Recent advances in vehicle connectivity and automation technologies promote advanced control algorithms that co-optimize the longitudinal dynamics and powertrain operation of hybrid electric vehicles. Typically, a sequential optimization with the vehicle dynamics optimized followed by powertrain optimization is adopted to manage a number of complexities such as the inherent mixed-integer nature of the hybrid powertrain, the numerous state and control variables, the differing time scales of vehicle and powertrain subsystems, time-varying state constraints, and large horizon lengths. Instead, we solve the offline optimization problem in a centralize manner assuming exact knowledge of the lead vehicle's position over the entire trip by applying a discrete-time single shooting-based numerical approach, discrete mixed-integer shooting (DMIS), including a linearly increasing computational complexity to the problem horizon. In particular, the hierarchical problem structure is exploited to decompose the computationally intensive Hamiltonian minimization step into a set of low-dimensional optimizations. DMIS allows us to compute the direct fuel minimization problem including the vehicle and powertrain dynamics in a centralized manner to its full horizon while systematically tuning weighting factors that penalize passenger discomfort. For the first time, this study reveals that practically implemented sequential optimization exhibits similar fuel optimality as co-optimization when a certain level of passenger comfort is required.