The third-generation Hyundai i30 has been around for a little over three years, so it makes perfect sense that Hyundai is preparing to give its compact hatchback a nip and tuck. It’s especially true if you take into consideration the Volkswagen Group just came out with the new Golf and Octavia, with the Leon to follow shortly. Facing updated competition, the i30 needs to step up its game to keep the battle going.

Our spy video shows a prototype of the facelifted model covered up in camouflage from front to rear. Despite the heavy disguise, it’s easy to notice the headlights have been redesigned from the ground up and will probably employ an all-LED setup. Hyundai’s corporate “Cascading Grille” is also partially visible. The front and rear bumpers remain concealed underneath the double-layered camo, but we’re expecting some changes in those areas as well.

In addition, the taillights will be going through some tweaks as well and could switch to a full-LED arrangement like many of the i30’s competitors already have in the higher trim levels. Hyundai could throw in a few more body paint colour options and new alloy wheel designs to make its Golf rival feel fresh even though it’ll be only a facelift to avoid the midlife crisis.

Expect just about the same changes for the stylish i30 Fastback we rarely get to talk about as well as for the more practical i30 estate. In addition, the i30 N range topper has already been spotted undergoing testing, and it’s set to receive that long-awaited dual-clutch automatic transmission. The already confirmed eight-speed transmission will be a significant upgrade from the company’s current seven-speed ‘box, while the mooted all-wheel-drive system hasn’t been signed off just yet.

Hyundai could unveil the updated hatchback as early as March at the Geneva Motor Show, unless it will wait for early October when the Paris show is programmed to take place.