A Mobile Ad-hoc Network (MANET) is an assortment of wireless nodes that creates a temporal network between mobile nodes with no centralized administrator. The performance of MANET can be assessed by virtue of implementation of routing protocols. Continuous movement of mobile nodes in MANET results in frequent topology changes causing a major performance challenge. Several MANET routing protocols are available within different categories, mainly topology-based and position-based routing protocols. This work presents a new performance evaluation framework, aiming to find optimal position-based routing protocols features achieving best performance within different environmental conditions considering; terrain areas, density of nodes and mobility speeds. The performance analysis carried out in this work focused on a set of metrics including; delay, throughput, packet delivery ratio and power consumption. Results have indicated that LAR protocol achieved best performance considering all metrics, while DREAM protocol proven to attain best energy consumption. Results were investigated in terms of scalability, mobility and energy efficiency, in order to select optimal protocol features and provide recommendations for future design and implementation of position-based routing protocols. © 2019 – IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.