The Cessna Citation XLS+ and Embraer Phenom 300E are two extremely popular jets that typically carry up to 6 passengers comfortably.
Despite a lot of similarities between these two aircraft, there are some crucial differences that will impact the right jet to choose for your next mission.
In order to aid in this comparison we will be using our Premium service comparison feature, which you can learn more about here.
First up is the performance of these two aircraft.
The Cessna Citation XLS+ is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545A engines. Each engine is capable of producing up to 4,119 lbs of thrust. As a result, the total thrust output for the XLS+ is 8,238 lbs.
On the other hand, the Embraer Phenom 300E is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW535E engines. Each engine is capable of producing up to 3,478 lbs of thrust. As a result, the total thrust output for the Phenom 300E is 6,956 lbs.
Both the XLS+ and Phenom 300E are capable of cruising at up to 45,000 feet with the XLS+ having an initial cruise altitude of 45,000 feet, while the Phenom has an initial cruise altitude of 43,000 feet.
However, the Phenom 300E is able to get there quicker with a climb rate of 3,851 feet per minute compared with the XLS+ 3,500 feet per minute climb rate.
When it comes to cruise speed, the Phenom 300E is faster. The Phenom 300E is able to cruise at Mach 0.81 compared with the Mach 0.77 high-speed cruise of the Citation XLS+.
Additionally, when trying to get the maximum range out of the aircraft the Phenom 300E is once again faster, however, not by much. The 300E has a long-range cruise speed of Mach 0.67 versus the long-range cruise speed of Mach 0.65 for the Citation XLS+.
Crucially, the Phenom 300E is able to outperform the XLS+ all while being more fuel efficient. The XLS+ has a fuel burn of 210 Gallons per Hour (GPH). In comparison, the Phenom 300E burns just 158 Gallons per Hour (GPH).
Therefore, per hour, the XLS+ will burn 52 gallons more fuel than the Phenom 300E. Assuming a gallon of Jet A costs $5, the XLS+ costs $260 more to operate in fuel than the Phenom 300E. Consequently, if you are an owner who flies 300 hours per year then you would be spending nearly $80,000 more per year just in fuel on the XLS+ than the Phenom 300E.
When it comes to the maximum range of these two aircraft the Cessna Citation XLS+ outperforms the Embraer Phenom 300E, but only just.
The XLS+ is capable of flying up to 2,100 nautical miles (2,417 miles / 3,889 km) without needing to refuel.
In comparison, the Phenom 300E is capable of flying up to 2,010 nautical miles (2,313 miles / 3,723 km) non-stop.
These range figures make it nearly possible for either aircraft to fly non-stop from New York to Los Angeles. However, both will run out of fuel just after Las Vegas, with the XLS+ able to power on marginally further.
If you were flying out of London then both aircraft can comfortably fly non-stop to anywhere in Europe, along with parts of North Africa.
However, as with every manufacturer-stated range figures, these numbers are assuming optimum weather conditions and minimum weight onboard.
You can use the range map from our Premium service in order to see how the number of passengers onboard impacts the range.
Despite the lower thrust output of the Phenom 300E, it is able to take off and land in a shorter distance than the Citation XLS+.
The Cessna Citation XLS+ has a minimum take-off distance of 3,560 feet.
In comparison, the Embraer Phenom 300E has a minimum take-off distance of 3,209 feet.
Therefore, the Phenom 300E will have a greater range of options when it comes to airports that it can operate in and out of.
The XLS+ has a minimum landing distance of 3,180 feet. Whereas the minimum landing distance of the Phenom 300E is 2,212 feet.
Having more airports to choose from will mean that you are able to arrive and leave from airports that are closer to your origin and destination. This will therefore reduce your overall travel time, one of the main perks of flying by private jet.
Again, much like the stated range figures, it is important to remember that these figures are the minimum distances. Therefore, these figures again are assuming optimum conditions. Real-world distances will vary depending on a number of factors.
When it comes to the inside of these aircraft, the XLS+ is bigger in every dimension.
The Cessna Citation XLS+ measures 18.5 feet in interior length, 5.68 feet in interior height, and 5.51 feet in interior width.
In comparison, the Embraer Phenom 300E measures 17.16 feet in interior length, 4.92 feet in interior height, and 5.09 feet in interior feet.
The benefit of having a longer cabin is typically that you can squeeze more seats in, have a larger toilet, and have more legroom.
A wider cabin results in wider seats which results in more shoulder room, along with having a wider aisle that allows passengers to move around the cabin more easily.
And finally, a taller cabin means that passengers have a better chance of being able to stand up straight, move around the cabin more easily, and makes the cabin overall feel more spacious.
And, as you can see, the Citation XLS+ has the Phenom 300E beat in every dimension. However, it is worth noting that neither aircraft has flat floor.
Despite the extra size of the Citation, officially it can’t carry as many passengers as the Phenom. The Cessna Citation XLS+ can be configured to carry up to 9 passengers, however, in most scenarios, the maximum number of typical passengers is 6.
In comparison, the Embraer Phenom 300E is capable of carrying up to 10 passengers with a typical passenger capacity of 6.
Deliveries of the XLS+ began in 2008, compared with deliveries of the Phenom 300E starting in 2018. Therefore, there are some differences in terms of style and technology given that the Phenom 300E is 10 years younger.
Despite the size of these jets both have impressively low cabin altitude figures when cruising at their maximum altitude of 45,000 feet.
The Citation XLS+ has a maximum cabin altitude of 6,800 feet and is capable of maintaining a sea-level cabin until 25,230 feet.
On the other hand, the Embraer Phenom 300E has a maximum cabin altitude of 6,600 feet while being able to maintain a sea level cabin until 24,810 feet.
Cessna Citation XLS+
Something that the XLS+ features that is ever important in a post-pandemic world is 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 pump 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 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 berthable and capable of sliding forward and backwards. 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”.
Cessna Citation XLS+
Embraer Phenom 300E
Embraer Phenom 300E
With the performance numbers and exterior of the Phenom 300E being very similar to that of the Phenom 300, one is left to wonder where the significant changes have occurred. Once inside the aircraft the differences are clear.
The feedback that Embraer received from customers was that they loved the performance, but the interior comfort could use some work. And that is exactly what Embraer has done with the 300E, claiming that the update features “a total redesign of the 300’s interior.”
Tables, window shades, seats, and ceiling panels have all been updated and redesigned. The low cabin altitude of 6,600 feet and quiet cabin noise level of just 75 dB will ensure that you can comfortably work or relax so that you arrive at your destination as refreshed as possible.
The new seats feature retractable armrests and thigh supports, along with tracks that allow for the cabin seats to pivot away from the side walls to increase the amount of shoulder room each passenger has, giving passengers even more space.
The retractable armrests also create more space within the cabin, with the Phenom 300E featuring a slightly wider aisle than the previous generation 300. The seating within this light jet allows for a maximum occupancy of 11 persons (including crew), resulting in a maximum occupancy of 10 passengers. Keep in mind though that with 10 passengers onboard you will know them very well by the time that you land at your destination.
The new cabin has been described as “forward-thinking” and features proximity-activated controls, adjustable lighting, touchscreen monitors and Embraer patented flush gaspers. Combining multiple zones of personalization, an advanced cabin control system that allows portable device integration and wireless audio/video streaming, all adding to the sophisticated interior enhancements.
When it comes to chartering these aircraft the Phenom 300E is less expensive than the Citation XLS+.
However, please note that there are many factors that influence the price of a private jet charter. Therefore, prices will vary depending on the mission.
The estimated hourly charter price of the XLS+ is $3,500.
In comparison, the estimated hourly charter price of the Phenom 300E is $3,150.
And finally, how much does each aircraft cost to buy?
When new, the Cessna Citation XLS+ had a list price of $13 million. On the other hand, the Embraer Phenom 300E has a list price of just under $9.5 million.
However, the pre-owned market is interesting with these two aircraft as it demonstrates just how well some private jets can hold their value.
If we take a look at the value of a 2018 model year, the Cessna Citation XLS+ has an estimated value of $11 million.
In comparison, a 2018 Embraer Phenom 300E is estimated to cost $9.1 million.
However, the depreciation rate of these aircraft is interesting to compare, with the XLS+ losing just under 5% of its value every year and the Phenom 300E losing 2.3% of its value year-on-year.
Therefore, if you were to buy a 2018 Citation XLS+ today and sell it in 3 years, you would lose around $1.5 million in depreciation.
In comparison, if you were to buy a 2018 Phenom 300E today and sell it in 3 years, you would lose around $700,000.
This, therefore, demonstrates highly impressive retention in value of both aircraft but especially the Phenom 300E.
All data is courtesy of Compare Private Planes Premium.
So, which aircraft should you buy?
Well, from the performance capabilities and costs of the Phenom 300E, it is hardly surprising that it is the most popular light jet on the market.
Many elements of it are hard to beat and the Citation XLS+ puts up a good fight.
One area where the XLS+ does triumph over the Phenom 300E is the interior space. Therefore, if you are choosing between these two aircraft and want more space, the XLS+ is the way to go.
However, the Phenom 300E outperforms the XLS+ in many aspects, is cheaper to operate, and holds its value better than the Citation.