Steering returnability is an important index for evaluating vehicle handling performance. A systematic method is presented in this paper to reduce the high yaw rate residue and the steering response time for a light duty truck in the steering return test. The vehicle multibody model is established in ADAMS, which takes into consideration of the frictional loss torque and hydraulically assisted steering property in the steering mechanism, since the friction, which exists in steering column, spherical joint, steering universal joint, and steering gear, plays an important role in vehicle returnability performance. The accuracy of the vehicle model is validated by road test and the key parameters are determined by executing the sensitivity analysis, which shows the effect of each design parameter upon returnability performance. Analysis results indicate that the key parameters are the steering gear internal fluid resistance, mechanical friction, the caster angle and the torsion bar stiffness, which greatly influence the yaw rate residue and steering response time.