First you have to figure out where everything is...how to turn it on...and, even more important, how to turn it off. Fog lights? Who knew you had to pull out the push knob?
Of course there's the owners manual, but wading through all the sidebars of warnings makes for disjointed and annoying reading, while limiting sustained comprehension.
Some differences between now and the last time I bought a car, in 1998:
- A seat heater with three settings: on, really warm, and ouch.
- A manual transmission with six gears. I learned to drive when three was the norm; what do I do with the leftovers?
- A stick shift with "hill hold," so you don't slip backward on hills when getting into first gear from a dead stop. It's a verrrrrry nice feature that I often forget about while I'm feathering the gas and clutch.
- A keyless entry system -- another wonderful feature because I can open the door without routing through my pocketbook for the key. I just don't trust the car not to lock me out with my pocketbook (and key) inside it.