It’s been about a decade since we last bought a new car, and it’s obvious that a lot has changed since our most recent new car purchase. For one thing, cars are a lot more expensive. For another, designs seem to have moved away from a soft, rounded look toward a much more angular appearance. And the biggest difference, to us at least, has been the technology.
We got the “technology package” when we bought the car, and it makes us feel like slack-jawed rubes. If you sit behind the wheel, you feel like Mr. Sulu at the helm of the Enterprise. We’ve got a built-in garage door opener. We’ve got GPS. We’ve got Sirius XM satellite radio. There are multiple toggles and buttons and a large central knob that functions like a mouse. We’ve got a hands-free cell phone that linked with Kish’s cell and, through the miracle of Bluetooth technology, downloaded all of the phone numbers from her address book. And everything is voice activated. We can ask the car to find the nearest Chinese restaurant and, a few seconds later, it will give us a report on every Szechuan, Hunan, or Mandarin option within five miles, including phone numbers in case we want to call for a reservation. It’s pretty amazing stuff when you are used to a simple dashboard that has a few gauges, a clock, a radio, and a CD player.
We don’t know how to use even a tiny fraction of the features that are available on this space-age vehicle. It will be fun learning.