Comparing the Phenom 300E to the Main Rivals

High Performance Aviation

April 2, 2024
2024.04.03 03.01 Flyhpa 660cc699df2f3

Comparing the Phenom 300E to the Main Rivals

Phenom 300E vs. Phenom 300 vs. Cessna Citation CJ3+ vs. Cessna Citation CJ4 vs. Pilatus PC-24

Selecting an airplane can be tedious and time-consuming while researching and comparing. For the Phenom 300E and its main competitors, I’ve done some of the work for you! Here is a detailed breakdown of the main points of interest when narrowing down options for your next jet. The goal is to illuminate the distinct attributes and strengths of each model. Also to provide clarity on their suitability for different operational requirements and how they stack up against one another.


The significance of design in light jets cannot be overstated, as it directly impacts both the performance and passenger experience.

  • Phenom 300E: An evolution of the Phenom 300, featuring enhanced avionics, a more comfortable and luxurious cabin with improved noise reduction, and a refined interior design. Key upgrades from the 300 model pertain to speed, thrust, and avionics features.
  • Phenom 300: Known for its spacious cabin in the light jet category, the Phenom 300 offers a comfortable and efficient design, setting a high standard in its class.
  • Cessna Citation CJ3+: Offers a classic design with modern enhancements, focusing on comfort and efficiency, with a user-friendly cockpit layout.
  • Cessna Citation CJ4: Steps up in cabin size and luxury from the CJ3+, integrating advanced technology and design features for a more refined flying experience.
  • Pilatus PC-24: Unique for its design capable of landing on shorter and unpaved runways, the PC-24 combines jet speed with turboprop versatility and offers flexible cabin options.


The Citation CJ4 leads the pack with an impressive reach of up to 2,165 NM, Close behind, the Cessna Citation CJ3+ offers a competitive range of about 2,040 NM, The Embraer Phenom 300E and the Pilatus PC-24 closely compete with ranges of approximately 2,010 NM and 2,000 NM. The Phenom 300, while slightly trailing its updated counterpart, still maintains a robust range of roughly 1,971 NM. All models are well-equipped for long-distance missions. 

  • Phenom 300E: Approximately 2,010 nautical miles (NM).
  • Phenom 300: Roughly 1,971 NM.
  • Cessna Citation CJ3+: About 2,040 NM.
  • Cessna Citation CJ4: Up to 2,165 NM.
  • Pilatus PC-24: Around 2,000 NM.

Maximum Cruise Speed

Speed enthusiasts will note the Phenom 300E and its predecessor, the Phenom 300, both top the chart at 453 knots, making them the fastest. The CJ4 is not far behind, cruising at 451 knots, with the PC-24 offering competitive speeds of 440 knots. The CJ3+ remains efficient at 416 knots.

  • Phenom 300E: 453/464 (E1) KTAS.
  • Phenom 300: 453 KTAS.
  • Cessna Citation CJ3+: 416 KTAS.
  • Cessna Citation CJ4: 451 KTAS.
  • Pilatus PC-24: 440 KTAS. 

Takeoff Distance

When runway length is a constraint, the Pilatus PC-24 stands out, requiring only 2,930 feet (ft) to take off, highlighting its capability for accessing shorter and more challenging runways. The Phenom 300 presents a shorter takeoff run of 3,138 ft, followed by the CJ3+ at 3,180 ft. The Phenom 300E requires 3,209 ft, while the CJ4 demands the most at 3,410 ft.

  • Phenom 300E: Around 3,254/3,209 (E1) ft.
  • Phenom 300: About 3,138 ft.
  • Cessna Citation CJ3+: Near 3,180 ft.
  • Cessna Citation CJ4: Close to 3,410 ft.
  • Pilatus PC-24: Approximately 3,090 ft.

Landing Distance

Considering landing distances is crucial for determining an aircraft’s operational flexibility, with shorter distances allowing access to a broader range of airports, including remote or smaller facilities. The Cessna Citation CJ3+’s and Phenom 300 series’ shorter requirements offer significant versatility, while the CJ4 and Pilatus PC-24’s longer distances reflect their enhanced capabilities but with more limited airport access. These estimates are of course dependent on weather conditions, weight, and other variable factors. They can give you an idea of what to expect though, and honestly, they are all very similar when it comes to landing distance required.

  • Phenom 300E: Approximately 2,212 ft.
  • Phenom 300: Around 2,159 ft.
  • Cessna Citation CJ3+: About 2,040 ft.
  • Cessna Citation CJ4: Nearly 2,700 ft.
  • Pilatus PC-24: Potentially 2,525 ft.


In the light jet segment, advanced avionics differentiate each model, enhancing safety, efficiency, and pilot interface. The Embraer Phenom 300E showcases this with the Garmin G3000 Prodigy Touch suite, featuring high-resolution touchscreen displays and synthetic vision. The Cessna Citation CJ3+ mirrors this technology, while the CJ4 further elevates the experience with the Collins Aerospace Pro Line 21 avionics suite. The Pilatus PC-24’s Advanced Cockpit Environment adapts the Pro Line 21 taking a step towards more intuitive, pilot-centric cockpits.

  • Phenom 300E: The Embraer Phenom 300E is equipped with the Garmin G3000-based Prodigy Touch avionics suite, which represents a leap forward in cockpit technology. This system features high-resolution touchscreen displays, synthetic vision for improved situational awareness, and an intuitive interface that simplifies pilot workload. Enhanced flight management systems, weather radar, TCAS II, and ADS-B capabilities are standard, supporting safer and more efficient flight operations.
  • Phenom 300: The predecessor to the 300E, the Phenom 300, also comes with the Prodigy Flight Deck, but is based on Garmin’s G1000 avionics suite. It includes three large displays, offering comprehensive flight information, synthetic vision, integrated flight systems, and satellite weather datalink capabilities. While not as advanced as the G3000, the G1000 still provides a robust platform for safe and efficient flight.
  • Cessna Citation CJ3+: The CJ3+ features the Garmin G3000 avionics suite, similar to the Phenom 300E. This suite offers touchscreen control panels, synthetic vision technology (SVT), and advanced navigation and flight planning tools. The inclusion of a fully integrated autopilot system, along with weather avoidance radar, provides the pilots with state-of-the-art tools to maintain safety and efficiency.
  • Cessna Citation CJ4: The CJ4 steps up the avionics game with the Collins Aerospace Pro Line 21 avionics suite. This comprehensive package includes four large-format LCD displays, providing critical flight information at a glance. It features enhanced graphical weather, digital charts, advanced navigation systems, and a sophisticated autopilot system. The Pro Line 21 suite is known for its reliability and ease of use, making it a favorite among pilots.
  • Pilatus PC-24: The Pilatus PC-24 utilizes the Advanced Cockpit Environment (ACE™) system, also based on the Collins Aerospace Pro Line 21. This system is tailored for the PC-24’s unique mission profile, featuring a large 14-inch (35.5 cm) LCD screen, smart graphical flight planning, synthetic vision, and an inertial reference system. The PC-24’s avionics are designed to support single-pilot operations, emphasizing ease of use and reducing pilot workload in all flight conditions.

Construction and Versatility

The choice of construction plays a crucial role in defining each aircraft’s abilities. The design and materials enhance durability, fuel efficiency, and operational flexibility.

  • Phenom 300 Series: Both aircraft are constructed with a high-strength, low-weight aluminum alloy frame, a common choice for business jets due to its durability and performance efficiency. The Phenom series emphasizes aerodynamic design with sleek contours and advanced composite materials in certain non-load-bearing parts to reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency.
  • Cessna Citation CJ3+/CJ4: Traditional aluminum construction focusing on reliability and cabin comfort. These Cessna models also utilize primarily aluminum construction, with critical areas designed for aerodynamic efficiency and structural integrity. The CJ series benefits from Textron Aviation’s experience in using advanced fabrication techniques to enhance durability while optimizing weight. The CJ4, being the larger aircraft, incorporates more technological advancements in its structure to support its increased capabilities.
  • Pilatus PC-24: Unique among the group, the PC-24 combines aluminum with carbon fiber and other composite materials more extensively, creating a strong yet lightweight structure. This material choice supports its capability to operate from shorter and unpaved runways, a distinctive feature of the aircraft. This use of advanced materials is what allows the PC-24 to serve in roles ranging from executive transport to medical evacuation and cargo.

Cost of Operations and Fuel Efficiency

All aircraft in this comparison are designed to be cost-effective for their class, with variations depending on usage patterns. The Phenom 300E and CJ4 tend to offer better fuel efficiency and lower operating costs compared to their respective predecessors and competition, partially due to newer technology and aerodynamic improvements.

  • Phenom 300E and Phenom 300: Typically, the most advanced model in its series, the 300E comes with a higher initial price tag than the Phenom 300, reflecting its enhanced improvements. Offers a slightly lower initial acquisition cost compared to the 300E, making it an attractive option for those seeking the performance and luxury of the Phenom series at a more accessible price point. Both aircraft are powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW535E engines (newest ones with PW535E1), known for their efficiency. The 300E, with its aerodynamic improvements and advanced avionics, may offer slight improvements in fuel efficiency over the Phenom 300. The 300E is designed to be slightly more fuel-efficient than the 300, thanks to its aerodynamic and system enhancements, potentially leading to lower cost per nautical mile. However, both models share a reputation for reliability and relatively lower maintenance costs in their category.
  • Cessna Citation CJ3+ and CJ4: Positioned as an economical option within the light jet category, the CJ3+ offers a balance of performance and comfort at a competitive initial cost. As a larger and more capable aircraft than the CJ3+, the CJ4’s initial cost is higher, justified by its extended range, larger cabin, and advanced features. Both Citations utilize Williams International FJ44 engines, with the CJ4’s larger FJ44-4A engines consuming more fuel due to increased power and range capabilities. However, advanced aerodynamics and engine management systems help optimize fuel efficiency. So, these jets are very comparable in this respect.
  • Pilatus PC-24: The initial cost reflects its multi-role functionality, which may be higher than traditional light jets but offers broader operational capabilities. The PC-24 uses Williams International FJ44-4A engines, similar to the CJ4, but is designed with the unique capability of operation from shorter and unpaved runways. Its unique design and operational capabilities may affect its fuel consumption patterns differently, depending on the mission profile.


When comparing maintenance demands and costs among light jets, it’s crucial to consider factors such as the complexity of avionics, the accessibility of parts, and the manufacturer’s support network, all of which can significantly impact long-term operational expenses.

  • Phenom 300 Series: Highly praised for their low maintenance costs and reliability, offering great utility for both business and leisure travel with quick turnaround times. The 300E’s enhancements could potentially lead to slightly higher maintenance costs due to its more advanced systems but also offer efficiencies that might offset these costs over time. Both models share a reputation for reliability and relatively lower maintenance costs in their category.
  • Cessna Citation CJ3+/CJ4: Targeted at the business aviation market, these jets are tailored for short to medium-range missions. The CJ3+ is ideal for companies needing a cost-effective yet comfortable option for regional travel, while the CJ4, with its larger cabin and longer range, caters to those requiring more space and capability for intercontinental flights. However, being a more advanced and larger aircraft, the CJ4 might have slightly higher maintenance costs than the CJ3+ due to its more complex systems and components. An advantage of these Cessnas is that both benefit from Textron Aviation’s extensive network of service centers.
  • Pilatus PC-24: The PC-24 serves not only the business and private aviation sectors but also fills unique niches like medevac services and cargo transport, thanks to its spacious cabin and rugged landing capabilities. Its construction allows it to perform a wide range of missions. The PC-24 may have higher initial maintenance training and equipment costs but benefits from Pilatus’s focus on durability and low operational cost design philosophy.

The Phenom 300E, with its advancements over the Phenom 300, offers superior luxury and performance, positioning it as a top contender in the light jet market. The Cessna Citation CJ3+ and CJ4 provide reliable and efficient options with different levels of cabin comfort and operational costs. The Pilatus PC-24 distinguishes itself with unmatched versatility and utility, appealing to a niche that requires both the speed of a jet and the functionality of a turboprop. Each aircraft has been designed with specific missions in mind, their construction, materials, and intended uses reflect different priorities and capabilities. All these aircraft share the common goal of catering to a broad spectrum of aviation needs while prioritizing efficiency, comfort, and performance. Ultimately, the best choice depends on specific mission profiles, budget constraints, and the value placed on each jet’s strengths.


Phenom 300E for Sale

Robinson R22 For Sale

2019 Phenom 300E (N100LJ)


Would you like more information?

Send us a message below.

14 + 10 =