered, and, if so, my "bad."

I think that the panoramic roof looks sharp, though, to this point in time with a number of previous cars, I have not used the installed sunroof.

I live north of San Diego, not inland where it's much hotter, but was wondering about heat and glare issues.

So...given my habit to this point, I recognize that there's no economic or utility-based rationale for ordering that option, but thought I'd run it by the community for its feedback.

Thanks to all who respond!


Mathew98 | September 14, 2013

Even if you never open the sunroof for fresh air, it would provide extra light and the interior feels bigger (plus the extra 2" head room).

I hardly open my sunroof but the extra light really brighten my driving experience. I drove a loaner without the pano roof for a week and it just felt stuffy in the car.

If you get a chance to test drive or sit in both versions of a car in a service center or showroom parking lot, you'll feek the difference.

madbuns | September 14, 2013

I got the pano roof because it is gorgeous. I also got it because I occasionally like to be able to let the sun stream in.

Heat - hotter than I expected in the car after a few hours in the sun - not nearly as hot as other cars that I have owned, but still uncomfortably warm upon entry. I have gotten in the habit (relative - only owned Maggie for 8 days now) to use the application vent settings combined with climate control (A/C) about 30 minutes before I go back to the car.

Glare - haven't noticed any issues at all.

Hope that helps - happy decision making - great car.


bradslee | September 14, 2013

Aside a personal preference, I think that with a pano roof, you get more head room and an awesome sun roof. Even if there is no shade, the pano roof blocks 98% heat and light. If you do not live inland with high temperture, I do not think that there is any big difference whether you have the pano roof or not in terms of the light and heat. I love my pano roof.

2kids10horses | September 14, 2013

I test drove on Friday, ordered an Inventory car.

About the Pano: I was skeptical. I usually don't care for "moon" roofs. I feel they're hot and glary.

NOT the Pano. No glare. No hear. Amazing.

I sat the in the back seat, and put my hand up near the Pano, felt no radiant heat. Then, I moved my hand back, where the sun was shining in through the rear window. LOTS of heat! What a difference! The test drive Tesla guy saw what I was doing, and did the same thing with the Pano and front windshield. He said he could really tell the difference, too! And he would add that to his "demonstration".

I'm 6' 1 1/2". No issue with headroom in the front. In the back, I still had no issue, but I could tell if I sat "tall", my hair would touch the ceiling. Plenty of knee room. I usually push the front seat all the way back. Then I sat in the rear. No problem.

My Model S is being shipped in from Denver.

elguapo | September 14, 2013

There are a number of treads on this. People from AZ to CA to FL all say the pano adds little/no heat. I have had mine through the summer in MD (90s on many days) and have had no issues.

Check out to search this forum on previous discussions. | September 14, 2013

What @elguapo said. I use the pano more than on any of my other cars--I have the sunroof control on my right thumbwheel.


runonmd1 | September 14, 2013

I really appreciate the feedback!

Keep 'em coming.

I am leaning toward adding the feature to my S85.

However, at the risk of mixing postings, I'm ordering the Performance model, but not the P85+. My driving is more sedate. While I really appreciate the car's acceleration, if the guy to my right wants to floor it to get ahead of me to impress himself and his imaginary girlfriend when the light turns green and the road narrows from two lanes to one, God bless...I'll get there a bit later, which is just fine with me.

Thanks for the input...I'm still listening!

Some folks are adding tint to the panoramic roof to further block light entry, though I don't know what effect that has on the heat situation, though what I've gathered so far is that it's not really much of an issue.


ddruz | September 14, 2013

You really owe it to yourself to sit in cars with and without the pano roof, both front and back seats before making a decision to order it or not.

In normal seating posture the rear seat headroom is very tight to restrictive without the pano roof for many adults. This is much improved with the pano roof.

IMO increased rear seat headroom is the pano roof's primary benefit with its secondary benefit being increased airiness, light and feel of roominess.

Living in Hawaii I've never had an issue with heat or glare. I almost never open mine and consider it the most valuable option on my car.

HenryT2 | September 15, 2013

If you are driving at low speeds, like through a suburban neighborhood, driving with the sunroof open accentuates the lack of noise of the motor. It makes it feel like you are sailing or coasting on a bicycle. Above 35 and the road and windnoise nullify the effect. But I open my sunroof as much as possible in when I'm driving at lower speeds.

jchangyy | September 15, 2013

One more opinion. Live in Sunnyvale. lots of sun, but not too hot. Have had mine just over 7 months now with pano roof. It's nice to look at but if I were to do it again, would not get it. too hot, in my opinion. lots of wind noise above 70mph (this maybe a problem with my specific car).

Koz | September 15, 2013

I had one car before with a small, non-pano sun roof and never used it. The Model pano is a different animal altogether. It is so large, the opening is not much different from a two-seat convertible with a hard top and the feel in the front seat is similar. Even with the roof closed I feel there are significant advantages to having it as some have already mentioned.

I live in South Florida and there is added heat intrusion but not a ton. I got the light leather to offset the affects and it is mire comfortable to enter after being in the sun than black leather with no pano. If you can remember to do what Madbuns does ahead of time by venting and remote starting the AC, will be significantly cooler. Even if you just vent the roof 5 minutes it would also be cooler than most cars with a solid roof on entry.

Hopefully Tesla will add the sunscreens at some point that they previously promised and it will be even better.

lawsteve | September 15, 2013

Before ordering my P85, I had been driving convertibles since 2000. It's hot in Florida, but I've always loved the open top. Pano roof was the best I could do! My p85 is being delivered Tuesday. Looking forward to lots of roof open driving!

earlyretirement | September 15, 2013

Absolutely I'd go with the sunroof. I also live in San Diego and this weather here is PERFECT for it. If it's too warm or too much light comes through just tint it. I did that and it totally solved my problems with heat and light.

The only potential downside is that they have had some issues with some sunroofs with noise and also on mine I had the seal melting and leaking this black butyl goo but Tesla said they will fix it. My car is in the shop now while they fix some things.

But I'd definitely go with the sunroof.

N_Tesla | September 15, 2013

I live in LA, I skipped the option. I don't like the glare of the sun, I prefer to drive while sitting in the shade! One less thing to break and I saved some money.

runonmd1 | September 15, 2013

Ok! Wow! The responses have really helped!

Do I have trouble making decisions? Well...yes and no. Har!

But seriously, folks...the feedback has been most helpful, and I have decided to add the panoramic sunroof option.

To "early retirement," which is something that itself deserves a toast, where did you go for your car roof's tint job? I know that some can end up looking kind of seedy, with cracking, bubbles and all, but, in contrast, there are companies or individuals in the San Diego area who/that do a really excellent job, so any recommendations as to that will be similarly appreciated.

Of course I intend to try the car without it to see how it goes first, though my car has a December build slot (we're putting in solar, and wanted to get that installed first, and they're swamped).

Anyway, TMI, I suppose, but, again, I am most grateful to all for having taken their time to respond.



earlyretirement | September 15, 2013

@ runonmd - I used Mr. Tint Window Tinting who the San Diego Tesla group uses. They have a few different locations. I went to the Escondido location. They have a special deal with the group. I did the entire car for $560 which was a discounted price.

That included both sunroofs, the windshield and all the windows around the car. They did a good job and it definitely cuts down on the heat and light.

I think for San Diego, you really have to go with the sunroof and I think if you don't get it you will later regret it.

The various companies all have a warranty so I wouldn't worry about bubbling, cracking, etc.

Mr Tint Window Tinting
Escondido Vista Encinitas
Mon-Sat 8-5 Tues-Sat 8-5 Tues-Sat 9-5
760-746-7866 760-724-8400 760-633-1120

SarahsDad | September 15, 2013

I have the Pano roof and did notice the heat in 85-90 degree sun. Just got PhotoSync tint on side windows and back (not pano) and heat has pretty much disappeared. Only heat I can feel now comes through the front windshield, not the roof (I may go back and get the front done w a light tint). Definitely not needed on Pano roof in my opinion. And no glare whatsoever.

earlyretirement | September 15, 2013

Yep. When I got the car, we had a hot week and temperatures got up to 100 degrees inland. I could definitely feel the heat, even through the sunroof. Also, doing the front windshield I could feel a big difference. That's a huge source of light and heat and with the 70 on the front windshield it has helped.

I didn't get any color distortion and from what I understand it's perfectly legal so it kind of was a no brainer to me.

Captain_Zap | September 15, 2013

I have a car without the Pano roof and with a white interior. I got a loaner with a Pano roof and a black interior on a sunny weekend in the Pacific NW. The loaner with Pano roof and black interior was much warmer and the AC had to work much harder to keep up.

earlyretirement | September 15, 2013

@ Captain Zap. Yep. I totally agree with you. I think the people that try to claim that the heat and light is nothing are exaggerating. Plus, with every other car I've bought before I have gotten a sunroof but I don't want a sunroof just to let the sun shine in when I don't want it. Virtually every other car out there has a shade to block the sun when you don't want it.

When I want some sun I'll open the sunroof but other times it was annoying before I got the top tinted. I also think that they definitely should be making an automatic shade for the sunroof. Or worst case scenario a manual one you can pull.

But with the tinting, it's not a problem anymore.

DAVIDD8000 | June 9, 2014

Sorry to disagree with some posters. Have had my Model S for a little over 2 weeks and absolutely love everything....except for the barrier offered by the panoramic roof. :-(

I live in Northern CA, and even if mostly sunny and mostly warm, the roof does not block enough heat. Maybe the problem is with my head (little hair there) but my scalp feels burning to the touch. No idea about UV; they say 90% block but have no way of testing. I wear a hat in the car most of the time; way too uncomfortable otherwise.

I contacted Tesla, but they could not offer any solution. Only solution they suggested is to come to the forums and see what people are recommending in terms of after-market tinting.

I feel this should be Tesla's responsibility to correct or to pay for the tinting. Anyone has had this experience? How did you resolve it?

DAVIDD8000 | June 9, 2014

Sorry to disagree with some posters. Have had my Model S for a little over 2 weeks and absolutely love everything....except for the barrier offered by the panoramic roof. :-(

I live in Northern CA, and even if mostly sunny and mostly warm, the roof does not block enough heat. Maybe the problem is with my head (little hair there) but my scalp feels burning to the touch. No idea about UV; they say 90% block but have no way of testing. I wear a hat in the car most of the time; way too uncomfortable otherwise.

I contacted Tesla, but they could not offer any solution. Only solution they suggested is to come to the forums and see what people are recommending in terms of after-market tinting.

I feel this should be Tesla's responsibility to correct or to pay for the tinting. Anyone has had this experience? How did you resolve it?

LEvans | June 10, 2014

My E550 has a pano roof and my Model S that I will buy once it is available with AWD will also have a Pano roof. After you get used to it, it feels like you are in a cave when I'm in a car with a regular sunroof.

Especially when paired with a lighter interior the Pano Roof makes the car feel a lot more spacious and inviting for me.

J.T. | June 10, 2014

@DAVIDD8000 Please explain why it is Tesla's fault that you're going bald.

TESLA168 | June 10, 2014

i didn't order the pano.. because i've almost never used the sunroof/moonroof in my other cars. without a pullover board like in other cars, it's glass or nothing.. i opted for the cheaper and "safer" choice - i can live w/o pano.. but if it was too hot i'd have no remedy.

to each his own though.. i'm perfectly happy driving in my "cave"

podoffice | June 10, 2014

Its the only option I wish I hadn't ordered. The roof has made noise since I got the car. They have "fixed" it 3 times now but the noise always returns in a couple of months. I almost never open it. It is nice to have the extra feel of space but it isn't worth the noise it creates.

archidata | June 10, 2014

Has anyone noticed that the sunroof rattles a bit when open?

carlk | June 10, 2014

Mine delivered in March is quite and no rattles at all when open. I don't open the pano roof when driving 80mph on the freeway of course. It got more compliment from passengers than anything else. Everyone says how nice the open sky look is although I don't usually look up the sky when I drive. From outside it just make the great MS look complete, especially my pearl white, imo.

As for the heat I have no problem at all. I got all windows and windshield PhotoSync tinted. The car with black interior was not hot at all after sitting in the 90+ degree sun the last few days. I did not tint the pano roof since many people say it's not necessary. Windshield is a much bigger culprit. | June 10, 2014

Anyone has any recommendation for tinting in Chicago area?

Tesla-David | June 10, 2014

My car was delived on 1/2/13 and have absolutely loved my pano roof, and open it a lot in Washington State, but only open to 80% to keep the vibration down. With full opening of pano, there is quite a vibration above 35 mph. No problems with my pano over last 16+ months.

jordanrichard | June 10, 2014

To cut down on the buffering/vibration, put down the side windows.

Khalid | June 10, 2014

The interior experience is TOTALLY different when you have the panoramic roof.

1- Light
2- Head room
3- The ability to install roof racks
4- Resale value (I wouldn't buy a used Tesla without a panoramic roof; I personally didn't go with a really nice, fairly used, S85 because it didn't have a panoramic roof; it felt really dark).
RESULT: You will enjoy it every day.

1- It might "introduce" issues (leak, doesn't function properly).
RESULT: You "might" visit the SC once on average due to an issue with the panoramic roof. I know I did, but I would still go with it no matter what.

Rocky_H | June 10, 2014

@Khalid, I'm surprised at you listing resale value as a "pro". Old sunroofs leak. I would consider that a "con" for resale value, since older used cars would be getting into that age when they will have problems with the seal and leaks and noise. As you mentioned as a "con", sunroofs are susceptible to problems that solid roofs just don't have, but I think it would be pretty clear that those problems are lesser when a car is new, and much more when a car is older.

socalsam | June 10, 2014

I live in Scottsdale- ordered the car last month and due to the potential heat issues here and the fact that I never open a sunroof or a moon roof in any car that I have owned, I did not get the Pano roof. However after sitting in the cars (one with a pano roof and one with out a roof ) I changed my mind. I changed my order to include the pano roof.

Im 6'4" and while I never plan on sitting in the back of the car, there is significantly more room in the car with the pano roof. More importantly as others have stated, without the pano roof, the car feels a bit cramped- a bit stuffy. Much more roomy with the pano roof in place.

jordanrichard | June 10, 2014

If should the roof leak, like all cars with factory sunroofs, there are drains going down the A-pillar (windshield) Another benefit to an all galss roof......less to wax :-)

DAVIDD8000 | June 10, 2014

@J.T, I hope the question was just trying to be funny and not serious. In case it was a serious one, no I am not blaming Tesla for my loss of natural scalp protection. What I am saying is that Tesla claimed very high block of heat and UV and that is not what's been delivered. The pano roof is gorgeous, but the glass is not as protective as claimed.

Khalid | June 10, 2014


Hahaha true! and easier to wash with ONR since you don't have to change towels more ofter for swirl marks.

J.T. | June 10, 2014

@DAVIDD8000 Well, 1/2 and 1/2. Yours is the first post I've read complaining about the level of tint on the pano. So, I have to think that you are particularly sensitive to the sun's effects.

My eyes are very sensitive to the bright sunshine yet I find the protection afforded by the tint on the pano to be more than adequate. I've done the side and rear windows with Crystalline and I am perfectly comfortable in the brightest sunshine.

Haeze | June 10, 2014

In Colorado, where we have much less atmosphere blocking the sun, I still do not ever feel even the slightest bit warmer under the pano than I do on parts that are shaded. I did drive a loaner with the black leather interior and it was quite a bit warmer inside at all times. I prefer the tan leather 100%.

On the noise issues, my car has had an annoying seal issue with the pano since I got it, but a month or two ago they released a new service bulletin to replace the plastic exterior panel in front of the sunroof panel. Once that got installed, I have not had any noise issues, either open or closed. The extra 2mm that they raised the rear side of that panel made all the difference in the world. Now the seal stays in place, and I hear no wind noise from the pano all the way up to 85mph.

GAGSTESLA | June 10, 2014

No hole in the roof here and quite happy about that. No leaks, creaks, groans, etc. I do have the Black roof option that goes great with my Green. I don't miss the hole at all, glad I did not get it. Perfectly happy to sit in my "cave" and drive.

cassiopiea | March 20, 2015

There is one thing holding me back from purchasing the Model S - the panoramic moon/sun roof. I live in hot, sunny Southern CA. After test driving the car a few times, it does get hot on the top of my head! My entire family of four also complained and wondered why we can't have the option of closing it. Why can't I have the option of closing the moon/sun roof? I want the panoramic moon roof as it's beautiful, but I also want the option of closing it completely so the top of my head doesn't bake in the Southern CA sun. I don't want to get the hard top Model S, but if a design change can't be done, I may have to wait longer for another choice.

Kutu | March 20, 2015

@cassiopiea I have a panoramic roof, and I don't have hair on top of my head; I haven't noticed a problem even with the strong Florida sun. I ordered the panoramic roof for the possible roof rack and the head room, I hardly ever open it.

Haggy | March 20, 2015

Go to the Tesla accessories page and check out the

Laryrob | March 20, 2015

Tesla offers a screen/shade for the pano roof now. I had a MS60 w/o and will take delivery of a P85D with next week. Always had a convertible as summer car but sold the TBird when i gat the S on the theory I would only want to drive the S!-I was right. i live in Seattle so no real heat issues. Am getting the screen/shade to have just in case

omega | March 20, 2015

It's fantastic, just get it. I want my kids to look up to the sky through that and windows NOT ipads....

Red Sage ca us | March 22, 2015

I never understood why people buy convertibles, paying the $10,000 to $15,000 premium over the hard top vehicle, then drive the around Southern California on sunny days with the top up.

I asked my manager about this, regarding his Mercedes-Benz something-or-other-SL a couple of decades ago... He said that he got sunburn if he put the top down, unless he wore a hat. He didn't want to wear a hat with the top down. So he only put the top down on overcast days.

I still don't understand it. Dude. You bought a convertible, knowing you were bald and could get sunburn, so you could drive it with the the top up?

"I'm not bald... You're bald! I'm shaved. Shaved is better." -- Michael Wilbon to Tony Kornheiser, ESPN

logicalthinker | March 22, 2015

people are not logical. Case in point.

carlk | March 22, 2015


I'm surprised at you listing resale value as a "pro". Old sunroofs leak.

Why is that? The moonroof of my 98' Honda Prelude was still air/water tight until it was totalled in 13'. It definitely would command a higher price should I decide to sell it before that.