The differences between a Cessna 172 vs 182

Cessna 182 vs 172

To the untrained eye, many non-pilots wouldn’t know the difference between a Cessna 172 vs 182. Honestly, some new beginning pilots struggle to see the difference as well. Do you even know what the image above airplane is? To be even more honest, it’s sometimes hard to tell myself what the difference between any single engine Cessna is if I’m not looking and listening carefully enough.

But if you’re like me and nerd out when it comes to aircraft recognition then you want to get to the bottom of what the difference between a Cessna 172 and 182 really is.

Let’s break it down by airplane based on 2016 manufacturer numbers.

Cessna 172 Skyhawk stats

I have about a hundred hours or more in the Cessna 172 Skyhawk. I learned to fly and get my private pilot’s license in the Skyhawk. It has a special place in my heart.

Max Range: 640 Nautical Miles (NM)

Number (#) of Seats: 4

Cessna 172 dimensions: 

       Length: 27 ft

       Wingspan: 36 ft 1 in

Engine Type: 

Manufacturer: Textron Lycoming

Model: (1) IO-360-L2A

Power Output: 180 HP

Useful Load: 918 Pounds (lbs)

Takeoff Ground Roll: 960 feet (ft)

Max Cruise Speed: 124 knots (kts)

Maximum Climb Rate: 730 FPM (feet per minute)

Cessna 172 fuel capacity: 600 (lbs)


Cessna 182 Skylane stats

Max Range: 915 Nautical Miles (NM)

Number (#) of Seats: 4

Cessna 182 dimensions: 

       Length: 29 ft

       Wingspan: 36 ft

Engine Type: 

Manufacturer: Lycoming

Model: IO-540-AB1A5

Power Output: 230 HP

Useful Load: 1,142 Pounds (lbs)

Takeoff Ground Roll: 795 feet (ft)

Max Cruise Speed: 145 knots (kts)

Maximum Climb Rate: 924 FPM (feet per minute)

Cessna 182 fuel capacity: 620 (lbs)

From a pure metrics standpoint you can see that with some added power in the nose, the Cessna 182 Skylane out performs the Cessna 172 Skyhawk in range, speed, takeoff ground roll, useful load, and climb rate. So all around you’re going to get places a little quicker and take a few more stuffed teddy bears and golf clubs along for the ride in a Skylane.

I will say that I have flown a Cessna 182 a few times so far in my flying journey and you can definitely tell that there is more power to work with.

Cessna 172 vs 182 price point

The one metric that the Cessna 172 Skyhawk has the 182 beat in is price point.

If you’re looking to purchase a used 2006 Cessna 172 Skyhawk SP you will be investing around $199,500.

For the same year make of a 2006 Cessna 182T Skylane you’ll be looking at about $275,000.

These numbers were from me looking at listings and trying to find a fair enough comparison. By the way, they both get you the Garmin G1000 so what’s so terrible about that. 😉

Anyway, you can see that for rounding sake, the Cessna 172 is about $75,000 less than the Skylane. Is the amount of money worth the increased range, fuel load, speed, and useful load? Well that is a question for your flight missions to decide.

What’s the final verdict on the matchup?

From personal experience I love the Cessna 172 a whole heck of a lot. I don’t see an Ian that won’t have a Cessna 172 in his life in some way or another. I would love to give the Cessna 182 some more flights and see how it feels as an alternative. Overall, I love Cessna aircraft for how forgiving and easy they are to fly. When it comes down to a Cessna 172 vs 182 battle you just can’t go wrong here.

If you’re purchasing an aircraft, I would highly look into reflecting on what mission it is that you’re going to be flying the most. If it’s training and learning to fly on a budget then the Skyhawk is the best way to go. If you’re looking to takeoff quicker and take some additional baggage on trips, the Skylane is the plane for in this matchup.