Yes, cars are a lot different and, in most respects, greatly improved. I can recall 1000mile oil change intervals accompanied by attending to 16 - 20 chassis lubrication points, 10,000 mile spark plug renewal and it was not uncommon to pull the head and grind the valves at 20-25,000 miles. A good set of tires would last 15,000 miles and, in current $, cost 4X what one pays today.
On the other hand, you had a fuel gauge, water temp and oil pressure gauges and an ammeter to monitor engine status. My '08 Volvo has only a fuel gauge and while I resigned myself to the loss of oil pressure and charging status functions some time ago, the lack of a temperature gauge annoys me every time I start the car.
I think "touch screen" controls are a travesty designed solely to reduce manufacturing and increase repair costs. (One good outcome - built-in GPS functions have resulted in a glut of late model stand alone GPS units on the market. I recently bought 2 one or two year old Garmins with lifetime map updates and traffic monitoring for ~ $50 ea.)
Now the real killer in my mind: Fuel economy achieved by "stop-start" systems to shut down the engine when you stop and start it up again in response to pedal pressure. I know starter motors, drives and controls are durable (I have replaced only one in over 60 years of car ownership) but - when the cycling per (year, distance or whatever measure you choose) is increased 25,50,100 fold?
I recently drove a car so equipped. Upon inquiry, I was told that yes, the function could be disabled by a control selection each time the car was started!