The speed response of the interior permanent magnet synchronous motor (IPMSM) drive at low speeds was analyzed. To eliminate the effect of external disturbance or parameter uncertainty, a nonlinear speed control loop was designed based on the sliding-mode exponential reaching law, which reduces chatter, which is the major drawback of the constant reaching law sliding-mode control technique. The proposed nonlinear speed control eliminates speed ripples at low speed under load disturbance. The problem of speed convergence at low speed is caused by electromagnetic torque ripples, which cause shaft speed oscillations that affect drive performance. The main objective of the proposed method is to change the traditional IPMSM control design by compensating with an appropriate signal along the reference current and across the output of the speed control loop. To optimize the speed tracking performance during disturbances or parametric variations, a nonlinear speed control scheme is designed that can vigorously adapt to the change in the controlled system. The comparative analysis shows that the method provides excellent transient performance (e.g., fast convergence response, less overshoot, and fast settling time) and standstill performance (e.g., reduced steady-state error) compared with conventional control methods at low speed under varying load conditions. The method is easy to implement and does not require additional computational cost. To demonstrate the effectiveness and feasibility of the design approach, a numerical analysis was conducted, and the control scheme was verified using MATLAB/Simulink considering various operating conditions.