In this study, we investigate the leader-following consensus problem of a class of heterogeneous secondorder nonlinear multi-agent systems subject to disturbances. In particular, the nonlinear systems contain uncertainties that can be linearly parameterized. We propose a class of novel distributed control laws, which depends on the relative state of the system and thus can be implemented even when no communication among agents exists. By Barbalat’s lemma, we demonstrate that consensus of the second-order nonlinear multi-agent system can be achieved by the proposed distributed control law. The effectiveness of the main result is verified by its application to consensus control of a group of Van der Pol oscillators.