VW it also equipping the Golf in Europe with a new range of different fuel-efficient drivetrains.
The Golf is the first VW car to offer five hybrid versions -- two plug-in hybrids, one more than in the current range, and three 48-volt mild hybrids.
The Golf GTE plug-ins have outputs of 201 hp and 241 hp. Each uses a 13 kilowatt hour lithium ion battery to drive on electric power with zero-emissions driving.
The Golf's gasoline engines with an output of up to 128 hp will operate using the Miller combustion cycle, which reduces fuel consumption compared with a conventional four-stroke engine.
The mild hybrids are the first VW cars with 48-volt belt starter generator (BSG) technology that helps cut fuel use by about 10 percent. Mated to a seven-speed double-clutch transmission, the mild hybrids will be available with outputs from 109 hp to 148 hp. They can coast with the engine completely switched off.
The Golf's diesel engines will use the same twin-dosing exhaust gas aftertreatment system found on the Passat used to minimize onroad nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 80 percent.
A 1.5-liter compressed natural gas variant will be available in the future, VW said.
A GTD performance diesel is also slated for a later date.
The new Golf is the first VW Group vehicle to be based on the second iteration of its highly scalable MQB architecture that underpinned roughly 5.1 million cars across all group brands last year.
The Golf is Europe's top-selling car overall and the best-seller in the region's compact segment but increasing competition is not just coming from a big consumer switch to SUVs and crossovers.
VW will start sales of the ID3 battery-powered hatchback in Europe in the second quarter of next year. The ID3 is similar to the Golf in size and pricing. VW executives say the ID3 will attract a younger, more tech-savvy clientele than Golf buyers.
Golf sales in Europe fell 10 percent to 310,299 in the first nine months, according to JATO Dynamics market researchers, placing the hatchback well ahead of its nearest rivals in the compact segment, the Ford Focus, which had sales of 178,131, down 19 percent, and the Skoda Octavia with 169,939 units sold, down 0.5 percent.
Bloomberg contributed to this report