I’m relatively new to the Cirrus family and can say I am very pleased with the performance of my SR20. I have a 2003 full glass panel with Skywatch, Emax, Cmax, XM satellite and radio, Dual Garmin 430s, STEC 55X, and Avidyne MFD/PFD. I purchased N8148M in May with about 530 hours but didn’t get to fly it until I returned from Iraq in early July. Since then I’ve flown from Indiana to Myrtle Beach, Niagara Falls, Mackinac Island, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Kansas (several times) and have put on about 150 hours. I am approaching 600 hours total flying time since my private and have been working to knock out the Instrument Rating (hopefully within a couple of weeks). This plane / autopilot is outstanding for instrument flying compared to the ADF/dual VOR package I had on the mid-70s vintage 172.
My plane is 2162 empty with a 832 pound useful load - almost identical to the Cessna 172 I’'ve flown most of my hours with. I run rich of peak at 12.5 gallons per hour when I’m in a hurry and get about 150 knots, plus or minus a knot or two. When I feel cheap, (which is most of the time!). I run between 7-10 gph at 130 to 140 knots lean of peak (using Emax).
I have had a few maintenance issues to deal with but the MFD / PFD has performed wonderfully so far (knock on wood). Some of the unexpected maintenance squawks:
Replaced two CHT probes, and have another one that appears to be going. I’ve been told the newer probes are better ~$500 to replace both.
Small oil leak around the tachometer cable (~250) - replace o-ring.
Replaced the main tires ($500).
Field control module went (resulting in popping the essential breaker (~$300 with labor to replace)),
Garmin 430 internal memory battery replacement ($140).
The bottom line is in my experience so far - don’t expect a maintenance-free airplane. So far I’ve busted my budget by about $1,000 a month, t it does seem to be getting closer to what I expected / hoped for. Honestly though the plane is so much more fun to fly and faster than the 172 that I really don’t mind the extra expense.
I recently installed Cmax ($3200 with labor) and that was a hassle, ended up having a new card installed in the MFD to get the program to upload. I also had a quick-change oil valve installed. I’m now changing my own oil and saving at least $100 per change.
Of all the features on the airplane, I’m most impressed with Skywatch - I’m now aware of airplanes that I never ever would have seen before. It’s expensive but I’m glad I have it.
I too have flown the Diamond and considered purchasing one of them. I much prefer the Cirrus after having flown both. The Cirrus is roomier and the side stick in the Cirrus, makes map-chart viewing much easier.
Don’t tell my wife, but I plan to move up to a 22 in a couple of years, or as soon as I can come up with the down payment. I recently taxied a 2008 Perspective SR22 with the Garmin Synthetic Vision, TKS, the works and almost needed a drool cup. As soon I can find one that I can afford - I’m in it!
Loving Cirri in Indiana.