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The Cessna Citation CJ4 and Cessna Citation XLS+ are two very similar aircraft produced by Cessna.

These two aircraft have a similar range, can cruise at the same height, and fly at similar speeds.

Therefore, what are the critical differences between these two aircraft? And what are the similarities? And, most importantly, which of these two aircraft should you choose to buy?

Cessna Citation CJ4 Exterior
Cessna Citation XLS Plus Exterior

Performance

The Cessna Citation CJ4 is equipped with Williams International FJ44-4A engines, which provide a total thrust output of 6,800 lbs (3,402 kg). This powerful jet can reach a high-speed cruise of 451 knots (835 km/h) and has a maximum altitude of 45,000 feet (13,716 meters).

Although the long-range cruise speed and initial cruise altitude figures are not available, the CJ4 boasts an impressive rate of climb at 3,854 feet (1,175 meters) per minute. Its hourly fuel burn stands at 173 gallons (655 liters), offering considerable efficiency.

On the other hand, the Cessna Citation XLS+ is powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545A engines, generating a total thrust output of 8,238 lbs (3,736 kg). The high-speed cruise for this aircraft is slightly lower than the CJ4, at 441 knots (816 km/h).

However, it offers a long-range cruise speed of 373 knots (690 km/h) and an initial cruise altitude of 45,000 feet (13,716 meters). The rate of climb for the XLS+ is 3,500 feet (1,067 meters) per minute, and it has a higher fuel burn per hour at 210 gallons (795 liters).

A higher cruise speed, such as the one offered by the Cessna Citation CJ4, allows for faster travel times, enabling passengers to reach their destinations more quickly and efficiently. Additionally, a higher maximum altitude, shared by both the CJ4 and XLS+, provides smoother flights due to reduced air traffic and turbulence at these elevations.

The lower hourly fuel burn of the Cessna Citation CJ4 offers significant economic benefits.

Assuming Jet A fuel costs $6 per gallon, and both aircraft are flown for 300 hours per year, the CJ4’s fuel burn of 173 gallons (655 liters) per hour would result in a total annual cost of $309,600. In contrast, the XLS+ with its 210 gallons (795 liters) per hour fuel burn would incur an annual cost of $378,000.

Therefore, choosing the CJ4 with the lower fuel burn figure would save $68,400 per year.

Range

When evaluating the range capabilities of the Cessna Citation CJ4 and the Cessna Citation XLS+, it is essential to consider that these figures represent the best-case scenario.

The actual range can be affected by various factors, including weather conditions, headwinds or tailwinds, and the weight of passengers and cargo on board. Understanding the potential impact of these factors will help ensure a more accurate assessment of each aircraft’s performance.

The Cessna Citation CJ4 boasts an impressive range of 2,165 nautical miles (4,009 kilometers).

This extensive reach allows passengers to fly nonstop from New York to destinations such as Los Angeles, Portland, or Vancouver during favorable conditions. On the other side of the Atlantic, starting in London, the CJ4 can comfortably reach cities like Moscow, Cairo, or Reykjavik, providing a versatile option for both business and leisure travelers.

Similarly, the Cessna Citation XLS+ offers a slightly shorter range at 2,100 nautical miles (3,889 kilometers). Despite this difference, the XLS+ still provides ample capacity for long-haul flights.

From New York, passengers can reach major cities such as Las Vegas, Seattle, and Medellín without stopping. Meanwhile, departing from London, the XLS+ can fly directly to destinations like Istanbul, Casablanca, or even the Canary Islands, catering to a wide array of traveler needs and preferences.

It is crucial to remember that these range figures are based on optimal conditions, and real-world factors may influence the actual distance covered. Weather conditions, such as storms or strong winds, can have a significant impact on an aircraft’s range.

Additionally, headwinds or tailwinds can either hinder or boost the jet’s efficiency, affecting its fuel consumption and overall performance. Finally, the payload, including the number of passengers and the weight of their luggage or cargo, can also impact the range capabilities of both the Cessna Citation CJ4 and XLS+.

Maximum range of the Cessna Citation CJ4 and Cessna Citation XLS+ from New York City

Ground Performance

The ground performance of the Cessna Citation CJ4 and the Cessna Citation XLS+ is another crucial aspect to consider when comparing these two private jets.

Ground performance includes factors such as take-off and landing distances, which are vital for determining the aircraft’s suitability for various airports and runway lengths.

Additionally, it is essential to note that these figures represent the best-case scenario, and real-world conditions may alter the ground performance of each aircraft.

The Cessna Citation CJ4 has a take-off distance of 3,410 feet (1,039 meters) and a landing distance of 2,940 feet (896 meters). These relatively short distances provide several benefits, including increased flexibility in choosing airports with shorter runways or those located in urban areas.

Furthermore, shorter take-off and landing distances can also contribute to the overall efficiency of the aircraft, as less time is spent on the ground maneuvering.

In comparison, the Cessna Citation XLS+ has a slightly longer take-off distance of 3,560 feet (1,085 meters) and a landing distance of 3,180 feet (969 meters).

While these distances are marginally longer than those of the CJ4, the XLS+ still offers excellent ground performance, allowing it to access a wide array of airports and runway lengths.

It is important to remember that various factors can influence the ground performance of both the Cessna Citation CJ4 and the XLS+. Weather conditions, such as rain or snow, can impact the friction between the aircraft’s tires and the runway, potentially affecting take-off and landing distances.

Additionally, runway slope and elevation can also play a role in the ground performance of each jet. Lastly, the weight of the aircraft, including passengers and cargo, can impact the required take-off and landing distances.

Interior Dimensions

The interior dimensions of the Cessna Citation CJ4 and the Cessna Citation XLS+ are critical factors to consider when comparing these private jets, as they directly impact passenger comfort and overall travel experience.

The Cessna Citation CJ4 features an interior length of 17.32 feet (5.28 meters), a width of 4.82 feet (1.47 meters), and a height of 4.76 feet (1.45 meters).

The jet can accommodate up to 10 passengers in its maximum configuration, while the typical seating arrangement comfortably hosts seven passengers. A longer cabin offers increased legroom and personal space, allowing passengers to relax and move around more freely during the flight.

In comparison, the Cessna Citation XLS+ boasts a slightly larger interior, with a length of 18.50 feet (5.64 meters), a width of 5.51 feet (1.68 meters), and a height of 5.68 feet (1.73 meters). This jet can carry up to nine passengers in its maximum configuration, while the typical layout is designed for six passengers.

A wider cabin provides additional shoulder room and space for seating arrangements, further enhancing passenger comfort. The taller cabin height allows for more headroom, making it easier for passengers to stand up and move about the cabin without feeling cramped.

Both the Cessna Citation CJ4 and the XLS+ feature a flat floor design, which provides several benefits for passengers. A flat floor creates a more spacious and comfortable environment, allowing for easier movement throughout the cabin and minimizing the risk of tripping or stumbling.

Additionally, the flat floor design contributes to a more consistent and visually appealing aesthetic within the cabin, elevating the overall experience for passengers on board.

Interior

The interior of the Cessna Citation CJ4 and the Cessna Citation XLS+ also differ in terms of cabin altitude, which can significantly impact passenger comfort during flights.

Cabin altitude refers to the air pressure within the aircraft’s cabin, and lower cabin altitudes are generally more comfortable for passengers, as they experience fewer symptoms related to high-altitude environments such as fatigue, headaches, or dizziness.

The Cessna Citation CJ4 has a maximum cabin altitude of 7,800 feet (2,377 meters) and can maintain a sea level cabin pressure up to an altitude of 23,984 feet (7,309 meters).

This means that while flying at or below 23,984 feet, passengers in the CJ4 will experience the same air pressure as they would at sea level, ensuring maximum comfort during the flight.

In comparison, the Cessna Citation XLS+ offers a lower maximum cabin altitude of 6,800 feet (2,073 meters) and can maintain a sea level cabin pressure up to an altitude of 25,230 feet (7,690 meters).

This lower cabin altitude provides an even more comfortable environment for passengers, reducing the potential for altitude-related discomfort.

The benefits of a lower cabin altitude are numerous. Passengers are less likely to experience fatigue or other symptoms associated with high-altitude environments, allowing them to arrive at their destination feeling refreshed and alert.

Lower cabin altitudes also contribute to a more enjoyable in-flight experience, as passengers can better focus on work, relaxation, or conversation without the distraction of discomfort.

Cessna Citation CJ4

The Cessna Citation CJ4 has a maximum capacity of 10 passengers, provided the optional couch is selected. Keep in mind that if you are chartering a CJ4 it is unlikely that the operator will allow for 10 passengers to fly on the aircraft.

This is because one passenger will be required to be sitting up front in the cockpit and most reputable operators will always insist on two pilots flying. The two cabin layout options result in the cabin housing either 8 passenger seats or 9 passenger seats in the optional couch configuration.

Both configurations consist of a single forward-facing row of seats situated behind a double-club seating area. The difference between the configurations is the seat opposite the main door. With the optional couch, this single seat is converted to a two-seat couch (see below for layout).

At the very rear of the aircraft, there is a belted lavatory. These dimensions are slightly smaller than the CJ4s main competitors, the Embraer Phenom 300E and Pilatus PC-24 (which features a completely flat floor).

The extra length of the CJ4 over the smaller CJ3+ is most noticeable in the flight deck and the refreshment center area. The refreshment center features a divided ice drawer, coffee container, disposable cup dispenser, trash container, bottled water, can storage, and snack storage.

All seats within the cabin swivel and track forward/aft and inboard/outboard, with the two center forward-facing seats also floor-tracking. In between the double-club seats are two bi-fold tables, along with slimline bi-fold tables for the rear seating area. In order to increase the space within the club seat area the rear-most seats can be moved further back.

The CJ4 features the Collins Venue cabin management/entertainment system with a Blu-ray media center and single-channel SiriusXM radio. The CJ4 also features a monitor on the forward bulkhead, two side-ledge monitors, and environmental system controls. All lights in the cabin are LED and each seat has cabin management and entertainment system controls. Gogo’s air-to-ground system or Cobham Inmarsat SwiftBroadband satcom are available options for airborne connectivity.

Cessna Citation CJ4

Cessna Citation CJ4 Interior
Cessna Citation CJ4 Interior

Cessna Citation XLS+

Cessna Citation XLS Plus Interior
Cessna Citation XLS Plus Interior

Cessna Citation XLS+

Something that the XLS+ features that are ever important in a post-pandemic world are air cleanliness quality. Thankfully, Cessna have you covered and fitted the XLS+ with a fresh air system. A fresh air system focuses solely on circulating fresh air from outside the aircraft into the cabin. Because the air coming into the cabin is consistently “fresh” from the outside, there is no recirculation.

Therefore, there is no need for an additional filter within the system. As a result, the entire volume of air within the cabin can be refreshed within less than two minutes. Alternative air systems found on aircraft are partial recirculation systems and ionization systems. Both these rely on actively removing germs, viruses, and bacteria from the air, then pumping it back into the cabin.

In terms of the tangible elements of the interior, Cessna has opted for six individual seats and a side-facing couch. Each seat has a well-positioned work surface. VIP seat controls allow passengers to control the cabin lighting and temperature. In place of the side-facing couch, passengers can opt for a storage closet and a single side-facing seat.

All the seats are wrapped in rich leather and complemented with tasteful hardwood finishes. If you have the pleasure of optioning the aircraft from new, you can opt for custom-tailored fabrics and accent the elegance of the aircraft. Seats are fully breathable and capable of sliding forward and backward. Additionally, seats can be articulated for maximum comfort.

Eleven large windows provide optimal light and viewing throughout the cabin. All individual seats have access to a window to see the world pass below. Naturally, for an aircraft in this segment, a spacious lavatory is located in the rear of the aircraft and a deluxe refreshment center is at the front. According to Cessna, the cabin “blurs the line between business and pleasure”.

Charter Price

When comparing the charter cost per hour between the Cessna Citation CJ4 and the Cessna Citation XLS+, it is essential to consider the factors that influence the overall expense associated with chartering a private jet.

The Cessna Citation CJ4 has a charter cost of $2,800 per hour, while the Cessna Citation XLS+ comes in at a slightly higher rate of $3,500 per hour. Understanding the differences in these costs and the factors that contribute to them can help potential clients make informed decisions when selecting a private jet for their travel needs.

There are several factors that can influence the cost to charter a private jet, including the type of aircraft, the distance and duration of the flight, and the time of booking.

First, the type of aircraft plays a significant role in determining the charter cost, as different aircraft models have varying operational expenses, such as fuel consumption, maintenance, and crew costs. In this case, the Cessna Citation CJ4’s lower hourly rate may be attributed to its more efficient fuel burn and potentially lower maintenance costs when compared to the XLS+.

Secondly, the distance and duration of the flight can also impact the overall charter cost. Longer flights typically require more fuel and may involve additional expenses, such as crew accommodations or landing fees. Therefore, the difference in charter costs between the Cessna Citation CJ4 and the XLS+ may be more pronounced for longer journeys, where the CJ4’s lower hourly rate could result in substantial savings.

Lastly, the timing of the booking can also influence the cost to charter a private jet. During peak travel seasons or periods of high demand, charter rates may increase due to limited aircraft availability and increased competition among clients. As a result, the difference in charter costs between the Cessna Citation CJ4 and the XLS+ could vary depending on the time of year and market conditions.

Purchase Price

When comparing the acquisition cost of two aircraft, the Cessna Citation CJ4 and the Cessna Citation XLS+, it is important to consider both the new list price and the cost for pre-owned models.

The new list price for the Cessna Citation CJ4 is $9,700,000, while the new list price for the Cessna Citation XLS+ is notably higher at $13,000,000. This difference in initial cost may be a key factor for potential buyers when deciding between the two aircraft.

In terms of pre-owned models, the current value of a 2020 Cessna Citation CJ4 is $10,000,000, while the current value of a 2020 Cessna Citation XLS+ is $12,000,000.

When considering future values, the Cessna Citation CJ4 has an annual depreciation rate of 4.38%, resulting in a future value of $8,742,713 after three years. On the other hand, the Cessna Citation XLS+ has a slightly higher annual depreciation rate of 4.74%, leading to a future value of $10,373,205 after three years.

Given these depreciation rates and future values, the Cessna Citation XLS+ will lose more money over the ownership period in terms of actual dollar amounts, with a loss of $2,626,795 as compared to the Cessna Citation CJ4’s loss of $1,257,287.

There are several factors that can influence the depreciation rate of a private jet, including market demand, technological advancements, and maintenance history.

Market demand plays a significant role in determining the value of an aircraft, as higher demand can help maintain or even increase its value over time. Technological advancements can also impact depreciation, as newer aircraft models with more advanced features may cause older models to lose value more quickly.

Finally, an aircraft’s maintenance history can affect its depreciation rate, as a well-maintained aircraft with a good track record is likely to retain more value than one with a history of maintenance issues or accidents.

Summary

In summary, the Cessna Citation CJ4 and the Cessna Citation XLS+ are both reputable aircraft with their own advantages. The CJ4 has a lower acquisition cost, with a new list price of $9,700,000 compared to the XLS+’s $13,000,000. However, the XLS+ tends to lose more value over time due to its higher annual depreciation rate of 4.74% versus the CJ4’s 4.38%.

Choosing between these two aircraft ultimately depends on the buyer’s priorities and specific needs. The Cessna Citation CJ4 may be a better choice for those who are more budget-conscious or looking for a smaller, more efficient aircraft. Its lower acquisition cost and slower depreciation rate make it a more cost-effective option in the long run.

On the other hand, the Cessna Citation XLS+ might be more suitable for buyers seeking a larger, more advanced aircraft with a greater range of capabilities, despite its higher acquisition cost and faster depreciation rate. In scenarios where size, performance, and advanced features are of utmost importance, the XLS+ could be the preferred choice.

Ultimately, the decision between these two aircraft should be based on a careful evaluation of individual requirements, budget constraints, and long-term ownership goals.

Benedict

Benedict is a dedicated writer, specializing in in-depth discussions of private aviation ownership and its associated topics.

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