Advice for SR22 Purchase - Key Features

All, I’ve been researching SR22s and would love insight into the following features. Realize this thread could get complex with the number of questions:

I’m leaning toward: G2 with Avidyne, Stec-55x, w/ TKS; but with no turbo and no A/C

Questions would be:

  1. Avidyne vs. G1000, (which is also a G2 vs. G3 decision, at some level). Is there any reason that an Avidyne is not sufficient? Realize the G1000 may be better, but if Avidyne gets job done, then no need to spend extra cash.

  2. Stec-55x vs. DFC90: Is either one better?

  3. TKS: How effective is it? I’ve never used a TKS in-flight

  4. Turbo: I’ve heard cylinders on turbo’ed engines wear out pretty fast. Curious if anyone has insight

  5. A/C: worth the useful load impact? Are A/C’s in SR22’s good?

Any other considerations or key features I should be factoring in?


Folks flying G1000 will tell you this is vastly better. Folks flying Avidyne will tell you this is good enough. I fly now Avidyne and it is fine.

One difference is Avidyne charges outrageous rates for repairs.

Folks flying DFC90 will tell you it is vastly better. Folks flying STEC55X will tell you it is adequate. I flew both and while DFC90 is for sure nicer and I am happy to have it, I wouldn’t spend money on the upgrade.

Some folks flying turbo will tell you that with proper engine operations, that’s not the case. I just got a turbo, so will be able to tell perhaps in couple of years. However, what is unquestionable, is that maintenance will be higher with all that additional stuff to service.

I suppose depends where you live. I was specifically looking for airplane without A/C, because I didn’t want to pay in useful load and in Bay Area I didn’t need it.

I’ll take a newbie stab:

If the attitude is “what gets the job done”, a 6 pack would work just fine. If the Perspective is within your reach, then consider an R9 - by far, the best value (used) on the market, IMO, and virtually no premium for a … (don’t remember - $60k install or more).

To be clear, I LOVE the Perspective, and have no regrets. The above was based on the impression that you have the dough for more, but are also budget minded?

DFC90 is better and worth the upgrade.

Since it’s not FIKI, not many would have tested it in anything but light ice, which it was very effective for me - but again, it was closer to trace. I see from your avatar that you fly/flew an older Bo or Deb. The wing on the Bo’s carried a LOT of ice really well. The wing on the SR does not. All things considered, if there’s a chance of inadvertent ice, I’d want it. Also, I like it because I fly in a decent amount of rain, and it protects the leading edge. Non-TKS may be faster; I don’t personally know, but I’ve heard it said. :shrug:

I’d use the search feature on this. Otherwise, you could end up with pages of opinion just on this one question. It makes sense to my non-mechanical self, that n/a would be easier on cylinders, but there is disagreement that a TN won’t make it to TBO without work if flown conservatively. I’ll be happy if I make it to 1k hours on my new engine before cylinder work.

I did NOT want a TN. But I DID want a Perspective. I couldn’t find the latter in my price range for the n/a, but the TN also did not carry a premium. So I bought one. I LOVE it! Easier engine management; faster; and more versatile. :dancing:My opinion. But I would have been happy with an n/a, and there is less (albeit not a lot, judging from the argueme… discussions) mx.

Depends where you live. In the south, and for MY mission, unequivocally, YES! You’ve got to answer that for yourself. I think it’s about 45 lbs., but don’t remember for sure. I’m never flying without a/c again, in a travel plane. As for are they good, I can only answer for the system on the G3’s (I think the G2’s had a different system? Maybe Keith?) - my a/c is excellent. :pilot:

Good luck with your search! I came from a Bo, and have no regrets.

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Tyler, this is the plane I started in since upgraded to dfc90. It’s a great plane. Would help to know where you live, your missions, and your budget.

I live in Iowa so do have some warm summers and have flown to even warmer areas of the country, I would not want A/C but do get hot in 85 and hotter temps when on the ground.

I have flown in the mountains many times to Colorado and Wyoming mostly, normally aspirated does lose power at altitude so have to be patient on takeoff and climb. Hot, high, or heavy: two is ok but not three. If your taking off in the mountains midday in the summer be very very cognizant of your weight. Once you know the plane it’s fine. If you live fly around/in mountains a lot then you may want to consider a turbo.

TKS works well, but it’s not FIKI it’s good to get through/out relatively quickly. You will hear many thoughts on flying through or avoiding ice most of which are very wise. In the upper Midwest I’m glad I have TKS.

Stec is fine and better than most autopilots for older small GA planes, DFC90 is better. I upgraded to GTN650 and DFC90. I like it but a lot say it’s not worth it.

It’s a lot of plane for the money IMHO. Fly LOP and take care of it and the engines tend to last to TBO and beyond many without any major work.



The G2 is a good value. Lots of bells and whistles and a great Useful load. I bought mine and upgraded the panel to duel 650’s and the DFC90. Love my configuration.

I think the Avidyne System is great. With that said, if you can afford the G3 then I would go that route. Garmin Avionics is the future of Cirrus.

Both are good but I love my DFC 90. the Indicated Airspeed feature is great.

If you have intentions of flying in Ice then you need to move up to a G3 with FIKI. The G2 system is not certified for flight into known ice, it’s more to just get you out of a pickle. With that said, it’s great for going through thin layers in the winter. Nice to have just in case you pick up some un-forecast ice.

If you plan to cross the Rockies from San Francisco you might want the turbo…though we have quite a few members that regularly fly over in their NA.

I live in Wisconsin and do not have AC. I can live without it…BUT…I flew with Bob Sugar and he has AC…I now want it and am trying to figure out how to get it!

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Tony, did you check out that electric AC at M13? I was pretty impressed with the thing. Takes away 50 pounds but seemed to blow cold. Seemed like a reasonable trade off and no shaft to break. The shaft sucks as I just broke one that was only two flights old. Fragile pieces of crap.

I’ve got the flyer! $25k though…but I guess that is less than a G5! [:P]


You will freakin’ LOVE any Cirrus you buy (and your CSIP will be especially grateful if you get one with A/C). Just go for it!

Safe flights,


The A/C is really nice to have during the summer on the ground. I turn it off for takeoff and landing. In the air, once you get up to altitude it is not needed. It’s nowhere near as good as a car air conditioner. As you stated, the more options you add, the worse the useful load. A fully-optioned non-G5 turbo is a 3 normal adult airplane.

  • Avidyne is enough for almost all private pilots. I do not miss anything

  • DFC90 is the best upgrade for a G2. IAS mode, envelope protection, straight and level button and great preciseness. It was the first mod i did

  • the 3,4 flights i did in icing conditions it was very effective

  • i bought an NA because i think it is more robust and cheapee to maintain

  • about -50 pounds, but i love it.

If u can afford a G3 it’s probably worth it. That being said I shared an 07 G2 and it was a pleasure.

I love AC and totally trouble free in 8yrs. I wouldn’t own a plane or car without AC. It’s no real load penalty in a NA.

The sweet spot is an Avidyne G3 if u can find one. I didn’t like single AHRS in 430 planes for IFR and installed R9… Fantastic system if u can find one.

Bottom line they are all good. 430s are a bit dated and several “traps” for IFR but ok with good training. I’d replace with new Avidyne 440/540… Super sweet set up.

DFC 90 amazing. IMHO there should be an AD to toss out the 55x. Had 5 in 3 planes and each tried to kill me multiple times in IMC… No fan here.

Tyler I think the right answer depends on your mission. Generally each advancement Cirrus has made has been for good reason, and each makes the airplane better at times. The STec AP works, but not in the same league as it’s successors, which is why they cost more in the market. Any ice protection will be worth the cost if you ever turn it on- will you? If you’re going to be a fair weather pilot (good choice!) then you will be happy in any Cirrus really. As Cirrus has sought to make the platform do more, turbos and ice protection and better panels have proven worthwhile. Having owned several, I will say the G1000 is a winner. TKS is better than nothing but doesn’t afford you real icing capability, as demonstrated by the FIKI differences. Turbos cost more to maintain, but are vastly more capable if only for comfort. All Cirrus can deliver satisfaction; the more advanced deliver better satisfaction across a wider spectrum. The best move is to buy the best you can afford


I am am new to Cirrus and debated these same things you are. I purchased about 2 months ago. I couldn’t be happier with the G3 Fiki Perspective and Turbo. I don’t have any experience with other models but I can say what a great machine the G3 is! I specifically shopped for one without AC to save weight on the G3. Now I am torn about the AC. When traveling to a destination it seems to be fine because will fly higher to stay cooler but I do a fair amount of tooling around at low altitudes with the kids. I can tell you that the cabin heats up considerably when the sun is shining and lower altitude. It doesn’t take much to be uncomfortably hot in it. Now that being said, I live in North Dakota so being uncomfortably hot isn’t a frequent event. I still wouldn’t get AC in the G3 but I think it is much more useful than I first thought. Now if I was buying a G5… [:D]

Good luck in your search!

I would love to see that flyer, looking to add AC for next year. Who was the vendor?


I am sure Gary Black can help you figure that out!!![H]

An SR22 A/C doesn’t have the capacity to make you feel uncomfortably chilly like an auto A/C can after a while. But the A/C on my G2 (equipped with the Enviro system) will take a hot and sweaty pre-flight cockpit and cool you off quickly right after engine start and while taxiing for takeoff, with doors closed shutting out the wind and noise you have to put up with otherwise. You will not get chilly, but you will be quite comfortable even when it’s 95F and humid outside. That applies also to flying at altitude when the OAT is more than 15C or so. The cool comfort you feel at 6000 feet and above can be maintained with A/C while flying around at under 5000 feet in the summertime. I do not turn it off for takeoffs and landings, except on rare occasions when taking off from runways less than 3000 feet. It is on from engine start to passing through 4000 feet or so on the climb, and again on the descent starting at 4000 feet until engine shutdown. On shorter flights cruising under 4-5000 feet, I never turn it off. While I’m in the plane, summertime is somewhere else. On arrival after taxiing to the ramp, I’m not hot and sweaty rushing to get inside the FBO to cool off and get a cold bottle of water.

If I were adding pieces to the basic airframe and engine of the SR22, the first two items to add to the list would be the parachute and the A/C, in that order. Everything else is negotiable. Is your house air conditioned? Your car? If you would miss them if they didn’t have a/c, you will probably appreciate having a/c in your plane, too. Unlike houses and cars, planes climb – so tougher guys than me are OK sweating until they get up to 5000 feet and would rather have the extra 50 pounds of payload. Not me. And like the parachute, my wife loves it.

Have to agree 100000% with Wally.

I didn’t have AC in my first SR22 (a 2004 G2). I now have a 2008 G3 perspective with AC. I will NEVER get another plane without AC. Period.

With re: to all the other stuff…My G2 was avidyne with twin 650’s and the DFC90. It ROCKED. I love the Perspective system too, but I believe the G2’s equipped like my previous one are the best bargains in aviation. Under 200k for full glass and 165-70 knots. Heck yes.

There’s nothing I have with the Perspective that really makes me think I would desperately miss it if I went back to my previous setup. Nothing wrong with it for sure. I enjoy it and it’s a bit more “standardized” (used on turboprops and jets etc) but it’s not a game changer like the AC. Did I mention I will NEVER buy another plane without AC?

Perhaps I am not getting maximum utility out of my A/C by being overly conservative. I would say my A/C robs about 100fpm of climb performance while full rich and more LOP. That shouldn’t make or break a departure or go-around. I also read some posts about possible damage to the compressor by keeping the A/C engaged during a harder landing (and during engine shutdown). It would be nice to leave it on full time, I might start doing that.


Anuj – I may not have been clear, sorry. I always turn off both the A/C and fan before shutting down the engine. And I always check to make sure both are OFF for engine start. After engine start, and after verifying Alternator #1 is producing the right volts and amps, I promptly turn on first the fan, and then the A/C. As for hard landings. so far I haven’t had any, knock on wood. But as I recall, hard landings were a problem before the change to orange grommets, which mine has.

Charles, I’ll scan it in and post it. Give me a few minutes.