If you were a beginning pilot, wanting to get your IFR rating on the plane you’ll call yor very own, would you consider the SR20? Would it be too difficult to fly for a new pilot?
I wonder about the premise of the question. To me, flying the SR20 is significantly easier than flying most standard training planes. And although I didn’t learn in one, I think learning would be easier too.
Yes, the SR20 is faster than a 172, requiring somewhat faster reactions. But it’s only slightly faster in the pattern (5-10kt difference on most legs of the pattern). And in any case, when you’re starting flying lessons, getting used to the whole idea of controlling and landing the plane is the main challenge, so that the differences in speeds are secondary. (What I mean is: if someone took a very-first flying lesson in a SR20, and had the usual very-first-flight feeling of, “Oh My God, I’ll never land this on my own,” I don’t think the person would feel: Gee, if only this were 5 kts slower in the pattern, it would be easy to land.)
And in ways other than speed, the SR20 seems easier than a Skyhawk. You can see out of it much better. It’s more comfortable,and I personally find the stick easier to use than a yoke. No “carb heat”! No ADF! Just about every trainer I used had crappy radios, and for all the squawk problems people may raise with SR20s, they’re way more reliable than the typical geriatric rental plane. OK, you have to switch tanks – and there is a Garmin you eventually have to use. But no one can tell me that having the Arnav makes learning to fly harder rather than easier. The “landing picture” is different in a Cirrus from its look in a Skyhawk, but I don’t think a Cirrus is in any basic way harder to land. Indeed, it is much easier to land in any significant crosswind. About the only “harders” I can think of are: the pitch trim is (as often mentioned) harder to fine-tune than is the SKyhawk’s manual trim wheel, and it’s more of a nuisance to sump the gas tanks and (especially) check the tire pressure in a Cirrus.
I have more or less “balanced” experience at this time. I had 300 hours of flying experience, mainly in Skyhawks (plus some 182 and seaplane, and the nauseatingly vivid time in an Aerobat) when I got a SR20. Have 275 hours of Cirrus experience since then. If circumstances had allowed me – or any of us – to start right out learning in a Cirrus, I think we’d have been grateful for that opportunity.
If you can start in a modern, well-equipped, reliable plane (Cirrus or otherwise), by all means do!