A good friend at our local airport helped me drop of the Skylane for the ADSB Install. His Dakota and our Skylane are both early 1970's models. I believe the Dakota is a 235hp vs our 230hp. Here is the wackiest part....this was my first time I have ever flown in low wing GA plane! So it was a great experience. Getting There (2 planes) It was a 50nm flight and I launched about 90seconds after he did. I flew +400ft higher than he did, both around 3500agl. Since he recently had is Garmin 345 installed my old GDL39 had him all the way. I also had him visually the entire flight but it was a bit tricky with all the haze and smoke in the air. The entire flight he was about 3 miles ahead. He said he was showing a ground speed of 151mph and I was showing 150mph. Talk about close. On the flight back we discussed MP and RPM and determined that he was flying at 21" and 2250rpm and I was at 21" and 2300rpm. Once again, talk about close. I am pretty sure at those settings and leaned we were both burning a bit under 11gph. I wish we could have got a photo as both planes have the same color schemes. The Ride Back Home So this was my first ride ever in a low wing GA plane. Very, very different. As a passenger the 1 door thing didn't really bother me that much. Climbing up was easy and the upper handle was in a good spot for getting in. Basically just put the left foot in and dropped in. Right away I noticed how narrow it is compared to the 182. I really didn't mind that it is narrower up by my shoulders, it was how narrow it was down low. If I was skinny it probably wouldn't matter all the much. The first complication was the seat belt. It fit but the short end was so short that when I dropped it, it kinda fell back underneath so he fished it back out for me. Once that was done we started up. Door still open since its so hot. I was wearing my Zulu 3's so its hard to compare engine noise. I think the Dakota was a bit quieter but ironically a bit rougher...by just a bit. Once we had ATIS and taxi clearance we taxied. I knew I was sitting a bit lower but didn't really bother me that much. When it came time to close the door, he reached over and pulled it shut and I then dropped that black vacuum like handle thingy. I love that!! Our Skylane door, especially the pilot door doesn't really seal that tight. This door was snug. I would have to think its less drafty in the winter. It also had a fan he turned on which helped a little bit. I am pretty sure our takeoff roll was longer in the Dakota. The reason I know this was that I was at the same airport 2 days earlier practicing DA leaned takeoffs and landings. I was always getting off the ground faster. Yes it was just me but I probably weight 80lbs more than him but I was easily hauling 100lbs more fuel than him. Once in the air I think he climbed about the same and I am guessing with just him on board he would easily outclimb just me when carrying full fuel. I also felt like his rotate speed was fast at a bit over 70kts and in the Skylane I am rotating at 65mph. Now comes the part that sucks. In about 10 minutes I started to get a cramp on the outside muscle in my left leg (nearest him). Since there is some equipment down on the floor it means the entire flight was trying to keep my left foot back under my right knee. He probably sensed it but I didn't want to complain. About every 3 minutes I would shuffle around a bit, but it was really uncomfortable. I went into it thinking I would be bumping my shoulders as its tighter up top but that wasn't the case. Coming into land I learned that the elevator trim and flaps were between the seats. And the seats seem about 4" closer together...in other words not much gap. So I was moving around to make sure he had full access to everything. Ironically, once he went full flaps I rested my left leg against it and instant relief. I was really watching the landing sight picture and it didn't seem wildly different. Just seemed like he landed a bit faster. I think I could have figured it out in a lesson or two. I kinda dig the throttle quadrant. The Dakota has better airflow. Looking down and seeing a wing didn't bother me at all. But I didn't find myself magically looking up in awe either. The seats definitely sit lower but were comfortable other than the leg issue. Actually, I have had that same thing happen once riding 5hrs in a old Jeep Grand Cherokee where the hump was so wide that as a passenger my left leg would cramp up. So far, my longest flight in the Skylane was over 3.5hrs and this has never happened. I have also done over 2hrs as passenger and it hasn't happened so I think the extra width plus higher sit height keeps this from happening to me. I am wondering if he had my seat way ahead and if I had slid it back I would have had more room for my left leg? Getting out wasn't too bad. I was trying to reverse my entrance but he gave me a different approach which worked better. We were getting some good chop on both flights as it was afternoon and getting hot. I am pretty sure the ride up in the Skylane was a bit less bouncy than the ride back In the Dakota. But I am guessing the Dakota will easily win at being more responsive/fun on the controls. Sorry if that was too long. I just thought it was cool to compare the Skylane and Dakota back to back, same trip, same day and same wx. I would like to learn to fly a low wing like a Dakota or Cirrus or Diamond. However, for this round I think the Skylane wins for me when all things are considered.