Like every plane in the Diamond lineup, the 180 hp Lycoming-powered DA40 is hard to classify. In many ways, the four-seater with a lot of glass and decent forward speed, around 135 to 140 knots, is a competitor to the Cirrus SR20, but it’s a different experience. The all-composite cruiser features three doors, two in front and a big one in back. With its high-aspect-ratio wing, the DA40 is a great climber, and with its Garmin G1000 cockpit, it’s a terrific cross-country and IFR machine for pilots who don’t need higher performance or the long missions that faster planes can accommodate more easily. The DA40 also boasts one of the best safety records in the segment. Plus, with a 660-pound full-fuel payload, the DA40 is an impressive hauler for a small plane, making it a utilitarian choice for a regional cruiser or business transportation solution.
Niche: Fixed-gear personal
Base Price: $389,900
Competitors: Cirrus SR20, Tecnam P2010, Cessna 182 Skylane
Learn more at Diamond Aircraft.