Subjective steering feel tuning and objective verification tests are conducted on vehicle prototypes that are a subset of the total number of buildable combinations of body style, drivetrain and tires. Limited development time, high prototype vehicle cost, and hence limited number of available prototypes are factors that affect the ability to tune and verify all the possible configurations. A new model-based process and a toolset have been developed to enhance the existing steering development process such that steering tuning efficiency and performance robustness can be improved. The innovative method utilizes the existing vehicle dynamics simulation and/or physical test data in conjunction with steering system control models, and provides users with simple interfaces which can be used by either CAE or development engineers to perform virtual tuning of the vehicle steering feel to meet performance targets. The process can be used not only in early phases of vehicle programs before prototypes are available, but also in parallel to prototype tuning for objectively evaluating vehicle configurations that might otherwise be only assessed subjectively due to limited prototype availability.