Nowadays, throughput has become a limiting factor in road transport. An effective means to increase the road throughput is to employ a small intervehicle time gap using automatic vehicle-following control systems. String stability, i.e., the disturbance attenuation along the vehicle string, is considered an essential requirement for the design of those systems. However, the formal notion of string stability is not unambiguous in literature, since both stability and performance interpretations exist. Therefore, a novel definition for string stability of nonlinear cascaded systems is proposed, using input--output properties. This definition is shown to result in well-known string stability conditions for linear cascaded systems. The theoretical results are experimentally validated using a platoon of six passenger vehicles equipped with cooperative adaptive cruise control.