You can only get your high performance in a Seneca if it is a Seneca III or higher. The earlier ones had 200hp per side and were therefore not high performance.
If price is the same (or nearly) I would go for the Seneca. It's a little more complex with the turbochargers and extra power and all, but not too much different. If I were doing my training in any mountainous areas I would definately opt for te Seneca....much better single engine performance.
If you have a choice, I would go with the Seminole for the following reasons:
1. Cheaper. PA-44s are always less/hr than a PA-34. You ticket looks the same if you did it in a Seminole or a Seneca so save your $$$. If the Seminole is $20 cheaper, over a 8 hour course thats $160, enough to buy another hour (every hour counts!).
2. Less complicated. Starting with the II, the Seneca's were turbocharged, and that's just one more thing to hassle with on a checkride. The II's especially had fixed wastegates on the turbochargers, and it was more of a challenge to fine tune the MPs, especially when dealing with SE ops. Not that you couldn't handle it, but why not stack the deck in your favor? With Seminole you push the power to the stop and forget about it.
3. If you want a HP endorsement, take the money you saved by flying the Seminole and go fly a 182 for .5.
Buzo...are you sure about that. The FAR's state that the endorsement is required for aircraft with an engine rated at more than 200 horsepower. All performance figures I have seen always state sea level power. Would HP at altitude matter?
I realize that the FAQ's are not regulatory, but they are published as a guideline from the FAA. As for the PA28-201, the 201 just means it has the tapered wing.
QUESTION: What if you have an airplane with a 185 HP engine that is rated for 205 HP on take/off. Someone
mentioned that a Navion qualifies for this. I realize that it also would be a complex aircraft. If I had a complex
sign-off but no high performance am I legal?
ANSWER: Ref.§61.31(f)(1)(ii); You'll need to have ". . . (ii) Received a one-time endorsement in the pilot's
logbook from an authorized instructor who certifies the person is proficient to operate a high-performance airplane."
As for whether a Navion that is rated for 205 horsepower on takeoff and that qualifies it, as per the definition of a
high performance airplane, the rule § 61.31(f) just says a high performance airplane is ". . . (an airplane with an
engine of more than 200 horsepower) . . ." If someplace in the airplane's flight manual if the engine specifications
says "more than 200 horsepower" it qualifies as a high performance airplane. Section 61.31(f) doesn't qualify the
definition of ". . . more than 200 horsepower . . ." it just says ". . . (an airplane with an engine of more than 200
horsepower) . . ."
FAQs Part 61 With Chg #18, 12/05/2002
All Q&A’s from #1 through #540
If Navion's engine specifications show ". . . more than 200 horsepower . . ." it meets the definition of a high
performance airplane per §61.31(f) and the appropriate endorsement is required unless the provision of §61.31(f)(2)
The way it was explained to me was that it was rated HP at sea level on a standard day....in which case the Seneca I/II would not qualify. This way all aircraft are standardized as to how they are classified. Again I could be wrong....perhaps we need some clarification from the FSDO. Although as previously stated we will probably all get different answers!
You just have to love the FAA and all their clarity on subjects