This paper presents the implementation of Slotine's approach of sliding mode control for position control of a vector-controlled synchronous reluctance machine. A comparison is undertaken between the performance of a fixed gain controller and two sliding mode controllers for both the regulator and servo cases. Invariant performance is obtained using Slotine's approach of sliding mode control compared to a fixed gain controller. Robustness to parameter variation is an important feature of this technique. This can be achieved through the control law design, assuming parameter variation bounds are known. These improvements are demonstrated for variations in the load inertia. Machine inductance ripple affects the quality of achievable position control. A state-space model for the machine to incorporate this effect yields drive simulation results that agree with presented experimental results.