A sliding-mode controller for an automotive selective catalytic reduction system is designed to drive its ammonia surface coverage ratio to the target level. The proposed controller only requires NOx, temperature and air flow sensor measurement installed on most mass production vehicles. Selective catalytic reduction systems have been widely equipped on diesel-powered ground vehicles to remove excessive NOx emissions. The tradeoff between NOx removal efficiency and ammonia slip poses a control challenge on regulating the ammonia surface coverage ratio to a proper level in the presence of disturbance. In this study, a sliding-mode controller is designed with explicit consideration of measurement noise and actuator saturation. The finite time convergence of tracking error is proved by a Lyapunov approach. For implementation purpose, an observer of ammonia surface coverage ratio and ammonia slip is also designed to provide states feedback and fault diagnostic information. The closed-loop controller performance is evaluated under an urban driving scenario based on an experimentally validated model. Results demonstrate the robust tracking performance and estimation accuracy against bounded uncertainties. The overall NOx efficiency is maintained with an acceptable ammonia slip level during the transient test cycle FTP75.