The idea of a convertible appeals to many drivers before they take all the negative aspects into account. Drop tops, although fashionable, can be noisy on the interstate, less safe in rollovers, and may not be the best idea for people who live in areas with a harsh winter. On top of that, leaving the top down can prove disastrous for your car's interior if a sudden and unexpected rainstorm occurs. Fortunately, Ford is now providing drivers with an option that allows drivers to experience the freedom of a convertible without any of the drawbacks.

The Vista Roof is a panoramic glass roof; think a full size sunroof that covers almost the entire top of the vehicle. The glass allows drivers to get some guilt-free sun on their skin since it is SPF-50 rated, making it possible for any type of skin to enjoy natural light and warmth. In addition to SPF rated glass, the Vista Roof also filters out heat generating infrared rays, allowing drivers to stay cooler without turning on the fuel-consuming air conditioner. "It is important to be cautious when exposing yourself to the sun because IR and UV rays are dangerous for your skin," said Dr. Douglas J. Arends, a Psychiatrist from Royal Oak, Mich. "But exposing yourself to the light is good because it releases Vitamin D which actively improves your mood."

Although the Vista Roof has been available on the Ford Edge since 2007, Ford only recently decided to add it to their Mustang, Flex, and Explorer models. So far, shoppers have responded positively. 48 percent of 2011 Explorer buyers, 56 percent of 2011 Edge buyers, and 32 percent of 2011 Flex buyers have opted for the panoramic roof over the traditional version, despite the higher cost. The Vista Roof on the Edge and Explorer sets the shopper back $1,595, and selecting it for the Flex costs $1,495. The Mustang is the most expensive vehicle to add Vista Roof too, it costs buyers nearly $2,000.

Ford's Vista Roof is not the only option available to shoppers, but it may be one of the most affordable ones.

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Cliff Turner has been an automotive enthusiast ever since high school, where he developed a passion for cars while working for the local Saturn/Hummer dealership. When he isn't writing, he is busy earning his Juris Doctorate at John Marshall Law School in Atlanta.

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