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BMW M135i xDrive video review

Meet the all-new BMW M135i XDrive. Get behind the wheel of BMW's all-wheel drive with Rory Reid and get all the latest specs and stats.

BMW M135i XDrive video review
Here’s our video review of the new BMW M135i XDrive, the hottest, fastest version of BMW’s 1 Series. This latest iteration is quite a departure from the M140i and M135i models that preceded it. Where those were considered two of the most enjoyable, driver-focused hot hatches ever, this new version takes quite a different approach.
BMW M135i XDrive performance
The big news is that BMW has fundamentally changed the way the M135i moves. Its predecessors were rear-wheel-drive, a layout that theoretically better for handling (and for doing donuts) but in the new M135i, the engine sends power to all four wheels.
As a result, it’s no longer a wild animal whose primary purpose is to make tyres melt, so if you’re the kind of person who enjoyed the previous M135i because it was a hooligan amongst hatchbacks then you might be disappointed, but there are upsides. By removing the rear-wheel-drive components, BMW has reclaimed quite a lot of space for people and things in the rear.
BMW M135i XDrive specs
The BMW M135i XDrive's boot is 380 litres – 20 litres bigger than before – which is more than you get in a Mercedes A-Class or Audi A3, and about the same as you’d get in a Golf. You also get a really wide boot opening that now allows you to fit bulky items; big suitcases, groceries, prams – all the stuff you had an excuse not to carry before, simply because it just didn’t fit. And, you now get an electric tailgate.
As for the driving experience, well it may not be rear-wheel-drive, but you can still have fun in the M135i. Up at the controls there’s a real feeling of being connected to the car. You get a big chunky steering wheel that makes you feel as if you’re commanding something substantial. The sports seats are really supportive and hold you in place while the engine, a 1-litre turbocharged inline 4-cylinder petrol, catapults you down the road.
BMW M135i XDrive acceleration
0-60 is taken care of in 4.8 seconds if you use launch control, and there’s plenty of usable grunt. Handling is secure, if unspectacular. If there’s one thing missing, it’s the noise. It does make the odd pop and bang, but in the cabin it’s almost imperceptible, and that’s a shame really we do like our hot hatches to sound as fast as they feel.
Is it better than the old M140i or M135i? Well, yes, in many ways. Would we still prefer if it was RWD? Obviously - it’s a real shame to see the last rear-wheel-drive hot hatch disappear down the same path as everything else. But that’s the price you pay for a better car. That’s the price you pay for progress. Watch our video, let us know what you think and don’t forget to subscribe.

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