In this paper, a distributed consensus control approach for vehicular platooning systems is proposed. In formalizing the underlying consensus problem, a realistic vehicle dynamics model is considered and a velocity-dependent spacing policy between two consecutive vehicles is realized. As a particular case, the approach allows to consider bidirectional vehicle interaction, which improves the cohesion between vehicles in the platoon. Exponential stability of the platoon dynamics is evaluated, also in the challenging scenario in which a limitation on the velocity of one of the vehicles in the platoon is introduced. The theoretical results are experimentally validated using a three-vehicle platoon consisting of (longitudinally) automated vehicles equipped with wireless intervehicle communication and radar-based sensing.