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Image / Editorial

Interior designer Suzie McAdam talks cars, road trips and the perfect driving outfit

24th Apr 2019

We spend the majority of our lives in our cars. From travelling to work, to days out, to visiting friends and to weekends away–our cars go anywhere and everywhere.

Cars can be a place to take a minute to yourself, to listen to podcasts that aim to educate you and to just breathe and think.

They suddenly become a vital part of our day to day lives, so it’s natural for us to do as much as we can to make our journeys more comfortable and relaxing.

Interior designer Suzie McAdam certainly knows a thing or two about making a space more calming, which is why we decided to ask her a few questions about her car and what she does to make journey’s more enjoyable.

What are your favourite features in your car?

Pilot assist is probably my favourite feature of the car. It is so intuitive and I feel very secure and safe on long journeys.  Also the Thor’s hammer headlights, the vertically stacked rear-light clusters and heavily sculpted doors. Nordic chic aesthetics have always been something I have been drawn to and the XC60 encapsulates this.

Why Volvo?

For me, design and safety are the key priorities when selecting a car. Volvo is at the cutting edge of both so it has always appealed to me as a brand.

The XC60 suits my lifestyle perfectly, from the space I need as an Interior Designer during the week and being on building sites to running into the city for meetings. Then at the weekends when I like to escape to the mountains for some long walks with my dog.

Is road safety on your radar as a driver?

Road safety is incredibly important to me. Every day we hear of the tragedy that happens on our roads and how fragile our lives are behind the wheel.

Driving a Volvo gives me comfort and confidence in the knowledge that I am one of the safest drivers on the road.

What are your must-haves in your glove compartment?

Probably a secret stash of some dark chocolate and I love Avene Thermal Spring Water facial spray, it can do wonders do staying refreshed on a long journey.

Air con or windows down?

Air con, I love how quiet the car can be so I like to have the windows closed and the temperature set by the central system.



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Proud to be an ambassador for @volvocarsie as they launch its #EVA initiative, (Equality for Vehicle ? Advancement) which is putting female ? driver safety first. ?? I was shocked to realize that when we step into a car, we are statistically more at risk of injury than a man. Women require different protection to men, yet most manufacturers only test their safety features on male crash test dummies. #Volvo ensure their cars keep women and men equally safe. They also ensure our furry friends are safe too ? So I have the comfort and confidence that I am one of the safest drivers on the road. @volvocarsie check out new issue for the full piece #XC60 #sp #thedesignseeker photos by @awoodspics #volvoevainitiatives

A post shared by Suzie Mc Adam (@suziemcadam) on

Do you prefer the radio blasting or quiet?

Somewhere in the middle, I love listening to podcasts on long journeys. Time is one of the most valuable commodities to me so I hate to waste any. If I have a long drive to a project it’s a good opportunity for me to listen to a business podcast. I really like to listen to classical music also. It’s a time when sometimes some of my best ideas come.

What county in Ireland is the best for a weekend road trip?

Scenery wise, I don’t think anything can beat Kerry for a weekend drive, Sneem and Parknisalla followed by some seafood by a cosy fire, would be my bliss.

Dream road trip destination?

I would love to drive around Switzerland, the lakes of Geneva are incredible and then head up to the mountains along winding roads.

What is the perfect driving outfit?

Something comfortable, a good pair of jeans, and comfy flat boots and a cashmere jumper maybe for long journeys.

How often do you get your car washed? Do you do it yourself?

Probably not as often as I should or would like, I usually go to a car wash as they get a nicer finish then I can.

Your top tips on how to make a dog comfortable while travelling in a car?

Luckily my dog Mischko loves being in the car, but it’s very important to take regular stops to make sure they have lots of water and some fresh air.

He’s a little too clever sometimes though and can recognise as we get closer to a favourite hike location so gets equally excited, i.e Barking pretty loudly!

How do you make a long drive more enjoyable?

I love the apple Carplay on the Volvo, I can browse Spotify or podcasts easily and safely.  The brilliant central touchscreen which controls almost every function of the XC60. Good company is also a must, there’s nothing like a DMC on a long journey.

Do you do anything to give your car a personal touch?

I think scents can bring a personal touch to your car, Diptyque do a gorgeous range of car diffusers. It’s not too overpowering but gives a personal touch to your drive.

For more information on all Volvo models visit

When a woman steps into a car, she is statistically more at risk of injury than a man. The reason? Crash data shows that women require different protection to men, yet most car manufacturers only test their safety features on male crash test dummies. But not at Volvo, where the Accident Research Team has been compiling real-world data since the 1970s, ensuring their cars keep women and men equally safe. This pioneering EVA (Equal Vehicles for All) initiative has just seen Volvo release more than 40 years of research, including 170 research papers, which anyone can download. The reason? At Volvo, they always put people first. They’ve been testing with female crash test dummies since 1995 and introduced a virtual model of a pregnant woman in the early 2000s. Volvo’s 2020 vision is that no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car.