An improvement in returnability of steering wheel plays an important role in enhancing the vehicle handling stability and ensuring driving safety during a turn maneuver. This paper developed a systematic method to solve the problems of the high yaw rate residue and low steering response for a light duty truck in the steering return test. A detailed vehicle model was built in the platform of MSC. ADAMS and this dynamic model took into consideration of the frictional loss torque in the steering mechanism and the hydraulically assisted steering property. The accuracy of the vehicle model was validated by real road test and the key parameters for optimization can then be found out by conducting the sensitivity analysis to determine the contribution of each design parameter in the steering subsystem to the returnability performance. The optimization results indicated that the proposed method could greatly reduce the yaw rate residue and improve the vehicle returnability performance with low computational cost and high design efficiency.