This paper examines the influence of certain vehicle and tire characteristics on the open loop stability and control of automobiles. To facilitate the analysis three generic classes of vehicles have been defined, i.e., small, mid size, and large. In addition each class of vehicle is associated with two populations, referred to as past and present generation respectively. The steady - state stability, and controllability of these vehicles has been investigated using the Method of Moments. Stability and controllability metrics have been defined to quantify the maneuverability diagrams generated by this method and conclusions concerning vehicle design vintage based on these metrics have been drawn. In addition the influence of certain tire in-use factors such as tire mix, inflation pressure, wear, etc., have been investigated.