The convertible is a fantastic way to combat automotive claustrophobia. Just lower the roof, enjoy the view, and breathe in all the fresh air your lungs can handle. But mother nature isn’t always on board with this strategy.
Rain, snow, and frigid temperatures are just some of the elements that can quickly ruin the experience of top-down motoring. So what to do? May we offer the next best solution – the panoramic sunroof. Although there are many different interpretations to what exactly a panoramic sunroof is, in basic terms, it is a large glass roof that can open in some form. This allows all the light and outside ambience to filter into a vehicle’s cabin while still keeping out the elements.
As can be expected, cutting a giant hole in a car’s roof and the then affixing large motorized panels of glass isn’t the most cost effective way to manufacturer a vehicle. These pricey oversized moonroofs are usually the domain of luxury vehicles. But a few do get equipped on much more affordable options, which brings us to the following list of the 10 cheapest cars with a panoramic sunroof.
10. Subaru Forester
Starting off our list is a bit of a surprise; a Subaru. The small Japanese manufacturer is not known for installing panoramic sunroofs in many of its offerings and the Forester’s roof is really stretching the idea. More of a glorified moonroof than a true panoramic moonroof, it features a massive single glass panel that extends back to the rear seat passengers.
- Price (USD): $28,195 (Premium)
- Price (CAD): $34,895 (Touring)
9. Hyundai Sonata
The Hyundai Sonata SEL can be equipped with a more traditional two-panel panoramic sunroof as long as the convenience package is applied. Under cutting the Forester by less than $50, the front glass panel can open like a traditional moonroof while the rear panel remains affixed in place.
- Price (USD): $28,150 (SEL w/ Convenience Package)
- Price (CAD): $31,949 (Sport)
8. Kia Sportage
This year there is a special Nightfall Edition of the Kia Sportage that adds a litany of features to the entry level LX trim level including a panoramic sunroof. For a compact crossover, the two glass panels are quite sizeable, lending to an airy feel inside the cabin.
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- Price (USD): $28,090 (Nightfall Edition FWD)
- Price (CAD): $32,795 (EX S)
7. MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door
The MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door used to have a panoramic sunroof consisting of two glass panels separated by the roof; almost like two individual moonroofs. But the latest model has switched to a more traditional connected two-panel design like the Sonata and Sportage.
- Price (USD): $27,900 (Signature Trim)
- Price (CAD): $31,490 (Premier Line)
6. Kia K5
The second Kia to makes this list, the K5 undercuts its corporate sibling from Hyundai by a few hundred dollars. Like most on this list, the K5 is a conventional two-pane design with the forward glass panel capable of sliding back for some open air motoring.
- Price (USD): $27,890 (GT-Line FWD w/ Premium Package)
- Price (CAD): $32,995 (EX)
5. Chevrolet Malibu
The Chevrolet Malibu offers the least expensive way to get a panoramic sunroof in a mid-size sedan, albeit by a mere $40 compared to the Kia K5. Still, bragging rights are bragging rights and for now, Chevrolet gets to claim the title as most affordable panoramic sunroof-equipped sedan.
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- Price (USD): $27,850 (FWD LT w/ Dual Pane Power Sunroof)
- Price (CAD): $32,598 (FWD LT w/ Plus Package)
4. Fiat 500X
It may come as a surprise that the diminutive Fiat 500X can be had with a panoramic sunroof. The vehicle’s two glass panels do sit adjacent to each other on the roof, but inside there is a thick roof panel that bisects the sunroof in half – giving the illusion there are actually two separate sunroofs. Like the Subaru Forester, the 500X comes with the added bonus of all-wheel drive at this price point too.
- Price (USD): $27,780 (Trekking AWD w/ Value Package)
- Price (CAD): $35,240 (Trekking AWD w/ Premium Group)
3. Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
Mitsubishi‘s funky Eclipse Cross takes the honors of being the third most affordable way to purchase a vehicle with a panoramic sunroof. Like the Fiat 500X, the Eclipse Cross also has a thick roof pillar inside that essentially separates the panoramic sunroof in half.
- Price (USD): $27,445 (SE 1.5T 2WD w/ Panoramic Sunroof Package)
- Price (CAD): $36,998 (GT-S AWC)
2. Chevrolet Trailblazer
Chevrolet’s new Trailblazer crossover is a direct competitor to the Fiat 500X so it should come as no surprise that it to features a panoramic sunroof. Unlike its Fiat rival, the Chevrolet has a more traditional two-panel sunroof that does not have a bisecting pillar inside. It is available on the mid-level LT trim.
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- Price (USD): $26,500 (FWD LT w/ Panoramic Power Sunroof)
- Price (CAD): $30,478 (FWD LT w/ Sun and Liftgate, True North, Premium Seating, Adaptive Cruise Control, Convenience, and Driver Confidence Packages)
1. Buick Encore GX
We were quite shocked to learn that Buick is the manufacturer currently offering the most affordable way to get a panoramic sunroof. What’s more surprising is that it is on the Encore GX, a corporate sibling to the usually less expensive Chevrolet Trailblazer. But, by allowing customers to add the dual-pane roof to the base Preferred trim package, this little Buick undercuts the Chevrolet by over $1,000. A great value for those who want to let all the sunshine (but non of the elements) in.
- Price (USD): $25,450 (Preferred FWD w/ Panoramic Power Moonroof)
- Price (CAD): $29,643 (Preferred AWD w/ Panoramic Power Moonroof)
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