MacPherson vs Double Wishbone Suspension (Pros and Cons)

Every vehicle has a suspension system in it which attaches the wheels to the entire vehicle. The purpose of a suspension system is to provide stability when steering, maximize contact between tires and the road, and keep passengers comfortable.

The suspension system is comprised of several parts and components, such as the linkages, tires, shock absorbers, the air in the tires, steering system, joints, bearings, bushings, and the springs. However, not all suspension systems are exactly the same.

There are different types of suspension systems that are made for vehicles. The two most common suspension systems that are built for passenger cars are the MacPherson suspension system and the double wishbone suspension system.

MacPherson strut vs double wishbone

MacPherson Strut vs Double Wishbone

What is the difference between these two suspension systems? Well, for starters, you will find the MacPherson suspension system near the front end of the vehicle while the double wishbone suspension system is located near the back end.

Each type of system has its advantages and disadvantages. It is up to you to decide which particular system is best for your needs.

MacPherson Suspension

MacPherson strut suspension


The struts of the MacPherson suspension do a great job of keeping the vehicle flat on the road. They don’t take up too much room either, allowing more compartment space for the passengers.

Since the Macpherson suspension has reduced un-sprung weight, it makes the vehicle a lighter weight than the double wishbone suspension would make it. This lighter weight allows the vehicle to accelerate at faster speeds.

Furthermore, you will be more comfortable driving this vehicle too. And if you are budget conscious, the MacPherson is manufactured inexpensively which translates to a lower price for consumers.


The MacPherson suspension has a lengthy vertical assembly to it. If you need to lower your vehicle for whatever reason, you could run into some problems there.

Anyone driving a race car or sports car will not want this suspension because those types of cars are often lowered closer to the ground.

Also, due to its vertical nature, making turns could mean that your tires don’t touch the road as much. This will limit your control of the vehicle tremendously.

Double Wishbone Suspension

double wishbone suspension


The double wishbone suspension has horizontal upper and lower control arms which boosts the negative camber. As a result, your vehicle has better stability on the road because the tires are touching the road more.

Plus, your wheel alignments remain consistent as well as your steering. This will allow you to handle the car better as you’re driving it, regardless of the stress that your vehicle is under.

Therefore, if you are looking for a suspension which allows you to control your vehicle with stability and consistency, then the double wishbone suspension should be your first choice.


The only negative thing to say about the double wishbone suspension is that it is costly. This suspension system is a lot more complex than the MacPherson suspension, which means it costs the manufacturers more money to create it.

There are so many components and parts of the double wishbone suspension system. If one part were to go bad or get worn out, then your whole suspension would stop functioning properly. As the owner, it will cost you more money in maintenance and repairs.


Now that you have reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of the MacPherson and double wishbone suspension systems, which one do you think is the best choice for you?

Well, if you are a big fan of affordability and less maintenance, then MacPherson should be your choice. But if you would rather have a suspension system that gives an excellent performance, then go with the double wishbone instead.

Mark Stevens


  1. Simply and understandable explanations. However, is it possible for double wishbone suspension to rise its ground clearance?

    1. Ground clearance is set by the distance between the spring perch and the top hat of the strut or coilover in your suspension. Some coilovers are adjustable, but this adjustability usually comes on expensive, high end sports cars and on aftermarket coilovers. Sometimes you can use spacers to raise the ride height, or lowering springs to lower the ride height. Do a bit of searching on google with your make and model to see if there are any aftermarket solutions out there to meet your needs.

  2. You said: “The double wishbone suspension has vertical upper and lower control arms which boosts the negative camber”.

    No, it does not. It has horizontal control arms. I have never seen a vertical control arm, but then, we build race cars here 😉

  3. The new 2021 Acura TLX has the Front Wishbone suspension and the handling is by far better than the out going 2020. Acura / Honda tried this on the 2011 Accord and it had such a hard ride they discontinued it but now the new version has both soft ride and handling. I was very impressed and feel so much more in control in higher speed cornering.

  4. Almost all Hondas and Acuras of late ’80’s and ’90’s had wishbone front and the rear.

  5. I have a 6th gen 1996/2000 civic. Which has the double wishbone at rhe front. The 5th gen also has it.

  6. I can’t believe my 2003 1.8T 20V Vw Passat got the double wishbone front suspension. I was expecting the MacPherson setup.
    Nice explanation.

  7. The double wishbone has been on the market before the McPherson came on the market.Many well known brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes Benz etc. Still uses the double wishbone for a front and rear suspension. It is far superior than the McPherson strut.

    1. Absolutely, no comparison. McPherson suffers badly in stiffness, and cannot as effectively manage negative camber, especially important in wide tire performance cars.

    1. Not necessarily. A lot of engineering goes into suspension design, and the “better” car for you will depend on your use case and your budget.

  8. Thanks much for the education, I had a good concept of the two types, but you have explained it very clearly.

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