Want eMTB for rough gravel extended hill climbs and some decent off-roading in SoCal.

HT climbing speed will be speed limited by rough surfaces as back wheel bounces around, not problem on decent FS where power will be limiting factor.

I'd try for 2nd hand quality FS eMTB. The Fox suspension, geometry and components(XT) on my 2015 140mm FS cube eMTB is worlds apart in performance to entry level stuff on your list of cheap bikes. Old gen2 CX motor still eats hills for breakfast.

Just budget on suspension service and maybe new battery. Rest components you can assess and service. Just make sure you can still get replacement motors if need be down track. I'd get shop to checkout motor and battery. Check for wear on suspension pivot points, shop should be able to do this for you.

If bike doesn't come with keys, battery and charger then walk away as its probably stolen.
2 thoughts-
Bafang support is pretty good online, so even if your dealer is on the weak side, I'm pretty sure you'll be fine from that perspective.

2nd, buying the last bike first is nearly impossible. A MUCH better plan in my experience, is to find something you think will work for you, even if it's not perfect. Get that bike and start riding it. That bike is going to teach you a TON. There will be things you like, and other things maybe not so much. Mentally, if you're like many (most?) of us, you'll start a new list of "must haves" for the NEXT bike. At that point, you'll be a much more educated buyer with much more time when looking for the next bike. THAT bike will be much closer to an exact fit for your riding style and the areas you ride in most (even if you end up having to build it yourself). -Al
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Think the second hand market is where you should be looking, given your experience with Trek GT & Giant etc, you should look for a used emtb by these brands. A 2 or 3 year old Specialized Levo or Giant for instance. Mechanically sounds like you'll be able to fix most issues, just look out for one with low mileage and in good nick. They are all quality bikes and will feel familiar after your non electric mtb experiences with similar brands. Should last you for years and be robust on the off road trails. I'd also bet that there will be independent motor reconditioning & repair companies in South Cal by now with the size of the market in LA so probably for under $200 you'll probably be able to get a motor fixed like new for your peace of mind. If I had your budget level that's what I'd be doing. Loads of emtbs get little use and then sold off to then buy the latest and best etc.
Luna X2 for $4200?
I hadn't really considered this bike but i've been doing some digging and it ticks all the right boxes for me. Now if I could find a used one at a good price, I think we have a winner. It looks like it's based on the Dengfu E10 frame. The parts are all good but not exceptional, meaning I can swap them out for something better down the line as and when, and also meaning the initial cost isn't going to be silly. The four-pot SRAM 200mm brakes are not dreadful for instance. The other bonus is that their headquarters is only twenty miles away from me. Thanks for the recommendation; I can work with this.
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There are many great eMTB options available for rough gravel and off-road riding in Southern California. Here are a few models to consider:
Specialized Turbo Levo: The Turbo Levo is a high-performance eMTB that features a powerful motor and long-lasting battery. It has wide tires and full suspension to handle rough terrain, and a dropper seat post for optimal control on descents.
Trek Powerfly: The Powerfly is a versatile eMTB that is well-suited for both on and off-road riding. It features a mid-drive motor and long-lasting battery, as well as full suspension and wide tires for a smooth ride.
Giant Trance E+ Pro: The Trance E+ Pro is a top-performing eMTB that features a powerful motor and long-lasting battery. It has full suspension and wide tires to handle rough terrain, and a comfortable and durable frame for extended rides.
Haibike XDURO: The XDURO is a high-performance eMTB that is designed for off-road riding. It features a powerful motor and long-lasting battery, as well as full suspension and wide tires for optimal control and stability.
All of these eMTB models are highly regarded and should provide excellent performance for rough gravel climbs and off-road adventures. Be sure to test ride several models to find the one that best meets your needs and riding style.
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