Does the Tesla Model 3 Have a Sunroof? (You Will Be Surprised)

Tesla Model 3, the California car company’s executive compact competitor, has earned rave reviews from car enthusiasts across the spectrum. Officially rolling off the assembly line in mid-2017, the Model 3 has quickly become the best selling electric car in the world with over 300,000 vehicles sold. Prized by drivers for not only its low impact environmental efficiency but for its minimalist design, the Apple-esque Tesla retains nearly all of a conventional vehicle’s options— and more. But does the Model 3 come with a sunroof?

Tesla Model 3 does not have a sunroof, nor can one be fitted at the factory or elsewhere. What it does have, though, is arguably even cooler. While from a short distance it would appear that Model 3 has one single pane of glass sweeping from the windshield to the trunk, which isn’t quite right. The Model 3 makes use of separate panels, two over the cabin, which is polarized and tinted to offer both ultraviolet and infrared protection.

From inside, it’s easier to see that the glass roof is separated by a high strength steel cross member that runs from b-pillar to b-pillar. This bar houses the dome lights and increases structural rigidity and protection. These glass panels, two layers of laminated glass, allowing ambient light to fill the cabin while fending off harmful UV rays.


Tesla Glass Roof Options & Cost

Tesla is a company that has become renowned for its innovation and cutting-edge technology. It all began with the Tesla Roadster, an impressive small car inspired by the Lotus. Then came the revolutionary Model S, pushing the boundaries of personal electric vehicles even further. After this success, Tesla launched its first foray into SUVs: The Model X. This luxurious SUV boasts an innovative all-wheel drive system and a unique seamless glass windshield that extends from behind the front seats to the dashboard. It’s truly a testament to Tesla’s commitment to excellence in engineering and design.

The Tesla Model 3, released in mid-2017, saw a lot of anticipation surrounding its release. One feature that was heavily speculated about was the full glass roof option. Many people thought this exclusive feature would be reserved for the premium model of the vehicle and come with an extra expense. But when customers got their hands on the premium vehicles, they found that all models came with a tinted all-glass roof included – and at no additional cost! This meant that everyone who bought a base Model 3 ($35,000+) got to drive away with this unique feature without having to pay more for it.

Although no official explanation was given by Tesla for this surprise upgrade, speculation suggests that it may be down to machine retooling costs. In any case, buyers were delighted at the thought of getting something extra at no extra cost.

Tesla Sunroof Safety

It would be an understandable assumption that, because the Tesla Model 3 lacks a conventional solid roof, it would be inherently more dangerous and lack the torsional rigidity of a vehicle with a solid roof— luckily this isn’t the case.

Vehicle Safety

The Tesla Model 3 is designed with safety in mind, utilizing strategically positioned high strength steel to reinforce the vehicular structure. Its roof is constructed of two layers of hardened glass held together with thermoplastic, so that if something were to strike it, the glass wouldn’t shatter. The central bar spanning the width of the car behind the front seats also adds valuable protection.

In a test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Model 3 was given their highest possible ratings for roof safety and awarded them top marks overall– even being named a Top Safety Pick+. This is largely due to its low mounted battery pack located beneath the floor, allowing it to carry its weight much lower to the ground than conventional vehicles and giving it only a 6.6% chance of rollover in severe crashes.

The Model 3 is not only incredibly safe, but its steel strength-to-weight ratio is the highest ever tested for an electric vehicle, withstanding up to 20,000lbs of force on its roof– that’s equal to more than five stacked Model 3s! Tesla clearly continues to set the bar high when it comes to safety.

Solar Safety

It’s no surprise that many car buyers and owners are anxious about the detrimental effects of the sun’s rays on their vehicles. After all, split dashes and sun-bleached seats are not a pleasing sight. That said, Tesla has taken proactive steps to ensure their customers don’t have to worry about such incidents.

The glass panels comprising the roof have been specially tinted darker than the other windows so as to reduce the amount of heat that comes in from direct sunlight. Moreover, this protective layer is further bolstered by polarizing it to block out ultraviolet rays and infrared light.

Tesla also equipped its cars with a feature known as ‘cabin overheat protection’. This innovation switches on the car’s ventilation system automatically when the cabin temperature reaches a certain degree. This way, passengers can truly enjoy a comfortable ride even in direct sunlight.

With such practical measures, Tesla has been able to alleviate customer concerns about the car’s durability when it comes to dealing with the sun’s rays.

It is this kind of innovation that sets Tesla apart from other car manufacturers in providing drivers and passengers with an enjoyable and stress-free experience on the road.

Tesla Sunroof Maintenance and Common Problems

While you might miss the versatility of a conventional sunroof and its ability to open and let in the fresh air, what you won’t miss are the issues that can often accompany one.

There are a plethora of problems that can arise with sunroofs that are simply a nonissue with Tesla. A sunroof can come off its track and need to be realigned; its seals can dry out and allow water to leak into the cabin, or the motor could just quit working altogether— replacing a sunroof can cost hundreds of dollars. And while these problems can crop up with just about any sunroof, these aren’t anything you’ll need to worry about with a Tesla Model 3.

One interesting detail some owners have noticed though is a reddish hue that the glass roof can take on in misty conditions. This Mars-like appearance is most likely caused by the water droplets refracting the light and displaying the sun-deflecting coating.

A Brief History of the Sunroof

The first automobiles were closer in style to horse-drawn carriages than to what we now consider a car, but those open-air designs quickly changed as the automotive industry began to boom. By the time cars evolved into what we know today, they had gone through various stages of roofing: from the ‘coupé de ville’ style (covered passenger cabin, open driver) to the ‘landaulet’ (covered driver, opened passenger cabin).

There are so many appellations in regard to roof glass that it’s easy to get confused. We can break down a bit of the nomenclature so it’s easier to understand.

Sunroof: Colloquially used to describe all manner of roof openings, the term ‘sunroof’ is technically used to describe a panel that can move to expose sunlight and/or fresh air. It can either be moved manually by a crank, electrically by a button and motor or removed completely and set aside as a whole panel.

Moonroof: Historically, the term ‘moonroof’ was used to describe a fixed transparent pane of glass. Today, ‘moonroof’ and ‘sunroof’ are used just about interchangeably. A moonroof is still a pane of glass, but one that can articulate like a sunroof.

Panoramic Roof: a ‘panoramic roof’ is the term used to describe a large expanse of glass that generally spans the majority of the vehicle’s roof. Panoramic roofs generally have a large section that can open and allow fresh air inside the cabin.

Tesla Roof FAQs

Can I get a sunburn through the glass roof?

Thanks to Model 3’s UV resistant glass coating and polarization, you run a very low risk of getting a sunburn inside a Tesla. In fact, thanks to the Model 3’s ‘cabin overheat protection’, you wouldn’t even need to worry about overheating!

Is the glass roof bulletproof?

If someone is sniping at you from outside your Tesla Model 3 your glass roof is going to provide minimal protection. Even though the glass roof is double pane laminated glass, it will not protect you from ne’er do wells.

Is the glass roof heated?

The glass roof is not heated. If you’re concerned about leakage or snow removal— don’t be. The glass is firmly sealed into the top of the car. And as far as snow goes, the ambient heat from the heater and cabin warmth will melt the snow in no time.

Can hail damage tesla models 3’s roof?

When it comes to hail, your glass roof will have about the same level of ruggedness as your windshield. As far as hail goes, you’d probably have to worry more about your aluminum body panels before your glass roof.

How much does it cost to replace the glass roof on model 3?

If for some reason you need to replace your glass roof, you can expect to spend anywhere from $1,000 and up. Luckily, there are whole companies now that specialize in parting out Teslas, so you may be able to get one secondhand!

Can I still mount a roof rack on my Tesla Model 3?

You sure can! The Model 3, despite having a massive glass roof, still retains mounting points for roof racks that can be purchased aftermarket or direct from Tesla itself.

While it could be said that the Tesla Model 3 is ‘lacking’ when it comes to open-top features, it helps to keep in mind that this electric car is one of the safest on the road. What the Model 3 may lack in variability, it more than makes up for it in style and safety. The Tesla Model 3 affords its passengers an uncompromising view of the sky while also offering protection in spades.

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