For the kind of money that we have to cough out to get a Benz in some countries, we definitely expect to get something worth gold and not tin can. The exterior must be solid and graceful, the interior luxurious and well equipped, the engine quiet , powerful and smooth, the auto transmission quiet, smooth and doing the right things all the time without rude jerks which are more normal with manual shifting. However, some of the earlier Benzes were used in Europe for taxis and it probably didn't matter to the maker and designers whether the auto gave any hard jerks or not. After all what can you expect from a taxi??? However, we in other countries saw it in a different manner, to us the Benz is always a rich man's car. So we expected it to be perfect in all ways. I feel that the jerk in the 2nd to 3rd shift was a failure by designers to make a smooth gear change, thats all. It would have cost them too much to redo the gearbox and take too long, so let it go and cover it up as usual with some believable excuse like reducing emissions, so we heat up the Cat. by delaying the change for a few minutes. It that was true, why didn't any other maker "have" to do the same thing??? They all had Cats at that time, just cooler Cats. Also, even if the delay was really necessary, it could still have been designed to change smoothly instead of this rude bonk from behind??? Can anyone out there give an intelligent answer?