I noticed today I was able to shift my car (without forcing) from Drive to Neutral, and also from 1st gear to Low, and then back from Low->1st->Drive without having to press the shifter button. Is that normal? I also noticed resistance when I tried to turn the wheel left or right from a complete stop. Any ideas?
Normal! You only have to push the button to get into reverse or out of park.
Everything you said is completely normal.
Read the owner’s manual. It will explain this to you. Nothing you have described is abnormal.
When you buy a new vehicle, you should read the manual.