This article compares the specs of the KW V3 coilovers vs the Bilstein PSS10 B16 coilovers to see which offers the best value. To come up with a winner I score various categories like design & adjustability, add the points together and see which comes out on top.
Scoring table at bottom of page.
On the whole, the KW V3 are the winners over the Bilstein PSS10, the KW V3 coilovers cost slightly less and have much more adjustment making the decision a no brainer (assuming KW V3 are available for your car).
NOTE: This article is looking solely at the spec sheets, it is possible, that even though the Bilstein PSS10 has less adjustment than the KW, that the PSS10 actually performs better. The only way to find this out would be to compare the two kits on the same car.
Both kits are targeting the same audience ie customers who want a premium brand and want to spend around 1500 Euro.
The KW V3 coilovers have more adjustment that the Bilstein PSS10 and when we are talking coilovers, range of adjustment is key.
Other than that the kits are roughly the same and are typical of German made coilovers. This means they are not supplied with top mounts, you use the original top mounts. Height adjustment is done with the spring seat and the springs may or may not be interchangeable with springs of different rates.
Spec Comparison – KW V3 vs Bilstein PSS10
A comparison of the advertised specs of each coilover kit
As mentioned above the Bilstein tend to be more expensive than the KW.
Specifically damper design. KW use twin tube dampers. Bilstein PSS10 are montube
Be able to adjust bump and rebound independently of one another is a huge plus, especially for cars used on the track regularly.
Bilstein PSS10 adjust bump and rebound together, KW adust independently
High Speed Bump
Bilstein make no mention of their dampers having separate valving for high speed bump.
KW say they use a seperate valve for high speed bump but this is not adjustable.
Either way, KW wins
Low Speed Bump
Both kits have adjustable bump
High Speed Rebound
Again, Bilstein make no mention of an independent valve for high speed rebound.
Low Speed Rebound
Both kits have adjustable low speed rebound
Both kits use the spring seat for height adjustment.
How many cars are covered by each coilover kit. More cars covered means more likely a kit is available for your car which means a win.
KW V3 coilovers are available for slightly more cars than the Bilstein PSS10.
Both the KW and the Bilstein use progressive springs. This may mean it will be difficult or not recommended to switch the springs to something with a different rate. In other words KW and Bilstein are not using standard 60mm ID linear rate springs which can be easily swapped out for springs of different rates.
Both kits uses the same design ie spring seat height adjustment, this should mean the weights of the kits are very similar
Both kits uses the stock top mounts
Some KW V3 coilover use external reservoirs but not all. Bilstein make no mention of any PSS10 kit using external reservoirs.
Slight Win KW
Highly subjective measure but I would say the KW V3 coilovers have a slightly higher reputation than the PSS10 coilovers.
Specs & Scores
|Independent Bump Rebound||Yes||10||No||0|
|High Bump Adjustment||Yes, not adj||5||No||0|
|Low Bump Adjustment||Yes||10||Yes||10|
|High Rebound Adjustment||Yes, not adj||5||0|
|Low Rebound Adjustment||Yes||10||10|
|Height Adjust||Spring Seat||5||Spring Seat||5|
Conclusion & Scores – KW V3 vs Bilstein PSS10
In the end the KW V3 coilovers comes out as easy winners 77 points to 59. The greater adjustability at a lower price is a killer combination and it’s easy to see why they are so popular on track days.