These all cost way less than the Mercedes would.
It's been a long and anticlimactic wait for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC electric SUV. First revealed atthe 2018 Paris Motor Show, it was later followed by a rugged 4x4 Squared Concept variant. Then we heard the news that Mercedes had decided not to offer the EQC in the United States. The company left it open-ended for the EQC to come "eventually," but it looks like the next electric Mercedes in the US will be the flagship EQS.
Since Mercedes isn't currently offering an electric luxury car for our market, we decided to find some interesting used options that could be a suitable alternative to the EQC. These start at under $12,000 on the low end, which is a fraction of the EQC's estimated $68,000 starting MSRP.
The list kicks of with the EQC's closest US competitor, the Audi e-tron. This model has only been on sale since 2019, but that has given it enough time to become more affordable. A brand-new e-tron starts at $65,900 but we found used 2019 Audi e-tron models starting under $50,000. That's a saving of more than $15,000, though it's worth remembering that the e-tron came with a $7,500 federal tax credit from the government, which used models won't be eligible for.
The e-tron includes dual electric motors combining to produce 402 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque, ushering a 5.5-second 0-60 mph time. In 2019, the car could only travel 204 miles on a charge, but that was later upped to around 220 miles. All of these e-tron examples are still new enough that they should be eligible for an Audi certified pre-owned warranty.
With a $69,850 starting price, the Jaguar I-Pace is a tad more expensive than an Audi e-tron. It does come with more range though, traveling 234 miles on a charge following a software enhancement. The Jag's dual electric motors produce slightly less power than the e-tron (394 hp) but more torque (513 lb-ft). This also enables a quicker 0-60 mph sprint of 4.5 seconds, making the I-Pace the sportier option. Used I-Pace starts around the same as the Audi, near the $50,000 mark.
How could we exclude Tesla from a list of used EVs? Well, the Model Y hasn't been on the market for long enough to get cheap enough, so instead, we will focus on the larger Model X. These have been on sale since 2016, so prices are relatively affordable. A new Model X starts at $84,690, putting it in a different price and size category than the aforementioned options. It's also the only fully-electric model on our list to include a third row.
Tesla changes its model offerings more frequently than Taco Bell offers new menu items, but the cheapest examples we could find are the early 60D, 75D, and 90D models, all under $50,000. These versions boast 200 to 258 miles of range with varying levels of horsepower. If you can snag a 90D, that would be our recommendation.
Many people forget that even if the EQC came to the US, it would not be the first electric model to wear a Mercedes badge. From 2014 to 2017, Mercedes imported an electric version of its B-Class hatchback called the Electric Drive. The B-Class is the oddball here because it only packs a single electric motor producing 177 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. 0-60 mph takes 7.9 seconds, and the range is only 87 miles. This option is reserved for occasional use purposes, but this is reflected in the price. You can now nab a used B-Class for around $12,000, making it the cheapest option on this list.
While not fully electric, the Cadillac ELR is an interesting luxury option that we highly recommend for someone seeking a frugal car on a budget. The ELR was a failure when it was new, mostly because Cadillac was charging $75,995 for what was essentially a two-door Chevrolet Volt with a nicer cabin. But Cadillac's misfortunes can be your gain because the ELR is now a used bargain.
High-mileage examples only command around $15,000, and even the nicest ones sell for only $30,000. The ELR uses the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine from the Volt, which charges the 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery and sometimes drives the wheels. The original output was 217 hp, but it was increased to 233 hp in 2016. It can travel around 39 miles on electric power before the engine kicks in to provide around 340 miles of total range.
The Volvo XC60 Hybrid strays the furthest from the EQC, but we think this plug-in option will be more suitable for many buyers considering a fully electric car. The XC60 uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder engine, producing 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque on its own. Two electric models add to the total output on the hybrid model, combining to produce 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. This combination results in a 4.9-second 0-60 mph time and a 17-mile electric-only range. Prices for the used XC60 Hybrid start under $40,000, and they can be found with a CPO warranty.