Hatches and panoramic roof: the pros and cons

2 Feb

Luc in the car is a good thing. The panoramic roof is even better, but what surprises may conceal a “hole in the ceiling” in your cars? Let’s discuss.

First of all, you must understand the structure of it, different types of covers and half-open roofs in the car. Few people know this, but in fact there are many more than you might expect.

Pros and cons of different covers and roofs

Lifting hatch. The most common type of manhole for installation it at “home”. In lifting hatches the back side of the glass is raised by a lever, a rotary knob or a button.



  • The simplicity and reliability of the design
  • Low cost
  • Suitable for self-tapping


  • It works only like a hood
  • Often does not have a sun screen
  • Frequently it occurs without care (whether it was installed in the factory or independently)

Lifting hatches in the new cars are rare. Advantageously they can be found in cheap cars or in the used ones.

The integrated sunroof.

This hatch is often installed in the car factory. It is set in a cavity between the roof and the headliner. The drive is mechanical (rotary knob) or electric.



  • It opens in two directions
  • Often it has sunshades


  • It reduces the headroom (mainly for rear passengers)
  • It is often leaking without care
  • In the open state, it impairs the aerodynamics because of the air flowing, which breaks into the interior

Integrated hatches are common in modern cars. Moreover, almost all the new models are equipped with these hatches, for example from the BYD F3 and ending with the Audi A5.

Sliding hatch. At the back side of sliding hatch the glass roof is raised, and the glass is sliding back over the roof of the car. The drive is mechanical (rotary knob) or electric.



  • It does not reduce the headroom
  • Compared with integrated sunroof, contrary to myth, it less impacts on the aerodynamics


Drainage channels are often clogged

Sliding hatches – a rarity. Often, they are put on their own. In the mid-2000s, they were to be found in the Audi A3 and the BMW 3 Series wagon in the body, but it was especially in high-end trim, and even for a fee.

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Lifting slinging sunroof.

Similar to the sliding hatch. It is shifted after lifting the back side – at the angle to the roof of the car. The drive is mechanical (rotary knob) or electric.



  • It is cheaper than the integrated hatch
  • Some motorists think that it adds some charm to the opened car


  • Drainage channels are often clogged
  • In the fully open state it creates a loud aerodynamic noise

The most common model with this sunroof is Hyundai Coupe of penultimate generation. Today, a similar design of the hatch can be seen on the new version of Hyundai Sonata.

“Double” sliding sunroof.

It consists of two consecutive windows, which the front one is often sliding and the rear is “deaf”. However, there are cars which are frequently encountered with two sliding hatches.



  • A good alternative to the panoramic hatch
  • Compared with the panoramic hatch it less impacts on the body rigidity


  • In case of two opening hatches it requires double care
  • Often it does not have the protective shutters

Double hatch is a rarity for new cars, which are now more likely to use a panoramic sunroof. But such premium models as, for example, Mercedes E-class (body W211) and Subaru Outback in the past were offered with a double hatch.

Why you give up things, when you drive Mercedes?

Folding hatch.

In fact, it is a skeleton, covered with waterproof material, which in opened state is, shifted back and folded assembly at the rear edge of the opening.


  • Singularity
  • Simplicity of design


Fabric covers are almost gone into oblivion. Only on some supercars is used something similar. And it is unlikely, because in Bugatti or Lamborghini these hatches are removed and are not folded.

The retractable or folding roof.

It is similar to the folding hatch by design, but it allows to turn the car in “almost a convertible.”



  • It gives the feeling of a convertible


  • It requires careful maintenance
  • High risk of leakage
  • Unsuitable for year-round operation of car

Folding roofs often can be found in the fashion compacts like the Fiat 500 and Citroen DS3.

Panoramic luc

Panoramic luc gives the feeling of being in the open air (if the curtain is opened) and depending on the vehicle and / or equipment it can either be lifted or completely shifted.



  • Large windows
  • If you wish, you can stand up
  • Fashionable


  • It reduces the headroom (mainly for rear passengers)
  • The high cost of an optional
  • It should be kept clean (if you don’t like to look at the bird feces)

Today, the new cars with panoramic hatches can be met more often. Mostly these cars cost from $ 25 000. Often it is crossovers, premium sedans and minivans.

A roof with a panoramic view.

It provides the same feeling of being in the open air as the panoramic luc. But unlike the latter it isn’t opened in any direction.



  • Large windows
  • Fashionable


  • It reduces the headroom (mainly for rear passengers)
  • It doesn’t assume any functionality, because it can’t be opened
  • It should be kept clean (if you are not disgusting to look at the bird feces)

Panoramic hatches are common in the hatchback and small crossovers. Most often they are found in European cars.

We have discussed the most popular models, and after that it’s up to you to decide and to choose.