► Lease a Citroën C4 Cactus from £83pm
► Lease a Porsche Cayman S from £530pm
► Part of CAR's guide to 2016's top lease deals
The Cactus is to opinion round here what the Manhattan Project was to the atom – pretty divisive. Our long-termer proved impressively economical and unimpeachably reliable, but also fiddly of touchscreen, hard on the arse (the seats, not the suspension) and fettered by details suggestive of interference by penny-pinching accountants. Yet such cost constraints are good news if you’re in the market for a family car bargain – the Cactus is a lot of space for not a lot of money.
It comes in three trim levels: Touch, Feel and Flair (you can do your own jokes). All get DAB, cruise and six airbags, but you’ll need to cop Feel for air-con, alloys and Bluetooth; Flair adds sat-nav and reversing camera, amongst other goodies. The chassis prioritises comfort over handling, but the engines are all keen and clean, so aim for maximum monthly value – there are some incredible short-term lease deals around. CJ Hubbard
One we found
Finance type: Third-party PCH
Monthly fee: £83.88
Terms: 37 months /6000 miles per year
Optional final payment: n/a
The specs: Citroën C4 Cactus
Engine: 1199cc 3-cyl, 81bhp @ 5750rpm, 87lb ft @ 2750rpm
Performance: 12.9sec 0-62mph, 106mph, 61.4mpg, 107g/km CO2
Last of the non-turbos: Porsche Cayman & Cayman S
The Porsche Cayman is the best all-round sports coupe on sale today. Somehow, Stuttgart’s second-cheapest car manages to balance much of the visual appeal, aural drama and driving thrills of bona fide supercars with a price tag starting from just under £40k.
Then again, balance is what this mid-engined gem is all about: the 911’s rear engine might help it package two small rear seats, but the Cayman’s mid-engined layout gives the younger, half-the-price sibling a much more playful, more accessible handling balance.
The driving position is spot on, the pedals perfectly aligned and weighted, the small steering wheel as quick-witted as a Scouse stand-up. We wouldn’t try to talk anyone out of the excellent PDK dual-clutch transmission – it’ll switch from super-snappy changes to laid-back cruiser in a heartbeat – but the six-speeder is so slick and tactile that paying over £2k to lose it seems questionable.
We’ve been impressed by Porsche’s new turbocharged 911 Carrera, but for some only the soaring revs and crisp response of natural aspiration can deliver the authentic Porsche experience. If that’s you, you’d best get your skates on: the Cayman S stands as your last chance to feel a flat-six come on cam at around 4000rpm and howl all the way past 7000rpm before four-cylinder turbos replace them.
The base Cayman gets a 2.7-litre lump and it’s a lovely thing, but Porsche’s cunning product planning makes the S a worthwhile stretch if you can do it, mainly because the 49bhp bonus gives the package so much more energy. Ben Barry
One we found
Finance type: Manufacturer PCP
Monthly fee: £530.23
Terms: 35 months /10,000 miles per year
Optional final payment: £26,663.65
The specs: Porsche Cayman S
Engine: 3436cc flat-six, 321bhp @ 7400rpm, 273lb ft @ 4500rpm
Performance: 5.0sec 0-62mph, 175mph, 31.4mpg, 211g/km CO2
More from CAR’s top leasing deals of 2016:
From £423pm: Jaguar F-Pace
From £499pm: Volvo XC90
From £293pm: Mazda MX-5 1.5 Sport
From £349pm: Mercedes C250D Estate AMG Line
From £326pm: Jaguar XE 2.0D 180 R-Sport auto
From £289pm: Mini Clubman Cooper S
From £299pm: Honda Civic Type R
From £179pm: Ford Fiesta ST
From £219pm: Audi TT Coupe 1.8 TFSI Sport
From £852pm: Porsche 911 Carrera S
Find hundreds of thousands of deals in our brand new leasing section - carmagazine.co.uk/car-leasing
Read more from the March 2016 issue of CAR magazine