23/08/2016 08:56 BST | Updated 23/08/2016 08:56 BST

Why Your Next Car Should Be A Hybrid Crossover

...and it's not just so you can pat yourself on the back for being eco-friendly.

Kia Niro

For most of us, our car is our lifeline.

It gets us where we need to go (work, holidays, taking the kids to football club), lets us relax and listen to our favourite radio show or songs each morning and it’s where we share so many of our favourite memories, from times with our grandparents to trips with our children.

So we’re all looking for a car that’s safe, stylish and a breeze to drive. A car with low emissions and great fuel economy is even better. We’re talking about hybrid crossover cars, which team the rugged looks, raised driving position and practicality of an SUV with the easy parking and more compact design associated with smaller cars.

Since hybrid cars combine traditional fuel with an electric motor, they also offer reduced fuel costs, lower road tax and fewer CO2 emissions, so you’re saving money and the environment at the same time.

And it seems that more and more motorists in the UK are keen to invest in a hybrid car: an RAC survey of 1,555 British drivers found that 19% were considering a hybrid or electric vehicle as their next car.

Here are five reasons why your next car should be a hybrid crossover.

1. They’re more affordable to run

According to RAC research, 47% of those considering the purchase of a low-emission vehicle are attracted to the lower running costs associated with these cars.

A hybrid’s potential to travel on battery power in high-traffic areas can help trim those fuel costs, and hybrids tend to get better mileage, even on long commutes.

Take the Kia Niro which promises excellent fuel economy of up to 74.3mpg on the combined cycle and low insurance premiums. With prices starting at less than £22,000, the car’s appealing crossover design makes it a favourite with families. CO2 emissions from 88g/km and a hybrid system which seamlessly switches between petrol and electric power, or combines the two, adds to its appeal, allowing for a smoother drive over conventional hybrid systems due to its DCT automatic gearbox.

2. They’re ideal for stop-start city driving

Even those of us who plan their route ahead know that in cities, it’s tricky to avoid stop-start traffic. Hybrids are ideal for the heavy congestion and slow speeds that city motorists encounter, since the electric motor can power the car on its own at low speeds.

Touching the brakes in stop-and-go traffic recharges the batteries supplying power to the electric motor (known as regenerative braking), which allows the car to use less petrol. This means hybrid-car fuel efficiency improves each time the car slows down, which allows for better fuel mileage in the city. Simple.

3. They make great family cars

According to research from IHS Automotive in the US, sales of crossovers and SUVS have surpassed the bestselling saloon in terms of popularity (mid-size SUV crossovers were one of the bestsellers of 2015 in the UK as well) for the first time ever.

Here’s why: crossover vehicles offer many appealing features when it comes to design, safety and practicality: higher seating, higher ground clearance and more spacious interiors, to name a few. They also tend to be easier to manoeuvre and park than traditional SUVs, are renowned for their safety features and boast emission-friendly benefits, without scrimping on style.

Kia Niro

4. They’re better for the environment

According to the RAC, 7% of motorists say the environmental impact of using a car is among their top four worries but hybrid cars are thrifty in terms of reducing the amount of petrol required as well as the amount of greenhouse gases produced.

The statistics aren’t comforting: UK air pollution is extremely high (a recent report by MPs found that air pollution causes 40,000 to 50,000 early deaths a year, while 97% of all modern diesel cars emit more toxic NOx pollution than the official limit on the road, according to data from Emissions Analytics. Hybrid cars do their part to help keep our air clean.

5. They are exempt from road tax

All new cars sold in the UK which emit less than 100 grams per kilometre of CO2 are exempt from road tax (aka vehicle excise duty), up until April 2016, making hybrid cars that much more tempting for UK consumers (all low-emission cars purchased before 31 March 2017 will remain tax-free for life). With a tax rate of £140 per year slapped across all cars after April 1, 2017, road tax will add up to hundreds of pounds within a few years.

Hybrid cars may also be eligible for other tax benefits due to its low Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) company-car tax rate.

The All-New Kia Niro crossover hybrid combines a sporty, refined design with leading safety features,  available with autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist system, smart cruise control and blind spot detection. With the latest in fuel-efficient benefits and low emissions (from 88g/km CO2 emissions and a fuel efficiency of 74.3mpg on a combined cycle), the All-New Kia Niro powers its front wheels with a 1.6 litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, through a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox..

The car is available with the latest in class-leading technology to maximise comfort and improve your ride. Look out for a range of trims, comfy leather seating and top-of-the-line features like reversing cameras, smart key and button starter, front and rear parking sensors, rain sensor, climate control, heated seats and steering wheel and endless connectivity options including Android Auto.

Its unique crossover design sets it apart from other hybrids on the market. The svelte body has been crafted to not just look great but improve aerodynamic efficiencies. Making your friends truly green with envy.

Discover Niro - Crossover by Design, Hybrid by Nature.