Rapidly increasing customer, financial, and regulatory pressures are creating clear changes in the calculus of vehicle design for modern automotive OEM's (Original Equipment Manufacturers). Customers continue to demand shorter product lifecycles; the increasingly competitive global market exerts pressure to reduce costs in all stages of development; and environmental regulations drive a continuous need to reduce mass and energy consumption.OEM's must confront these challenges while continuing to satisfy the customer. The foundation to meeting these challenges includes: (1) Continued development of objective metrics to quantify performance; (2) Frontloading vehicle design content and performance synthesis; (3) A precise understanding of the customer and their performance preferences under diverse usage conditions. These combined elements will enable products better optimized amongst competing (and often contradictory) imperatives.This paper focuses on methods to optimize vehicle handling performance for the customer during everyday ‘routine’ driving situations. Routine Handling (RH) is defined and simplified into five fundamental transient attributes: agility, stability, precision, responsiveness, and dynamic roll control. These attributes correspond with defined objective metrics. Vehicle architecture characteristics critical to handling performance are broadly reviewed and the impact of lateral chassis stiffness is specifically explored. The final section of this paper illustrates a customer clinic executed to better understand customer preferences and create objective loss functions.