When I was a kid I had Lamborghini posters and subscriptions to Car and Driver. I know what performance is. As an adult, I just don’t really care about break away performance for my family cars. When I have had a choice in engines for the cars I was interested in buying, most of the time I have chosen the smaller, more fuel efficient, cheaper to insure one. The one exception was the larger V8 choice in my F150 but that was about capability, not sprint speed. Only once, in a early '90s Civic, did I think the engine was truly underpowered. That had 78hp.
I have had a lot of Hondas, and one of their characteristics is “one and only one engine choice” so the point is moot. My Toyota is a 4cyl in lieu of a V6 option.
I drive in suburbia, so I can only go as fast as the car in front of me. Even smaller engines now make plenty of power for highway use. I just don’t see the point in waiting for a performance version of a Corolla or Civic. Just buy a Rav4 or CR-V or C-HR or HR-V and be done with it.
Right now I drive a CR-V with the whopping 1.5L turbo 4cyl. We have 5 vehicles, total. All are 4WD. Now 4WD is worth buying if you live in the snow belt.