This paper presents two different vehicle models used to investigate the effects of active suspensions. One is a linear seven degree of freedom ride model. The second is a nonlinear ten degree of freedom ride and handling model. Full state feedback optimal control algorithms are developed for both models. The seven degree of freedom model is used to study ride effects. The active suspension substantially reduced the motions of the sprung mass. The ten degree of freedom model is used to study the effects of the active suspension on the directional response characteristics of the vehicle. The handling characteristics exhibited by the active suspension are very similar to those of the passive suspension. However, the active suspension did significantly reduce sprung mass motions during the handling maneuvers. It is then illustrated that by altering various feedback gains, active suspensions can be made to change the handling characteristics in the nonlinear range.