Mesoporous zirconia-Mn oxides were prepared by surfactant-assisted precipitation using different zirconia precursors and cetyl-trimethyl-ammonium bromide (CTAB) as a synthetic template. The objective of this work was to find out the influence of the zirconia precursors over the structural and textural characteristics of Mn-doped mesoporous zirconia solids. A series of syntheses were carried out by two methods using different zirconia precursors, modifying the Zr:surfactant ratio and the hydrolysis rate of the precipitate. After calcination at 500 °C, the samples were characterized by XRD, DTA, TEM and nitrogen adsorption-desorption isotherm. The use of the zirconium nitrate leads to materials having higher surface areas and narrow pore size distributions in the range of mesoporous materials; however, the preferential formation of the zirconia in the metaestable tetragonal phase was identified as the effect of the particle size allowed by the preparation method rather than the effect of the precursor. It was also found that the Mn and surfactant addition enhances the stabilization of the tetragonal crystalline phase and porosity.