But its not just a case of mildly modifiying the sides with longer doors, Hyundai has taken the opportunity to give the 3 door an individual look with bigger front spoiler incorporated in a new bumper and grille and a revised rear bumper together with new lights front and back.
Hyundai expect to meet the styling demands of buyers who seek out the comparatively small range of 3 door models on the UK market and who do not need the versatility of a 5 door model.
Anyone familiar with the Hyundai range will recognise the four trim levels and the choice of 1.4 and 1.6 petrol or low and high compression 1.6 diesels, and we tested the anticipated best seller, the 110ps 1.6 diesel in Active trim.
To all intents and purposes this is the entry level diesel in the i30 3 door range and Active specification includes cloth seats, air conditioning, powered and heated door mirrors, Bluetooth, parking sensors as well as sophisticated braking and traction control systems. The only option on the test car was the £470 metallic sleek silver paint which took the on road price to £17,960.
With the bigger door, access is very easy into the front and fairly straightforward climbing into the back while room is good all round and the front seats have plenty of adjustment for height, reach and recline for the driver.
Secondary controls are close to hand except for the sound system which is obviously placed for the left hand drive markets and is a long stretch for a UK driver. Instruments are big and clearly marked including the on-board computer for a host of functions.
Air conditioning works well to fill the car with desired mix of air and its quiet and easily directed.
The seats are comfortable and supporting with good shape and I was struck by the real room available for oddments, not the usual small trays and boxes, but quite large compartments throughout.
Boot space can be gradually increased from 378 litres to over 1,300 litres by folding down the seats behind the deeply sided compartment.
The proven 110ps diesel gives good getaway from standstill and there is plenty underfoot for overtaking so long as you pick the right one of six gears under hand.
It pulls well and cruises quietly at motorway speed and all mechanical noise levels are very low unless you push it hard through the intermediate gears.
Apart from a short-travel clutch on the test car the changes were smooth and it steered and braked with confidence and composure. You can select sport or light modes to the steering and the stop/ start fuel saving seamlessly works.
There is a tendency for the i30 diesel to run wide through a corner but you can ease off the throttle and it obediently comes back on line. It grips well and rides smoothly over all but the very worst roads.
Visibility is fairly good for a 3 door model. You have uninterrupted vision to front and sides, the wipers and lights are very effective, but over the shoulder and when reversing the C-pillar and tail restrict sightlines and you will appreciate the parking sensors which are standard.
A lot of individual thought has gone into creating the Hyundai i30 3 door and it shows, both in terms of design and features but more tangibly in the detailing and impression of high quality it exudes and it should instantly appeal to discerning buyers for this type of car. I think they are onto a winner.
Hyundai i30 3dr Active
Mechanical: 4cyl 110ps 1582cc diesel, 6sp manual
Insurance group: 11
Max speed: 115mph
Combined mpg: 74.3mpg (53mpg on test)
CO2 emissions: 100gkm/ VED Band A
BIK rating: 12%
Warranty: 5yrs/ unlimited