Consider the heater/air conditioner in a car. It has a lot of work to do in treating the entire volume of air in the passenger compartment.
This all has a cost in terms of both wasted fuel and the time spent waiting for the cabin to warm up or cool down.
Today’s invention is therefore a tightly-fitting blind which is pulled down between the front and rear seats. It would be held in place by slots attached to the walls and floor of the car interior. This blind would be made of insulating material, so that there is very little communication of water vapour or heat between front and back compartments.
The blind could be made with a glass panel to allow continued use of the rear view mirror.
For extreme environments, this might be extended by another blind, isolating the driver from the rest of the passenger cell.