250 to 299
1) Renault Clio 1.2 TCE Expression 5dr
List price/Monthly lease: 11,295/258
CO2 (g/km)/tax rating: 137/15%
Monthly tax bill (20/40%): 27/55
The Clio is one of the most spacious and refined superminis, and this engine is a cracker strong, smooth and responsive. The car has a supple ride and plenty of grip, too, and only the light steering is a disappointment.
2) Hyundai i30 1.4 Comfort
List price/Monthly lease: 11,495/261
CO2 (g/km)/tax rating: 145/17%
Monthly tax bill (20/40%): 32/64
Okay, so this isn't the most inspiring car, but its qualities loads of space and generous kit at a keen price, for a start are so extensive that anyone in the market should give it serious consideration.
3) Honda Jazz 1.4 i-VTEC ES
List price/Monthly lease: 11,860/268
CO2 (g/km)/tax rating: 128/15%
Monthly tax bill (20/40%): 29/58
If Dr Who's Tardis had four wheels, it would probably look like the Jazz, a supermini that provides the space and versatility of a larger car. The ride and refinement are less impressive, but the near-55mpg average economy is some compensation.
4) Ford Fiesta 1.25i 82 Zetec 5dr
List price/Monthly lease: 12,595/273
CO2 (g/km)/tax rating: 133/15%
Monthly tax bill (20/40%): 31/62
This is our Car of the Year 2009, and it's easy to see why. It's a smart-looking little thing that's refined, comfortable and seriously good to drive. Plus, it's in a low tax band and capable of nearly 50mpg.
5) Nissan Qashqai 1.6 Visia 5dr
List price/Monthly lease: 14,200/284
CO2 (g/km)/tax rating: 159/19%
Monthly tax bill (20/40%): 44/88
If you're looking for something distinctive and different to a mainstream small hatch, look no further. As well as its funky styling, the Qashqai has plenty of practicality and is decent to drive plus a reassuring five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating.
Also consider: Renault Megane, Skoda Fabia