It's closer to the common flu than SARS in terms of how fatal it is - it has a ~2% death rate compared to the ~10% of SARS. As for transmission of the virus, it mainly infects people when they touch something that was contaminated by an infected individual (usually by their hands or droplets that were coughed/sneezed out) and proceed to fiddle with their nose/eyes. It's certainly not something to be terrified of, just make sure not to touch your nose and eyes without washing your hands thoroughly (besides avoiding crowds and wearing a mask in public) and you'll be fine.
Honestly, knowledge of the disease is still too early to make strong statements about the death rate. Of known cases, about 2.2% have resulted in deaths, which yes, is closer to influenza, but maybe 10-15% above.
However, that may be underselling things. The overwhelming majority of people who have ever contracted the disease (nearly 90%) are still sick. Some, sadly, will die. So 2.2% seems to be the lower bound of the death rate, given our current treatment ability. When you just look at the percentage of people who have died as a percent of closed cases (fully recovered or died), the death rate is a frightening 18%. That’s probably an upper-bound.
Beyond that, we’re still learning how it’s transmitted and how long some people can transmit the disease before they show signs of infection. I’m far outside my area of expertise, but I really do want to push back against the “similar to the flu” narrative. That would seem to be the absolute best-case scenario at this point, and we don’t have enough information to be so conclusive.
Here’s a simple to read dashboard about the status of cases that regularly updates. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/