SR20 Correct for Mission...

I’m very close to purchasing a 2002 SR20. My home airport is at 5,400 ft and most of my flying is done between 5,400 and 9,500 ft. In the summer temps at take off can reach 90 degrees. The average flight will have a 350 lb load not including fuel. From what I’ve seen this would be around 2700lbs at take off. When looking at this purchase I’m considering the SR20 against a DA40 or just trashing the idea of new tech completely and just purchasing another Turbo Arrow which I’ve owned in the past.

It it reasonable to expect 500 ft/min climb rates in the SR20 at 2,750 above 5,000 ft. Of course the broker say’s it will out climb the DA40. True? Any help would be greatly appreciated, and please refrain from the old SR22 switch-a-roo. My budget won’t allow.

I loved my DA40 in that scenario. I’ve taken off at full gross 2600 pounds in 95-100 degree weather and maintained climb over 500’/min. More like 700. Up higher it did slow to 5-600/min. Speeds in the. I’d 140s on 9 to 9.5 gph LOP. WONDERFUL MACHINE.

Havent flown a 20 so no help there. I miss my diamond but needed more useful load and range so moved up to an sr22 NA.

In my diamond I could Cary 660 pounds and full fuel (40 gallons) and travel 450 miles with 10 gallons reserve.

Just some data points.

Your number 5 cht will probably hit 430 each time you climb in the summer in a 2002 SR20. I’m pretty sure a Diamond out climbs a 20 in all conditions. I would carefully analyze the hot weather/high density altitude attributes of both planes.

For What it’s worth;

I currently own a 2006 SR22 SE GTS and I love it… A year ago I transitioned from a 2002 Diamond DA40 to the Cirrus SR22… For my mission, mainly business and 500nm flights, the Cirrus is an absolute “no brainer”. I trained in the SR20, it and the DA40 are similar in climb… Just go fly both and form your own opinion… We all sometimes get too caught up in the numbers… They are both really good modern aircraft…

Things you should consider:

Diamond DA40’s ( io360 - 4 cylinder, bullet proof) have a near 40’ wing span, finding a hangar to fit it into can be difficult… The Diamond will be less expensive to fly , from fuel to Annuals and even insurance…with slight variances… The Diamond requires a rather expensive annual every 5th year,( not sure how many years) $8000 to $10,000 for rudder cable replacement among other items mandatory items, wing removal etc… Just make sure you calculate that into your purchase or that it’s been done prior to your purchase… As to the “FUN FACTOR” - Diamond wins easily, in my opinion. Flying the “stick” is very intuitive and very fun indeed and it lacks all the springs the Cirrus aircraft stick controls are known for (numb feed back)… Lots of articles on this… A negative for the Diamond is it’s wing load… That is to say it’s a bit more bouncy in the air… On warm convective days it’s very noticeable. Not so much in the Cirrus, a bit more stable… The Cirrus is also a bit more predictable in cross wind landings… Although, both are relatively easy to land…

Visibility is ridiculous out of the Diamond - The basic feel is that you’re on a sheet of Plywood with UN-restricted visibility… Does “Magic Carpet Ride” ring a bell… For some it can be intimidating. You sit forward of the wing so you’re able to look and see straight down and of course all around… Because of the Canopy design, the big bubble, you’re gonna get the “Green House” effect… Hot real quick… But, I always thought it was manageable… The canopy can be cracked for Taxi and run-up… Just make sure its closed & locked before take-off. I once took off with it open and had to make a quick return… FLY THE AIRPLANE first…

For a really thorough DIAMOND review click here Trying to find a DA40 that’s not been in a flight school may be difficult… Get a very thorough PRE-Purchase inspection or better yet get an Annual as part of the sale for either aircraft.

The Cirrus SR20 ( io360 - 6 cylinder - super smooth) is - Comfortable - Capable - Better for longer trips… Roomier… Adjustable seats and so on… A far better platform for the utility of going from point A to B… As a mode of transportation the Cirrus, for me is “IT”…albeit subjective… The Cirrus is a bigger aircraft with a slightly narrower wing span. The SR20 vs DA40 Speed, about the same… (My aircraft is the 22) The SR2x requires chute re-pack every 10 years at a cost of $11k to $14k

I cannot stress enough to continue seeking opinions from all the sources/people on this website… The are so many informed individuals that know far more than I do about the Cirrus platform. My experience is that they all freely share their considerable knowledge… Lastly, always perform thorough and exhaustive research, it always pays off…


If you get closer to making a decision on a Diamond DA40 I may be of further assistance…I have extensive knowledge of that aircraft… Please do not hesitate.

Good luck

Kind Regards,

Brad Marlin

The DA40 is a much better mountain performer than the SR20, especially when hot and heavy. You have to get way from the concept of fpm in climb and think about climb gradient in the mountains. The DA40 may only climb at 6-700 fpm at at modest weight in a High density altitude say 9000 ft DA, but it is doing that at a Vx of 66 KIAS. The SR20 in that environment will probably be climbing at 300 fpm, but at a Vx of 81 KIAS. As a practical aside there are few planes that will out climb a DA40 at Vx. At most airports, the DA40 can be at traffic pattern altitude well before the end of the runway. at 66-70 KIAS and climbing 1100-1120 fpm, that is similar to a helicopter climb gradient.

I’ve flown an 02 SR20 for four years out of CHD ( Phoenix metro). I’d be glad to speak with you about my experiences, including the #5 CHT issue in the climb (which I mostly resolved). Regardless of the ball busting us '20 drivers take from our faster brethren in '22s, I just love my airplane. My cell is 602-920-5400.


Like Jeff (gasser), I transition from a DA40 to an SR22. The advice you are getting seems pretty spot on. Here are a couple of things I would point out that I haven’t seen so far…

The DA40 is an awesome plane (they did away with the 5 year rudder replacement, BTW). However, it is smaller (much smaller back seat and narrower cabin). Its seats do not adjust. It loads from the front.

Diamond vs Cirrus as companies is a really sharp contrast. There is very little (from my experience) support from Diamond. The company is ran like a hobby by the owner as opposed to a passion and a livelihood as Cirrus appears to be.

The support group of Diamond Owners ( a good group of people) are not as knowledgeable as the Cirrus bunch nor are they as tightly knit.

There are many more Cirrus aircraft flying than Diamond, therefore, much more support for parts, service centers, etc.

Now that may sound like I am pro Cirrus (and I am based on what I pointed out and what I want as support and camaraderie in the airplane owning experience), but Diamond is a good product. It has excellent safety numbers.

Your mission will tell you as much as anything. If most of my trips were 200NM or less AND I planned on using the plane to fly circles locally, the Diamond is a better plane (IMO). The cirrus (again, referring to SR22, no SR20 experience) is a get there plane. It is not a slow flight, stable, Look! There’s my neighborhood! plane. Diamond does that very well.

I’d like to thank all of you for responding. Based on what I’ve learned and a discussion with a CFI in Denver who regularly files both the SR20 and SR22, I’ve decided to go straight to the SR22. Utah is infamous for high DA, the SR22 just makes the most sense.

That’s the best choice!

Nice switcheroo!!! Good decision as well.

Good choice. SR 20 is a great flat lander plane, if I were based in mountains, higher DA area, I’d own a 22! Enjoy the adventure,

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune in the Western United States must be in want of an SR-22. Good choice!

How about a married man in possession of a good fortune? ;0)

good choice, from a guy that just switched from a DA40 which I LOVED to an SR22. I’d pick the 40 over the 20 but no comparison to the 22.

I agree, my DA40 was a freeking elevator. Seemed to climb straight up. A flight school in SanteFe uses one for mountain training. Lightly loaded I would routinely see 1000’/min climb or higher even at 90+KIAS.

Biggest downer of my 40 was I was already at gross weight with my kids little and having to two hop everywhere even with full fuel. I couldn’t off load passengers or cargo and add fuel to go farther. 40 gallons was it. If you get one with 50 gallon tanks there are cg issues and no weight left to take anybody. Easy trade offs but wasn’t working for me. A22 is perfect for my mission now. Plus I like and need to fly at night and having the CAPS is awesome.

You’ve made the right choice! I’ve spent a lot of time teaching in all three models, including having flown DA40s and SR22s from coast-to-coast. All are wonderful planes. But the climb rate of the SR22 dwarfs the other two at high density altitude. It also has more leg room in the cabin than the DA40, which can make a difference for longer trips. Have fun mastering the SR22!

Kevin: I have a SR20 an am having problems with #5 on climb-out. Could you please let me know how you solved the problem? Or at least how you managed the problem?


Jim Sak