Mesa will seem more like a neighborhood than an actual city. For those of us who live in Mesa, we typically drive to other places nearby to work, shop, and eat. Mesa downtown area is not quite yet developed into a real city downtown. But, in 15 min we are in Scottsdale or Gilbert where we can visit new malls & restaurants, and in 30 min or less be in downtown Phoenix or Chandler, where there are numerous places to work (tech, manufacturing,aerospace,healthcare), as well as to the airport.
If you are OK with driving a bit, you can have what you are looking for. Mesa itself is very diverse. There is an upscale area with beautiful homes in the orange groves, NE Mesa with higher altitude and more open spaces, scenic views and upscale homes, SE Mesa with new homes and schools which appeal to new homeowners, in addition the historic downtown Mesa area (where higher crime exists).
Northeast Mesa is ideal, an easy drive up north on the Beeline highway to northern areas where the weather is cooler. Fantastic place for anyone into outdoor sports, especially cycling, hiking, and golf as well as those who enjoy scenery. People in general are friendly and there is a mix of those from the midwest and eastern states. Great access to good healthcare and variety of supermarkets, overall very clean streets, lower-cost living arrangements available. Since housing cost in general is low, many can afford several summer escapes driving distance - San Diego, northern AZ, for example, if they don't already own or rent cabins in the mountains.
Downsides: you have to drive everywhere, population generally older so young people may feel more isolated, air quality not great, workplaces limited to healthcare and retail primarily unless you commute to Phoenix/Scottsdale/Chandler or work from home.