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Mazda CX-5 Moonroof: What To Know

in Reliability
Black CX-5

Photo by Denny Ryanto on Unsplash

The first sunroof has its roots as far back as 1937, but it wasn’t widespread or popularized in the United States until the late 1960s and 1970s. In 1973, the moonroof with glass joined the party. The big panoramic sunroofs of today are a type of moonroof that has a large glass area.

Luxury vehicles and SUVs are where you’ll find these most often. Different from convertibles, and different from classic sunroofs, moonroofs bring in extra light, style, and weather permitting, a connection with beautiful sunny days. The CX-5’s moonroof is one aspect of the SUV that has been re-tooled in recent models, but what are some of the pros and cons to having one?

What is a sunroof?

A sunroof is a plate on a car’s roof that slides back or may be removed to let in extra light, air, or both into the vehicle’s main cabin. A sunroof was historically an opaque-colored plate that would match the color of the car’s interior, and it may be tilted open or totally removed by drivers. However, a traditional sunroof that is both invisible and movable is uncommon.


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What is a moonroof?

A moonroof, on the other hand, normally has a tinted glass panel on top of the car, almost similar to the shaded tints on windows. Moonroofs are not intended to be detached from the car, but they normally slide and tilt open, to varying degrees. They are designed to let in light without completely letting the elements in. The CX-5’s moonroof shade matches the rest of the interior color for those cold or cloudy days when there’s no real sun to let in. When the window is closed completely, very little or no light gets into the cabin, even if the shade is pulled back.

Glass is commonly used with today’s sunroofs, and both also have inner colors. Panoramic sunroofs are a subset of moonroofs and most commonly found on larger SUVs like the CX-5 and luxury vehicles. They have a much wider panel and can open farther than traditional moonroofs. Naturally, with bigger frames on SUVs, that’s typically where you can find these types on moonroofs.

While the words “sunroof” and “moonroof” are often interchanged, there is a distinction between the two. Both are panels in the car’s roof to let the sunshine and fresh air in, but that’s where the similarity ends.


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Openness - The CX-5’s moonroof can help create a sense of freedom and a more open vibe while in the driving. It won’t quite feel like a convertible, but having what is essentially an extra window on the roof can really open up the feel!

Less noise - It may come as a surprise, but keeping the CX-5’s moonroof open is actually quieter than riding with the windows down all the way down. This is different from the larger SUVs that have the panoramic roof that opens up completely. It does have some decent horsepower so you won’t be able to have an entirely quiet cabin, but compared to riding with all four windows down, the moonroof is significantly quieter.

Ventilation - Naturally, having better air flow keeps the vehicle better ventilated which is a win for everyone. Even by leaving the moonroof cracked just an inch, it can provide much needed fresh air and help the air circulate throughout the vehicle. Cooled seats help keep the passengers cool and the added ventilation from the moonroof keep the cabin temperature comfortable.

Resale and trade in value - Mazda’s are still seen as more of a niche brand although they are well-designed, fun, and one of the highest rated vehicles by consumers. Since they don’t have as high of trade in values than other brands, having a moonroof will help bring an extra thousand back on trade in.


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Price - The model itself is highly rated in the midsize SUV class, but the CX-5’s moonroof packages are only standard for four of the six trim models. It’s not available for the Sport and you’ll have to upgrade on the Touring for an additional $1,500 to have a moonroof

Less insulation - The CX5’s moonroof covers essentially just the front row and passengers in the front seat may feel the frost, snow, and water more likely than passengers riding in the back.

The CX-5’s moonroof is described by Mazda itself as a power sliding-glass with one-touch-open feature and interior sunshade. The base model of the 2021 Mazda CX-5 costs about $25,000, with the top trim surpassing $37,000. It has a lot of power, comfort, and standard features, but buyers who want a moonroof should look beyond the base trim since it won’t be an option. A panoramic sunroof isn’t available on the 2021 Mazda CX-5, so buyers looking for one can look elsewhere.

In addition to the CX-5’s moonroof, it comes with two engine options: a naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that produces 187 horsepower and a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 227 horsepower on normal gas and 250 horsepower with premium. A great fun, modern, and affordable ride with a great moonroof on top of it all.

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