Vehicular networking enables a wide range of emerging Cooperative Intelligent Transportation System (C-ITS) applications, from safety to traffic efficiency and infotainment. Many of these applications depend on the reliability and timeliness of status information periodically exchanged among vehicles on the same wireless communication channel. A major effort has been spent, especially by standardization bodies, to define congestion control algorithms for the vehicular networking environment. The picture is, however, more complex than simply controlling the load level on the channel, given the non-trivial interplay of delivery reliability, system throughput, and timeliness of updates. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive performance evaluation of the main state-of- the-art broadcast rate control algorithms from the point of view of channel load, utilization efficiency, and information freshness. We evaluate these algorithms in a realistic simulation environment and describe a centralized approach to define a bound on the performance. We show that controlling the congestion based on either channel load or information freshness only leads to sub-optimal performance.