On mine, if I start off with the selector in 2 at the stop, the car will start in 1, and not upshift beyond 2. Moving the selector to 3 lets the trans shift from 2 to 3, but no further. Moving the lever to D lets the trans shift from 3 to 4. Try accelerating moderately while it is in 2. You should be able to hear it shift from 1 to 2 fairly quickly. The harder you accelerate, the longer it will stay in first.
2003 Firemist Red/grey leather SL 500
2015 Palladium Silver/black mbtex GLK 350
1987 Smoke Silver/burgundy mbtex 300E Sportline (SOLD)
Click to see 87 300E