The Cobra Mk. IV is a very good multi-purpose ship. The jump range is acceptable but not great. But it has 8 internal compartments and can carry a lot of cargo and other equpment so it is a very versatile ship. It has powerful weapons (for a ship of this size) so it can defend itself when necessary. Even though it has good shields, strong hull and weapons I would not recommend the Cobra Mk IV for combat as it is very slow and less agile than e.g. a Viper.
The Cobra Mk. IV is a very good and versatile ship that you will probably keep until you can afford an Asp Explorer.
Should I buy a Cobra Mk III or Cobra Mk IV?
The Cobra Mk. III has better jump range (28,5 vs 23,9 ly), is faster (280 vs 200 m/s) and more agile (5 vs 3)
The Cobra Mk. IV has more internal compartments for shield boosters, hull reinforcement etc. so you can make a nice tank configuration. It has slightly stronger weapons (one more Class 1 weapon). However the slow speed and agility make the Cobra Mk IV less efficient for combat.
Overall I think the Mk III is more versatile as you can both do some combat but also trading etc. The Mk IV is better for trading, passenger transport, mining etc. due to the larger cargo space.
Should I buy a Cobra Mk IV or Viper Mk III/IV?
The Cobra Mk. IV has more internal compartments and can carry more cargo. For trading etc. it is the better ship. It is however slow and not agile so I don't recommend it for combat even though it has one more Class 1 weapon.
The Viper Mk. III is much better for combat as it is extremely fast and also agile. It has less jump range than the Cobra and can carry less cargo.
The Viper Mk IV is not as fast as the Viper Mk III but still faster than the Cobra Mk IV and also has better jump range. It also have a stronger hull and is better suited for combat than the Cobra while still being versatile enough to also carry some cargo etc.
|Max range:||23,16 ly|
|Boost Speed:||299 m/s|
|Weapons:||Class 2 x 2, Class 1 x 3|
|Internals:||Class 4 x 4, Class 3 x 2, Class 2 x 2|
|Landing Pad Size:||Small|