I had to drive a company-owned Equinox on some trips, and I would never spend my own money on one of those. It's far from the worst cars in the fleet, but I'm sure GM was not even trying when they made production decisions on that car. The door cards (interior door panels) look worse than ones from the 1980s. The seats are the hottest of any car I've ever driven. In a road trip, the seat offers no solace from getting a sweaty bottom, even with the AC blasting. The bigger you are, the more you will hate the seats in the Equinox. It might tow 3500 pounds, but it will take a really long time to get up to speed, and it will take a pretty long time to stop without trailer brakes. The brakes on the Equinox are nothing special. The whole thing smacks of cost cutting, everywhere.
I personally own a new CX 5 AWD, but I don't need to tow anything heavy (and those don't tow).
Jeep Grand Cherokees, for all their many faults, really excel with towing. Their 4WD systems also really rock. Toyota 4Runner cost a little more than your stated budget, but those tow fairly well and never break. I know a Tahoe is flatly out of your price range, but that's also a fantastic towing vehicle.
I hear the new Chevy Blazer will come out as a 2019 model pretty soon with a 4500 pound towing package. That might be a good one.