COAL Outtake: So This Is What Honda’s Double Wishbone Suspension Looks Like

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The tires on our Acura TSX Sport Wagon were overdue for a rotation, and it’s quicker to just do it at home than going somewhere, so out came my fleet of el-cheapo Harbor Freight jacks. And it also gave me the opportunity to examine what has been bemoaned by Hondaphiles: the loss of Honda’s double wishbone front suspension on the current generation of the Accord family.

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It’s not like the typical SLA (short-arm, long-arm) front suspension of yore. The upper wishbone is mounted quite high, halfway up the coil spring.  But it does its job regardless of where it’s located, of optimizing camber, which a typical MacPherson-type strut does not do as well.

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Here’s another view, with the upper wishbone just barely visible. The other thing I did of course was to check brake pad wear. I had been told Honda’s are brake-eaters. With just over 30k miles on it, the front pads appear to have over 50% or more left. And the rears are at 70+%.

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Here’s the rear suspension, a multi-link type of the kind pioneered by the Mercedes W201 and W124. That was a true marvel at the time, as it was the first really perfected rear suspension, never letting the rear wheels do anything untoward no matter what was dished out to them. It’s a veritable jumble of struts/control arms.

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So how does it all work? Splendid! I hate to crow, because it’s something car owners are so apt to do about their cars. But the handling of the TSX is absolutely superb. The wagon, with its heavier rear body, has an excellent 57/43 F/R weight distribution, and it’s neigh-near impossible to feel that this car had FWD. Part of that may be because the four lacks the extreme grunt of the V6, but I prefer balance, and I rather hate the classic FWD front-heavy feel. It’s just missing here, to an extent I didn’t expect. Handling is the TSX Sport Wagon’s best quality.

No matter how fast I dive into an unfamiliar/blind curve at high speed on our many winding highways and back roads, I have yet to ever be able to make the TSX feel the slightest off-balance or like I was pushing it a bit too hard. very impressive, and very confidence-inspiring.

It’s a great road-trip car, and we’ve made a number of them up and down to California, on various routes along the coast and through the coastal mountains. But I avoid driving it on town, as it feels ponderously big and wide compared to my little xB, which nips through traffic and parks so easily.And I prefer the xB for gravel forest roads, as I know its habits on the loose stuff so well, and it’s just a lot more nimble there. Plus if I someday do slide off a gravel road, i’d rather it be in the cheap old xBox than the TSX.  It’s Stephanie’s car, except for weekend trips or longer ones.


The TSX has not required anything other than the stupid little dead battery to be replaced. A couple of oil changes, and that’s it. While you’re reading this, we’ll be driving it into the Cascades for a hike. And loving every minute; both the drive and the hike. Need to exercise those double wishbones as well as the double legs.