An automatic can’t anticipate anything; they don’t have sensors that tell them what is round the next corner; they are all reactive. All modern automatics will occasionally find themselves in the wrong gear, especially those with relatively small turbo diesels that lack the torque of a big engine.I can’t see how an automatic can anticipate off road conditions and it seems odd that someone would buy one expecting such. Is it even robust enough to be transferable to a 4x4?
There are very few manual 4x4s available now. You can’t buy a manual Landcruiser, Landrover, G-Wagen. The G-Wagen has the same 9-speed ZF transmission found in your E-Class and most new Landrovers. Jeep are I think the last proper 4x4 manufacturer with a manual gearbox.