You know bango, everything you've written is relative and cannot be generalized.
When my car is going at 110, and the engine's sound becomes audible, I feel very uneasy. So I drop the speed to 90 and everything becomes silent. I can't hear a thing from the engine.
One of the main reasons for buying a car with bigger engine is that it remains silent at much higher speeds. The point of having a bigger engine is not at all to speed and drive faster. No car-company wants their buyers to go beyond speed limits. The purpose of bigger engine is to have a calm and peaceful drive, not to hear the sound that comes out when the RPM crosses 4K or 5K.
If you hear the sound of the pajero mini at 70 Km/h, it will be the noise that you would other wise hear on a car with bigger engine at probably 130.
The sound Honda City starts to make at 110 Km/h, your Civic 1.8L is going to make it probably after 130.
Our 'qaoum' has this problem that they are generally emotionally immature. They sometimes put bigger exhausts and mufflers to add more to the noise pollution that is already there. They never give way to others. They try to push the nose of their car when entering roundabout so that they should be the first person who exists it and save 2 -3 seconds while doing that.
Sadly, most drivers that we have on our roads don't think any better than our taxi drivers.
So as I said, this is all relative. May be the shouting of your car that starts after 5000 RPM is soothing to you, to me its noise and is a kind of pollution and I hate it.