I guess my transmission is setup, by the way you describe, to only run is 'S' mode. If all what 'E' mode does is to only allow start off in 2nd, then I'm not really getting much of a difference then now, as 85% of my start off's are by accelerating gently.
I thought the same as you did about the rpm and road speed. But as Sixto said, its a 6 cylinder car, and I know its real heavy!!
I guess comparing a mercedes to any other brand or standards is wrong.
I wanted to ask this though, as the car was parked up for 4 years, and when it was used again the gearbox wouldn't change except by placing the shift in neutral and then back in drive. 4th gear would still not engage until I had the control box cleaned.
I wasn't sure if there was still a problem or not.