Here’s the problem with a new car: it’s a new car.

Yes, it has that new-car smell, and bubble gum is not yet sticking to the underside of the front seats (unless you get trimline option Package Three, which comes with the all-weather alloy wheels and bubblegum). Yet everything is so new, learning how it all works and where all the cup holders are hidden — you press that button? — seems a particularly daunting task.

Have I mentioned, by the way, that we have eight cup holders? And that we’re taking up a collection to get three more cups to fulfill the car’s requirement?

The last time we bought a new car — and by new car here, I mean a car that’s actually certifiably new and does not have radio pre-sets already set to music stations that you can’t believe someone actually listened to all the time — the highest level of technology cars had reached was the ability to pop open the trunk without getting out of the car to pop open the trunk.

Not to brag, but that was something we did really well, except for the times we popped open the hood by mistake.

Our new car is much more complicated.

When we picked it up the other day, the dealership gave us the 628-page manual and said our midterm paper was due Tuesday and the final exam would be Friday.

The manual has a 12-page diagram of the instrument panel — which is bigger than the actual instrument panel, which is what the rest of us used to call the dashboard — that identifies the stuff you really do need to know.

It tells you when you’ll run out of gas on a lonely country road in the middle of the night and many people in the area are members of the National Rifle Association. It reminds you when driving through a parking deck entrance to get close enough on the left to press the button and reach the ticket and not have to actually get out of the car and really embarrass yourself in front of the people waiting behind you.

But it also has little icons that tell you what the outdoor temperature is, in Winnipeg, Canada, and how to turn on your side mirror intermittent defrosting running lights as well as your slow-cooker at home.

The new car has an “entertainment system” that is so much more impressive, and complicated, than what we have at home we are thinking of parking the car in the living room right next to the TV.

The new car has the ability to connect with our Blue Tooth smart phone if only we had a Blue Tooth smart phone. It also has a USB “storage device/iPod dock,” but according to the manual, we are only allowed to use it if we can explain what the letters USB stand for.

Still, we are glad to have the new car and are really looking forward to being able to drive it in a couple of months.

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