Considering a SR20 purchase

I’ve read some of the other threads on this subject and I’d like a bit of perspective anyone has to offer on my situation.

I currently own an older 182(IFR GPS). I already know what it costs to maintain that aircraft and I already have a hangar. I already have a quote from my insurance agent on the delta costs there. For various reasons I have decided I do NOT want a SR22. A SR20 fits my needs just fine and I want a pre-glass model. I’m prepared to pay around $150K give or take.

I’m interesting finding out what maintenance issues I’ll be up against. Are there any ADs or SBs I need to worry about? What about common problems to those models (~2000-2001 vintage) might occur? How reliable have the typical avionics been for these planes?

Factoring out insurance, should I expect it to be more or less expensive to maintain and operate the SR20 compared to a typical 30-40 yr old 182? Obviously the fuel burn is going to be about $12 or so cheaper per hour.

For $150k, “give or take”, I bet you could find a decent SR22 of that vintage. I’m curious why you specifically don’t want an SR22 - I’ve owned both and haven’t found the maintenance costs to be much different. The SR22 can be flown at approximately SR20 speeds and fuel flows if desired. Not trying to change your mind, just curious.

Not too bad with ADs and SBs, and most should have already been applied to any plane with a reasonable maintenance history. The only repetitive inspection issue I can think of offhand is related to the recent nosegear SB. The biggest issue is that the parachute needs to be repacked every 10 years. On a 2000-2001 plane such as what you are after, that 10 years is almost up. No firm costs yet but other threads have estimated $10k plus. Maybe plus a lot, on early planes.

The biggest trouble spot is probably the Century HSI on those planes so equipped. The Arnav MFD seems to be at least as reliable as the later Avidyne units, and from what I understand is still well supported. The rest of the stack is standard-issue Garmin (430s, etc.) so they are pretty much a known quantity. (That is, nothing Cirrus specific in their service history). Might want to think about adding an avionics cooling fan if avionics issues are a concern and the previous owner hasn’t added one.


In 2003 I transitioned from a 172+182 partnership to an individually-owned SR-20. Even setting aside the single-ownership issue, the Cirrus is significantly more expensive to own. As a WAG, if you have a stable 182, expect to double your annual MX expenses.

I’m unaware of systematically collected population-wide MX data. But based on reading these forums individual (plane to plane) variability dominates. Keep that in mind as you process folks’ stories.

I cannot think of any hugely expensive ADs on the SR-20. However, were I in your shoes, I’d find an independent party to do the due diligence for you. Someone who can stand behind their recommendations. Someone like SAMM or a trusted high-volume Cirrus service center.

If you have more specific questions related to the transition, don’t hesitate to PM.

Agreed. My Century HSI has been a POS. The only configuration decision I regret is not springing for the Sandel.

The SR22s I’ve seen for sale seem to be a bit more expensive, all things considered, and even though the difference doesn’t seem to be a lot, it’s still a difference. There’s also a fairly good difference in insurance costs. My main reason for upgrading is just getting a better IFR platform, as my current plane is just not worth upgrading the avionics, and I’m just getting tired of all the maintenance issues and parts availability with my older airframe. So even if the SR22 is not significantly more expensive, it’s still more expensive and I really have no need or desire for the advantages it gives. So it’s really more of a question of why I would want a SR22, not why I wouldn’t.

My 182 has been anything but stable. I’ve just had a lot of minor issues that add up to big things come annual time. Things like one or two instruments always seem to need replaced or overhauled, seat hardware needs repair, cowl needs to be rebuilt, light assemblies need replacing, bulkhead needs replacing, etc. This is in addition to the standard maintenance issues like vaccum pump, alternator, mags, etc.

I had a 182 for about 4 years and it was cheaper to operate than my BMW 740. Annuals never more than about $1,500 and then moved up to a Mooney 201 that wasn’t too much more expensive. 2004 SR22 has been more expensive than all 3 combined annually. The nickel and dime charges are incredible and add up with our regional service centers. I’m still ok with the choice and my wife wouldn’t go back to a Cessna or Mooney without a divorce or significant jewelery so in the long run I believe the Cirrus is cheaper. [:P]

That’s hard to say without knowing more about where you live and how you fly (altitudes, temperatures, distances, loads). I’m just guessing, but I wouldn’t expect insurance cost for the same hull value to be significantly different once you have 100 hours in type. I also doubt maintenance expenses are significantly different. If you’re not going to be flying high, hot, far, or loaded, much better climb performance is the only reason I can think of to want the SR22. The SR20 is a relative dog in the climb. After flying the SR20 for a couple of years, the first time I took-off in an SR22 there was a giant smile on my face from the climb performance. I consider the SR22 a much more flexible, but you may not need the additional flexibility.

If I were in your shoes, looking for a 6-pack and willing to spend $150K, I’d fly both before making a decision to buy an SR20. Either way, they are both great airplanes.

Hi Mike - Just sent you a COPA email re: SR20.


I have an 2003 SR20.

The annuals cost about $2500-$3000 per year. The insurance is about $2000 per year.

I fly LOP and routinely get 140 KTAS at 8.5 GPH.

I have the Avidyne PFD/MFD with dual Garmins and WAAS. The Jepp software updates are about $1500 per year.

Mike, I purchased a 2003 SR20 several months ago. Previously flew a Seneca and a 182 before that. The 182 had more room and more lift although was 10-15 kts slower than the SR20. Check the Avidyne and see what version is installed. I paid seveal thousand to get Avidyne updated. The SR20 doesn’t like climbing in hot weather when loaded. Cirrus is much more comfortable than Seneca or 182. Economy is similiar to the 182. Insurance is about the same as the 182. Let me know if you have any questions. Clarke Prescott, Riverside, CA