2nd gear starts
Mine is a 1994 C180 and it does start in 1st gear as far as I know, but it does 3000rpm at 100kph which is a bit too high for my comfort. My Toyota only runs at 2200rpm at this speed on the freeway and up to 2500rpm at 110kph which is a more leisurely cruise speed and revs. Over this speed level, the Benz begins to start working very hard and makes more noises which is very discomforting on long journeys. Must be the 1800cc engine, but my Toyotas are 1800 also and the other is 2200cc and still cruising comfortably. I think that the Benz needs to improve their higher speed running smoothness and torgue without going into lower gears. Uphill and downhill areas is a real sore as it struggles to get to the top. Sometimes get a long queue of unhappy drivers behind wondering whats going on with this "Benz".