This paper outlines the development of a simulation-based process for assessing the handling performance of a given set of tires on a specific vehicle. Based on force and moment data, a Pacejka tire model was developed for each of the five sets of tires used in this study. To begin with, simple handling metrics including under-steer gradient were calculated using cornering stiffness derived from the Pacejka model. This Pacejka tire model was subsequently combined with a 3DOF non-linear vehicle model to create a simulation model in MATLAB/Simulink®. Other handling metrics were calculated based on simulation results to step and sinusoidal (General Motors Company) steering inputs. Calculated performance metrics include yaw velocity overshoot, yaw velocity response time, lateral acceleration response time and steering sensitivity. In addition to this, the phase lag in lateral acceleration and yaw rate of the vehicle to a sinusoidal steering input were also calculated. Axle characteristics derived from the Pacejka models were used to plot handling diagrams for multiple sets of tires to gain greater insight into the effect of the given set of tires on the vehicle's handling performance.