StrangerTides wrote:On a related topic, is there data on whether driving with the windows open and no AC is more efficient? Not all Floridians would agree with me, but even in the summer, most days I'm happy to drive with "natural AC". I'm just wondering whether increased drag from having the windows down negates the gains from not running the AC.
The problem with questions like this is that there's data on the streets that appears to prove all combinations are better than the other. For example - one age old question for pick-up owners is which has more drag - tailgate up or tailgate down? Different road tests show that each is better than the other. Companies that sell tonneau covers say a full bed cover increases efficiency 15%. Companies that sell open mesh tailgate replacements can 'prove' those are better.
One has to look at who sponsored the test to weed out an ulterior motive... Then we get to the important part - and the reason for lab tests. It's almost impossible to run a repeatable, reproducible test on the road with a human driver.
There are a number of different types and sizes of AC systems, so info from one car isn't going to be meaningful for another.
We'll have to road-test our own cars on the roads we drive to know for sure what's best for us.