Contemplating Cirrus Purchase

I am looking at the purchase of a used SR-20 or SR-22.

On the used market, there is not much price difference between the planes.

Other than the obvious difference of increased fuel burn and cost of overhaul on the SR-22 vs the 20, how do the 2 ships compare for cost of ownership and maintenance?

Is one more reliable / trouble free than the other?

Why buy one versus the other.

All help appreciated!



But there is a significant difference in performance. What part of the country are you in?

You can always reduce power in the SR22 if you want to replicate the fuel burn of the SR20. You can’t increase the power in an SR20 to get the performance of the SR22, though!

Probably not that much of a difference. I will get howls, but experienced mechanics have told me that the IO-550 in the 22 is a more reliable engine that the IO-360 in the 20.

It’s all about context. What is your mission? How much do you expect to fly per year?

I think you’ll find the operating cost of the two to be very similar if your flights are measured by distance and not time. That is, consider the operational cost as $/mile and they’ll be very similar.

You will probably find that you want to fly higher in the SR-22 for most flights – it’ll get you to the smooth air faster.

Although I’d never advocate ignoring the effects, density altitude decisions are much easier with the SR-22.

The only question really should be turbo or not. And that’s a much more interesting debate.

Yr question is like asking how high is high. Simply, it’ll give you as much trouble as you want it to. If you are an involved owner with yr maintenance and training - it’ll be a wash. Like most have said, it depends on yr mission. Personally, I like flying - so I don’t mind slowly going where many have gone before. Usually with company. Good luck

First, I’d like to vote Alex as a member of the Society of Cool Dudes.

Secondly, John, you just can’t go wrong. I would counsel to buy as much plane as you possibly can. The more you fly, the greater you exercise its utility.

Your insurance will be less with the '20 as it is not a hi-perf aircraft.

The difference will be marginal. Hull value, time-in-type, and coverage are the biggest determining factors for insurance cost. Retract, high-performance, etc. don’t matter much if all the other are the same.

You can’t fill a Cirrus to the tabs for the difference in cost.

Well, at the risk of annoying some of my friends, I’d suggest there is very little reason to own a used SR20. I flew one for about 3 months while my 22 was getting R9 installed (long story) and really missed the 22. The performance difference is breathtaking and I really felt the 20 was struggling on hot days with any weight. Seemed more “lethargic” than my Archer. With the 22 you have much more power that mild DA issues (yes look at the chart) and pretty long runways are not an issue. The 20’s have fewer systems to maintain (no AC, no TKS, no power) and burn less fuel but I suspect that the real cost delta is trivial as you get there faster in a 22. Mastering the speed of a 22 takes a little instructor time, but is second nature before you know it. If you plan on renting your plane to a FBO or flight school (usually bad idea BTW) then go with a 20 as qualifications for a rental 22 will keep it on the ground much more.

If you usually fly short distances alone at 4-6000’ and want to rent the plane get a SR20, else I predict you will want to step up sooner than later. The cost of step up is huge compared to the maintenance delta. Most of us fly NA22s in the 8-12k with occasional flights up to 15-17k (ie over mountains or maybe weather with lots of outs). The turbos tend to fly mostly in the mid-high teens. Rough guess on economical cruise speeds would be 135, 165, and 185-200 for SR20, 22, 22 turbo etc. For training or messing around both planes fly identically at 120-130k, just throttle back on the 22 and it becomes a 20 and with similar economy.

There are lots of threads (ie join up!) comparing 20s vs 22s vs turbos etc. You can read for hours and worth the $65 not to mention membership seems to have a big safety advantage.

The economical cruise speed for a 20 is 145.

And if you are flying for the sheer pleasure of flying without a destination, you can fly the 20 all day at 6.9 gph down low. Of course, if you “drive” rather than “pilot” a plane go for the latest and greatest in autopilots on the 22

Hi John, when I help people decide between the two, my first question is always, what’s your mission? If you plane on doing local stuff (300nm or less) and don’t have to worry about terrain the sr20 is great. If you think you might be doing a lot of longer trips you may want to look at the 22. There are tons of other things to take into consideration but that is where I start. Feel free to give me a call and we can chat about all the variables. I have helped people purchase half a dozen Cirrus’s in the last year and I always love helping someone find their dream plane.

Fly safe,

Hi Mark:

I have been off the list for a while flying an RV-7. I am getting ready to move either to a Bonanza (35 or 36) or an SR-22.

I prefer the room and systems on the SR-22 but have heard many horror stories of SR-22 maintenance costs vs the Bonanza.

What is the realistic cost of an annual inspection on an SR-22?

Service centers typically charge 30 hours of labor for an annual inspection, about $3000. This is just for the inspection plus needed repairs which will vary greatly from year to year. However, a local field mechanic/IA may charge $1200 for the inspection. It’s like taking you car to the dealer vs the local mechanic in your neighborhood.

A Bonanza is a great airplane, however, engine access is much better in a Cirrus. The entire cowling comes off in 10 minutes. Working on a Bo through two relatively small side access panels and not having a removable nose bowl really makes things difficult. YMMV [:D]

That very much depends on the systems on the plane. The more loaded ones (turbos, Air Condition, etc…) can be that or more.

A NA SR20 or SR22 is almost a 1/3 less hours - book rate from Cirrus.

Correct, That’s what I have GTSx with A/C- no more room on the tail to describe more features [:D]

I would Say $1500 for a NA aircraft, I don’t think any SC will quote 1K for an Inspection. I also think it depends on where you live. For instance, when I was getting quotes for Cies Fuel senders, One SC in NorCAl was close to 9K. I told them I found another SC in Oregon which was much less. They said something like " Well, property values are high here and we pay our employees more than average since the cost of living is high". I get it as I live in overpriced Socal, however, I flew the aircraft to the SC in Oregon, enjoyed a great flight, paid all expenses and still saved money.

The base inspection for my NA is 2300. Total annual cost each of the past 2 years has been 4K.