Thanks John - didn't know the difference.
Also mentioned before was whether or not it was in W or S; I can still easily control the throttle in either setting. If I'm on a steep incline it's easier to be in first (S), but I can still do it in W with no trouble at all. BTW, there is nothing special about my driving skill either.
2002 E320 4-Matic
2008 Subaru Outback
2009 Subaru Forester