They did it for cost mostly. The new 9th generation suspension is a step back with mc struts instead of double wishbone.
Honda had to cut corners to keep price in check and expand cabin room. Mc struts allow you to do that at the cost of some handling. But then again who really needs handling in a fwd family car?
By eliminating the bar they can claim/check off that is one extra feature you get in the next upgrade package.
Premium cars and packages always have better margins
2003 Honda Sedan Lx K24 5-speed 152k DD