A moonroof is also sometimes referred to as a sunroof, but there are generally accepted differences between the two. A moonroof includes a tinted glass panel. It is actually an additional window that is positioned in the roof of your car. A sunroof contains a metal panel that is capable of retracting into or above the roof. It might also tilt upward to allow outside air to enter the car.
The term sunroof can loosely be used to describe any type of panel contained within the roof of a car that allows air, light, or both to enter the vehicle and is operable either electronically or manually. A sliding sunroof option often features a glass panel and may be advertised as a moonroof. A glass moonroof will allow more sunlight to enter your vehicle without the need to open the roof. This allows you to enjoy sunlight regardless of the weather conditions. With a sunroof, you are only able to enjoy sunlight if the panel is open, also allowing air to enter the vehicle from outside. A moonroof will also usually come with a secondary, interior sliding panel that is upholstered to match your car's interior. Sunroofs were traditionally comprised of painted metal that would easily blend in with the car's roof. The moonroof is technically considered a type of sunroof. There are actually several different types of sunroofs/moonroofs that come standard or are available as car options. They include spoiler sunroofs, pop-up sunroofs, top-mount sunroofs, folding sunroofs, removable roof panels, and panoramic roof systems.
The first moonroof was introduced on the Lincoln Continental Mark IV luxury car in 1973. The term "moonroof" was coined by a Ford marketing manager, John Atkinson. During the first year of production, the Lincoln Continental Mark IV was sent by Ford to the American Sunroof Company for the moonroofs to be installed offline. The Nash Motor Company was the first car manufacturer to make the sunroof available on some of its models in 1937.