We have 2 Volvos, acquired both with a/c not working. Wife drives with most windows open; I just have a rear one barely cracked open with vents open and maybe the fan on if I need. Sometimes it's hot enough that I open some windows for real. We live in New England; hot summer temps are usually 95 deg. and 95% humidity; not fun.
This past weekend we rented a Mazda 3 for an overnight road trip. Used the a/c full time - in fact that's why we rented a car! We got just under 33 mpg in it, about 80% highway at 67 mph with cruise control, manumatic pegged in 5th gear. The rest was country roads at 35-50 mph.
Currently getting +/- 50 mpg in fall weather. EPA is 31/39 so not too shabby. WAI, fuel cutoff switch, full belly pan, smooth wheel covers.
"How many of you are NOT using A/C and keeping your windows closed?"
VERY GOOD point, which brings up my answer.
The first couple weeks on this site I used it sparingly, sometimes using P&G method with AC. Now Im NICE and used to the heat. I dont use it at ALL. Once in a blue moon when Im sweating like a dog I might use it. Once this month I used it because I was visiting my sisters job and couldnt arrive there all sweaty.
So now I leave early enough for work to avoid having to use A/C, park in the shade during work even though its a longer walk, and use the vents for air which blow air thats hotter than outside air anyway. NO WINDOWS. I will open the windows for a few seconds if needed, but only during a downhill coast or very slow driving (under 20mph) where windows dont have big FE penalty. I get home stinky, sweaty and uncomfortable and take a quick shower.
The only other times I use A/C is for g/f or complaining passengers when on highway. For slow and local driving I will use windows for passengers and g/f.
I'm really a heat intolerant person... I would much rather live in the Northeast. If I had A/C I would definetly use it.... and soon enough I should have it!
Yeah, I'm relatively heat intolerant, too. I grew up in California, so the heat (actually the humidity) here just kills me. Summer there = ~85-95 deg, humidity under 40%. It was so mild we never used heat indexes. Summer here means 95+ with 60+% humidity, and heat indexes over 105. I didn't have a/c in my car out West, and never really missed it. Never had a/c in the house, either.
At least the heat that's been here for the last couple weeks is subsiding a little. It was actually tolerable to drop the windows and enjoy some "fresh" (humid) air today!
'67 Mustang - out of commission after an accident
'00 Echo - DD
'11 Kia Rio - Wife's DD
'09 Harley Nightster - 48mpg and 1/4 miles in the 12's
I drive 70% of the year with my windows up and the a/c on full blast. Driving without a/c is just absolutely NOT an option for me. Stop and go traffic combined with no a/c means I walk into work with my shirt soaking wet like I walked through a rain storm. Same goes for my underwear, socks, and pants. Just not very professional, and more importantly to me....not very comfortable. Nobody likes a soaking wet, stinky guy.
Every once in a while I'll see the classic "sweaty" guy walk into work.....and I'm glad it's not me. This is the guy who looks like he's on the verge of a heat stroke 90% of the time. You guys who live in the humid areas know what I'm talking about.