I live in Gunnison, where the temperatures aren't that different than Canada. It's -22*C (-8*F) right now. I've driven at -36*C (-33*F).
I got the Leaf because it meets my needs even in this weather. Actually it's quite nice to get in and have the heater start working from the start.
Yesterday I had to drive my ICE for the first time in months (it was a very unusual situation). Like always, I don't like to idle since that's actually worse for the environment and engine. But getting in and driving it wasn't any better. I drove 5 miles to my destination and by the time I got there the temperature gauge was just barely moving.
In my Leaf I always preheat the car on charging power when I can. Even off of the 120V EVSE makes a difference in range compared to getting in and having to use the heater without any charging power. The heated seats both front and back are nice since I do carry passengers in the back. This allows me to reduce heater use. The heat pump isn't of any help in reducing energy draw during the bitter cold. But now that things are warming up the heat pump should help raise efficiency from here on into June, as well as any cold days in July or August, and then become a daily used feature September onward.
I do get as low as a 30 mile range in my Leaf during the brutal cold. I did make sure I had a 6.6kW charger and a 40A 240V EVSE mounted on the house. That way I can come charge for an hour during lunch, or whenever, and get twice the charge rate as the 3.3kW charged Leafs do.
My recommendation would be to get an SV or SL. Make sure it has rear heated seats if you regularly have passengers in the rear. Make sure you get a 40A 240V EVSE. The limited worse-case-scenario of 35 miles in a 30kWh Leaf should be factored in your decision. But remember to explore charging options such as charging at work or along the way. 30 miles to work, charge, 30 miles back, charge during dinner and time with family, and then 30 miles to the store, family or friends and back, then charge during the night, can make for 90 miles total per day even in a worse case scenario.
2013 SL SOLD
2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid CURRENT