My 1990 300e started in second gear all the time but my 93 400E and my 97 E420 both start in 1st. The 97 has a winter switch on the tranny that allows you to start in 2nd. The 93 will smoke the tires pretty easily starting out.
95 SL500 Smoke Silver, Parchment 64K
07 E350 4matic Station Wagon White 34K
02 E320 4Matic Silver/grey 80K
05 F150 Silver 44K