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Citation Sovereign vs Citation X

Comparing the Cessna Citation Sovereign and Citation X Super Midsize Jets

The Cessna Citation series offers two of the most popular super midsize jets for corporate and luxury travel, the Citation Sovereign and the Citation X.

Citation Sovereign vs Citation 10
The Citation Sovereign (top) and the Citation X (10)

Super Midsize Jets are popular thanks to their comfortable, standing-room cabins, high cruise speeds and cross-country range.

Cessna began offering the Citation X in 1996 as the first super midsize (SMS) jet in the Citation line-up following the success of their midsize jets. The Citation X would go on to become one of the most popular jets in aviation with its record setting speed.

In 2004, the Citation Sovereign was released, splitting the range and cost of the Excel and X to offer an attractive midpoint option for executive and VIP passengers.

The Citation X/X+ model was offered until 2018 with nearly 340 deliveries during its 22 year run, and Cessna ended production of the Sovereign+ in March of 2021 to make way for the Citation Latitude and Citation Longitude after 443 models were produced.

Both Citation series business jets remain in high demand for corporate ownership and on-demand charter thanks to their outstanding comfort, speed and range. So how does the Citation X compare with the Citation Sovereign?


The Citation 10 (Cessna 750) set the standard for high-speed private jet travel, originally holding the title as the world’s fastest private jet for nearly 2 decades until it was surpassed by the Citation X+, and matched by Gulfstream & Bombardier’s newest long-range jets.

The Citation X+ features twin Rolls-Royce AE3007C2 engines that can reach speeds up to 717 mph – that 93.5% the speed of sound. The base model has a top speed of 690 mph, or Mach 0.90.

Transcontinental & transatlantic flights are also no problem for the Citation X, offering a range of nearly 3,500 nautical miles; flights from LA to NYC take just under 4 hours and 50 minutes, much faster than commercial airplanes.

Although the Citation X delivers unmatched performance in its class, it doesn’t sacrifice fuel-efficiency. The outstanding performance and efficiency earned Cessna the Collier Trophy in 1996.

The Citation Sovereign (Cessna 680) doesn’t travel as far or as fast as the Citation 10, but still offers some operational advantages.

The Sovereign is powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney PW-306C, offering a maximum cruise speed of 613 mph, and a range of around 2,620 nautical miles, both slightly lower than the Citation 10.

The Sovereign+ was given aerodynamic upgrades to extend the range to 3,200 nautical miles.

The main performance advantage Sovereign has over the X is its ability to takeoff and land utilizing shorter runways – the Citation X requires 5,280 feet for takeoffs and 4,693 feet for landing, compared to Sovereign which can take off from a runway measuring just 3,530 feet and needing only 2,600 feet of runway to land.

The Sovereign is also equipped with a variety of technologies to minimize maintenance costs and down time, and can carry a slightly higher max payload.


Cessna designed the interior of the Citation X to match it’s performance, with a luxurious, comfortable cabin with 8 seats in double club configuration.

The Citation 10 uses the same fuselage cross-section found in the Citation III, VI and VII, with a cabin measuring 5’7″ tall, 5’5″ wide, and 23’9″ long.

When the Citation Sovereign was released, it offered the largest cabin and the largest-in-class baggage in its class with 100 cubic feet of space available.

The Sovereign utilized a stretched fuselage from the Citation Excel to offer slightly more space, with a cabin measuring 5’8″ high, 5’6″ wide, and 25’3″ in length, with seating for between 8-12 passengers depending on configuration.

Both jets offered fully enclosed lavatories, refreshment centers, full galleys, and multiple entertainment & business amenities, with the Sovereign offering a slightly larger cabin and more seating capacity than the Citation X.


When it was released in 1996, the price of a new Citation X started at around $20.6 million – $21.5 million, while the Citation X+ debuted with an MSRP of $23.4 million.

The annual cost for the Citation X (based on 450 owner-operated hours and $7.00/gal fuel) comes out to around $2.7 million, including variable costs of around $2 million and total fixed costs of around $685,000. This translates into operational costs of around $6,050 per hour.

The Citation Sovereign hit the market with a $17 million price tag, with the Sovereign Plus later available for $18 million.

The Sovereign offers noticeably lower costs compared to the Citation X.

The annual budget for the Sovereign (based on 450 owner-operated hours and $7.00/gal fuel) totals around $2.1 million, with total variable costs around $1.5 million and total fixed costs of just under $700,000, breaking down to about $4,850 per hour, or around 22% percent less than the Citation X.

Thanks to its lower cost of acquisition and operational costs, the Citation Sovereign is more cost-friendly than the Citation X.


The Citation X outperforms the Sovereign in terms of speed, range, maximum altitude (51,000 ft compared to 47,000 ft), and is one of the most renowned business jets ever produced.

The Sovereign sacrifices its maximum speed and range to offer a larger, more comfortable cabin, more baggage capacity, and better access to small runways at local, regional and executive airports.

The Sovereign also carries substantially lower operating costs compared to the Citation X.

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Interested in renting a Citation 10 or Sovereign for your next private flight? Air Charter Advisors offers instant access to super midsize jet rentals wherever you’re located. Submit a request or give us a call at +1 (888) 987-5387 for a free charter quote or to discuss sales, jet cards, and other aviation services.