I’m buying a new vehicle this summer. I’d like to consider diesel. I live/work in NW Ontario, it’s neg 40C in the winter and pos 40C in the summer, BUT I’m american and most of my driving is still long distance. I put about 40k km/25k mi on/yr. I’m currently considering the small SUVs best rated in Consumer Report. Toyota RAV4, honda CR-V. My other question is whether to buy in the US, at ~6k less money, and import, or buy here where I will get a block heater! The Canadian dollar is almost at the US dollar at this point…I’ve always driven subcompacts, but I think I killed my Civic suspension w/ a pothole.
I know little or nothing about import issues. They may include pollution control questions, or safety equipment questions.
The block heater should not be a problem as you should be able to have one added either in the US or in Canada.
I suggest you also try to verify if there will be an replacement parts issues. If some parts in the US version are different than the Canadian version.
With the number of miles you put on your cars, I’d look at something very reliable and easy to service, at any garage. I would recommend a Ford Crown Victoria since it’s reliable, and very easy to service, not to mention it is very durable.
However, at any rate, I think I’d stay away from Asian makes, unless of course there’s an ready parts supply and a local dealer in your area. (I’m betting you’re in Thunder Bay, since I don’t remember seeing an Asian dealer in Kenora or Dryden.) Otherwise, servicing them may be difficult. I guess, though, since you previously had a Civic, I bet it’s not much of a concern, then.
Get a small car again for gas mileage and watch out for the potholes. They are everywhere especially in cities in the US. Canada has no monopoly on potholes. You can do your suspension a favor by not hitting a pothole with the brakes heavily applied. Yes, you can get a block or radiator hose heater installed; no problem.
RWD(crown vic) is a terrible choice for the winter.
No it isn’t. But we’ve had this discussion already, see the topic titled “Best Cars for Snowy Weather.”
Not sure about canada, but diesels aren’t that popular around here, and about the only thing you’ll find them in is full sized, heavy duty pickups and SUVs. VW has their Touareg suv with a diesel option, but even that one is gonna run you about $60k new(used VW diesels are going for as much or more than brand new ones in some areas). You might be able to find some used sedans(mercedes or VW) that are diesel, but you may have to travel a ways to find one.
Your cheapest option would be to have the suspension repaired and buy an aftermarket heater block or remote starter(maybe $250~300 installed at a shop that does them)
You will pay more for the diesel fuel because it has to have additives to keep it from turning to jello in the cold. You may have to add kerosene and more than just a little. Diesels don’t produce a lot of heat for your interior either. Probably because of the big radiator, but I don’t know why really. Diesel in a pickup might be OK for heat but ours in the Oshkosh plows and blowers were cold.