SR20:  G2 vs G3

I’m a relatively new PPL who is now looking for his first plane. I’ve been looking at Cirrus aircraft for months now, and just about every Cirrus owner and pilot I’ve spoken to has suggested I come to this website and post my question, so here goes:

I’m considering a Cirrus SR20, either G2 or G3. There’s obvious cool features in the Garmin Perspective, but the market price differences between these make a quick jump of > $100k. What are compelling reasons you think I should get a G3 vs a G2?

For the sake of conversation, let’s exclude the slick features in the Garmin Perspective… I know I wouldn’t get synthetic vision, the blue button, etc in the Entegra. I’m more interested in things like airframe and/or engine performance, maintenance costs, major differences in safety, that sort of thing.

Thank you to everyone who helps me soon become plane owner!

Jason,

I am probably not the right guy to give you my thoughts as I have no real knowledge of SR20 G2 vs G3.

However, you are considering making a pretty large investment - I would guess at lease in excess of 150k. I cannot tell if you are already a member. If you are, I would suggest making this post in the Cirrus Flying forum. If you are not a member, all I can say is that I can’t imagine planning to spend this amount of money and not want to spend the $65.00 to join the organization. There are TONS more conversations going on behind the member “wall”.

I can’t count how many times people post that one little answer to something paid their member dues. I know I continue to get mine back many times over, year after year.

Thanks Barry. I had no clue there was a completely separate forum I couldn’t see. Great suggestion! I’ll join now. Thanks again!

Great Jason, welcome to the club!

Wow, there’s a lot here. I had a feeling this question had likely been asked, and answered. I’ve got a lot of reading ot do now. Thanks again!

I’m a recent SR20 G2 buyer(bought in Jan of '15). If you join COPA you will get access to an article that talks about differences between each year’s model of SR 20 and 22. Be careful as you read the article: 20 and 22’s have different features on the same year models. Here’s what I’d be considering:

  1. Chute repack is a very expensive item. you may find that a '07 G3 may cost less than '06. That’s because on '06 the chute was re-packed while the other is still due within a year. This is a consideration regardless of the model(20 or 22) but the 10 year window is right around the time when -20 went from G2 to G3 generartion.

  2. G2’s don’t have digital engine monitoring(MCP??) which means you will have to have analog gauges in addition to engine page on the MFD. Actually, I’m not even sure MFD will have the page in the first place. This means that you won’t be able to fly LOP properly. The alternative is to get an engine monitor(EIS or JPI) or upgrade Avidyne to MCP (NEXAIR Avionics does these conversions).

  3. Most 10 year old airplanes are due for some interior, exterior or avionics upgrades. The savings you can get buying a G2 as opposed to a G3 could pay for a nice interior refresh or a new autopilot.

The G2s definitely had engine monitoring as an option. I regularly fly a 2005 with Emax so there is an engine page (in addition to the gauges) with the full multiprobe engine data and no issues flying LOP. You shouldn’t need a G3 just to fly LOP.

Jason,

Further to Steven’s post,

If you go to the TECH section - on the WEB banner, there is a very nice document produced by Jamie Steel - that details the model change - between 2 and 3

The landing gear were re-sprung (pulled in) to raise the nose about 6 inches,

The G3 wing has the carbon fiber spar, which increases the useful load, and several other significant differences.

Remember, for the MOST part, the plane itself is 95+% the same between a SR20 and SR22. (the 20 has the fuel tank partition to limit to 56 gallons - the 22 has 92 on a G3)

The BIG difference is the fuel capacity and 200HP vs 310 HP engine - (which drastically changes the characteristics of the operating profile of the plane) AND, after S/N 2016 Perspective - there ARE a few SR20 G3 without Perspective -

and, there have been changes since I got mine… A/C was NOT an option when I purchased my SR-20, G3, Perspective - (2009) - now available…

Regards

-J-

John is correct, if you have EMax you have engine monitoring and can run LOP. My 2001 G1 does. The difference is the removal of the steam gauges (which some like, some don’t) and the change from a SIU to a DAU. Without getting too technical both, from the operators point of view, do the same thing.

Jason,

I made this same decision 3 years ago, I’ll save you the anticipation, I currently own a 2006 G2. My calculus was as follows:

  1. The useful load was relatively minor for the cost delta.

  2. There’s no other performance delta

  3. You can get a nicely upgraded 2005-2006 with a new chute for a lot less than a G3.

My G2 doesn’t have analog engine instrumentation, all digital. I have a DFC90 AP so I get the more advanced AP functionality. I have dual GTN650s with WAAS so Nav units are great. Ultimately I could get so much in a G2 that the G3 just didn’t have enough value given the price.

The G3 will give you the Perspective Avionics package which is what Cirrus is still using.

As others have said, the differences between the the two is small. They are same as far as air-frame and engine performance, maintenance is the same except for seat belt airbags in the G3 (Maybe some G2’s?).

Things to think about:

Chute repack - Try to get one that has a recent repack (2014-2016) the cost of a repack is about $15k

WAAS Radios

ADS-B (What path you are thinking of taking)

DFC-90 autopilot - If it does not have one the upgrade cost is about $10k - It’s not required but some of us find it to be superior to the Stec-55x (Not needed if you go G3/perspective)

Can you afford an SR22? You might want to consider one.

Call a Broker (You will find many here- I really like Aerista )

You may wish to enlist Savvy when it is time to do a prebuy

USE US! When you are ready to buy there are some really smart people here (not me!) that you can ask questions of. Don’t be shy

Good luck

Unless you buy an early G3 when they were still using Avidyne. Can be a good deal for those who want G3 improvements without paying for Perspective (makes more sense in an SR22 for the extra fuel). Not too many out there though.

I have a lot of hours in both G2 and G3 SR20. There are a hanful of differences, but ultimately they are very similar aircraft.

The g3 has what many would consider to be a better wing. It climbs a little better, flies a little faster (a few knots, not enough to get you A to B noticeably faster), and carries a little more weight. The thing I find is most noticeable is there is a little more elevator authority on the G3, that helps on landing.

All else being equal, a G3 is a better option. With that said, they aren’t equal in terms of price. I certainly wouldn’t shy away from a g2 if I were in the market

Found it! Very informative, and just what I need. Thank you Steve!

Thanks John! Great name too… [;)]

Found it, yes, very informative and helpful. What a great read and just what I needed. Thank you!

Regarding this, I noticed some SR20 come with a two-blade prop which is several inches longer in diameter. Worrying about a prop strike (which I’ve seen a few on the market that have had them), is it better to get a three-blade for more ground clearance? What about the need for the extra clearance? A prop strike seems pretty disastrous and expensive to me, and being a new pilot, I’m sure i’ll still make my share of bad landings. Any thoughts on the prop and ground clearance?

Yes, I did read a lot where the SR20 works fine but not the greatest climb performance, whereas the 22 climbs great no matter what. It’s ~60k more for the SR22 G2 vs the SR20 G2. Since the plane loan is amortized over 20 years, this adds a few hundred to the monthly note so it's affordable but I'm trying to watch the monthly commitment for my plane partners. It seems so many G3 Turbos were made, and there’s so much maintenance headache with the Turbo, that a 22 G3 NA is the same price as the turbo! (but, with the extra maintenance costs).

I love AC too. Seems almost no SR20s have AC. Bummer!

Thanks Roger. What is SIU and DAU?

And btw, I was even looking at the G1 planes too. I hadn’t left you guys out!

John,

There’s a lot of G3 turbos out there, that no one wants. Some have Avidyne and most have Garmin. But either way, it seems from maintenance perspective to stay away from the Tornado Alley turbos and to get the integrated 550-K engine in the 2010 models and after. My price point to make that leap forward is $475k, versus a SR20 G2 at $175k or SR22 G2 NA at $230k. For my missions and those of my partners, $475k would be an expensive toy that’s fun to have but not justifiable on the monthly note (mostly because of the absurd insurance cost).

Sanjay, that’s exactly what I’ve been coming up with too. I"m glad to see another owner out there that was thinkgin that and now happy with that decision.

Would you share how the DFC90 is better than the STEC?

And, did yours come with ADS-B already, or is that a retrofit you’re looking to have to make in the coming years?

Dennis,

All great points, and totally agree with you here 100% on the G3 being better. However, the current available plane prices on the market are:

G2
G3
SR 20
$160k
$358k (2010 - 2012)
SR 22
$230k
$330k (2007 - 2010)
This is based on looking in Controller.com and using existing asking prices, and averaging among them. Note that the SR20 G3 is higher than the SR22 G3, because there are no older year G3 models on that market.

In any case, you can see the delta between a G2 to a G3 is much bigger, than 20 to 22. Hence, why I posted my question. No doubt, the 22 is faster and more powerful, and the G3 has a lot of cool improvements. My pocketbook would feel better in an Avidyne 22 G2, than a 20 G3 with either avionics package. And, not to fool anyone, I love horsepower. I’m comparing this to my training days in a 172 so just about anything (pocket battery fan, Ninja countertop blender, etc) will feel like an improvement.

Another complicating factor is when going to G3 is about the time the turbo was introduced, so there’s a lot of G3 22 turbos out there that further increases the 22 NA price. I live in the southeast US so a turbo is just unnecessary maintenance cost for me. I’m still figuring out which way is north so venturing into the upper altitudes to avoid ice and storms is a little advanced for me; I probably just wouldn’t fly at all. TKS is an attractive safety feature though.

All that said, I’m that guy who buys a used house / car and fixes it up, rather than buy new. Given the prices above, would you say the delta between G2 and G3 is worth it, or better to go to a 22 than a G3?