Plymouth TC3 had a Volkswagen rabbit engine and when you turned on the air conditioner it would really dog out. Those cars were the biggest piles ever made and were nothing but junk.
My mom had a Dodge 024 Omni Miser, same car. Same junk. My dad treated the gas pedal as an on-off switch. Luckily it had a stick shift, manual steering, and no AC. Despite the frugality it still had enough parts to break-- pot metal door handles, clutches, and it had a huge rust hole in the door at eight years old.
I've had a variety of slow cars:
1982 cadillac cimarron 1.8/ auto
1983 Benz 240d 68 hp. Was dangerous at 4-way stops because other people couldn't tell if I was taking my turn because my 0-5 time was so slow.
1991 Dodge dakota 2.5 (k car motor) 5 speed. Hauled 20 sheets of sheetrock in it once.
1995 Saturn SW1 would do 75 but the exhaust was tuned to discourage it and the whole car sounded unhappy. Never really took it over 70.
2004 Jeep Liberty 2.4 (Cirrus/stratus/PT motor) 5 speed. Was not only slow it was stupid without any low end torque. Had to rev it to get anywhere.
2005 prius is spunky from a dead stop but runs out of steam merging on the highway, as previously alluded to. It will eventually go from 70 to 85 and hold it rather pleasantly, the benefits of aerodynamics.
My "Fast" cars were a 1992 Cutlass Ciera 3.3 V6, a 92 Dakota 3.9 Magnum 5 speed 2wd, 2000 Camry V6.
Posers were a 97 Grand Marquis 180 hp 4.6 V8, a 2.8 V6 auto 89 Firebird, and, arguably, my 300-6 F150. People expected speed from these for one reason or another.