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One of the Tesla Model 3’s party pieces is a near-full length glass roof that lets light and scenery into the electric vehicle’s (EV’s) cabin. It is an elegant idea, but it begs a couple of questions. First, can you open the monstrous glass roof of a Tesla Model 3? Furthermore, is a near-full length glass roof safe or useful? 

How big is the roof of a Tesla Model 3?

Tesla says the Model 3 is 184.8 inches long, and the glass overhead comprises a great deal of that space. It is an excellent prospect to have nearly the entire roof open to the sun and sky, but it might have a couple of practicality issues.

The Tesla Model 3's roof can't open, but it does let lots of light into the EV.
The glass roof on the baby Tesla spans most of the cabin | Tesla

Can you open the glass roof of a Tesla Model 3?

As of the latest model years, you can open the roof of a Tesla Model 3. The automaker says the roof operates in “open, vent, and close” functions. However, if the sizable roof detects any obstructions, it won’t close as a safety feature.   

Can you put a rack on Tesla Model 3?

Tesla has a list of recommended roof racks that are compatible with the little EV’s glass top. Using a Tesla-approved roof rack, you can haul bicycles, extra cargo, and more. However, installing a roof rack may result in decreased EV range. The reason for the probable decrease in range is increased drag, or wind resistance generated by altering the shape of the Model 3. 

The Tesla Model 3 shows off its glass roof, which doesn't open.
The Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

How hot does a glass roof get?

While Tesla claims that the glass roof provides UV protection, it does allow direct sunlight into the cabin. As a result, aftermarket companies sell numerous products to block excessive light. Still, the natural sunlight causes a risk of sunburns, even with factory UV protection.   

Is the Tesla Model 3’s roof safe?

The Tesla Model 3’s roof is exceptionally safe despite its expansive glass construction. The structure incorporates two cross members, which the automaker concealed in the glass paneling. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) testing, the Tesla Model 3’s wild sun-soaking roof resisted 20,000 lbs of crushing force. While that seems like a silly tidbit, the IIHS designed the test to simulate rollover protection, of which the Model 3 has top-tier scores.

However, given the EV’s center of gravity, that is slightly redundant. Specifically, the batteries in the Tesla Model 3 create a lower center of gravity, which resists vehicle rollovers. However, it should be comforting that if you do manage to roll the Model 3 over, the roof will resist crushing force. 


Tesla Model 3 Safety Scores Might Surprise You

Should you avoid buying a car with a glass roof?

You should not be dissuaded from buying a car with a glass roof. Specifically, you shouldn’t avoid a Model 3 if you’re in the market for one. The Tesla Model 3 doesn’t depreciate like other EVs and has top-notch safety scores from the IIHS and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Still, you might want to wear some sunscreen. 

Scroll down to the following article to read more about the Tesla Model 3.