When the BMW 1 Series made the switch to front-wheel drive, there were a lot of upset 1 Series owners. The previous 1 Series was rear-wheel drive and that made it unique in the hatchback world. Because of its rear-drive nature, the old 1er was beloved by fans and enthusiasts. So its successor switching to front-wheel drive obviously wasn’t met with a ton of optimism, especially among rear-drive 1 Series owners. So what does a such an owner think about the new BMW M135i? We find out in this new video.

In his latest video, Joe Achilles checks out the new BMW M135i and gives it a comprehensive review. What makes his review interesting is the fact that he used to own the previous, rear-wheel drive BMW M140i. This new M135i is all-wheel drive but it’s front-drive based and uses a Haldex all-wheel drive system, so it’s not sporting the most enthusiast-oriented drivetrain anymore.

What does he think? Surprisingly, he seems to like it quite a bit. The front end seems to be grippy and sharp and the entire chassis seems more playful than you might imagine. While the old M140i is a lot faster than this new BMW M135i in a straight line, Achilles actually reckons the new car might be quicker on a circuit. Its more planted chassis and all-wheel drive grip make it more stable and allow it to get on its power quicker.

It’s interesting to hear someone who used to own the old M140i, which was so beloved by enthusiasts, speak so highly of the new BMW M135i. It’s not perfect, of course, but it seems to be a really well-rounded, exciting little hot hatch that should make a lot of enthusiasts happy. It might not be the tire-shredding hooligan that its predecessor was but it will likely surprise a lot of doubters if given a chance.